By Funmi Ajumobi
When I heard that children between age 7 and twelve now go into cultism, I couldn’t believe it until I heard from Dolapo Badmus, the Zonal PPRO Ogun and Lagos State on early morning show on Television describing vividly how it happened and how the parents of the victims were surprised to see their children arrested.
Where had the parents missed it in parenting their children? Is working to make ends meet an excuse to neglect the first duty God gave every parent to do? Are the parents of the olden days not working? Yes. They were working but their children welfare takes the uppermost in their heart. We had nurses, traders, teachers and professionals and they still create time for their children.
According to Dolapo, how many parents come late and still check on their children school bags and wardrobes to be sure things are alright with them? How many of our neighbours can correct or report our children to us nowadays when school teachers pampers children unnecessarily to their destruction.
It is true that children have rights but each of their rights comes with responsibility on the part of the child. How come it has now become a norm in streets that different cults are fighting and neighbours and passers by run for their dear life.
I have always said it that every child is clean and innocent but the environment a child finds he or herself determines what rules her life.
These children that are cultist at tender age are already hardened unless they are quickly rehabilated and this may not yield quick result without parents and the community to begin to retrace their steps back and educate parents and children in every community the dangers in cultism. And also be alert to everything their children are doing.
Government should also make it a matter of urgency to take back every land created for leisure for this children that have been turned to different project. If they are engaged positively and have where to dispense their energy, there will be reduction in children who are easily lured by uncles and aunties who they see their activities as a way of espending their energy and have fun.
Most of these children come from broken/ dysfunctional homes and many with their parents have been abused and are not shown love and attention at home and thus go to school or streets to join friends or uncles that offer them protection and care and our economy is nit helping matter as it is difficult for many parents to spend time with their children just to make ends meet..
Whether parents like it ir not, if theg dont create time fir these children, I hope all they are labouring on will not be a waste in future. There are no two ways to solving or stopping this drama than a better parenting for our children and to others in our community. It worked in the past where neighbours and everyone train a child and not this crase for me and my family. It is thesame country your children will come back to whether they decide to live in estate or the so called highbrow areas. For a peaceful future for all our children, parents and government should wake up and bring about change in our style of patenting.
These children are in our communities.Engage them, counsel them, inform their parents and report any misdenor to the Police who will know how better to handle them as children in conflict with law.
Have a blessed week.