The president, National Council of Women Societies, NCWS, Rivers State chapter, Mrs. Sheila Innocent Abiye, has encouraged mothers to join in the fight against gender based violence against women and the girl-child, by building an inseparable relationship with their daughters.
Sheila gave this advice in an exclusive interview with TNN while expressing dismay over the case of a 13-year old girl who was impregnated by a man in Port Harcourt.
The NCWS president believes that if mothers can build a harmonious relationship with their daughters, it will in a way curtail the incessant cases of rape, teenage pregnancy and other forms of assault against the girl-child.
Sheila who expressed worry over the high rate at which girls were sexually assaulted, kidnapped, raped and killed for ritual purposes in various parts of the country wants all hands to be a deck to arrest the situation.
She said: “While we expect more from our security agencies, it is very important that parents, especially mothers, create that atmosphere at home where their daughters can discuss anything and everything with them, not outsiders, not friends.
“Unfortunately, some mothers do not know when their girls, I mean their daughters start seeing their menses, some don’t care how they get pad, who taught them to use it, neither are they even concerned about how they feel emotionally in their first time of menstruating.
“Some teenage girls have become breadwinners when their parents are still very much alive and healthy; they go out, mess themselves up and return with money. As a mother, you are not bothered about where she got the money from, at nine years, twelve years, fifteen years, who bought her cream, provisions, perfume, snacks, you are just happy, excited that she brings things home, some mothers will start comparing and encouraging their own daughters to tow same path.
“Charity begins at home, we know a lot has gone bad, mostly because of phones, internet, but please, mothers, let’s take full responsibility of our children, the girls and boys, teach them the fear and way of the Lord, be their best friend, companion, sister, keep them closer than a friend can, tell them your story and always ask them if they are bothered about anything, if they have a boyfriend, is any guy asking them out, do they have feelings for any girl, teach them about sex, the need to have a secured future, and remain a virgin till they marry, whether the society believes it or not, virginity is a virtue, mothers, it’s time to get it right, so we don’t ignore them while they destroy their future, let us not be weary of doing our part.”
She called for proper investigation into the case of one Mr. Sunday Samuel who was brought before the Chief Magistrate Court 20 in Port Harcourt same Monday for allegedly impregnating a 13-year old girl, Blessing Uduak.
In the case presided over by Chief Magistrate Gomba Osaro, the accused Samuel was arraigned by the Human Right desk at Rivers State Police headquarters, on a one count charge of having canal knowledge of the underage girl, Blessing Uduak.
Though he pleaded not guilty to the charge, but the 13 year old claimed he was her boyfriend, and that she was four months pregnant for him.
The charge sheet reveals that the accused who is believed to be 19 years old, “on the 14th of February at Ohakwe Street Rumuigbo in Port Harcourt magisterial district did have unlawful carnal knowledge on one Blessing Uduak an underaged girl of 13 years and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 218 of criminal code of cap 37 Vol.11 laws of Rivers State 1999.”
Samuel was remanded in Port Harcourt correctional centre and the case was adjourned to 16th August 2021 for consideration of bail after he pleaded not guilty to the charge.