Friday, August 19

Four schoolgirls impregnated by their fathers in our custody — LASG

Four schoolgirls impregnated by their fathers in our custody — LASG

Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Lola Akande

The Lagos State Government has said that it is keeping four infants born by schoolgirls impregnated by their fathers in its custody. The decision, according to the state government, is to allow the girls “come of age” before they decide whether to keep the babies.

Director of Child Development, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Alaba Fadairo, said this recently in Lagos.

Fadairo, spoke on the topic, Sex and Sexuality, as a guest speaker during a programme, Talents for Master’s Use, organised by the Redeemed Evangelical Mission, Alimosho.

“Anybody can sexually abuse you. Your father, his friends, drivers, teachers can abuse you. I know there are also good fathers. I am only trying to caution our children. I have four children who were impregnated by their fathers and they have put to bed.

We have kept the babies apart until the girls are old enough to decide if they want to keep their babies or not. One fundamental thing we have discovered is that people close to children constitute a major percentage of those who abuse children,’’ she said.

Adding that six cases of child abuse are reported to the ministry every week, Fadairo urged participants at the event to be wary of people who swear them to secrecy.

 “Äbusers are very friendly with children. Their power is in the ignorance of children. The abuser knows that you don’t know that he is dangerous. When someone starts giving you sweets and taking you to solitary places, he or she may be an abuser. Whoever tells you not to tell your parents about him or her is an abuser.  It could be an uncle or aunty. Run away or shout,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, childcare experts have also urged parents to be extra-cautious of how their children would spend the long holidays.
According to them, the third term holiday, which usually lasts for as long as two months, could be an avenue for child abusers to exploit young children. They, therefore, call on parents and guardians not to be casual on who their children come in contact with.

Speaking to our correspondent in a telephone interview on Thursday, a Child Protection Specialist, Mr. Taiwo Akinlami, lamented that many families leave the decision of where to keep their children during the holidays to the last minute.

Akinlami, a lawyer, advised parents who are salary earners to be deliberate about whom they would engage to mind their children during the holiday.

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