To Kill The Culture of Silence Surrounding Male Sexual Abuse We Need the Voices of Male Advocates

For a lot of men, their first sexual encounter was through rape or sexual assault. From the nanny to the housekeeper, the school-teacher, seniors in secondary school boarding houses, and trusted family members, boys face a lot of sexual assault. Around the world, at least 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse or assault.
A South African activist, Rees Mann, told a talk show host that 17% of South African boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18. A study carried out estimated that at least 784,967 young people, aged 15 to 17, in South Africa have been sexually abused, with 36.8% of the total number being boys.
All over the world, rape against boys is prevalent, but it is more worrisome in a lot of African countries and Nigeria where  substantial data to back this up is hardly available.
We live in a society that tells men to ‘man up’ or ‘behave like a man’ when they are in difficult situations. The idea of ‘manning up’ is to encourage (or in many cases, force) men to withstand pain and do odeeshi when they are hurting. The society raises men to believe that only women should show emotions and men who cry or are emotional are effeminate and weak.
The effect of forcing boys to ‘man up’ is that the culture of silence is being heavily propagated and promoted. In most cases, when boys find themselves in a fix, they shut up and look for solutions by themselves. When they cannot find solutions, they ‘man up’and live with the pain and trauma. In many cases, these sexually abused and emotionally traumatised boys grow up to become sexual abusers and emotionally unavailable or manipulative men.
A recent tweet by Ayo Bankole started the conversation on male sexual abuse on social media.

The Responses

The boy child needs to be protected from socio-cultural and economic vices; and just like when women are the victims of sexual assault, we have to be more intentional about male sexual abuse.
Killing The Silence
We cannot find a solution to this problem if we keep denying its existence. “Men cannot be raped” is a myth that many people have held on to for so long. The belief that a boy who was raped by an older woman/girl should count himself lucky needs to be killed.
To end the culture of silence surrounding male sexual abuse, we have to first admit that men can be raped. After this, we have to encourage more boys to speak about their sexual abuse and believe them when they talk.

Teach Boys Sex Education
Many parents fail to teach their children sex education. For many boys, especially teenagers going into the university, the only sex education they got from their parents was several packs of condom and a few words of caution, “we know you’ll ‘do’ all those university girls, just be careful and don’t impregnate any girl”.
From an early age, boys need to be taught that there are many pedophiles lurking around and they can come in many shapes and forms, as family or friends, as neighbours or strangers, as male or female – anyone can be a potential abuser until proven otherwise.
Teach your boys to report if anyone touches them in inappropriate places or if anyone forces them to carry out inappropriate acts. And most importantly, believe them when they talk.
Teach Them Consent
We have many boys who sexually abuse women because they do not understand what consent is. That is because the option of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ had been taken away from them on many occasions. As a parents or guardian, you should teach your boys that no one has the right to touch them if they don’t  consent to it – even as adults. As you teach boys to respect boundaries when it comes to a woman’s body, they should also be taught to demand respect in return. Their boundaries should never be crossed because they are boys.
Boys Need Their Parents
A boy-child cannot figure out life on his own. That he’s a boy does not mean that he can take care if himself. The culture of “settle yourself na, no be man you be?” has to stop! Fathers need to step up and be very active in raising their sons and teaching them. Boys need more men to share their experiences, so they can learn from them.
Justice Starts With The Constitution
According to the Nigerian constitution, boys and men cannot be raped.
“The criminal code defines rape as any sexual intercourse with anyone without his or her consent or incorrectly obtained consent. Under this act, the slightest act of activity without the ‘yes’ of the other partner equals rape. It, however, does not recognize any other form of sexual activity, so any penetration of the anus or mouth is not considered rape under the Nigerian law.
The offence of rape under this act is also gender-specific; only men commit the offence and by implication, only a woman can be raped. Also, according to Section 30 of that act, a male person under the age of 12 years is presumed to be incapable of having carnal knowledge. This means that he cannot be guilty of the offence even if it is proven that he has reached puberty despite his age.”
In 2019, Senator Oluremi Tinubu pushed for a bill seeking to remove gender restrictions on rape cases. The bill, which has passed a second reading, will formally recognise men as victims of rape when it’s finally passed.
Without the backing of the constitution, perpetrators of male sexual abuse and rape cannot be prosecuted and the victims cannot get justice.
Creating a Better Child-Welfare System
Nigeria is one of the 10 worst countries for children to live in. A better welfare system for kids includes proper safety measures for them. Systems like child-hawking and Almajiri exposes kids – especially boys – to all forms of sexual assault. Children need to be taken off the streets, protected and provided for.
A Man is Raped? Don’t Laugh!
It is terrible that a lot of people see male sexual assault as so inconsequential that when a victim comes out to share his experience, especially on social media, people go into spasms of laughter. What exactly is funny?
Rape and sexual assault should never be joked with, used as a meme or as a skit. No one should laugh when victims of sexual abuse tell their stories.
We all need to do better in ridding our world of all forms of sexual violence against every human.
The post To Kill The Culture of Silence Surrounding Male Sexual Abuse We Need the Voices of Male Advocates appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

