Baba Ijebu: What’s our policy on sexual abuse involving minors?
Me: It depends. If the perpetrators were older, jungle justice or a brief visit to police station followed by a bail, just like the case of these two toddler sisters.
Here both participants were minors. Baba Ijebu heard the story from his househelp followed by a short video clip. As a father of a teenage boy, he felt compelled to share the story to other parents.
The little boy looked like 7 years old and the girl about 12 years old. The environment in which the film was shot looks like any of our city slums – buildings all crammed into tiny area with dark alley in the back. One could hear two adults chatting in the background – likely to be the one that took the video.
They did nothing to stop these children.
The scene was set as if the girl was going to give her little brother a shower but what happened was pretty much the fear of any parents – it was beyond believe. Sickening as it leaves nothing to imagination.
Me: What do you think will happen to these kids? I asked Baba Ijebu.
Neither of us knew answer to this but there is a likelihood that their parents had no idea of their mental state. Obviously something is wrong at home – beyond poverty.
So young, so broken.
How did these children even know so much? Are they siblings or neighbours? I asked Baba Ijebu.
He did not know what the relationship between these children were. My suspicion was that they are siblings. A family who could afford a preteen as househelp likely would have enough money to not to live in a slum.
There are many possible explanations for how these children got to this stage, one thing that I have witnessed and often point out to friends and family is the importance of age appropriate film especially when children are around. If a film says PG – it means just that and I tend to stick to it.
Also I realised getting hands on any film is very easy on our streets, they are mostly pirated and as cheap as 100 naira. I once was at a newspaper stand in Lagos (it could have been anywhere) and was gobsmacked that I could easily pick up adult film – this is by the way on what one will assume a decent street.
Easy access to internet has broadened our knowledge immensely, but before the internet child sex abuse has been around, internet in my view can not be blamed for all.
While incest is frowned upon, it is hardly surprising given the way family settings are for most Nigerians. It is very common practice to have teenage children of mix genders sleeping in the same room, for some reason the assumption is that family relation is enough of a deterrent for teenagers to nurture any attraction, this is true but not for everyone.
My sister’s neighbour years ago was a man in his mid 40s. He had 3 wives and five children – Four grown adults and five children lived in a room and a parlour – things can not get insane than that. The drama in this particular family is enough to keep anyone amused daily and yet their lives to them was okay as they lived in Lagos. After I left my sister said the last wife had one more child making 10 people in two rooms – toilet, bathroom, hallway are all communal.
I think we need some reality check here.
While the story of these children is sad, it is hard to see anything improve if we don’t talk about prevalence of incest caused by overcrowded family and possible damage to children.