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child abuse in nigeria
WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
Child abuse can mean anything to anybody at any time but for the purpose of this hub, I shall be looking at child abuse as any action or inaction towards children that will either cause them pains or harm (directly or indirectly), or deprive them of their rights. Simply put, any attempt to violate children’s right is what child abuse is all about. Child abuse in Nigeria is increasing on an alarming rate and it seems no one cares. Even those that managed to care seemed to be distracted by other political forces.
A good example of those that cared and was later distracted is His Excellency Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. He wanted to protect the right of children in Lagos state but was later overtaken by the heat of politics.
My aim of writing this hub is not to castigate my country or anybody (after all, Nigeria still remains my country) but, to bring to the notice of the general public the high level of child abuse in Nigeria. The approach I will use in this hub will be to state and explain various ways that people of Nigeria violate the rights of children in Nigeria.
FORMS OF CHILD ABUSE IN NIGERIA
- Child labour: children that are supposed to be in school are subjected to all forms of hard labour. You see them hawking pure water (sachet water) and other things in traffic. A lot of them get introduced to all sorts of bad gang in the course of doing this. Parents give flimsy excuses of not being financially sound.
- Child molestation/ sexual abuse: you will hear of men in their 60s molesting girls of 10 years and below. Most of these people do this for spiritual purpose.
- Drug abuse: all in the name of trying to make children go to sleep, most mothers give their children over dosed cough syrups. This is a bad practice that has even crept into daycares. Teachers now give cough syrup to the pupils under their care just to have time for other things. Over time, this will make the child’s system become resistance to cough syrups.
- Child trafficking: parents now literally sell their children out for all kinds of job in return for a meager.
- Denial of basic education: children are not given the opportunity to have basic education of life.
- Taking inappropriate action in the presence of children: a lot of people don’t know is a form of abusing their children when they engage in all sorts of unhealthy practice in the presence of their children.
- Lack of or un-implementation of regulation in the entertainment industry: the entertainment industry sends out many un-censored content into the market without properly labeling them for children consumption.
- Decaying state of moral values and culture: religious leaders and clergymen in Nigeria have failed to play their role of instilling moral values into children that look up to them as role models.
- Child malnutrition: not giving your children nutritional foods is the biggest form of child abuse that I have ever seen in Nigeria. You will see healthy looking parents with malnutrition children. This is pure wickedness. Even when the family is not financially ok, there are still cheap nutritional food ingredients that can be used to take good care of children.
WERE YOU ABUSED AS A CHILD?
No Nigerian will claim that he or she is ignorant of the high level of child abuse in Nigeria. It is not enough to have numerous (often time conflicting) policies and laws geared towards the protection of children in Nigeria, when none is ever implemented. A lot of NGOs have been set up in different parts of the country to take care of and protect children’s right in Nigeria but the of corruption and insensitivity on the part of those charged with the implementation of these laws have hitherto thwarted the results that we all long for.
I shed tears whenever I walk through the streets of Lagos and see all kinds of child abuse being meted on Nigerian children; our future hope. We all seem to forget that posterity is watching us. Our leader knows no other thing than to send all of their out of the country for studies while they play their dirty political games with our educational system.
I am a graduate of Nigerian university but, I tell you (with bitter and heavy heart) that over 95% of what I know I didn’t learn from the school. I happen to be lucky to have loving and caring parents (though not rich) but, with human hearts filled with love and affection. They refused to subject I and my siblings to the harsh reality of life rather, they cared for us with the little they had and made us understand that all hope wasn’t lost as Nigerians. This way, we were able to go the extra mile in learning on our own (outside the schools).
The question I want to ask is; for how long will Nigerians watch her future generation suffer and being deprived of her rights?
I expect every Nigerian family to provide answer to this question and cater for their children. It is high time we forgot about the government, as it is obvious that they (government) don’t have the interest of our children at heart. How will they have us at heart when they have sold their conscience to the wicked wimps and caprices of the wicked ‘souls’ called the ‘godfathers’? Perhaps, the current administration of DR. GOODLUCK JONATHAN will give hope to our children.
Child abuse in Nigeria must end, God save and bless Nigeria!