Despite our current tumultuous political atmosphere, a majority of people on Twitter were riled up by the rape report that had been trending this week wherein two ”Lekki Big Boys” Don Chima George and Razak Oluwaseun Oke had drugged a 23-yr-old woman they met at a club, then took her to Don Chima’s father’s hotel and took turns in raping her. They filmed their violent, disgusting act on their phones. Subsequently, the victim gained consciousness and called her brother, who promptly got the rapists arrested and detained.
Well, until yesterday. News broke out that Don Chima and Razak had been released, thanks to the strings Don Chima’s father pulled on account of his wealth and class. Also promptly, the rape victim and her brother were thrown in jail but later released. Everyone on Twitter, including myself, was following @KingNelo2 as she supplied updates and galvanised many into action, which gave rise to #JusticeForRapeInNigeria.
I honestly cannot believe the audacity of Nigeria and money.
So 1) don chima george and ricco were released. Scot free FOR RAPE
2) don chima’s father then got police to arrest the victims brother, sister and friend. As in right now HER BROTHER is in jail. I am FURIOUS
— ? (@KingNelo2) February 7, 2019
Almost immediately Twitter devolved into a protest zone as the hashtag gained momentum, revolving around the corruptible justice system in Nigeria and how it continues to fail rape victims, especially women. I don’t have the statistics for sure but I know that the rape epidemic in Nigeria has been on the increase, splashed gorily in the dailies where women of all ages are victims of rape. Also, there are cases that go unreported. That said, we can’t talk about rape without addressing rape culture, the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that enable rape to thrive, instilled in us at a young, formative age. Sayings like ”Boys will be boys” or not believing victims of sexual assault embolden perpetrators to continue to rape and leaves the issue untackled.
Also, putting the onus on women to avoid getting raped instead of telling men not to rape shows how our society protects men and discourages accountability on their part. #JusticeForRapeInNigeria is another indication that social media can be a force for good, even with rigged justice system.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.