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To Stop Rape Take Action, Not Noise — By Emmanuel Onwubiko

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As far back as three decades ago, my Father Mazi Cyprian Osonduagwuike Okorieocha Onwubiko gave me a little bit of civic education laced massively with philosophy and logic. 

He narrated to me what he considered as the shortfall and deliberate pitfall of politics played by the species of human beings who occupy public offices in Nigeria and my Dad then concluded by affirming that in Nigeria, noise speaks louder than action.     

Almost three Years after my great father moved on to be with our Maker, his words of wisdom has provided the motivation for me to make some quick remarks on the sudden show of interest by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria  and their counterparts in the Federal House of Representatives on the larger issues around the sexual molestation and violations of the girl children by thousands of morally depraved adults whose sexual appetites are as irrationally glutinous  and primitive and wantonly uncultured as that of the he-goats.  

There is no gainsaying the fact that from Sokoto to Katsina up to Lagos, Cross River State and virtually from every nooks and crannies of Nigeria comes constant flow of graphic stories of violent sexual attacks of Children as young as one by depraved male adults who end up going free from the laws made against such brutal violation of the sexuality rights of these Children. 

There are cases of Fathers sexually abusing their young Children but sadly the police seems to be overwhelmed because of the sheer numbers of these abuses. 

In Katsina state the other day came a report of the gang rape of a one- year old baby girl by four adult males who snatched the baby from the Mother who is only twenty four year old. 

Stories abound of Children of school age who aren’t enrolled in schools because of poverty but are left to roam about in the streets either hawking or begging for alms. 

In Kano state alone there are over two million poverty stricken children roaming around in the streets begging for alms and constituting nuisance. 

Sadly the Child Rights Act has yet to be adopted and domesticated by the 36 states of the Federation because some of these States are busy hiding under religious sentiments to kick against provisions of this Child Rights Act which are simply adopted from a global Child Rights Laws of the United Nations. 

In some of the States with governors masquerading as Islamic purists, and thereby kick against certain provisions of the Child Rights Act, their Children and family members are hibernating in the most advanced Western Societies in Western Europe, America and Canada whereby the Rights of Children are sacrosanct but here they are arguing against the domestication of the Child Rights Act that would benefit the Children of millions of the rural and urban poor. 

This is hypocrisy at its best. 

The beauty of the Child Rights Act is that amongst its many edifying provisions, in  Sections 21-40 of the Child Rights Act provisions were inserted which protects Children against discriminatory, harmful and exploitative practices. 

“Poverty plays a crucial role in the supply chain of human trafficking. 

“This means that human trafficking must be addressed both at the level of basic causes, including issues related to economic performance, social protection of families and poverty eradication, at the levels of intermediate and immediate causes, including the legal and moral imperative, to combat human traffickers through effective law enforcement, enlightenment of the public, possible provisions of alternatives to risky migration and care and protection for victims.” (See ‘communication policy and strategy, abridged version’ of NAPTIP)

The members of the National Assembly are busy generating serious media noise pretending to be defenders of the Child Rights Act. 

The Senators have since the beginning of this Week paid pretentious and hypocritical attention to the spate of rape and sexual violations of Children and stated what they regarded as readiness of the red chamber to conduct what they considered as public hearing sessions to find solutions to this menace.  

Another topical issue that has occupied the attention of these Senators this week is on the need to move for the domestication of the Child Rights Act by the entire 36 States of the Federation. 

The Senators said the nearness of the Children’s Day celebration of this year informed this unusually high profile interest on these vital areas of our national life.

The Senate said the call for domestication of the Child Rights Act was a spirited move to safeguard the rights and secure the future of the Nigerian child.

Senate said they hope to achieve this through the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act.

The Senate therefore asks Committee on Women Affairs to liaise with Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to ensure the child right Act is fully domesticated.

The Senate resolution follows a motion from Senator Binta Masi Garba, a Woman representing Adamawa North.

The Child Rights Act it would be recalled defines a new child protective system; allowing children opportunities to participate in matters that concern their rights and welfare.

The document which was enacted in 2003 has been adopted and is currently implemented in Twenty-three states including the Federal Capital Territory FCT.

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