Below is a narration from an analyst, Bulama Bukarti, on how a young girl begged to be rescued from her father who has been raping her since she was 7-years old.
Read: “In 2018, a 14-old Fatima wrote me a short letter begging me to rescue her from her father, who’s been raping her since when she’s 7 years old when her mother died. She wrote her name, her school and class. I immediately asked a colleague to direct me to G. G. S. S. Sheka, Kano.
“The man remarried after Fatima’s mother’s demise but would go to Fatima whenever her step-mother was not at home. He’d sometimes direct his wife to visit his or her family on purpose. He’d tell Fatima he couldn’t resist her because she looked like her mother.
“Fatima was visibly traumatised. Her principal was so shocked. She is super helpful and cooperative too. She helped me examine Fatima as I waited outside and confirm that her privates look like a woman that has been married for years. She said her only ask of me is to rescue.
“”I don’t want you to jail my father”, she cried. Saving her was my first priority, but I had concluded in my mind that the beast that is her father would NEVER breathe the air of freedom again. Not after what he’s done. I promised Fatima she’d never go back to that hole again.
“Her principal won’t let her go with me because I’m not a relative, but she knows my name. So she said to me “you can’t pick her up from our premises, so go out with your car and pick her up outside after she’d left. This way, we can say she left the school premises as usual”.
“I contacted Hajiya Hussain the Kano State Chair of FIDA. She wasn’t in town so she linked me up with another Hajiya who kindly offered to help us and accommodate the victim. I reported to the Police Area Command at Bank Road Kano (former MTD), who immediately swung into action.
“Fatima’s ordeal got worse when her step-mother got wind of what was going on. She couldn’t confront her husband so would torture the girl and starve her. Fatima would flee to her neighbour’s house with bruises, traumatised and hungry.
“She finally told the neighbour’s wife her nightmare and asked to be linked up with me. It was her neighbour that delivered the letter to me but begged to remain anonymous because he was afraid of the consequences. I asked him to drop out of the picture thenceforth.
“When the police arrested the animal, he confessed without resistance. I asked the Police to temporarily grant the Hajiya custody of Fatima until we obtain a court order. The girl was still crying saying “I don’t want him in prison. I just want to leave the house.”
“When the Hajiya left with Fatima, I asked the Police to charge the father to court and they said that’s exactly their plan. It was at that point that the man’s children (one of them a lecturer) started begging us to help their father by killing the case. We insisted “NEVER”.
“The father was as usual charged to a magistrate court at No-man’s-land Kano and sent to prison awaiting trial. Until I left Kano, he was still in jail and Fatima was happily living in her new home with Hajiya’s daughters. I believe he’s still in jail.
“I was traumatised to hear that Fatima’s father taught in a primary school until he retired and then became a supervisor. “how many girls have this man violated?”, was the one question that kept me awake for weeks. This man shouldn’t live in a community with other women and girls.
“It still traumatises me to remember this case. I still can see Fatima’s innocent face in the mirror of the heart. I can see the beast’s wretched face too. Recent reports of horrific rapes in Edo and Jigawa compelled me to break my silence. Fatima’s is just one of the millions of stories.
“Rape is so pervasive in our society. It’s almost been normalised. It’s high time we all acted decisively. We must stipulate the severest sentence possible, set up special investigators and get special courts to try rape cases expeditiously. WE CAN’T LET THIS CONTINUE”.