Recently, women, mostly the unmarried ones, have been reported to be victims of various inhuman acts perpetrated by some criminal elements. While some are drugged, raped or robbed, others are murdered in cold blood. In some cases, the perpetrators go scot free, but in other cases, they are apprehended and made to pay for their crime.
The case of Gracious David-West, the Port Harcourt serial killer, is one of those men who have been punished for their crime. He was arrested, tried and convicted for luring an unsuspecting girl to a hotel where he killed her.
According to reports, David-West, between July and September 19, 2019 when he was apprehended, was said to have confessed to killing over 15 women.
The bodies of these ladies were found in similar conditions; strangled and with a white piece of cloth tied on their legs, necks and hands, before making away with their valuables.
Before the David-West saga, there was another reported to have started killing in 1978, just 18 years old, and wasn’t arrested for murder until 1991, after a would-be victim escaped and led police back to his home. It was there that some of the gruesome details of his life of killing were seen via photos of mutilated bodies and body parts strewn across the apartment. He even had a vat of acid he used to dispose of victims. In all, he killed 17 people and was killed by a fellow inmate, after he was apprehended.
They are not the only persons in that business of maiming and killing women. Most recent is the case of an alleged serial rapist who was paraded by the Rivers State police command, accused of drugging, raping and robbing young ladies.
A certain Mr. Ibam, father of four children who pleaded not guilty, was accused of luring young ladies on social media with enticing promises.
As it is, the crime appears to have heightened as social media activities grow. Some girls who cannot control their appetite for the good things of life are easy victims in the hands of killer gangs who target them for harassment and killing.
Only recently, the state chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Rivers State Chapter, Mrs. Susan Serekara-Nwikhana charged women to be weary of social media relationships. Just like all men of goodwill, the NAWOJ leader believes that women would not become victims of such killings if they did not yield to traps set for them by blood thirsty men.
We believe also, that anybody whose doors are not open to the killers through greed, cannot be a victim. The social media have an admixture of the good and the bad. While many have benefitted from the gains of the social media, many have lost their lives because of the social media and it happens mainly to those who still have an insatiable desire for free money and desire a life of lucre.
While we caution the women to be careful and guide against vain lifestyles and avoid association with people with suspicious intentions, we also caution parents to monitor the activities of their female children and ensure that they do not fall into the hands of these evil men.
Religious organisations also have a role to play. They should take it as a point of duty to properly guide their female members to avoid such paths that could destroy them. Preaching about prosperity alone without bothering about the welfare of and the company the girl child keeps does not help.
The government should also endeavour to ensure that anyone caught in the act is properly tried and punished once they are found guilty. If more convictions are secured against killers like Gracious West, other young men will learn and avoid harassing and tormenting the womenfolk. To end the harassment of women, we believe all hands must be on deck. And it must be done with some deliberate consciousness.