The United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and other stakeholders in cases of child abuses were shocked following the news that a 4-year-old girl was raped to death by a 40-year-old man in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa state.
According to Sahara Reporters, the horrible revelation was made by Mariam Kombo-Ezeh, the state coordinator of the child protection network, on Tuesday, September 1.
She also recalled two other cases of child abuse that occurred in the state: a 7-year-old girl died from complications of HIV/AIDS, which she contracted after being raped by a man, and a 13-year-old girl was gangraped in Yenagoa.
In her presentation titled “Advocacy Engagement with Policy Makers on Domestication of Child Right Act in Bayelsa”, Mariam told the UNISEF officials and stakeholders on child protection that the cases of child abuse and inhuman treatments were on the rise in the state.
“It is pathetic and the cases are on the high side. There is the need for a speedy passage of the bill on child rights into law,” she stressed.
In her speech at the meeting, Nengi Rufus-Spiff, the state commissioner for women affairs and social development, said the present administration was shocked by the revelations. However, she noted that children in the state would be properly protected under the proposed bill in the State House of Assembly.
“The parents too should rise up to the realities of training the boy child to respect the girl child. It is a thing of regret to know that the rate of such abuses is high,” she added.
Nwan aka Chude Onwurah, the chief field officer of UNICEF, Enugu office, was represented at the meeting by Charlse Zuki. He commended the state government on the existing policies on the protection and welfare of the Bayelsa child. He also expressed optimism that the child right bill in Bayelsa would soon be passed into law.
Meanwhile, Lagos state police arrested a 54-year-old man for allegedly raping an 8-year old girl in the Ajegunle area of the state.
The young girl accused the man, who was a close friend of her father, of repeatedly having carnal knowledge of her each time she went to his house.