Group worries over child molestations, early marriage in Kano
A non-governmental organisation, Bridge Connect Africa Initiative (BCAI), has raised alarm over the increasing level of child molestations and undignified acts against children in Kano, calling for immediate action to curtail the menace.
Besides, the group expressed concern for the early and forced marriage of girl children in Kano, demanding speedy passage of the Child Right Acts in the state to dignify and rescue the younger generation from heinous activities of unscrupulous persons in the society.
Addressing journalists at the weekend, Executive Director of BCAI, Sani Mohammad, wanted the Kano State government to institute a strong legal framework that guarantees the protection of vulnerable children, including the harmonised penal code in the state.
Although Sani applauded the judiciary and ministry of justice for ensuring justice is served on the murder case of late Hanifa Abubakar, who was kidnapped and killed by her teacher, he cited several similar criminal violations still begging for justice.
According to Sani, the death of 16-year-old Sadiya Usman, who was reported to have hanged herself at Garin Dauru village in Warawa Council, over forced marriage and the case of gang rape against a 6-year-old child in Kurna quarters in Fagge Council of the state are pending for justice.
“We have heard many cases of such child exploitations, abuses, and even murder as a result of Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM), street begging, among others, which happen almost every day, and which survivors cannot access justice because of the lack of strong legal frameworks supporting child protection in the state. There are many girls like Sadiya whose suffering and death go unnoticed, leading to self-harm and suicide because they feel their communities have given up on them, their dreams, and aspirations.
“Bridge Connect Africa Initiative (BCAI) expresses its displeasure on the delay in the passage of the Child Protection Bill (CPB) in Kano State and therefore calls for immediate passage and implementation of a strong legal framework that guarantees protections for vulnerable children, including the harmonized penal code. Every day, our policymakers delay in passing the CPB, putting more young girls and children at risk of such occurrences due to harmful practices and sexual exploitation in the state. Northern Nigeria has some of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.”
Sani emphasised that “BCAI is passionate about child rights and the child protection bill because children are innocent, trusting, and full of hope. Their childhood should be joyful and loving. Their lives should mature gradually, as they gain new experiences. Childhood can and must be preserved, and that is what the Kano State Child Protection bill seeks to preserve.
“Children have the right to survive, develop, be protected, and participate in decisions that impact their lives. The Kano State Child Protection Bill is an important bill that, if passed into law, will benefit all children in Kano State. The bill ensures that no person shall have sexual intercourse with a child. This means sexually exploiting children in any way is a criminal offense punishable with life imprisonment under the law of the Kano State government and child sex offenders will no longer get away with their actions once the Child Protection Bill is passed,” Sani explained.
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