There is a wave of incest sweeping across the
country at the moment. Innocent girls, who are victims of this ill have
been giving chilly accounts of how they were defiled and deflowered by
their own biological fathers. The trend is on the rise and the public
space is bursting at the seams with its aftermath.
Now the questions are: Who can stop this marching army of amorous men
that can no longer control their libido? Who can stop these seemingly
depraved men from taking their toddlers and teenage daughters to the
cleaners? These perverse acts, which are brutally bulldozing their ways
into the society, are leaving many confused as to the direction the
world is now headed.
In sane communities, there is no place for incest; it is certainly
never a way of life. Many Nigerians have insisted that incest must not
be allowed in the country, calling the development by its right name:
Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, President, Aka Ikenga; Rev. Fr. Ben Ogu, a
Catholic priest from Ahiara Diocese, Imo State, and Alhaji Idowu
Ajibola, Baale (traditional ruler ) of Tolu, in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local
Government Area of Lagos State, and others unanimously affirm that
incest is evil. Their condemnation is inspired by recent cases of
fathers, having carnal knowledge of their own little children.
In Lagos recently, it emerged that a certain man simply identified as
Iwuanyanwu, allegedly raped and subsequently impregnated his own
biological daughter (name withheld). The girl was 15 years old and the
crime was committed in her father’s home in Ajao Estate.
Iwuanyanwu had reportedly clobbered his wife and daughter on various
occasions just to compel them to keep quiet, warning them not to
disclose his atrocities to anyone. But his threat did not stay for long.
Eventually, the gist of his dirty deeds burst out in the open recently.
Family members, who got wind of the storm in Iwuanyanwu’s home were
said to have intervened and reported the matter to the Lagos State
Ministry of Youth and Social Development. The latter in turn, told the
police, who are currently sorting things out with the apparently
Earlier before then, a 14-year-old girl (name withheld), also in
Lagos, was said to have bitterly disclosed how she was defiled on two
occasions by her own father. The man identified as Waheed, 48, was later
arrested by policemen attached to Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos.
Police said that the suspect, who was a resident of Ikorodu, another
part of Lagos, had admitted to the crime, blaming his plight on a
certain perceived influence over his life.
The girl, who lived with his father, step mother and four siblings,
was an SS1 student of a secondary school in Ikorodu. Feeling that she
had had enough from her father, she blew the lid open by reporting her
ordeal to a church in the neighbourhood. The church in turn reported the
incident to the police.
It also emerged that the police in Lekki, Lagos, recently arrested a
37-year-old man named Oluwaseyi, for allegedly raping his two daughters.
The first one was four, and the second, six. The accused also allegedly
defiled his 15-year-old stepdaughter. He was consequently arrested
after his wife reported the matter to a non-governmental organisation.
Oluwaseyi was said to have been separated from his wife although he
had custody of the girls. At the same time, he was said to be living
with his stepdaughter whom he had allegedly raped on several occasions
before the poor girl reported to a neighbour, who then informed her
In Ibadan too, a certain Awoniyi was arrested not too long ago
allegedly for defiling his two under-age biological daughters as well as
his two nieces. All the victims were under-18. The Oyo State Police
Command said the crime was allegedly committed at Moniya in Akinyele
Local Government Area of the state.
But the suspect denied the incest accusation, claiming that he was
being held for a crime he knew nothing about. However, neighbours, who,
at some point, became aware of the development, were said to have
testified that the accused had sex with his victims on various
Findings by the police revealed that the accused person had carnal
knowledge of his own daughters and that happened each time the man was
Worried by this trend, Chief Uwazuruike, a lawyer and cultural
activist, has given insight into the acts that many would say constitute
“In Igboland in particular, incest is any sexual relationship between
a woman and her son or biological brother or cousins or uncle and niece
or between a man and woman who share common ancestry. Even in a
community of more than 2,000 people, incest is committed when a man and
woman, who are related by ancestry have sexual relationship, no matter
how far apart their ancestral homes might be from each other.”
“Incest or whatever name anyone might call it has no place in Igboland. The Igbo custom abhors it.
“In fact, in Igboland, in order to ensure that people do not
mistakenly commit incest, just before they get married, a series of
inquires is conducted before the marriage is contracted. This is to
ensure that the intending partners, who have common ancestry don’t get
married to one another. If the marriage is contracted in error, it has
to be broken; otherwise it would have some severe consequences.
“In the olden days, people who committed incest were sold into
slavery. But as time wore on, in some communities, those who committed
incest were mobbed or even banished. That was then. Now, people who
commit incest are sanctioned. We have informal groups, such as the
youths and the Umuada (daughters of the village), who are always there
to defend the norms and lore of the society. They visit the offenders
When reminded that one of the men accused of incest lately –
Iwuanyanwu – was an Igboman, Chief Uwazuruike burst out: “I dare him to
go home to his village and see what awaits him. Of course, the youths
and the Umuada are already waiting to receive him.
“All communities in Igboland at the moment belong to the Catholic,
Anglican, Methodist or other religious persuasions. There are also
groups in these churches that serve as vigilance groups. In Catholic
communities, for instance, the Christian Mothers are there. They serve
as a vigilance group. They stand to promote sanctify and edifying
Fr. Ogu, on his part, told the reporter that “the church views incest as an abomination and an outrageous evil.
“The Bible too sees it so,” he noted. “The Bible says those who involve in incest are cursed because it is an abomination.”
He was vehement that part of the reason people indulge in such evil
practice was because of the growing lack of sense of the sacred and
crude crave for materialism. “Our contemporary Nigerian society
sometimes looks to me like depraved and sinking into insanity because of
the crave for the mundane and the immoral,” he submitted.
The clergyman noted that seeing the quantum of evil that Nigerians
commit each passing day, he sometimes wondered if God was not far from
this country, not because Nigerians were not attending services in the
churches and mosques but because most people were merely religious but
According to him, the only way people could overcome ills, such as
incest in the society was for them to begin to reconsider their
conscience and become less materialistic, noting that it seemed that
part of the trend was driven by occult practice and crave for material
wealth. He warned Nigerians to always desist from seeking pleasure in
material things alone.
Among the Yoruba-speaking communities too, incest is abhorred, says Alhaji Ajibola.
He told the reporter that no community condoned it, warning that it remained a major evil that must be avoided by all.
“Incest of all sheds is evil,” he said. “Whether it is a man having
carnal knowledge of his daughter or a woman sleeping with her son or
between children of the same parents or relations, having anything
carnal with one another, it is abominable.
“In fact, if such a thing happens, it clearly shows that something is
seriously wrong. It indicates that something within that community
needs to be corrected. So, usually, we take urgent steps to stop such
wrong so that things will augur well with the culprits. We ensure that
the curse and calamity, accompanying such evil is averted.
“Part of what we do is to consult the oracle. And whatever it tells us to do, we do.”
And what will the oracle say, one might wonder? Ajibola says: “The
oracle is sure to tell us to cleanse the land. The Baale will be
mandated to perform the Oro rite. Usually no woman witnesses this
“One of the segments of this rite demands that the culprits (man and
his daughter) be brought in the open and made to back themselves. The
essence of this is to ensure that the sexual urge they had for each
other is killed totally and when next the father sees his daughter, both
will go their separate ways and would have nothing sexual with each
He, however, warned parents to desist from having sexual feelings for
their children. “One way to avoid this is for parents to desist from
sleeping in the same room with their children.
“Parents must learn to have self-control too, so as to ensure that
they don’t crave for their children. This is totally wrong, no matter
how anyone looks at it,” he emphasised.
Written by Cosmas Omegoh