Monday, August 9, 2010

Help! There's a killer next door

A bill currently before lawmakers in Nigeria's Lagos State could make corporal punishment against children a criminal offence. If the Criminal Law Bill is passed, parents and teachers could face spells in prison for causing 'grievous harm' when beating or flogging children with a cane.
 Q: Does the government have the right to decide how you treat your children or do you think this is a step too far? Could this affect discipline among school children? Would you like to see a similar law passed in your country?
My colleagues and I got into a loud discussion today during solemn work hours - as employees whose boss is away do. It started when I pointed out the above article on BCC website.
Helen thought lawmakers had no right to decree such a law for the family. ‘Children need disciplining. And the cane is an integral part of it’ she said.
So too Angie.
Me? I agreed with them to an extent. Physical correction when well applied( and I mean a smack on the rump, a whack or two with a folded newspaper) without force, not fuelled by anger and an intent to harm can be a good corrective measure, but …there's a huge but.. Has the parent truly exhausted all other means of correction before resorting to the rod?
The rod philosophy of child training is so easy and therein lies its biggest appeal and danger. Being creative – grounding a child, withholding of a favourite toy/TV show requires some amount of creativity, planning and perseverance which a frenzied Nigerian parent does not have time for.

It’s not an excuse but what can I say? My siblings and I are products of that upbringing and we haven’t done badly.
I digress.

Angie suggested they put more energy towards sexual abuse laws protecting minors. I agree - In recent times there has been an increase in reports of accosted pedophiles. Whether this is due to an increase in number of Pedophiles or due to increased awareness by Mothers is yet to be verified. I pray it’s the latter and I'm thankful to the nonprofits and individuals spreading the news. I even heard there're strong campaigns in the market place warning mothers not to leave their kids - m/f unsupervised with adults they can’t vouch for.
Good for them.
The gist got back on track to child abuse scenes we have witnessed.
Haha charity begins at home. My mom was a ferocious beater. My sisters are still in awe of her arm. Luckily my last child status made me exempt sort of or maybe she had lost her steam after the prior six kids lol.
Helen then told us of her neighbor a single parent male with 3 sons. Who beat his kid so hard that he FELL DOWN AND DIED. I kid you not.
How did they find out? On the weekend following the fatal beating, the family had gone to church (very religious you see) where the Sunday school teacher asked Taiye - the living twin of his brother’s whereabouts.
And Taiye answered “My daddy has killed Kehinde and buried him in the house”. Ahh out of the mouth of babes.
Church members went to their home to investigate but the Father he walked them out of his home. They then reported to the police who took him in for questioning.
Well, we assume money changed hands cause father was home after 24 hrs and life continued as normal. That was May. The wife died following the birth of the twins and the Father practically raised them singlehanded. I can almost smell the stinky rat in her death.

I wish this was just conjecture on my part but why would a 7 yr old child say something like that about his father? Moreover there is a missing son and no obituary announced or proper burial carried out.

p.s. I’m as guilty as sin for not doing more than tell this incredulous story on my blog, but dear readers, our law enforcement system isn’t normal. I'm still thinking of what else can be done? Suggestions anyone?

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