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Sexualising children and screaming blue murder at their blue films

By Uri Ngozichukwuka
24 April 2022   |   2:38 am
I won't rest easy on this Chrisland school scandal. I haven't slept well for days. What does this portend for us as a society, parents, school owners, educators and adults

Uri Ngozichukwuka

I won’t rest easy on this Chrisland school scandal. I haven’t slept well for days. What does this portend for us as a society, parents, school owners, educators and adults? I can’t seem to move past it.

Our timelines have been flooded with more lewd unimaginable videos and pictures of children in open sex games moves or dancing cheered on by adults.

Preschoolers ages three and four grind themselves together at the hips to cheer adults.

It’s not news that child pornography has crept into our space a long time ago. Most of us didn’t know and most wished it away. Child pornography is a billion-dollar clandestine business in the world and in so many countries. The highest country is the Netherlands at 52 per cent followed by the United States of America at 44 per cent. France, Slovakia and Canada all get a single-digit percentage each.

It is reported that a third of the world’s child sexualised images are flagged off by India followed by Indonesia and Malaysia. According to reports, India reported a maximum number of online child sexual abuse imagery (CSAI) cases, followed by Thailand, which shows the data by the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC is the largest clearinghouse for the CSAI content shared on online platforms.

According to the report, India accounts for 3.88 million such cases filed between 1998 and 2017. This is despite the fact that India is estimated to have merely 11.9 per 1,000 internet users — which is way less than Iraq and Thailand.

Child pornography is a crime in most countries and various governments have put some measures to curb this epidemic no doubt. Jail terms vary from country to country. The authorities find it very hard to trace the perpetrators. Children are reported missing daily in so many countries. Most end up in the child pornography dark market.

Sadly, recent reports from Washington, D.C. says – “A new study of child pornography laws in 184 Interpol member countries around the world has produced alarming results: more than half of these countries (95) have no laws addressing child pornography and in many other countries, the existing laws are inadequate.

“Currently, the laws around the world are alarmingly insufficient to fight this epidemic,” said Baron Daniel Cardon de Lecture, Chairman of the Board of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). “This is simply not acceptable. It is time for the leaders of every country to act. Our commitment is to work with them to bring about real change and eradicate this terrible problem.”

How can Nigeria survive this epidemic if it gets full-blown? We are already a very ready market for all types of vices. Child pornography is waiting in the wings for our 13.5million out of school children, a burning issue we haven’t yet addressed.

The economic grind that is forcing parents to send toddlers to the streets to beg is not abating. My visit to a state in the NorthEast region of our country confirmed a racket where children are being sold for N5, 000 only out of hunger.

For this young girl whose escapades have brought the issues to light, it’s a lot to take in. The portals this has opened can only be closed by an intentional bracing up of the society. It involves the active participation of government, communities, and concerned Nigerians. It also requires responsible parenting, prayers and intercessions. From when the news broke, the sex video has got over a million downloads and it’s still going on.

Her account has also been hacked and imposters are posting as if she’s still the one using it.
Information is key and the tragedy of this whole saga is that 99 per cent of adults who have boasted online to having watched the 10-year-old sex video did not realise that was child pornography and it’s actually a crime. A crime? Where? In this Nigeria where lawlessness holds sway? My heart bleeds right now.

Right now civil society should be pushing for this to be part of the issues that should be topping the agenda of our legislators. I am still waiting for the group that will take this up and go the legal route with well-coordinated, organised and properly articulated key points and agenda to forward to the senate on child protection. Or there’s no committee on that? There must be. Child pornography should be banned and stringent jail terms applied. We must join the countries topping the list in fighting the malaise in any way.

This is a society that has failed its children. It is said that Nigeria as a country fails on so many grounds. Failed governance, infrastructure, education system, medical system and failed power supply system. These failures are so proud and bold and seem to have free reign over our lives that we have now failed the children. I am leaving off bad parenting out of it for now because one can only give what they have.

Has it occurred to anyone that the children below 15 years today probably have parents in their 30s and 40s. We don’t need to stretch history too far to remember that our societal decay accelerated from the mid-1970s till date. Values dropped and money began speaking. Corruption grew wings and fangs and claws. Sense of decorum took flight. We grew fast as a nation without development. We didn’t care much about the young people who are today’s parents of children who have sex videos and group sex. Children who would do group drugs and post nude pictures. Worst still, we did not envisage the fourth industrial revolution. Disruption. Internet. Digital world. What a mix! Valueless society plus an unbridled world of destructive gastrointestinal information.

