Paedophilia is here with us, and we can no longer sweep it under the rug.
Every day we read stories of men sexually molesting young girls and pass it off as a bit of 'weird news' in some far place in the country.
In case you do not know, paedophilia is a big problem in Nigeria that even our culture of silence concerning all things sex can no longer hide.
The story of Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje is one of many sad stories of child sex abuse in Nigeria. The situation has become so dire that parents are very strict with who has access to their kids, in some cases this strictness might come off as extreme.
Take, for instance, Head of Programmes at TVC and host of the breakfast chat show 'Your View', Morayo Akabashorun. On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, she trended on social media for saying this "I absolutely trust my husband but I won't take chances and have him bathe my daughter, because whether we like it or not, there is something flying in the air these days that is encouraging imbalance and immoralities."
"I actually trust my husband but I'm just being careful because people that have experienced this kind of situation, also trusted their husbands and yet, it happened" she also said.
Her policy on keeping her child safe from sexual abuse was quite the talk of the town. The following day, Thursday, December 6, 2018, she had to put out a statement on her Instagram account.
In the video, she said "My husband is not a paedophile, he's a highly responsible, decent man. He can never do anything to hurt any of his children." She went on to further speak on how parents should take care of their children and protect them from sexual abuse.
Akabashorun's views might seem extreme but she is not to blame. According to the 2016 report on Violence Against Children in Nigeria by the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), four out of 10 girls experience sexual violence between six to eleven years of age.
These are stats from cases that have been reported. The cultures of shame and silence have aided in ensuring that monsters go scot-free after molesting little girls and boys. These monsters also include fathers who prey on their kids.
Our society would rather we sweep these stories under the carpet, not air our dirty linen in public, let the victims suffer in silence and let the monsters go free than talk about it.
An old African proverb says "it takes a village to raise a child" but what if in that village are sexual predators who abuse children? These days, the village would rather protect the predator than protect the child.
It doesn't take a village to raise a child anymore but eternally vigilant parents.