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Child Molestation: FG Urges Defaulting States to Domesticate Act

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The federal government Wednesday appealed to states, which had either yet to domesticate or start the implementation of the Child Rights Act enacted since 2003, to do so immediately in the interest of the innocent Nigerian children.

 

 

The Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Segun Runsewe, made the appeal in Abuja at the Second Abuja Stakeholders Dialogue on Curbing Sexual Violence Against Children, organised by the HOSEC Foundation.

 

Runsewe, who was the chairman of the occasion, explained that the domestication of the law would increase child protection and reduce the chances of child abuse in the country.

 

The President of the Pediatrician Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr. Edward Alikor, had in January this year, said Kebbi, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Zamfara, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe, Borno and Adamawa States had yet to domesticate the law.

 

 

Alikor disclosed this in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while addressing journalists on the 52nd/53rd Annual General Meeting/ Scientific Conference tagged, PANCONF UYO 2022.

 

The theme of the conference was ‘Child Abuse: An Escalating Menace in Nigeria.’

 

He had said: “The inability of the 11 states in the northern path of the country to domesticate the Child Rights Act was a serious issue to the pediatrician association.”

 

However, Runsewe said 31 states had so far signed the law and appealed to the remaining five to do so without further delay.

 

He said: “A lot of our people have lost their cultural values and today, our youths in Nigeria have embraced the strange culture of other people across the globe and this is not in our interest.

 

“Only 31 states have signed the Child Rights Act. We are appealing to the remaining five states to domestic it and that is why those who engage in child abuse believe nothing will happen.

 

“I want to appeal to states that had yet to do the needful to do so now in the interest of the country.

 

“This is because constant child abuse could lead to criminality and other vices including terrorism and banditry. We are appealing to parents and teachers to give proper guidance to the youths.”

 

He also appealed to the Nigerian artistes, music video producers and the regulatory agencies to properly scrutinise them before they are released for public consumption.

 

Runsewe said: “The music is a form of influencing the opinion of the children. The easiest way to send a message is to go with music.

 

“The video music producers and artistes should be careful with what they are sending out. They often use half naked girls to promote their music. The message they are sending out is promoting immortality.”

 

The Chief Executive Officer of HOSEC Foundation, Ibukunoluwa Otesile, a counseling psychologist, said her organisation’s latest report on the impact of music videos on pornographic exposure and sexual abuse among adolescents in Nigeria would help policy makers to curb the scourge.

 

She said: “We did a research into the impact that pornography has in shaping the lives and behaviours of the adolescents considering the impact of musical videos.

 

“We may not have control over musical videos from foreign countries but we should allow charity to begin at home by ensuring that what we have here don’t send wrong signals to our children and youths.

 

“We will use the outcome of our research to hold appropriate institutions accountable. We will send it to state and non state actors as it concerns child protection would be brought in.”

 

Representatives from UNIFEC in Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, National Orientation Agency among other stakeholders, attended the event.

Culled from THISDAY

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