Missing genitals’ controversy rages, experts dismiss claims, jungle justice for accused persons
As unproven claims of ‘missing genitals’ seems to be spreading, gratuitous violence has been unleashed on persons believed to be responsible for it, VICTOR AYENI writes on this and the views of experts who describe it as a delusion reinforced by mental health issues
Grace Abraham was obviously engulfed in panic as she reeled out her name in rapid succession to a stern male voice probing her with questions in a disturbing video posted on TikTok on October 7.
In the video, the woman who admitted being a resident of Gosa community in the Federal Capital Territory was accused by two men of “magically” stealing their penises.
A boy – who appeared to be her son –stood close as her native attire was drenched in sweat as she nervously fiddled with a phone in her hand.
“So your business is to remove people’s phalluses; you go about stealing men’s penises, you now want to make a phone call the way you give men your phone so that after they are done making the call, penis will vanish. Isn’t it?” Abraham’s accuser yelled in the video which has been shared by 458 TikTok users as of Wednesday afternoon.
The woman made efforts to deny each accusation, shaking her head to convey her innocence, but the man in the video had none of it.
Speaking in pidgin, he screamed, “Call that person you want to call right now and you know what, you will return these men’s genitals to them. Today, you will die. Today will be the first and last time you will do this thing.”
The two men who claimed to have had their manhood “stolen” in the video were fully clothed and there was no photographic or video evidence beyond their claims.
However, Saturday PUNCH learnt that these men were later arrested for making false claims and the woman was rescued by security operatives.
On Sunday, October 8, a similar allegation was made by 18-year-old Ebube Linus against a 68-year-old widow, Mrs Ann Ekechukwu, in Asaba, Delta State.
Linus had raised the alarm that the woman, a fellow passenger in a tricycle, physically touched him after which his manhood allegedly vanished.
According to a disturbing video that went viral, misguided touts mobbed Ekechukwu and stripped her naked before she was rescued by the police.
Speaking to journalists after his arrest, Linus said, “I greeted her and she replied to my greeting. So, as I alighted from the DBS junction I started feeling somehow and I went to meet the woman to ask, ‘What did you do to my body? Reverse what you did’.”
But after an investigation, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bright Edafe, said, “We later discovered that nothing was wrong with him (Linus), as his manhood was intact. He just lied against a poor woman, a mother, a daughter and a wife.”
Wave of disappearing penises
For many Nigerians, stories of people claiming their privates went missing usually after a physical touch by someone else are not new. Findings by our correspondent showed that the self-acclaimed victims are usually men, and the body part they often claim ‘disappear’ is the penis.
Oftentimes, the victims claim they felt a sensation in their body after touch or an encounter with someone, prompting them to raise an alarm to attract a crowd, after which a ‘culprit’ is fingered as responsible and passersby become the street court and judge.
A demand is made of the accused to replace the affected organ, and if they unfortunately fail to do so, a harsh death in the hands of a raging mob is often on the cards.
For weeks, there have been several claims of stolen genitals across the country. Although there is no visual evidence to substantiate these claims, our correspondent gathered that they have instilled a morbid fear among many men.
An Abuja resident, Gbola Olukoya, said such claims had generated much panic among citizens.
He told our correspondent, “The stories are many here. In fact, many men are now purchasing charcoal, bitter kola and needles and placing them in their pockets whenever they go out because they believe these things will prevent their genitals from being stolen. It’s that bad.”