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Born to Suffer: The Menace of Child Abuse in Nigeria -By Abdulrasaq Kamaldeen

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It’s bitterly cold outside at Dundaye; a town in Sokoto State; the time was 11 pm on Thursday. While other children stayed at home to enjoy the warmth of their beds with their parents, Umar Kabir, a 10-year-old boy whose parents had neglected him three years ago, had no place for shelter, but slept in a dirty area.

Working alone and striving without depending on another person, Kabir didn’t enjoy parental care like other children, struggling to survive on his own. So for him to succeed Kabir needs to engage in petty works in return for profit. Kabir wore tattered cloth with an enfeebled sander and his hair are unkempt because there’s no one that will sponsor his well-being.

“I have been neglected by my parents for almost 3 years, l work hard to feed myself,” he said.

His way of living like a lost child is known by his parents, he was left alone to struggle alone.

He said, “my parents know my whereabouts but they left me to hustle for myself. I am Almajiri but not full Almajiri because sometimes if I can’t get food here, l will go to my parents to ask for food and after that l will return and continue my lonely life.”

So bad! Kabir is not only in this league, there are many children like his age or not his age facing this incessant situation. They even engage themselves in heavy work for them to sustain and to survive for another day. Kabir sometimes thinks of having western education.

“There are many of us living at a place called Dundaye, most of us were minor but we are going back when we reach the age of puberty and accumulate some properties here”, he said.

Poor Parental Care Trigger Child Abuse

A lot of parents are unknowingly abusing their children through negative parenting, neglect, and exposure of children to negative influences like pornography and drugs.

Parents inbuilt a violent thought to their children encouraging them to do any immoral act which is against the law of a nation.

According to Elekwachi, a clinical psychologist said, “poor parenting skills, and economic climate contribute to child abuse. Poor parenting skills specifically make parents use violent disciplinary approaches.

“Economic stress makes parents and guardians transfer aggression to their children. Economic stress affects households and leads to migration, and in the process of migration, a lot of children are exposed to violence.

Many parents who couldn’t afford to sponsor their children will leave them to one person as a guardian just to look after their child, after leaving their children they will not look back to check them once in a while. This is a bad and unsocial attitude towards the children.”

Child Abuse as a Clog to National Development

According to the Guardian, “With 20 million of them being out of school in the country, and with no hopes of acquiring formal education, a good number of children roam the streets from sunrise to nightfall, and they pass the night in found spaces.

Saved from weather vagaries and sundry vicissitudes, the ones that are fortunate enough to have roofs over their heads are routinely abused by their parents, guardians, master/mistresses, and relatives. This unfortunate scenario makes the question, ‘who will save the Nigerian child?”

Child abuse includes, exploitation, physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse. Specifically, child maltreatment constitutes neglect and all shades of abuse and exploitation, which result in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, and dignity in the context of a relationship among others.

Nigeria is expressing child abuse and this is affecting the development and growth of the country, children are the face of a nation and they are the reason why a country should continue to be exist.

Unarguably, incidents of child abuse in the country have remained rampant, sadly many of those who witness these acts of inimical were not opportune to see a government or any authority assistance.

The post Born to Suffer: The Menace of Child Abuse in Nigeria -By Abdulrasaq Kamaldeen first appeared on Opinion Nigeria.

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