A non governmental organization, Mediation Conciliation and Human Right Center (MCHRC) has called on the Oyo State Government to open a public register for child sex abuse offenders.
MCHRC founder, Comrade Kehinde Akinyemi made the request at a press conference organized in conjunction with some other NGOs in commemoration of 2019 International Day of the Girl Child which took place at the Ministry of Information and Culture, Secretariat Ibadan.
Other NGOs in parnership with MCHRC on the conference include: Child Growth Concern Initiative (CGCI), Sola Olagunju Foundation (SOF), Kola Daisi Foundation (KDF), Child Protection Network (CPN), Mother and Girl Child Protection Initiative (MAGI), Child Abuse Prevention Initiative (CAPI), Jesus Children Mission Outreach, PARALAG, NASFAT, IICWIN, FOMWAN, Anti Corruption Awareness, CRISALARG, Child Development and Concern Foundation, Safe a Princess, Rest Anchor, Galilie Foundation, Love and Family Foundation, Star Children Initiative, Patriotic Farmers, Chinyemo Global Impact Initiative, Ajikanle Children Home Care, Life Builders, AWON, ACP, NAWOJ, FIDA, Mary’s Place Orphanage Home and Pan African Purpose Driven Women Initiative.
Flanked by the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun at the press conference, Akinyemi lamented the rate of out of school children in the state which is about 400,000 and insisted that the register would serve as a deterent to prospective sexual abusers of children. He urged Oyo to take a cue from Ekiti which he said has taken a bold step by opening a similar register.
His words: “We want the government to support our call for opening of Public Register for Child Sexual Abuse Offenders. This register will be in the custody of the Ministry of Justice. We have a case where a pastor who has been sentenced in Ekiti state. The picture of the pastor is everywhere. We want this kind of register in Oyo state. This will serve as deterent to others.
“In view of the above, we humbly and graciously solicit the kind humanitarian supports from His Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde in the following areas: To support our call for the establishment and full operation of Family Court in Oyo State; to support our call for full implementation of Child Right Law in Oyo State; to get involved in the establishment of Girl Child Support and Rapid Response Centre for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse in the State; to support our call for opening of Public Register for Child Sexual Abuse Offenders; to support our call for recommendation of Capital Punishment for offenders to serve as deterrent to intending perpetrators; to support our call for participation of CGCI and MCHRC in the State Government efforts to Reform, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate the 400,000 Out of School Children in Oyo State.
“Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in Nigeria has been on the increase and at a very alarming rate. It is disheartening to know that children and adults live with such terror without respite. Despite everyday reportage of the menace in the Print & Electronic Media, there are still many unreported cases. Statistically, one out of every five girls are sexually abused, nine out of the sexually abused girls know and are familiar with their abusers, 80% of the Child Sexual Abuse cases are not reported while in every two minutes, a girl child, somewhere is facing the challenge of sexual abuse.
Child Sexual Abuse is a grievous crime against humanity and non reporting of the menace causes more harm and danger to the society because perpetrators escape justice and indulge in committing much more atrocities to the girl child. Reporting Child Sexual Abuse is the safest way of preventing many others from becoming victims.
“Mediation Conciliation and Human Right Center (MCHRC) in conjunction with Child Growth Concern Initiative (CGCI) initiated a joint proactive action aimed at finding lasting solutions to the incessant reported and unreported cases of Child Sexual Abuse in Oyo state. The idea of marking this year’s International Day of the Girl Child was muted in July 2019 when a case of Child Sexual Abuse was reported to our centre by a member of the public in Ibadan. The particular case involved a security guard in a secondary school in Ibadan who was employed to provide security of lives and property in the school. This so called security man had a way of luring students to a secluded room within the school premises and forcefully having carnal knowledge of the students. He had perpetrated the act for many years since he was employed in 2010 until some aggrieved students of the school exposed his atrocities to the public.
“Upon our organization’s investigations, we discovered that more than 10 students of the school had been defiled by this pedophile. He was arrested by the police and later released on bail before our organization stepped into the matter and ensured his re-arrest and prosecution by the appropriate authorities. He is currently in Agodi Prisons awaiting trial.
“The above scenario is just a tip of the iceberg as cases of Child Sexual Abuse are reported in the print and electronic media on a daily basis while perpetrators are most of the time allowed to escape justice and prosecution because most victims are not given adequate and sufficient satisfactory attention by the security agents, due to negative attitude and stigmatization by the society.
“It is against this backdrop that MCHRC in conjunction with CGCI decided to dedicate the 2019 International Day of the Girl Child to roll out aggressive and proactive advocacy against Child Sexual Abuse menace with support and partnership of over 30 NGOs, FBOs, CSOs and Corporate Organizations which brought about today’s remarkable and historic event.
“Our Primary objective is to draw attention of Oyo State Government, the stakeholders and the general public to the challenges and plight of the girl child who are the most vulnerable set of people in the society.
“Our other crucial objectives are as follows: To Establish GIRL CHILD SUPPORT AND RAPID RESPONSE CENTRE for Victims/Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Out of School Children (OSC); to Collaborate with Oyo State Government in setting up a SPECIAL TASK FORCE as “BACK TO SCHOOL OUTFIT” for Reformation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of 400,000 Out of School Children in Oyo State; to advocate legislative support to criminalize parental neglect and negative attitude towards Child Sexual Abuse and out-of-school children in Oyo State; to provide scholarship for some of the out-of-school children up to Secondary School level and beyond and to establish CHILD ABUSE ADVOCACY and PREVENTION CLUB in primary and secondary schools in Oyo State.”