Lagos State Chapter of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), has urged parents and guardians to beware of paedophiles as lockdown continues across the country to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The pandemic which has led to shut down of schools, offices, markets and other public places, made children stay at home and prone to negative influences if not given the attention they require.
According to NAWOJ Chairperson, Adeola Ekine, who is an advocate for gender equality, safety of the girl child, health and rights of women and girls, “it is important to keep sensitising mothers to be vigilant and be proactive to the dangers children, especially girls, could be exposed to, so that paedophiles do not prey on them.”
She also reiterated the need for parents to teach their children the importance of their body and not shy away from educating them about sex.
“As female journalists in Lagos State we will continue to advocate for non-discrimination 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,” she said.
Ekine commended the efforts of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, for arresting two people for defiling minors – nine- and 13-year-old girls.
Mothers are, therefore, advised not to let their wards out of sight and avoid keeping their children staying too long with minders who maybe neighbours, uncles, teachers or friends.
Ekine stressed the need for mothers to be close to their children and let them find it easy to confide in their parents.
“As mothers it is our duty to protect our children from predators, teach them to recognize inappropriate behaviours around them because most paedophiles are known to the children,” she said.
She reiterated that COVID-19 has no vaccine and encourages women to stay safe and follow strictly the simple and very important tips of regular hand-washing, maintain social distance and encourage good hygiene in the home-front because prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.