A non-governmental organisation in Delta State, Nigerian Child Welfare Fund, has expressed concern over the increasing rate of child abuse and other social vices in the state.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Omorere, said this on Monday in an interview with newsmen in Warri.
Mr Omorere, who attributed the development to poverty, lack of birth control, among other factors, urged the state government to rise up to its responsibilities by investing more in social services.
He said social service workers should be encouraged by way of providing them with logistics and other forms of assistance to enable them to tackle child abuse and related challenges.
“As an insider, I can tell you authoritatively that the rate of child abuse in the state has risen to about 60 per cent,” he said.
“There is this case of a young girl from a family of nine girls because the parents could not foot their bills and decided to entrust her to another family.
“Unfortunately, the husband of the new family was allegedly abusing the girl. That is one among the many cases I am handling at the moment.
“Like I have always advised, if you know you cannot take care of somebody’s child, do not accept the child,” he said.
Mr Omorere lamented the rate at which teenagers indulge in prostitution, drug addiction and other forms of social vices in the state.
“The rate of child abuse is on the increase daily. We keep seeing teenagers prostituting on a daily basis and nothing is being done about it, it is very sad.
“You cannot walk around Warri and environs at night without seeing children indulging in one illicit thing or the other. Prostituting, taking drugs, some are even sleeping on the streets.
“There is danger ahead of us if these children are not taken out of the streets,” Mr Omorere said.
He said the “yahoo boys”, ritualists, armed robbers, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals ravaging society today are products of child abuse.
Mr Omorere frowned at the manner police have been handling cases of child abuse in the state, stressing that offenders should always be charged to court after investigations.