The Lagos State Chapter of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has advised parents and guardians to beware of paedophiles as the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 continues across the country.
Mrs. Adeola Ekine, the Chairperson of NAWOJ, Lagos State Chapter, who gave the warning in a press statement sent to Waka About Africa, noted that it is important to keep sensitizing mothers to be vigilant and proactive to the dangers the children, especially girls, could be exposed to during this lockdown period so that pedophiles do not prey on them.
The Lagos NAWOJ Chairperson reiterated the need for parents to teach their children the importance of their body and not shy away from educating them about sex from age 5 -6.
She stated, “As female journalists in Lagos State we will continue to advocate for nondiscrimination of the girl child, the right to survival and development of potential, protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation and full participation in family, cultural and social life of the girl child.”
Mrs. Ekine stated that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the shutdown of schools, offices, markets, and other public places, has inadvertently made children vulnerable to negative influences if not given the attention they require.
In her statement, Ekine commended the efforts of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu for arresting two people over allegedly defiling minors, 9 and 13-year old girls, advised mothers not to let their wards out of their sights and avoid keeping their children with menders including neighbors, uncles, teachers, and friends.
Ekine stressed the need for mothers to remain close to their children and be their confidants saying, “as mothers, it is our duty to protect our children from predators, teach them to recognize inappropriate behaviors around them because most pedophiles are known to the children”.
The Lagos NAWOJ Chairperson reiterated that COVID-19 has no vaccine, as such everyone must stay safe by strictly following the simple but very important tips of regular hand washing, social distancing and embracing good hygiene in the home front because prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.