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Nigerian teenagers engage in sex for money to buy sanitary pad

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According to Repors, two Nigerian teenagers reportedly became pregnant for men whom they had sex with just so they could buy sanitary pad for them.

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The incident happened in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria’s South-South, PREMIUM TIMES learnt. And the teenagers are said to be from poor families.

A campaigner against teenage pregnancy revealed this at a roundtable on child development hosted by PREMIUM TIMES in Uyo to mark the 2019 Children’s Day.

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“We have two of our teen mothers, between the age of 16 and 19, who got pregnant because they could not afford sanitary pad, so they slept with men who promised to buy them the pad,” Sifon Udo, who runs an NGO, Smartsmothers Foundation, said at the roundtable.

Ms Udo attributed the girls’ predicament to poverty.

“There’s another (teenager) who slept with a man because of sweet and got pregnant!” she said.

“She is getting to 17, she was 15 when she got pregnant.”

Some brand of sanitary pad could go for as low as N250 in Nigeria. But some girls, especially in the country’s poor rural communities, lack the money to buy them, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

“They (the girls) have given birth,” Ms Udo said.

“(But) because they have not been given the right care, even when they give birth they still don’t have the right information to pick up their lives and move on, and so they run into multiple pregnancies.

“We have a case of a 19-year-old who has two children already and she is pregnant with the third one.”

Ms Udo said teenage pregnancy was on the increase in Akwa Ibom rural communities.

“The key factor here is poverty, but there are cases of abuses, and parental neglects.

“We have a case of a teen mother, she was raped by an uncle who stayed close to them. She wanted to tell her parents about it, but they didn’t want to listen to her. They chased her out of the house.

“Another factor is, when these girls see how their friends are living big, they also want to be like them. They go for what they cannot afford and as a result give themselves out freely to men,” Ms Udo said.

Smartsmothers Foundation, she said, runs a network in Akwa Ibom where they make effort to rehabilitate teenage mothers through reorientation and skill acquisition.

Ms Udo said there was not much her organisation could do about the men who get teenage girls pregnant.

“The challenge we have is that most times before these girls come in, it is already too late. Most of them don’t even know how to locate those who got them pregnant,” she said.

“These stories are real. Most of the men who get these girls pregnant are the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members who probably leave the area after their service year. Others are just regular men on the streets.

“In Obio Akpa, a developing community where you have a campus of the Akwa Ibom State University, young girls make it a competition to get pregnant – if I am your friend and I get pregnant, you are no more in my clique. I make you feel like you are no more in my class, I now have a kid, so I have many responsibilities. It’s like, look I have more money than you.

“This thing is a cycle, a teen mom will probably have her own female child take after her and also get pregnant the same way,” she said.

Other participants at the roundtable were Uduak Ekong, the chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) in Akwa Ibom, and Imaobong Akpan, a blogger.

The participants talked on obstacles against child development in Nigeria, such as child labour, lack of education, labelling of children as witches, lack of mentoring, and poor implementation of child rights law.

“People have linked such (witchcraft) accusation to poverty, and it is usually in households where they are going through some tough phases – either the father is having hard luck, maybe he just lost a job, the mother is barely struggling to manage the little that is available – and suddenly this child that is obviously malnourished becomes the focus of attention.

“And someone would just give a hint – have you looked at this child? And then the next thing, the child is thrown out from the home, as we have heard and read in the past,” Mrs Ekong said, in her contribution at the roundtable.

“I have never come across a story where a son or a daughter of one big politician is labelled a witch,” she added.

A participant, Ms Akpan, said it could be difficult to bring to justice, pastors who tell parents that their children are witches.

“It’s a very dicey one because the parents or guardians who take these children to the pastors would hardly give information that could incriminate these pastors or prophets.

“You may not have sufficient evidence, except it was captured in a video. Most deliverance services in these churches are often private sessions between the pastors, parents, and the child involved. If we have some people caught and then punished for it, maybe others would sit up.

“I think society is defined by the level of exposure of its members.

“In Akwa Ibom, people watch a lot of Nollywood movies that tend to paint a picture of witches, and those pictures formed our perception generally – witches are supposed to look like old women, maybe, with bad teeth, going by pictures from Nollywood.

“Witches are supposed to look like children who are malnourished. Politicians’ children are not malnourished, so they don’t fit into the picture of a witch. A child in the village without proper nutrition fits perfectly into that picture,” she said.

