Blessing Yahaya is a young girl who is gradually becoming a strong voice for the female gender despite the events that defined her birth and her early life.
According to Blessing, who spoke to DAILY POST on her birthday which was organized by Dorothy Njemanze foundation in collaboration with Isaac Belami foundation, she has been able to receive maximum attention from those who share in her pain as a rape victim.
Narrating her story to DAILY POST on Tuesday, Blessing who is only 16 years of age, said she was raped while living with her father and his family at the age of 11. She said her mother was raped 16 years ago by the same man, Mr Yakubu Yahaha who currently resides in Karu, a suburb of Abuja. She said the rape resulted into pregnancy. Blessing said she was the product of the dastardly act committed by her father.
Narrating how her mum was raped, she said “Mummy told me that she was about my age when the incident happened. Mr Yahaha Yakubu who is my father was actually staying with my mum’s elder brother, and raped my mum when no one was in the house. Mummy was only 11 years of age then. He cautioned my mum not to tell anybody, but for how long could one hide such thing? My mummy took in, gave birth to me, and my dad later accepted me into his house. This is because mummy was not having money to take care of me.
How my father raped me, my mother when I was 11 – Blessing Yahaya1
Blessing Yahaya with Balami isaac
Speaking on how the same man raped her and threatened to kill her, Blessing who hails from Kogi State said her father is a serial rapist, and that the police never took their plight seriously, even as she disclosed that the same man still walks freely without been questioned by security agents.
She said, ‘’I think people are interested in me because of my story. It’s very difficult for one to relate with such story. My father is a rapist. That is all I can say. I have searched for justice everywhere, and I’m yet to get the right response. My father raped me at the age of 11. I was with him and the rest of his family, because mummy really did not have money to take care of me. One day, my father raped me and warned me not to tell anyone. He said I was going to die the moment I let it out. But when mummy visited one day, I was moved to tell her. I said I was ready to face the consequence of revealing such terrible secret to her. I told her that I may die after narrating the incident to her. After I told her that I was raped, she did not believe me in the first place. She checked my private part and later took me to the hospital for a proper test. The test, however, confirmed that I was raped. Mummy was angry and we approached the Brekete family where we met Ordinary Ahmed and Aunty Dorothy. Since then, Aunty Dorothy has been up and doing to make sure I break out of the depression the incident caused me. Well, Ordinary Ahmed did what he could within his own power.’’
Speaking about her father, Blessing said, ‘’He abandoned me after the incident; we are no longer in touch. I was told he lives somewhere in Karu. He has never been remorseful about his action. He has never shown any regrets and the security agencies have not helped matters either. I thank God for my aunty-Dorothy. She has been so supportive.’’
Speaking about her birthday, Blessing disclosed that it was the first time she cut a cake in her life. ‘’I was surprised because Aunty didn’t tell me I was marking my birthday today. God will repay her and those supporting her,’’ she said.
Dismissing that she walks with the scar of the incident, Blessing said, ‘’it was very painful but I have learnt to speak out and not stay silent about it despite the threat that if I spoke about it, I would die. But here I’m today, advocating for the right of children alongside my aunty. I have turned the scar to my strength, and I don’t think I even walk with any scar at the moment.
Blessing who just sat for her junior WAEC at the Army Day Junior Secondary School, Abacha Barracks, Abuja said she was pleased that Dorothy and her mother have been managing to pay her school fees.
Advising other young girls who may be going through a similar experience as hers, Blessing urged them to speak out despite been asked not to, ‘’because when they stay silent, nobody will know what is wrong with them. For me, since I spoke out, I regained my freedom and if a man is trying to take advantage of them, they should report the case to their parents and if they are not taken seriously, they should look for somebody who can fight for them. For me, I will tell girls not to be too close to men and not to have a boyfriend at a tender age as they may destroy your life.’’
She however appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to fight for her in order to get justice.
Touched by her story, the Isaac Belami foundation declared in a statement issued by its CEO, to take up responsibility of paying for her school fees. Belami said he will open a file for Blessing under his foundation and add her to the over 400 other students currently under the foundation’s sponsorship.
Corroborating Blessing’s story, her 26 year old mum, Miss Ruth said it was the exact story of her life and that of her daughter. She thanked Belami and Dorothy for accepting them into their foundations.
DAILY POST gathered that Blessing’s mum currently works at Dutse market as a cleaner, and she is been paid N10, 000 monthly.
How my father raped me, my mother when I was 11 – Blessing Yahaya2
Blessing Yahaya in the middle
Social activist and gender advocate, Dorothy Njameze also told DAILY POST that effective legislation was necessary to tackle the rising cases of child-rape. She called on government to turn its attention to rape which is a major problem in the country at the moment. She stressed that rape cases are not civil but criminal cases and must be treated as such.
Source: DAILY POST