Monday, 19 September 2011

The ABSU Saga

The Nigerian cybersphere went agog with reactions to the ABSU rape saga.  Social networks such as twitter was set so much ablaze that the hashtag #ABSUrape trended all through yesterday.

 Apparently, a young female undergraduate of the Abia State University was gang-raped by 5 men of the same institution. The men also videotaped their heinous act and shared it via mobile phone until the video made its way to the internet. 

While the incident is said to have happened on the 16th of August, it only just made its way to the internet and has since been generating huge public outcry. The Minister of Youth Affairs, Bolaji Abdullahi lent his voice to the public condemnation of the act and also assured that relevant government agencies had been instructed to take up the matter and see that the perpetrators face the full wrath of the law.

An amazing offshoot of the public outcry is the insight it gave into the mindsets of people generally. While many people condemned the act, some people actually tried to justify it.  Some people voiced the opinion that if a girl is raped, she probably deserves it. This raises the question of ideals, morals and fundamental sense of right and wrong.

Has our society sacrificed the inculcation of higher values on the altar of academic learning? Shouldn't we ordinarily expect more refined behaviours from students within our ivory towers of learning? Or did the boys simply exhibit the cultural inclination of our society towards women? So many questions begging for answers.

At a very basic level, we are all souls. We are the same soul, from the same source, merely housed in different bodies. If the boys knew this, would they have undertaken such a grievous offence knowing that any offence against another person is an offence against their true selves? 

A return to higher values is a fundamental step towards healing ourselves and by extension, our nation. We need to stop seeing the other person as unconnected to us, because we all are. If something happens to the arm, the rest of the body cannot pretend not to be affected. Humanity is one and we should see it as such. 

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