There Was a Good Reason For Your Break Up, But You’re Going Back to Your Ex

For a lot of people, when a relationship ends, it automatically becomes a closed chapter. There is no turning back. In fact, some people immediately block their ex-lover on all social media platforms, delete their phone numbers and anything that’ll remind them of the relationship.
It doesn’t end there, many people are beginning to adopt the ‘biko biko, I don’t know you‘ act. Don’t know what that means? Oya hear the gist.
Have you ever dated someone that when you look back now, you wonder if you were blind or dumb? Well, it happens. Sometimes – for those who are still following their ex-lover on social media – your ‘ex’ will just give one ‘hot take’and you’ll open your mouth, wondering how you ever dated someone so dumb. What were you thinking?!
It is for this same reason that when some people see their ex – especially if the person is sagging or wearing colour-blocking, they will just throw their face one kain or suddenly focus on their phone.
For some people, na straight up denial:
Ex: Hey love, it’s so good to see you, it’s been so long. I really miss you.
You: Excuse me please, do I know you?
This thing can pain o, so you better think well before you do it, or kukuma don’t do it at all. Just say “hi” and keep going.
On the flip side, many people have ended up together years after they broke up with each other. After all, people always say that “na old firewood dey burn pass“.
Before you say “God forbid”, think of why you broke up with your ex. Was he/she mean? Abusive? Manipulative? Violent? Lazy? There are some people that you know you can never go back to, even if he/she is the last human on earth. You’ll prefer to remain single. That’s because while you dated, they were extremely toxic and that relationship broke you in many ways.
But there are other ‘exes’ that their own firewood can still catch if you light a match stick, especially if the circumstances surrounding the breakup was out of your control and the person has evolved through the years.
For example:
If the breakup was due to timing or circumstances
Aminu wanted to get married in the next one year and Farida knew she wasn’t ready. After stalling for a long time, she opened up and told him that although she loved him deeply, she wasn’t ready for marriage. That had to go their separate ways. Aminu was so hurt, but he was the first born, his parents were old and his family was pressuring him to get married.
4 years later, Aminu and Farida met at an event – both of them still unmarried. Still in love, they rekindled their relationship.
Sometimes, pressure from family, long distance, future plans and dreams can break up a relationship. In many cases, when one party travels out of the country to study, it brings  an end to a ‘flourishing’ relationship. This sort of relationship can be revitalized.
If it was because if religion or tribe
Zainab loved James and she knew her parents will never consent to the marriage. Yet, she went ahead with the relationship. Love triumphs, right? But in this case, religion was placed above love. Zainab’s parents totally rejected James and even threatened to disown her. This brought some issues into their relationship and they had to split up.
The same thing for Ada whose parents insisted that as the first daughter, she must marry someone from their tribe.
The funny thing about love is that no matter how suppressed it is, it has a way of rearing its head when you meet someone you were once so much in love with.
Both of you have ‘grown’ and evolved
Tade and Bukunmi dated from their secondary school until they were both in 100 level in the university. After their first year, they split because they just seemed to like different things and were not compatible.
9 years later and they are back together.
There is nothing wrong with going back to your ex. It will only be wrong when your ex was abusive and the relationship was toxic. You will be disrespecting yourself and doing yourself a lot of disservice if you rekindle a relationship with a person who has, over and over, disrespected and humiliated you in any shape or form – even in the littlest way. It will end in tears laslas.
If that is not the case and the previous relationship ended due to certain circumstances outside your control, then, by all means, go ahead. Let this old firewood catch fire.
But at the same time, you need to be careful. If your relationship ended because your partner’s family members loathed you, you might want to find out if they’ve changed their minds about you before you dip your head into the relationship. Some things don’t change and it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you are also going back to your ex because you are getting ‘old’ and your parents are asking you to bring a husband/wife home, then you’ll be making the same mistake all over again.
You should only go back to your ex because those butterflies dancing in your belly have not died and you’re both sure you are best for each other. You’ve both learned, unlearned, relearned and are ready to start the ‘forever journey’ together.
So guys, whose ‘old firewood’ has caught fire recently? Have you ever rekindled your relationship with your ex? How did that work out for you?
The post There Was a Good Reason For Your Break Up, But You’re Going Back to Your Ex appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

