Lucky baby

Editorial

 

The very dire socio-economic situation in the country was inadvertently dramatised by 22-year-old Seun Oladayo in Ondo State who had planned to ‘dispose’ of her baby after delivery because she would not be able to take care of the baby. She claimed that the father of the baby absconded the moment she got pregnant.

It is a sign of good fortune for the innocent baby that one Pastor Olawale was approached by the uncle, one Yinka, to pay a paltry N10,000 for the baby. In a rare display of piety, the pastor reported the evil plot to the Amotekun Corps in Ondo town. We commend the display of kindness and vigilance by the pastor who even noticed that the birth of the baby might have been induced and there was evidence that the mother deliberately wanted to kill the child by strangling her with the umbilical cord.

The pastor’s exceptional behaviour must be commended in an era when some pastors are being upbraided for far too many crimes, including ritual killing of children. His is a huge elixir for Christendom in such trying times. His behaviour is so Christ-like and must be an example of the expected behaviour from all Christians.

On the part of the lady, we regret that her motherly instincts did not pop up to shield her baby from the trauma of induction and a deliberate attempt to strangle her with the umbilical cord. Even though we blame the father of the baby for absconding on confirmation of pregnancy, a very reprehensible and irresponsible attitude, we still feel that the state must search him out and make sure he faces justice.

Again, the attempt to sell her baby or even wish the baby death by the mother speaks to her hurt and state of mind. Even selling the baby for a paltry N10,000 speaks to the level of poverty afflicting the girl and her family. To sell her own child for less than $30 speaks to the mental and material poverty of the mother and her brother. It is a pointer to the impact of the fact that Nigeria is presently the poverty capital of the world. Make no mistakes about it, an attempt to sell the baby for a trillion dollars does not negate the odious and tragic transaction in any way.

This whole messy tale equally speaks to a lot of problems that government policies could have solved were they in place. Obviously being unmarried and getting pregnant shows that the lady got little or no sex education. Reproductive health is not taken seriously in the country and there are millions of Seuns all over the place. Are teenagers and adolescents getting the sex education they need? Have government agencies done the needful by funding orphanages and making it legal and easy for individuals to give up their children for legal adoption? The reality is that young people would always experiment with sex and it might often result in pregnancies. It is therefore better to educate these youths on preventive measures and abstinence.

Again, there must be stricter laws protecting children and compelling those who father them to take responsibility whether they are married to the women in question or not. Such laws would lessen the cases of men abandoning the mothers of their children.

There are grave implications of government not seeing the bad effects of unchecked population explosion and incidents of abandoned babies and child trafficking by young and teenage mothers who resort to such criminal acts as a last resort. Many lives are lost in the process and those who survive become psychological wrecks as there is no form of therapy or social welfare to care for them. Victims of rape and pedophilic incest also get entangled in child trafficking because of the attendant stigma of crimes committed against them.

We hope the government agencies concerned can take decisive actions in this and other cases and consider giving the baby in question to a foster home to save her from a potential harm. The lady must be availed counselling and economic support as we believe she is only desperate and might not ordinarily want to kill or sell her child.

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