PREMIUM TIMES spoke with Charles Udoh, the commissioner for information in Akwa Ibom, on the continuous branding of children as witches in the state, he said he is not aware of such case since Udom Emmanuel became governor about four years ago.

“To be honest with you, I haven’t heard of it, I haven’t encountered it (children being branded as witches and then pushed into the street) since I came here,” Mr Udoh said.

Mr Udoh, however, admitted seeing street children in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.

He said the state government was planning to rid the streets of Uyo and other cities of destitute.

“If you look at it, before this administration came into power, there was so much noise about child molestation in Akwa Ibom, but the level of noise has reduced drastically. The government is very passionate about making sure the rights of children in the state is upheld,” the commissioner said while responding to a question on how effective the child rights law has been in the state.

“The government is also sustaining the free education programme and payment of WAEC fees to students in the state,” he said.

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Police arrest notorious female armed robber terrorising Anambra community (Photo)

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On Thursday, the Anambra state police command apprehend a female armed robber and her accomplice, who have been terrorising Abatete community with robberies and other heinous crimes.

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Parading the suspects, spokesperson of the command, Haruna Mohammed, said that on Thursday, following intelligence report, Police detectives attached to Eziowelle Division in conjunction with Abatete vigilante group arrested duo namely,

(1) Ifeoma Joy Ugegbe alias “Sabath” ‘f aged 20 years and,
(2) Ifeanyi Chinweze alias “cheplat” ‘m’ aged 19 years both from Oranto Ukpo in Dunukofia LGA of Anambra State.

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Exhibits recovered from the suspects include one cut -to -size single barrel gun loaded with a cartridge.

The case is under investigation after which the suspects would be charged to Court for prosecution.

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I was 13 when my brother started sleeping with me – 15 year old nursing mother

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Blessing a 15 years old girl who is currently nursing a baby which came from the incestous relationship her 35-year-old brother Frederick initiated when she was 13.

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The repeated sexual abuse by her brother came to light, after she delivered a baby girl at Stella Obasanjo Hospital, in Edo State. Her brother reportedly took the baby away from her and abandoned her at a refuse dump, claiming afterwards that she was dead.

Frederick now in custody of commissioner for Women Affairs was almost lynched by a mob, after the baby was found. Narrating her ordeal, Blessing said;

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“My brother has been sleeping with me since I was 13 years old. Sometimes last year, he sent his wife out of their matrimonial home for about eight months.

He sent her out, so that he could have his way with me on a daily basis. I had no one to cry to because he is my eldest brother. We lost our mum when I was 10 years old; this made me to stay with him.

He promised to marry me despite all odds. He told me that I should not terminate the pregnancy. He said that once I was delivered of the baby, he would get someone to take the baby and we would become rich.”

Frederick on his own part said he started sleeping with his sister, after he returned home and saw her looking like his wife. News Telegraph reported that the rape suspect however insisted that Blessing was 17-years-old when he defiled her, and recently clocked 18 in January.

The baby and her mother were reportedly released to the officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs, after some documents were signed by both parties.

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Corey Atchison freed after serving 28 years in prison for murder he didn’t commit

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Corey Atchison, an Oklahoma prison inmate serving a life sentence for murder was on Tuesday, July 16, vindicated and freed of the crime.

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The Oklahoma native spent 28 years behind bars, after being found guilty in 1991 for the murder of James Lane who was shot in an alleged robbery in 1990. Atchison’s freedom however came after a private investigator, Eric Cullen, took up his case having previously helped to free his younger brother, Malcolm Scott in 2016 of wrongful murder conviction passed in 1994.

While in Scott’s case the man who testified against him confessed to the murder of a 19-year-old woman named Karen Summers before being executed for another crime, it was found that authorities had bullied witnesses into offering false testimony in Atchison’s case. Ruling on the case, District Judge Sharon Holmes said the case was marred by a “fundamental miscarriage of justice.”

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“Corey was arrested three months before his daughter was born; this is the first time he’s been able to have some real contact with her and the same with his 10-year-old grandson,” his lawyer Joseph Norwood told The Washington Post. “I’m very proud to have vindicated them and reunited them.”

Speaking to newsmen after being freed of murder with his arm around his young grandson, Atchison said he felt “blessed” and held no grudges. “Life’s too short,” he said. “I’ve got some time with this little guy to make him into a man.”

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