Mubarak Bala’s Story – Another Case of Nigerians Embracing Religion-Fueled Violence

The report of the arrest of Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian atheist, has sparked a lot of controversy on social media.
Mubarak had allegedly called the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad (SAW), a terrorist on his Facebook page. He said: “there is no difference between Prophet T.B Joshua of Lagos and Prophet Muhammed of Saudi Arabia. Our own from Nigeria is even better in that he was not a terrorist.”
In response, a group of lawyers submitted a petition to the Commissioner of Police in Kano State to prosecute him for insulting Prophet Muhammad.

This led to the hashtag #FreeMubarakBala trending on Twitter.
Who is Mubarak Bala?
In 2014, there were many reports of how Mubarak Bala was forced into a psychiatric unit by his family after he denounced Islam. He claimed that people were threatening to kill him after he declared himself an atheist. Efforts were made to counter the family’s claim of Mubarak suffering a personality change that led to his renunciation of Islam.
In the midst of all these, Mubarak accused his father, who described himself as a journalist and director-general of Kano state’s Directorate of Societal Reorientation – one of the bodies that enforce the Islamic Sharia Law, of being “an Islamic leader who could not afford to have a non-Muslim in the family”.
Again, Mubarak has been accused of committing a crime against Muslims in his Facebook post.
How Free is Freedom?
According to the Nigerian constitution, there’s freedom of speech and expression but Nigerians jokingly say that although there’s freedom of speech, freedom after speech is not guaranteed.
For instance, human rights activists, journalist, and a strong critic of the Cross Rivers State governor, Agba Jalingo, was arrested in August 2019 in his Lagos residence. He was later charged with “felony, terrorism and an attempt to topple the Cross Rivers State government”. He was arrested due to an article he published.
Steven Kefason, a freelance journalist and a strong critic of the All Progressives Party (APC) was also arrested and jailed in May, 2019 ove a Facebook post. He spent 162 days in prison.
Abubakar Idris, popularly known as Dadiyata, has been missing for months now. Dadiyata, before his abduction was a known critic of the Kano state governor, Ganduje.
In Nigeria, the political and religious ‘scene’ is one where when you beat the drum of words, you have to be ready to dance to whatever music it produces. There are consequences for your words – whether true or false. Both the political and religious sector have very little tolerance for criticism or logic, so if you are ready to shoot your arrow of words, it is better you have a shield in case this arrow is shot right back at you.
Living in a religious-sensitive country
Nigeria claims to be a secular country but religion is still a very sensitive issue. One would think that in 2020, we should be able to discuss our religious views freely. Alas, the reverse the case. Religion, in Nigeria, is still laced with fascism, intolerance and extremism. It is worse in Northern Nigeria where Sharia law is recognized and adopted.
For instance, in 2015, an Islamic court sentenced nine people to death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad in Kano state. The accused, who were all muslims were reported to have said that “Sheikh Ibrahim Naisse was bigger than Prophet Muhammad”. This triggered unrest in the state and incited violence.
In 2016, a pastor’s wife was accused of blasphemy against the islamic religion and killed by some muslim youths.
In 2009, a mob on the rampage in Gwaram, Jigawa State, burnt a police outpost, injuring around 12 people, over an alleged blasphemous statement against the holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW) made by a “non-Muslim” resident of the town.
In 2008, a 50-year-old Muslim man, alleged to have uttered “blasphemy” against Muhammad, was besieged in his house in Kano by a Muslim mob, who then beat him into a coma. He later died.
In 2006, Nigeria witnessed over 100 deaths when a Danish Cartoonist made caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which was published in a Danish newspaper. Muslims in Northen Nigeria pounced on Christians and butchered them and Christians in Onitsha pounced on Muslims and butchered them.
The cycle of tit-for-tat sectarian violence pushed the death toll beyond 100, making Nigeria the hardest-hit country so far in the caricature controversy – a ‘crime’ committed by a non-Nigerian.