I still can’t for the life of me understand why youths and adults, even children are so taken in by the Big Brother TV show. The originators created it as a social experiment. Observing humans in an enclosed environment for 90 days, watch and observe their interactions and survival strategies. Eliminate them one after the other and give tons of cash to the last man or woman standing. Till date, I am still in the dark over the criteria for selecting the winner. We have seen all kinds of sex scandals that rock the show every season and it appears each season tries to register more raunchiness than the previous one. Adults have sex openly and it’s treated with levity. Some get all utopic about it. “It’s make-believe,” they say.

The music videos and music channels are not letting up in the race to the raunchiest. The cartoons are getting sexier too. Time was when the media shaped society positively. There’s no denying the power of the media. It’s been referred to as the ” third parent” and it certainly is. However, with today’s absent parenting and digitized children, the media may actually have gone from a third parent to an unenviable position as the first parent or in some cases the only parent. How tragic!

In these times we have a rising case of unsupervised parenting and irresponsible parenting. Both are not the same. The former is absent without recourse or remorse. The second is present with toxic content not recommended for children.

Time was when values and decorum held sway and content was entertaining with no sex heavy in your face. Somehow we now live in a society that has come to accept sex and more sex as a staple for content. Sex sells my producers and colleagues tell me. Well if sex sells what happened to age appropriateness? We have thrown all that out in the window and are selling sex to toddlers. Are we so depraved and want so much to increase our bank balances that we degrade humanity? Are we so retarded and insecure that we have to follow the crowd to be fly?

This Chrisland school scandal is not letting me sleep well. Were they actually just 5 teachers sent with 70 children? 70 “ajebutter” kids?

We have become a society that worships money and who has it.
In recent times we’ve stopped asking “how did he or she make the money?” Once I watched a video where the young man was asking “why are you asking me how I made my money when I was suffering? Did you ask me how I was suffering? ” It went viral. With hundreds of thousands of likes. Until Hushpuppi was bursted, his fans were growing in numbers. The decadent display of cash and girls in skimpy swimwear at a young man’s mother’s burial drew a lot of attention. There were more voices cheering than the ones that called it what it was.

Everything goes. Expensive and top-grade schools with good pedigree are easily affordable to the highest bidder who most probably made money through dubious means. Money in the hands of anyone without a pedigree of hard work, truth, honesty and justice is a lethal weapon. Parents weaponised with money-raising children is a recipe for disaster.

I am fortunate to be friends with great early childhood educators who transitioned from being school teachers to school owners and when they recount their experiences you weep for what has become of parenting today. They recall with nostalgia how teachers were respected in those days. One told me she asked a distracted pupil to come to school with the father and she didn’t even know he was the then minister of petroleum. The man turned up and sat quietly at the reception and came in when he was asked in and apologised for his absence from his son’s total education. She said she almost fell off the seat when he walked in alone. No aides or the usual paraphernalia they surround themselves with now. They recall how parents will come and tell them to kindly get more creative in disciplining their children. However, those days are far gone. Today parents come to school shouting, beating and fighting teachers if their children are disciplined.

Today’s parenting calls for concern and deep reflection. It’s not all tales of woe though.

There are few homes that hold values and standards high and still do. They seem to be far in between. We need them to speak up and stand up for what is right. This is when corporate organisations should look beyond the bank numbers and build the society by backing content that builds and adds value to the society.

We need deep conversations and deep reflection. Then maybe we can retrace our steps back to where we missed it. As adults, we all need a personal reappraisal. Where do we draw the PG ( Parental Guidance) line?. If it’s okay for me as an adult is this okay for my child? That child I want to molest for porn what if that’s my child? What’s most important is to rescue our children from digital information overload as a matter of urgency. Let’s all rise in unison and call for legislation against child pornography. Let’s also extend it to parents whose minor engage in online suggestive sexual videos. A child has over 500 dance videos and 24,000 followers and you don’t know?

Schools where sex offenders abound? A school where the school administrator is serving a life sentence for molesting toddlers? These things should not be swept under the carpet.

We can’t wait for politicians or the government to do this for us.

We all need to rise and salvage what we have left of our society through responsible parenting and child protection policies. From home to school and in the community, we must intentionally monitor the digital content to which our children are exposed. We should have more open communication with our children and there should be sex education. We need to protect them.

Let’s do our bit and stop screaming blue murder when toddlers do blue films.

Adiya Uri Ngozichukwuka is a writer and media consultant