INTERVIEW: 16-Year-Old Narrates Ordeal In The Hands Of Rapists, Blames Plight On Lack Of Social Amenities

In Breaking News, Crime, Interviews, Reports

By Wisdom Okon

A sixteen-year-old girl, Miss Cynthia Udoh (not her real name) who narrowly escaped being raped shares her experience with CrossRiverWatch.

Narrating her ordeal she blamed her plight on the lack of social amenities such as street lights, security, and insufficient water facilities in Atakpa market in Calabar South and environ where she hawks for her parents.

The adjourning areas at the market have become a camping ground for hoodlums, gangsters, and other criminal elements, who constantly perpetrate crimes in the market area, especially at night.

The market has no security, street lighting, or other social amenities to aid the traders who painstakingly pay their taxes to the regulatory bodies from the government.

She said: “We lack light in Atakpa market and some of the levies we pay here are not used to help us, after paying for sanitation the whole market will still be looking dirty, the government is not helping us there only come to our aid in times of elections, especially if they need our support.

“We lack so many amenities; the water that is here is meant for those people at the slaughter, so we (the rest of the traders) do go there and borrow water, but if the water facility goes bad, we will contribute money and do it ourselves. We pay sanitation levy weekly, the ticket is daily and the revenue is once in a year; sanitation is N200, N50, and N5,000.”

Struggling with her emotions, she further explained that at the slaughter point of the market which is the main access road for many traders, hoodlums made their hideouts, and people are harassed regularly.

Holding back tears, she revealed that if not for divine premonition which led her mother to her rescue, she would have been raped by the gangsters.

“I would have been raped, but I was only saved by my mother because of the rumors she has been hearing about the market; so she came to that place because there is usually a dark spot where gangsters hold their meetings and that place is normally dark at night. Each time you pass, if you fall victim you can be harassed, especially by the slaughter point.

“So, I passed through to get my phone that night, between 7pm and 8pm in the evening, so on my way back some of them called me, there were six young men at that spot, so they called me and I was scared, though I  went and they were threatening me that if I do not come, I know what they would do.”

Eventually, she went but was coerced to buy drugs for them. She added that “They told me to sit down in their midst, I just sat down and I was scared but I had to be courageous to defend myself and I told them am not sitting down and do not have anything to do with them and so they started saying that as of last month, I celebrated my birthday and never introduced myself to them and I didn’t give them anything so that I should have bought cannabis and ice (hard drugs) which they usually smoke.

“They asked if I was ready to give them the money for the drugs. But just to free myself I accepted that I will give them money. I queried that they should free me and let me go, but the leader of the gang ordered me to sit down. I was scared, I told them to free me but they insisted I should sit down and I did.

“Two of them started rubbing my body and one person was licking my ears and I became more worried, I was only praying because that day I knew what would have happened only a miracle will save me, so I was praying in my mind that God should help me, even when cars should pass and flashlight all of them will quarrel and say ‘oga off that light, off that light’.

“There where pressing me, since I refuse to do what they wanted, and the other one carried a spoon and start pressing it on my skin I only thank God I was not injured, one of their members said I should do mouth-to-mouth (kiss him) and I objected and he then sat down and was licking my ears, he was forcing me to kiss him, I said he should leave me and that if he should come closer again, I will bite him.”

After spending close to an hour battling for her safety, her worried mother came to her rescue.

The teenager said: “She came to the market because she had heard rumors about that place, so she decided to come and search for me. When she passed I saw her because my mum is the type of person that if she should see me there she will not want to know what was going on, she will blame me, I was just scared. I got up, I was standing. I was already happy my mum had come, and all of them scattered.”

Enquiring into her psychological ordeal, the 16-year-old explained, “After the incident, I went home that night and my mummy threatened to flog me and said that at first why will I go there and that it’s because I’m giving them attention that is why they had the audacity. I tried  to explain to her that I was just scared of what they would do, they were about six in number and they were smoking and taking all sorts of hard drugs.”

She however called on the government to help provide adequate security and social amenities such as street lights, and water among others to show value for their taxes.

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