THE PDP AND THE POLITICS OF RAPE

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The story is as sordid as it is incredible! Ateenage girl, Tosin Ajakaye,was raped by alleged leaders of the PEOPLE’S Democratic Party(PDP) IN Osun state. Her crime according to the account was that her parents were supporters of the Actio Congress Party. The story has very horrible details that we must not recount here.

However, the story went further, that the Osun state police command had ordered the arrest of a PDP chieftain in Ilesa, Mr Gani Oladiran, a few days after the crime had been committed . It was  at Oladiran’s residence, that the teenage girl was tortured after she was raped. Not long after, the chieftain of the PDP, Oladian was released by the police, even though they are still holding a thirty year old man, Kolawole Obafemi, whom the teenage girl, Tosin Ajakaye, mentioned as the actual rapist.

What has set people talking in respect of this frankly unacceptable affair is that some people alleged to be linked to this rape case have not been taken in by the police authorities for trial. Even when leading chieftains of the PDP in the loop of the case are well-known, they seemed to have somehow escaped the net of police inquiry.

Afew weeks ago, I had written on this page about the alarming frequency of cases of three year old girls, around northern Nigeria. We had tried to deconstruct the basis of these cases, within the sociology setting of the crises in our society and the problems of sexuality in very conservative religious settings. But there is another dimension to rape, which is perverted expression of power and dominion. That comes about, when a rapist takes on his victim through that act of defilement.

The Osun rape of the teenage girl has all the elements of the use of rape as expression of perverted use of power and domination. The PDP rapists in Osun could not reach their target, the parents of the girl victim, and to express their disgust, to show the level of their depravity and the lawlessness that their rule has foistered  on Nigeria, they went for the teenage girl. But there is a historical continuum with similar crimes, in the politics of Nigeria that we must recall, to be able to make a sense of the crimes, in the politics of Nigeria that we must recall, to be able to make a sense of the crime which the PDP thugs perpetrated in Osun state.

 

After the massive rigging of the 1983 elections by the National Party of Nigeria(NPN) in the former Ondo State, the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) leadership instigated a massive uprisng to protest the elections.Many NPN leaders including the well-known publisher, Chief Olaiya Fagbamigbe, were murdered in cold blood, by UPN thugs. A popular story of the invasion of the residence of one of the NPN chieftains by UPN thugs; the chieftain was able to scale the wall on the other side of the house to safety. The UPN invaders were so incensed that they missed their quarry, that they did not only set the house blaze, but they were alleged  to have exhumed the bones of the father who had been dead for a long time; they doused the bones with petrol and set them on fire!

There is therefore a tradition of impunity and a deep seated criminal use of violence, in the name of politics, running deep within the Nigerian political system. The surest element of this use of criminal use of violence is that it has almost always gone unpunished anyway.So the political chieftains impose their own gangster method of domination on the conquered ground. For as long as the chieftains can ensure that the end of retaining power by the party in power can be achieved, the means of violence is never questioned.

Unfortunately for Nigeri, the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has been the worst culprit in this systematic use of criminal violence to retain power over the past eight years. Let us take the  near state of anarchy in the Niger Delta; it was the PDP chieftains that systematically introduced arms into the region to facilitate the massive rigging of the 2003 elections. The various governors of the PDP could not return to the electorate for the renewnal of their mandate, because thay had gone on a looting spree between 1999 and 2003. It was therefore not likely, that the people would  return them to power. So the PDP, with active connivance of the national hierarchy of the party, decided that the safestbet, was to militarise the political process. Urban  lupen and déclassé  elements were organized into “brigades” to help institute the winner of the election in 2003, in some constituencies, even declaring that Obasanjo won almost one percent of the votes cast!

After the election had been rigged, it became impossible to collect the guns from the militants in the creeks. They had tasted blood, in a manner of speaking, and like the old pagan gods, they needed to continue to drink nectar from the skulls of the slain. The governors whose “re-election” they had facilitated could not continue to play them indefinitely, and the militants saw oil installations and expatriates in the oil industry as soft targets to prey on upon. Nigeria’s economic underbelly was exposed. Thanks to the treasonable irresponsibility of the chieftains of the Wpdp, whose expedient use of violence has now mutated and is haunting the country, exposing the weakness of the Nigerian state.

It was the same PDP machinery, which endorsed very openly, the gangster reign of Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu in Oyo State.The powerful chieftain, with active connivance, encouragement and support of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, rendered the state ungovernable, or more appropriately, imposed his own rule in Oyo State. The governor was instructed to surrender himself to the rule of a man, who the PDP chairman, Dr Ahmadu Ali, described as the “Garrison Commander” of Ibadan. Alhaji Adedibu’s excesses were tolerated because he was acting out a script which was to ensure PDP was returned to power, Willy nilly. In that calculation, it did not matter to the leaders of that unconsciable group of political leaders, just what amount of lawless use of violence was inficted on society.

This is the background against which we must understand the rape of the Osun state teenager by the chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP). The truth is that the PDP is a serial rapist; it has serially raped the maiden of democracy in Nigeria in 2003, and in 2007. In that crime of rape, the PDP had its thugs, the Nigerian Police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), holding down the maiden, while the PDP perpetrates the rape! This  is the reality which we live with. People have rightly been outraged by the story of the rape of Miss Toyin Ajakaye, but whoever divorces her plight from the manner that the PDP has used rape, understood very broadly and with elasticity, to dominate Nigeria’s political life,will be missing the entire picture. Rapists are on the prowl and Nigeria’s maiden of democracy is not safe at all.

If any evidence of the arrogance of these characters is needed, then just fancy the way that they have responded to the ongoing case of the sleaze against Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, the embattled Speaker of the House of  Representatives. What matters to thePDP hierarchy is to ensure that Etteh is not disgraced out of office, largely because it would mean a disgrace of the former despot, Olusegun Obasanjo. The moral crisis which faces both the House of  Representatives and the political elite is lost to those who have been using a mixture of threats and cajoling, of carrot and stick, to save the career of one of their own, Patricia Olubunmi Etteh. Or what do we make of the incredible lies and total lack of shame of the INEC chairman, Maurice Iwu, in his so-called report this week?

Nigeria has to decide its own fate. We must ask the question whether we want to continue to have a political syatem which allows the use of rape as a weapon of political control***choice, because the political rapists steal the entire process. Lacking the legimacy, which a freely expressed mandate confers, these people get into office and then proceed to indulge their propensities to steal and generally under-develop our country. Those who took upon the rape of a teenage girl in Osun State are perverts that should be brought to book, but their perversion must be located in the political space which the PDP machinery has facilitated. It is an expression of the lawlessness and the impunity which has caused this land so much sorrow since.

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