This is 2020 and it is glaring that Nigeria has learned nothing and has not embraced religious tolerance.
Moving on From Religious Intolerance
With the rise of human right activism and the evolution of humans, it is important to move beyond intolerance and let people practice whatever they believe in – as long as they don’t pose as a threat to human lives and properties.
More than ever before, Nigerians need to practice the mantra “live and let live”. It is absolutely wrong to maim or kill people because they do not believe in your religion. It is absolutely wrong to also kill a human because they have said certain words against your religion. If your God is so powerful, why don’t you let him fight for himself? If your religion is peaceful and your aim is to win people over to God, then why is violence the go-to action when people do wrong? You cannot win people over to God by killing them, neither can you win people over to God through force, coercion or threats. We need to rise above all these and realise that humanity, at all times, trumps religion.
Embracing religious tolerance is also knowing when to say what. If you do not believe in a certain religion, let those who do practice it then. It is unwise to say terrible things about people’s religion or condemn their practices. Except if their religious beliefs or actions trample on your fundamental human right or poses as a threat to people’s life and existence, leave them in peace. Being a human right activist does not mean looking for trouble where it sleeps. Live and let live.
What Does the Law Say?
The Customary system prohibits blasphemy under section 204 of Nigeria’s Criminal Code.
According to the section, entitled “Insult to religion”, it says:
“Any person who does an act which any class of persons consider as a public insult on their religion, with the intention that they should consider the act such an insult, and any person who does an unlawful act with the knowledge that any class of persons will consider it such an insult, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.”
The Sharia law may also treat blasphemy as deserving of several punishments up to, and including, execution.
However, the Nigerian law contradicts itself when it states in Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution provides that “every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information without interference.”
The section 10 of the constitution also states, ‘The Government of the Federation of a State shall not adopt any religion as ‘State Religion.’
In the same vein, sections 275–279 of the Constitution give constituent states the power to establish their own Sharia courts. 12 Nigerian states currently practice the Sharia law, however, Christians and other non-Muslims are not obliged to abide by Sharia law in any of the 12 states.
Now, if the constitution gives room for freedom of speech and expression and the Sharia law does not apply to non-Muslims, why should Mubarak Bala – who now identifies as an atheist – be prosecuted according to Sharia law in Kano? Is that not going against the constitution?
Perhaps it is time to revisit our customary laws and constitution as a whole. The duty of the government is to protect lives and if someone can be executed for a Facebook post, then it means that the government has failed in its duties.
It is high time Nigeria also decided if Sharia law is beneficial to the people of Northern Nigeria, especially since many people have expressed the view that Sharia law of is used as a tool of manipulation for political purposes and to satisfy a certain group of people.
At the end of it all, we should realise that religion should never be a tool to stifle people. It should never be violent neither should it be forced on people. People should never lose their lives or body parts because their religious views contradict yours. Humanity first.
In the same vein, we need to respect people’s religion and avoid actions that will foster public unrest.
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Your Child’s Academic Mediocrity or Failure Should Not Be Treated as a Stain on Your White!

The video of a man scolding his son for having a poor results went viral on social media, a couple of days ago. In the video, the father can be seen slapping the boy while lamenting on how poor his school result is, while someone, presumably the mother, recorded the video. At the same time, we heard a voice trying to placate the man.

The dad pays $21k USD as tuition fee every month and his son was skipping classes, failed maths & English
He Only passed music
— JAGS (@EtniesJags) April 23, 2020

