Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Africa Have Your Say

The Beeb is looking at a controversial topic today - you can have your say live at 16:00 GMT today on this:

How should African communities deal with child abusers? Should they be rehabilitated rather then jailed or should other traditional forms of justice be used?


Anonymous,  3:45 pm  

How should the world deal with child abusers? This is not a solution, rather, an anecdote. Many years ago our maiguard was implicated in a dying man's death declaration at a bus stop in lagos. The now dying man had been caught next door to our house trying to steal a gas cylinder. Being lagos, of course, shouts of ole ole brought the entire neighborhood out and the poor young man was beaten to within an inch of his life. He was eventually let go, crawled to afore mentioned busstop made a decaltiiona nd promptly died. Our maiguard very active in beating and naturally when the usually inept police conducted their investigation, he was rounded up and taken to the police station for questioning. On one our visits to the station to tyr to sort out the dilemma of mohammed ( or whatever his name was, it was so long ago), the station was abuzz with the story of a man who had sexually abused his child and then cut of the poor childs genitals in oder to become rich, allegedly on the instructions of a babalawo. The boys body had been discovered after 3 days when the neighbors noticed (understatement) the strong odour from the rotting corpse. The police were called, the man quickly confessed, and now the man had been thrown into the cell with other prisoners. He had apparently arrived at the cell just before we got there. Horrified at the story, i asked what was going to happen next. The policeman said, well, they had told the other occupants of the cell the mans crime, and they expected to go back in a few hours and remove the mans body (corpse) from the cell.Jungle justice, and yet very effective. Except, what if it is a case where there is NO confession , only suspicion? It is certainly one way to stop repeat offenders.. what is the world to do about child abusers? The poor young man who had lost his life "stealing" a gas cylinder, it turned out, was owed money by the son in the house, and had come to remove the cylinder until her was paid what he was due. He got more than he was owed.

Naapali 1:44 am  

To deal with child abusers, first people must talk about child abuse. A stroll through several blogs in blogville will show how pervasive child abuse is in Nigerian households. This runs the gamut from old fashioned violence and brutality to sexual abuse. I do not recall ever in any conversation in Nigeria anyone talking about sexual abuse, not of children or adults for that matter. First, people must acknowledge it exists and that it is wrong. Then we can move away from the "If we dont talk about it.." stance we currently take.

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