By Dayo Adesulu & Emmanuel Elebeke
The Co-ordinator, Childâ€™s Rights Advancement Protection Initiative, Barrister Ozioma Onyenweaku has said that only education is capable of addressing the increasing incidence of child abuse and violence against children in Nigeria.
Barrister Onyenweaku made the assertion during a workshop organized by Childâ€™s Rights Advancement Protection at Apata Memorial Schools, Isolo, Lagos.
In a lecture entitled â€œChildren Positioned to Stand Up Against Child Sexual Abuse,â€ she charged Nigerian children not to succumb to cheap blackmail, sexual abuse or any form of intimidation by the adult folk, including their parents and elderly relations.
According to her, education remains the only pivot through which the rights, welfare and social well-being of the children can be addressed and violence as well as eradicating abuse ofÂ childrenâ€™s rights.
She saidÂ â€œWe are on campaign against children sexual abuse. We present lectures on how children can stand up against sexual abuse, and based on this we are trying to keep the children safe from these lunatic tendencies, and put them on guard so that they will be abraced with the dangers lying ahead of them when abused,Â because from our research, we realized that most of these abuse cases take place right in their homes, even without the knowledge of some parents.
If people could see thisÂ the same way we do, I think that the menace will be properly taken care of if not eradicated totallyÂ in our society because we all own it as a duty to protect these children from all these dangers.â€
She noted that through this campaign, the aim of HIV /Aids eradication struggle will also be safeguarded and enjoined parents and youths to share the ideals and vision of CRAPI in the campaign against child sexual abuse.
â€œCRAPIÂ is for the total and integrated development of the child and to build a society where children are born free in an environment where their rights are respected, environment that enables children achieve their full potentials.â€ she said, adding that the organization went into research after the outbreak of the incidence of Child sexual abuse and discovered that there is no solution to it, instead the only solution according to her lies in prevention which the organization stands for.
On the cause of child sexual abuse, Onyenweaku said â€œLunatic belief is one of the causes. It actually started in South Africa some years ago. Experience shows that most accused persons areÂ usually HIV positive, while others indulge in it for ritual purposes to boost their health and wealth status.â€
To this end, she called on all well meaning Nigerians and corporate organizations to support the course of CRAPI to help them rid the society off the lunatic tendencies of some unguided adults who are hale bent on ruining the future of innocent children.
Onyenweaku however, challenged parents, guardians as well as children to take the campaign more serious to ensure the safety of Nigerian child.
â€œWe canâ€™t achieve this objective alone through self sponsorship. Apart from individuals, we also need the assistance and support of the government to succeed in this endeavour,â€ she stated.