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Angela Onwaeze, with microphone talking to the students.
Students of the Government Model Secondary School, Asaba listening. to the campaign against sexual child abuse.
An awareness campaign against child sexual abuse took off today in Asaba at the Government Model Secondary school, Okpanam Road, in which the school children were told to resist an overture that tends to abuse them sexually by older persons of the opposite sex.
The programme, which was organised by Walk The Talk Nigeria (WTTN), headed by its National co-ordinator, Angela Onwaeze, a non-governmental organization had in attendance top government officials, the police, the media, civil rights organizations, teachers, lawyers had as its slogan “Say No to rape or defilement.”
In attendance were the Permanent secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Samuel Dieteke, Mr. Steve Edigbe, senior registrar, Customary Court, Fred Bardy, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Mr. Eloho Ogboudu of the ministry of Economic Planning, Mr. Richard Yaboh, General Manager of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Chukwudi Abiandu, Editor-in-chief, Banner Communication Network, publishers ofbanneronlinenews.com, Loveth Ireruke, of the state CID, representing the Commissioner of police, Mrs. Ruth Woka, also of the state CID, Asaba, Mr. Atube Emmanuel from the SDGs and Augusta, of the Impact Sponsor a child Program Africa. Others included Patricia Uche Akamaguna esq., the director sexual offences in the ministry of Justice, Mrs. Chukwusa of the National Youth Service Corps and Mrs Joan Nwanji ,the Chief Inspector of Education in charge of Oshimili South Local Government.
Onwaeze who told the school children to be wary of people, especially those who of their own households, who are uncles, aunties, fathers, cousins, etc., pointing out that most sexual offenders are very well acquainted with their victims. These offenders also include friends of the family, baby sitters, or neighbours.
Quoting Wikipedia, she declared: “ Child sexual abuse, also called child molestation, is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of child sexual abuse include engaging in sexual activities with a child (whether by asking or pressuring, or by other means), indecent exposure (of the genitals, female nipples, etc.), child exploitation or using a child to produce child pornography.”
Onwaeze said: “ In or clime, it is disheartening to note that most of the offenders of child sexual abuse are close relatives – incest/interfamilial abuse who are their care givers (WHO report on child sexual abuse). Research has also shown that the perpetrator tries to manipulate the child’s trust and hide the abuse.
“In most child abuse cases, we tie such cases to the place she was raped, or the time of the day, or the clothes she was wearing, or the fact that she was alone or too close to the abuser. This way of thinking deflects blame from where it rightly belongs with the perpetrator of the crime.”
She pointed out that what she is doing with Walk The Talk is to perform a civil duty she is passionate about and which borders on Section 31 and Section 32 of the Child’s Right Act. “It is to create awareness on the part of the children. And we expect Nigerians to speak out against sexual abuse,” Onwaeze said, adding: “The intervention in all secondary and primary schools across Delta state will therefore, sensitise and create awareness on this vice, with objectives to empower the child on protection and prevention from child sexual abusers and to bring to their knowledge their rights as enshrined in the Child Rights Act 2003. There shall be follow up activities as the case may warrant. Which will include, but not limited to free counseling, observation, legal and medical services?”
According to her, this awareness will be carried out in over 800 primary and secondary schools in Delta State, and it will involve four engagements with students of secondary schools, teachers of primary and secondary schools, parents of pupils in primary and secondary schools and religious bodies.
Speaking to the students at the awareness campaign against child sexual abuse, the permanent secretary, Mr. Diateke expressed appreciation for the good initiative of recovering from the system the problem of abuse of children. “That is why the state government want you to be leaders, and so it built schools for your education, and development to what you want to be in life,” he said, adding: “We don’t want women to abuse boys and we don’t want men to men to abuse girls.” Diateke then declared the awareness campaign against Child sexual abuse open.
The Chief Inspector of Education< Mrs. Joan Nwanji told banneronlinenews.com that the programme is a laudable one, creating awareness. “Some children don’t know some of these things, now they are learning fast.
Officials of the National Human Rights Commission who were around took advantage of the opportunity to announce that the Commission has opened its office in Asaba and that it is here to uphold the peoples right in all ramifications.