According to the image of the results,  the son had failed all his subjects – except Music and Geography and was absent for his Mathematics and English exams – the two ‘most important’ subjects.
There are a few things to note here:
Aside from failing, the boy did not bother to show up for two subjects – and the parents did not notice.
The boy passed music with a distinction.
The boy tried to explain and the father was too angry to listen.
In the midst of it all, the mother deemed it fit to make a video.
It can hurt deeply when parents have huge dreams and certain expectations of their kids and it seems like the kids are not rising up to expectations. But when it comes to education and the academic journey of a child, many factors come to play.
Many parents need to enlighten their children on the value and importance of education. A lot of children just go to school because they are at that phase where kids go to school. Many always pass their exams because that is what is required of them.
It becomes different when you explain to your kids that education is a journey, one that will help them achieve their dreams and future plans. Rather than push your kids to go to school and pass their exams, it is important to educate them on why they are doing what they do. That way, they won’t quickly open their books and pretend to read when they see you coming. You wouldn’t have to force them to study either.
It is also very important, as parents, to monitor your children’s academic progress. Parenting is more than spending huge amounts of money on your kids’ education or paying for textbooks and excursions. It is also about monitoring their assignments, going through their books, checking their grades by subjects, studying with them, having a discussion with their teachers to know how well they are performing in school and also having a discussion with your kids to know whether or not they are struggling with their academics. You should never wait until your kids fail in school before you pay attention to their academics.
What some parents do is that they visit their children’s schools unannounced, meet with their class teachers and ask about the academic performance and general behaviour of the child. That way, they know the child’s strengths and weaknesses and how to help.
If it ever gets to that stage where your child can conveniently skip school or be absent during examinations, then it means you have done a poor job in monitoring your children’s academic progress.
Although many parents want their kids to do well in school, they are yet to familiarise themselves with the academic struggles the child faces. Some of these could be dyslexia, bullying, fear, poor mental health, stress, bad learning environment. Some kids read but do not understand and while some can read to understand, they still find it difficult to express themselves while writing. Some kids have sight and hearing problems but their parents are either too busy, abusive or too careless to notice.
Many parents have beaten and nearly killed their kids because of poor grades without realising that the kid suffers from dyslexia. Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language. Children who have dyslexia usually have trouble learning or learning as fast as other kids.

This was me with my son! It was frustrating, most especially paying so much to give him the best of education & I also allowed others beat him.Today, I regret every of that behaviour. I apologised & sought my son’s forgiveness when he turned 18.It turned out my son is DYSLEXIC
— Aisha Yesufu (@AishaYesufu) April 23, 2020

Bullying, fear and poor learning environment also affects kids a lot. Many students are scared of certain teachers and this kills their interest in that subject. It also stunts a child’s learning ability.
It is also very important to create a really good relationship with your kids. Establish an environment where your children can open up to you whenever they are struggling in school or anywhere else. Most kids do not talk about their failures because they are scared of their parents. But at the end of the day, it reflects in their grades.
A lot of people believe that once they pay huge sums of money for their child’s education, the child must pass by fire by force. It doesn’t work that way. It is not rocket science. You have to nurture and ‘water’ your kids brainpower and then watch them produce amazing results. One way to do this is to listen to them. In that video, the child was willing to explain but the father wasn’t ready to listen. That would have been the perfect time to know what the problem truly is. When your kids know that they can talk to you, it boosts their confidence and helps them make good life decisions. If they can’t talk to you, then they’ll seek for solutions elsewhere.
Come to think of it? Why are we seeing this video in the first place?! Why is the mother recording this? Is it to humiliate the child further? Or is it because we now live in a world where we are so quick to whip out our phones and make videos? If your first instinct, when your child fails in school, is to take photos and videos, then you are clearly going a poor job as a mother.
While it is natural to get angry when a child fails, it is very important to realise that a child’s failure in school is also as a result of the parent’s failure in ensuring that the child is academically sound. Both parties have failed.
If the child can pass Music and Geography, such child can also pass other subjects, if given the right encouragement and motivation to keep pushing. This does not automatically mean the child wants to become a musician in future, Music is probably the easiest subject for him, it is, thus, important to find out why other subjects are difficult for him to learn.
At the end of the day, parents should invest better in their children’s education if they want good results. And no, it’s not all about money.
P.S: Failing in school is not the end of the world. The most important thing in life is to keep moving.
The post Your Child’s Academic Mediocrity or Failure Should Not Be Treated as a Stain on Your White! appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

