By Harrison Edeh in Akwanga
AKWANGA (Sundiata Post) – As concerns keep mounting on the escalating cases of child abuse in Nigeria, stakeholders have called for partnership with the media urging it to expose any case of violence against children with the intention of ending the problem.
In her address on Thursday to open a three-day workshop holding in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Information, Folashade Esan, represented at the workshop by the Assistant Director of the Child Right Information Bureau (CRIB), Mrs. Mercy Megwa, frowned at the rising cases of child violence even as she assured that the ministry was ready to partner with relevant agencies, particularly the media to reduce the scourge to its barest minimum.
In a similar submissions, Mr. Geoffery Njoku of the Media and External relations of United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, (UNICEF), Nigeria, urged the media to report issues of child abuse exclusively with keen focus on the dramatic elements in the story than issues that affect them, adding that such unrelated issues lead to stereotyping children as helpless victims rather than human beings with their own rights.
“Most acts of violence perpetrated are on children living with disabilities because these children are dependent, trusting, easily exploited or abused. Children who have been abused should not be victimised, such a child’s identity should be protected both facially, by voice or even name”, he said.
Earlier in his remark, President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abdulwaheed Odusile, represented by Wilson Bako, commended the organisation for its foresight in fighting the scourge and pleaded with his colleagues to give an indepth reportage in exposing the menace.
“Media coverage of issues of violence against children should be taken from a more friendly angle and also follow up on investigative cases concerning such children to ensure that they get justice. The press should refrain from sensationalising violence against children.”
The workshop was put together by UNICEF with collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and the National Population Commission (NPC).