Lagos State Chapter of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), has urged parents and guardians to beware of pedophiles as lockdown continues across the country to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus pandemic has led to the shut down of schools, offices, markets and other public places, making children stay at home and prone to negative influences if not given the attention they require.

This warning was made by the Chairperson of NAWOJ, Lagos State Chapter, Comrade Adeola Ekine in a press statement released on Monday, April 06, 2020.

Ekine, an advocate for gender equality, safety of the girl child and the health and rights of women and girls, opined that it is important to keep sensitizing mothers to be vigilant and be proactive to the dangers the children, especially girls, could be exposed to so that pedophiles do not prey on them.

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She also reiterated the need for parents to teach their children the importance of their body and not shy away from educating them about sex from age 5-6.

“As female journalists in Lagos State, we will continue to advocate for non-discrimination of the girl child, the right to survival and development of potential, protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation and full participation in family, cultural and social life of the girl child.”

Ekine commended the efforts of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu for arresting two people over allegedly defiling minors, 9 and 13-year-old girls.

Mothers are therefore advised not to let their wards out of their sights and avoid keeping their children with menders e.g neighbours, uncles, teachers, friends etc.

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Ekine stressed the need for mothers to be close to their children and let them find it easy to confide in their parents adding that, “as mothers it is our duty protect our children from predators, teach them to recognize inappropriate behaviours around them because most pedophiles are known to the children.”

She reiterated that coronavirus has no vaccine and encourages women to stay safe and follow strictly the simple but very important tips of regular hand washing, maintain social distance and encourage good hygiene in the home front because prevention is always better and cheaper than cure.