Shame On You For Thinking It Is Okay to Sexualize Children

As of 2017, 44% of girls in Nigeria were married before their 18th birthday and 18% were married before the age of 15.
Child marriage is most common in the North West and North East of Nigeria, where 68% and 57% of women aged 20-49 were married before their 18th birthday.
A 2017 World Bank study estimates that child marriage costs Nigeria USD7.6 billion in lost earnings and productivity every year.
In the world, 12 million girls are married off before the age of 18, each year, and over 650 million women alive today were married as children.
The major reason why, even in today’s world, child marriage is still prevalent is because humans have developed and sustained the habit of sexualising women, right from when they are young. In the olden days – even up until now – the world waits for women to be ‘ripe’, so that their ‘flower’ can be plucked.
Most culture permits women to be married off once they start their menstruation. To them, menstruation is a sign of maturity. A sign that she is ‘ripe’.
Today, the world has, to an extent, kicked – and is still kicking – against child marriage, sexual harassment and violence. But are we making any progress?
Almost every woman in the world has one story or another when it comes to sexual harassment and assault. An average female child is already exposed to sexual harassment before she learns how to navigate this world and build a name for herself.
From that uncle who loves to carry you on his laps so he can slip a finger or two into your vagina, to that neighbour who is constantly friendly with you because he wants to press your growing breasts. That Mallam, Alfa, Pastor, that over-disciplined physics teacher in school, that daddy’s best friend whose eyes are always darting whenever you are around – everyone is a potential rapist and a risk to young women.
From religions that encourage women to be married off once they ‘see’ their first period, to cultures that believe a woman’s place is in her ‘husband’s house’, a young growing lady seems to have the whole world against her when it comes to her sexuality.
This is 2020 and just as the world keeps gunning for the liberality of women and the non-sexualisation of women’s (especially young women) body, some men have crawled out of their holes to salivate and show their perverse side when Yul Edochie celebrated his 15-year-old daughter on Twitter.

Happy 15th Birthday to my 1st child, my daughter.Danielle Chidubem Yul-Edochie.May the Almighty God be with you always.You shall be 10 times greater than your father.Amen!
— Yul Edochie (@YulEdochie) April 10, 2020

How much is her bride prize sir🙏
I’m 19
— kiss (@YoungkissTurner) April 10, 2020

Happy birthday to your Danielle…
Thank God say i never marry yet
— rickmani (@DanielKennis) April 11, 2020

Am coming to marry her in-law
— spanix (@Ekulide2) April 10, 2020

Birthday blessings to you dear. Sir if you can use her as giveaway for me I will be very grateful 😂😂
— Gideon Chinonso (@GiddyupKiss) April 10, 2020

Stay on your intensive care for now, at least 2 or 3 more years you’ll be out and ready to collect.
— MaxProdigy (@Joekhalifa_Blaz) April 10, 2020

See her innocent smile like say she no Dey collect or chop pesin mouth… Bring her to the movie industry and see the next Ned Nwoko
— Blazing iMax 🔥 (@official_maxwin) April 11, 2020

Give me your daughter to marry nau
— MAN OF GOD (@HeartOfGod_LOVE) April 11, 2020

Happy birthday to her more years to come in good health and happiness.. 15 years.. Wow 3 more years to go.. Patiently waiting
— @johntubi (@johntubi1) April 11, 2020

Success Wada claims to be an ‘advocate for unity and equality’, yet, he wants to marry a 15-year-old girl.

From those who saw a good flower to those who believe the ‘fruit is already ripe’.

Everything you see here is a sneak peak into the life and reality of young women. Being a teenage girl in Nigeria, in Africa and every other part of the world means having a long queue of men waiting to seize any opportunity to harass you sexually. To them, you are just a flower they are waiting to pluck.
If Yul Edochie had posted the photo of his son at 15, it wouldn’t have attracted this kind of comments. This shows that people still believe it is okay to sexualise a young woman, a teenager who is barely finding her place in this world.
The men spewing trash under Yul Edochie’s tweet live among us; they are our fathers, brothers, friends, uncles, colleagues, teachers, neighbours, clients. We live with them, we gist with them. We know them. They are not aliens who dropped from the clouds. These are the kinds of people we entrust our kids with.
Moving forward?
Although we live in a world where feminists , and women in general, receive a lot of bashing and are being accused of being ‘anti-men’, these tweets have again proved that we must never stop talking about sexual assault. We must also match our words with actions and ensure that we fight pedophiles and sexual offenders with everything we’ve got.
As Nigerians, we also need to do away with covering up sexual offenders because they are our friends or family. If your brother or sister rape someone and you cover him/her up, you are no better than a rapist.
If you are one of those who chant “let’s leave them for God” when someone you know sexually assaults another person. Then you are no better.
When sexual offences – and yes, that includes tweets as the above – are matched with grave consequences, people will be better behaved.
As a Parent?
See, we live in a ‘terrible’ world, so you have to protect your kids. Note that it’s not the same as being overprotective. One way to protect your kids from sexual assault is to create an environment where they can easily talk to you and open up. A lot of sexually harassed kids cannot talk to their parents, and then the harassment goes on for years.
Create that environment where your kids can easily walk up to you and let you know about that uncle or aunty that is touching them inappropriately and threatening them.
Parents need to also give their kids proper sex education, make them understand what constitutes as sexual harassment or assault.
At the end of the day, you and everyone in the society have a role to play in curtailing sexual harassment. Stop “leaving it for God”. Don’t say “ehn, it has happened, it has happened, God knows best”. Don’t tell the victim to forgive and forget or “let go”.
Let’s all ensure that we stand up against sexual assault and violence.
If you know of any sexual harassment case, you can call any of these numbers:

