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02.12.2009 Editorial

Nalerigu girls & officialdom’s gaffe

By Daily Guide
Nalerigu girls & officialdom’s gaffe
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Finally, the much expected medical reports required to corroborate or rubbish the rape claim by the Nalerigu girls are out and damning.

Like the infamous story about the stripping of two adult males naked in Bawku by soldiers, it was subjected to motley machinations to render it a non-issue.

Some notable personalities sought to reduce the gravity of the offence by rather offensive interventions which did not assuage the pain suffered by the community the victims hail from.

Indeed, the Daily Graphic, a state newspaper, was engaged to undertake the criminal task of covering up the substance of the crime. We are saddened by the complicity and wish such a critical newspaper was not brought into the nasty fray.

It is amazing that officialdom stooped so low as to, as it were, add salt to an already painful injury.

The newspaper publication indicated that the Police Medical Examination Form issued to the rape victims was not returned. When the story was released, it did not fly, even though those who controlled it remotely smiled at what they erroneously thought was a success.

The results have not only proved them wrong, they have exposed their mischief and propensity to throw integrity to the dogs.

Rape in some countries is equated with armed robbery, and so when some personalities use their transient but powerful positions and state channels to reduce the seriousness of what the security agencies meted out to the poor Nalerigu girls, we would be hard-pushed not to resist with all our God-given might.

It is worrying that those who find themselves at the helm of state affairs today have not learnt a thing about governance, to the extent that they continue to engage in mendacious pastimes to the detriment of their dignity and governance.

Had the Nalerigu rape victims been the daughters of those attempting to douse the fire generated by the story through mendacity, using their positions in government, they would have sung different tunes from what we are hearing today.

With due respect to the late Mobila's unfortunate demise, we dare state that not only that case calls for thorough investigation, but others which border on criminality, no matter whose ox is gored.

When vulnerable persons who look up to the security agencies end up being raped by the so-called protectors, then helplessness is the next resort and that is regrettable under a government which promises to uphold the rule of law and protect the citizenry.

We have information that such anomalies are widespread in the conflict zones, but in some cases, being a taboo subject, victims have preferred to be mute about their ordeals.

The human rights groups and gender activists have not come out vociferously on this issue and it is surprising. Other subjects of less importance have attracted their attention in the past.

Equally surprising and painful is the decision of the Vice President to issue a statement in an attempt to debunk the story even before a credible investigation is undertaken.

The legal implications of crime, and for that matter rape, are not determined by the geographical location in which they take place, Upper East Regional Minister Wayongo should take note.

Rape is criminal and inimical to the cultural milieu of the civilized, worldwide.

Whoever is caught trying to mitigate the seriousness of the crime should not be spared condemnation, no matter who he or she is.

Top personalities who have smeared themselves with the indignity of lies about the Nalerigu incident are robbing governance of respect.

It is shameful and abominable.

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