Nigeria’s New Sexual Abuse Bill: Soyinka Blasts Senator Yerima,Anyanwu

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Nobel laurete, Wole Soyinka has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold his assent to the Sexual Offences Bill (also known as the anti-rape bill) passed by Nigeria’s 7th National assembly.

DAILY POST reports that speaking on the bill, Soyinka said, ”President Buhari – and here I make my first imposition on his presidency – should never place his assent on such a nefarious distraction. Its implications doom the victim to afflictions that churn the stomach even to think of the human toll. Perhaps those legislators think that vaginal fistula is something thought up by arm-chair critics with nothing better to occupy their minds. No matter, let those who profess a genuine concern declare their stand on this.

”On my part, I find unacceptable any effort to build a nation on perversions that merely minister to man’s sexual appetites. This is a sordid appeasement of a minority who actually require psychiatric help. President Buhari should not give his assent to the Bill without amendments that address the earlier Yerima gift to the nation. It’s a trap.

”The supposedly progressive bill, sponsored by the respected Senator Chris Anyanwu. I could not help but notice a reiteration – as if to ensure that there is no ambiguity – of the word ‘child’, near superfluously,” Mr. Soyinka said.

”Well, we understand ‘child’ as defined in most dictionaries. There is however also child as defined by the Nigerian legislature. This definition is contained in a prior Bill, sponsored, no less, by a notorious serial paedophile and cross-border sex trafficker, yet lawmaker – one Ahmed Yerima.

”Does Yerima’s Bill, gleefully assented to by his peers, not simply vitiate this latter, supposedly humane concern for the protection of the child? Again, I confess to being only a ‘bloody layman’ in such matters.

”However, reading both bills, it strikes me that all the new bill does is empower the clique of paedophiles. All you need do is ‘marry’ even a six-year old under any local laws, and do whatever you want with her. Through marriage, she is already an ‘adult’. Her ‘defiler’ is now fully protected by this law. She is not.”

”The current bill is the ancient story of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. End of story? Yerimah and his fellow perverts are having the last laugh. This latest addition of insult to social injury was tucked within a last-minute avalanche of bills that were passed at lightning speed during the tail-end of the last legislative assemblage – 47 bills in under 3 hours – surely one for the Guinness Book of Records. An accident? Or by design?

”This bill, subjected to wrong arguments, merely consolidates the reduction of female minors to sex objects. As long as you can afford a bag of rice or – as in the case of cross-border tastes such as Ahmed Yerima’s – ten thousand dollars, you are free to rape a child to death. This, surely cannot pretend to represent the will of a people who care. Once you re-define female adulthood as marital status, all subsequent protection bills for the girl-child are worthless, cynical”.

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