Or reach out to WARIF.
One more thing:
When next you are tempted to conclude that rape and sexual assault occurs because women are “indecently dressed”, remember that Yul Edochie’s 15-year-old daughter was covered up in that photo, yet many men still sexualised her.
The post Shame On You For Thinking It Is Okay to Sexualize Children appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

There is a Global Pandemic But Why Are Some Nigerians Not Obeying the Mandatory Stay-At-Home Request?

There’s a global pandemic sweeping across all states in Nigeria, but many Nigerians are not obeying the stay-at-home order. It is barely two weeks after the Federal Government of Nigeria gave the order for a total lockdown in Lagos State, Ogun State, and FCT Abuja and state governors directed their citizens to stay at home, but people are getting restless and are already tired of staying at home.
While those who live off daily income can be found on the streets claiming that they would rather face Coronavirus than starve to death, others are jogging or carrying out fitness activities on the streets. Some estates are organizing parties, people are playing football on the streets and friends are going to visit one another.
As far as many Nigerians are concerned, this lockdown is the ‘holiday’ they have been praying for. To many, this is the much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of places like Lagos.
There is a global pandemic, and Nigeria is not exempt. There are reports of cases in Nigeria, with recorded deaths.  Covid-19 is here with us, so, it makes us wonder: why is it difficult for Nigerians to follow simple instructions? Practice social/physical distancing to flatten the curve of the spread. It is quite simple.
Nigerians on social media went haywire when actress Funke Akindele-Bello and her husband, Abdulrasheed ‘JJCSkillz’ Bello posted videos from a party they hosted on Saturday, 4th of April. The party was to celebrate his birthday in the midst of a lockdown. As an ambassador, it would be reasonable to expect the actress to practice what she advocated for in the advert for Dettol. Many people found it quite appalling when she organised a party with over 20 people in attendance.
However, the Bellos and their friends are not the only ones who have flouted the lockdown directive from the Federal Government.
On Monday, the 6th of April, certain Nigerians in Lagos came out en-masse to work out, on the road. While it is good to stretch your body, the problem with this is that they were not, in anyway, practicing social distancing. This means they were more likely to be infected with the virus and then pass it on to other Nigerians.

Gbagada this morning. We deserve our leaders. 🤦🏿‍♂️
— GatsBee: Blvck Apron (@SamuelOtigba) April 6, 2020

Having seen how the ‘Gbagada joggers’ came out in troops to stretch their bones, those in Ikorodu also decided that they would not be left out. In fact, they ‘wanted to prove’ that they could do it better.

The gym moved to Ikorodu this morning, from Haruna down to Agric busstop… Is this really a lockdown?
— Series Abíọ́dún ♠ (@Engr_Series) April 7, 2020

A total lockdown means citizens must not leave their homes, so why are our roads blocked with cars? Where are people going? Why are people leaving their homes?

