I was having dinner, and catching up with gossip on Linda Ikeji’s blog. And then I saw a story about two women who, accused of stealing pepper, had been stripped naked, beaten, and had the pepper poured into one of them. Not into her mouth, into her vagina. I watched it, simply because I didn’t believe the story was true. I didn’t believe that that level of sadism was possible.
It was true. Every word of it. Understated more like.
What the narrative didn’t say was that the lady who was worse off was pushed from her kneeling position to lie flat on her back, and one of the men placed his foot on her head to hold her down while the pepper was poured into her.
The narrative didn’t say she was begging for mercy, that she was whipped and prodded with a stick like an animal, and that the men rubbed this pepper on her and the other lady.
The narrative also didn’t say there were other men who apparently were so fascinated by this incident that they whipped out their phones and started taking pictures/filming.
Finally, the narrative didn’t mention that once you hear the woman scream (as the pepper goes into her), that is all you’ll hear for the rest of the evening.
The video is 8.25minutes of torture, left me in tears by the time I got to the end of it. I willed myself to watch it to the end because I wanted to build the anger to be able to do this.
Even if the ladies were guilty, there is no excuse under heaven to treat women like that. No one (regardless of their crime) deserves to be stripped, beaten, and then tortured like that.
I don’t want to forget the video, and I don’t want to forget the women.
And so I make this appeal: let’s find them. It is possible to find them and the animals who did this to them.
The narrative mentions ‘Iyana Ejigbo’; my Yoruba is poor and so beyond ‘sanu mi’ (have mercy on me) and ‘ata’ (pepper), I didn’t understand the rest of the video. But I’ve enlisted someone who will help translate in the morning. I have also found where Iyana Ejigbo is. @bisiogunwale said ”Iyana literally means ‘road to’; Ejigbo is the actual suburb, located between Isolo and Ikotun”. I have also found someone who has asked her friend (who lives in the area) to have a look around, talk to people, see if someone knows/saw/heard something.
This is how you can help:
I hear Ejigbo is a small but densely populated area, and so one person might not be able to cover a lot of ground. Who else can volunteer to visit the area, ask around? Preferably in a group with people/someone who speaks yoruba proficiently. Get in touch.
Are there any charities/groups/societies in Lagos who cater to abused women? Who will be willing to work with me/us to counsel and rehabilitate these women, get them to reveal the identities of their assailants and then take this up with the Police and the courts? If you’ve got contact details to share, please get in touch.
Every site I’ve seen carrying this story says “Lagos Police please find these men”; I say let’s find the women and let them ‘lead’ us to the men. It is not enough to tweet/post to Facebook condemning the act, let’s match those with action.
Remember Aluu 4? The men who, in a mob could take the lives of those four men started out like this. Violence begets violence. Let us find them and stop them.