For many languid years, Nigerian children have faced many existential threats whether from the explosion of paedophiles, the savagery of terrorists, or the cunningly subtle abuses of predators masquerading as caregivers.
For a country that has always professed and prophesied a future better than the present, Nigeria has looked alarmingly away.
Of course, in fulfilment of the biblical all righteousness, there have been legislative and judicial window dressing to protect Nigerian children, all done in an unmistakable recognition of the law as a force for good and security.
However, because the hyenas of child abuse in all their many reprehensible stripes still prowl the land, it must be admitted that there has been a fundamental failure in Nigeria to protect all children.
A sore example protrudes from the contempt with which some state legislatures have looked upon the salubrious but ultimately inadequate Child Rights Act.
Many state legislatures have failed to adopt and domesticate it for different reasons. But it is not lost on the discerning that given how powerful law can be, those who continue to snub the Act long passed by the National Assembly recognize the dangers domesticating it would pose for the many child abusers in their midst.
Nigeria has always been rocked by shocking stories of child sexual abuse. These stories as sensational as they are often float into the mass media, provoke all manner of lip service from Nigerians and authorities, but eventually die down, leaving the fate of the predators unknown and their victims scarred for life, awaiting the next victim.
Many gory reports have also emerged from many homes and families which should ordinarily be places of peace and respite for children.
The absence of brittle biological links has been latched upon to visit shocking atrocities on little children given over to families in trust.
In a country where foundations are few and foundering, the vulnerable take the most brutal hits. Children are always amongst any society‘s most vulnerable and the failure to protect them betrays not only gross national irresponsibility but a weakness that runs to the roots.
It should be eternally troubling that already, the education of our children, especially the poorest of them, rests on wobbly feet.
In many states of the country, education while effectively free is dished out in lack – lack of proper educational infrastructure. The result is that children are not only not properly educated, they are in many instances mis-educated.
The result is a future that is in grave peril. Already, the country is beginning to reckon with its dereliction of yesterday. The children who were not taught good values yesterday have become the adults of today and its monsters.
Unless forceful measures are taken today, tomorrow,the present will return to prey on the future.