Sorry oo. How the hell is there traffic on lekki expressway when there is supposed to be a lock down ?? How na ?
— @dawuzi (@dawuzi) April 6, 2020

It did not end there, on Monday, there was traffic jam along the Lekki-Epe expressway.
It is painful (for a lack of better word) that it is the upper and middle class – who can afford to stock up and stay in their homes, who people believe should know better – that are disobeying the lockdown order. It is pathetic!
One can, at least, understand when poor people – who cannot afford to stock up, who have to feed from daily sales, who might starve if they are forced to stay indoors – troop out to the streets in search of their daily food. At least, one will be able to empathize with them, while encouraging them to go back inside.
One might even understand when illiterates disregard the order; maybe they don’t know better and this is an opportunity  to educate them on why staying at home is the best way to stop the spread. But when educated folks – who know the true effect of the spread of COVID-19 – openly disregard it like this? It becomes a deliberate act.
So, pray tell, what excuse do these people who leave their homes to jog on the road – with a lot of other people clustered together at a particular place – have? Will they say they are not aware of Coronavirus? Or are not aware of the directive from the Federal government? Or they don’t know what a lockdown means?
So dear Nigerians, what is a lockdown?
Unfortunately for Nigeria, even Steve who is an accountant is currently on the street hugging people and laughing his teeth away.
Adams is an engineer, but he is currently planning a get-together with his friends on Saturday. In fact, they have bought Semo.
Contrary to what many Nigerians think, a lockdown is not a holiday.
Stop treating it as one. Stop using this opportunity to greet all your neighbours and visit all your friends. Stay at home!
A lockdown is an emergency protocol that prevents people from leaving a given area. A full lockdown means you must stay where you are and not exit or enter a building or the given area. To have an effective lockdown, you have to stay in your home. This is to enable the government swiftly trace those who might be infected with COVID-19, fumigate affected areas and put a stop to the spread of Coronavirus.
The more you move about and huddle in clusters,  the higher the risk of you coming in contact with an infected person and spreading it to other uninfected people, and the more difficult it is for the government to do their jobs effectively.
How serious is COVID-19?
Are you still one of those that is yinmu-ing and saying “nothing go happen”? Or you are thinking ‘agbo jedi‘ (herbs for pile) will work? Take a look at today’s Coronavirus statistics.

See more here.
209 countries around the world have been infected so far. The United States of America has over 440,000 cases of Coronavirus and Nigeria currently has 276 cases.

If you don’t stay at home, there is a high possibility of this number doubling-up until we have thousands of infected Nigerians.
Just as we all know, the Nigerian healthcare system is not ‘all that’, having more infected persons will put more pressure on the already wrecking healthcare system. We all know what that means.
So if you’re planning to organise a party because “ah, no work, it’s time to enjoy”, you need to kill that thought right away. In fact, bury it. This is not a holiday!
Who can go out?
“I will go out because Farida is going out.”
No, Farida is a health worker, you are not. Sit at home!
It is only those who offer essential services that are allowed to go out and they must present their ID cards – or any other form of identification – to prove that they offer essential services.
Without essential services like food, water, medical services, financial services, many people might lose their lives. That is why that pharmacy in front of your house is allowed to be open.
But you, you’re selling clothes, bags, shoes, wood, appliances, phones, and so on, if people don’t wear your shoes or buy phone charger, will they die? No. This means you are NOT offering essential services, so stay at home.
If you are not sure if your services are essential or not, ask yourself “if people don’t buy my wares, will they lose their lives”? No? Then stay at home.
Ask yourself again “if I don’t go to church or mosque or that party, will I die?” No? Than stay at home.
Coronavirus is biting hard around the world, don’t make this harder than it already is. Let’s all be responsible citizens.
We need responsible government officials too
On the 6th of April, a medical doctor reportedly died in Katsina State. On the 7th of April – the next day, the governor of Katsina lifted the ban on Friday prayers. This is an extremely irresponsible act from a governor.
Sometimes, one would begin to wonder if the problem with our elected leaders is crack.

In this press release, the governor gives the go-ahead for people to go to the mosque to have a service – a banned religious gathering. In the same breath, he is encouraging other people to practice social distancing. It must be crack.
The governor of Cross River state is not left out. The man can be heard saying that as long as you have your mask on, social distancing is not a must. That is a governor, elected by the people of Cross River State.

Cross river state how una day! I hope the commissioner for health standing by Governor Ayade corrected him.
This is a state with 33 doctors in State employ. (Minus FG employed) And hundreds of SAs..🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— Wake Up! (@pdbraide) April 8, 2020

When we have elected leaders who behave this way, how do we expect citizens to obey the lockdown instruction?
Anyway, just so you know, when those at the top get infected, they also get the best care and utmost attention. But you…
The best gift you can give yourself – and the world, in general – is to stay at home, wash your hands regularly and practice social distancing.
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