It was a tragic story that started much earlier, when, John Oyewo, the 67-year-old resident of Manfile community in Upper Gaa Akanbi, Ilorin in South Local Government Area of Kwara State, and formerly married to one Yetunde, separated from her to marry another woman, by name, Feyisayo, in 1992.
Between Yetunde and John, they had a girl, Esther. Then 15, she would go to stay with her dad, and her new wife, now her stepmother who was a businesswoman and was often away from home. One thing led to another and in the course of the visits, an illicit love affair started between father and daughter.
How it started
She recalled the genesis of the sordid affair.
“My father came home one night. I was fast asleep when she woke me up and asked if I had had my bath. I said no. Then he asked me to bathe with him and I joined him innocently. While in the bathroom, he started touching my sensitive parts. Irritated, I Initially I resisted him but when I could no longer hold it I became aroused and responded to his touching. We had it right there in the bathroom. Later, it became a constant thing. I was afraid but because I had nowhere to go, I endured it.”
The incestuous relationship resulted in Esther’s first pregnancy. She later gave birth to a child who died shortly after birth under mysterious circumstance. Still the shameful affair continued. The innocent girl got pregnant for her dad the second time and had another child who they christened Oreoluwa.
Reward of sacrilege
This time around family and relations felt that they had had enough of this nonsense and sent father and daughter packing from their midst by way of communal ex-communication. That was how the duo left the family house to settle in their present abode at Manfile area in Upper Gaa Akanbi.
But while there, the second child who was hale and hearty and had started walking about, suddenly took ill and died. As if that was not enough ordeal, the father became afflicted with imbecility and left home never to be seen again, till today. As you read this, only God knows where he is. To compound it all, Esther, now 39, has been afflicted with a strange illness the nature of which she would not want the public to know. But a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) is assisting her, she said. In tears, she said to Saturday Sun: “I thought what I was doing then was right not knowing I have committed a great crime that has ruined my life.”
Another case of incest
In a related development, one Isiaka Lamidi, 22, has accused his half-sister, Nike Yusuf, 24, of luring him into an incestuous relationship. Lamidi who hails from Afijo Local Government Area of Oyo State, said he met his half-sister (the same mother but different fathers) in Amoyo in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ilorin, Kwara State where he had gone to live with the Yusufs.
Overcome with infatuation, the two started an amorous relationship within three weeks of meeting each other.
“How we started was unexplainable to me because I went to Nike’s room one day when our parents were not around,” Isiaka recalled. “I saw a supposed bottle of Coke in her room, took it and drank. Few hours later, I slept off in my room. But the next thing I knew was I saw my half-sister on me. At that time, I had no option than to submit to her as she was the one who initiated the action.
After that, we did not stop but continue doing it occasionally when our parents were out or travelled to Oyo State. Why she did not get pregnant is what I don’t know because she would say I should not fear that she had taken care of that. We did this for close to four years till 2013.”
But one day, they were not so lucky, however, as Mrs. Yusuf walked in on them while they were at it. Thereafter, the couple took the decision to separate the two siblings. While Nike was moved to Ibadan, Isiaka was asked to look for accommodation elsewhere. “I decided to stay with a friend in Ilorin. After the forced separation for close to nine months, I learnt she is somewhere in Ilero, Oke Ogun, Oyo State. I don’t have any job now, apart from driving vehicles for other taxi drivers. But we no longer have sex. Each of us now tried to piece together our lives once again.”
Figures obtained from Kwara State Ministry of Women Affairs shows that whereas 20 such cases were reported in 2013, eight in 2014, 18 in 2015, 12 were recorded in 2016 although Saadat Bibire, founder of Saab Foundation, an NGO, believes the figures could be much higher. “There are several unreported cases of incest because of the taboo and stigmatization attached to it,” she said.
Okasanmi Ajayi, Police Public Relations Officer, said the only time victims usually bring such case to the attention of police is when it goes beyond family crisis. “Otherwise, they prefer settling it in family way.”
Experts, clerics speak
Experts reveal that indulging in incest can have disastrous psychological effect on those involved. Stephen Oni, a psychologist, warns that, “fathers of any incestuous relationship can have psychopathic personalities” while “children born out of incest might start experiencing emotional shutdown when they reach adulthood and this could result in schizophrenia or multiple personality disorders.”
Imam Abubakre Kamal, an Islamic cleric in Ilorin, recommends death sentence for anybody who engages in it. “Any father who commits incest should be killed,” he said. “If they are killed, it will serve as a warning to others. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, if such crime is committed, it is outright death.”