Legal Icon, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN) has warned that the society will be in a precarious state if no drastic measure is taken to stem the tide of sexual molestation of minors.
He gave the warning while presenting a speech titled: ‘Defilement of children, role of parents, guardians and society,’ in Ado Ekiti during the just concluded International Federation of women lawyers’ week, FIDA in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti state.
Mallam Ali who emphasized the role of parents in educating their children and wards on sex education and danger associated with it, pointed out that it is dangerous for parents to leave this aspect to school alone to handle because, “when young people feel unconnected to home, family, and school, they may became involved in activities that put their health at risk.”
According to him, parents and guardians need to put all it takes to protect their children and wards from this raving evil and secure their future from the ugly vice that is threatening to destroy the society by getting closer to them and tailoring them on ways to follow for them to be protected from being abuse or defiled.
Apart from this, he noted that mothers also need to pay attention to their sons to make sure that they do not become perpetrators of sexual violence within their families “because the 2013 report compiled by project Alert revealed that 99 percent of the perpetrators were male and 39per cent of perpetrators were minors between 0-17 years old.”
Mallam Ali who described child defilement as a social illness that needs to be wage war against in the society, however recommended stringent and proactive punishment, enforcement for child defilers in order to fight and eliminate this vice from the society.
He also emphasized the need for the law enforcement agents to be trained on the need to handle cases of child defilement differently because of its sensitive nature, pointing out that there use to be general apathy on the part of the police institution, apart from “the delay in commencing investigation, the police is not adequately equipped with both human and material resources to effectively investigate child defilement cases.”
While noting that there should be public awareness on the law addressing this vice, Mallam Ali added that laws put in place to protect children in Nigeria are not effective because of so many other factors that exist which inhibit their effective implementations.
He, however, called on judges to dispense justice without interference and resolved cases quickly, noting that ineffective judiciary will only promote child abuse despite several enactment of laws prohibiting it.
Another speaker, Mr. Ifedayo Adams Adedipe, SAN, who spoke about violence against persons, listed domestic violence, sexual abuse, forced marriage, underage marriage, physical abuse, or battering, neglect of family, abuse of widows, and honour killing as various type of violence against persons.
Adedipe however listed moral value, cultural belief, religious belief, financial issues, childlessness, and the male-child syndrome as major causes of domestic violence in Nigeria society.
Other causes of domestic violence listed by Adedipe are drugs and alcoholism, effects of domestic violence, economic effect, Social effect, psychological effect, and stigmatisation.
On what can be done to address the menace of violence in the society, Adedipe opined that pressure must be mounted on government to tackle the menance decisively, through legislation, and enforcements of laws made to address this scourge.
The speaker however identified with one of the key objectives of FIDA which is to “enhance and promote the welfare of women, and children, realizing that on women and children’s well- being depends on the happiness of the home and the strength of the society.”
In her response, the FIDA Chairperson, Mrs. Adefunke Anoma expressed her appreciate on behalf of FIDA to Mallam Ali; Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN); Dayo Akinlaja (SAN); Adedipe SAN; Oyin Holdings, and the president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria for the supports and contributions in making the Ekiti year 2017 FIDA week a success.