It was both shock and disbelief for observers and eyewitnesses who listened to a father confess he was responsible for her 14-year old daughter’s pregnancy. He begged that he did not know when he did it. CHIEMELIE EZEOBI writes
The girl-child has always been mapped out as endangered species in a world that no longer knows the boundary between morality and infidelity. This is why the clamour for protection and guidance for the girl-child has risen in leaps and bounds. However, despite all the checks put in place by the government and different non-governmental organisations, this fight seem to be on the loosing side as stories abound of abuses meted out to these youngsters.
Surprisingly, most of this abuse stem from loved ones, family members and close family friends and this was the case recently when a father chose to toe the part of a beast by abusing the trust reposed in him by virtue of his position as a father.
For 14-year-old Kehinde Onajobi, her dreams and aspirations to finish school seemed to be shattered, not by poverty or financial lack, but in the hands of her father whom instead of chasing the wolves away from the doorsteps of the growing teenager became the wolve in desecrating his daughter.
For the 50-year-old farmer, Yesiru Onajobi from Bogije in Ibeju Lekki Local government Area of Lagos State, he blamed his moments of madness on the fact that the daughter always slept naked. According to him, “we have been living together since when she was a little girl and we always sleep in the same room. I started sleeping with her last December because she was always naked in the night when she wants to sleep.” Whatever happened to fatherhood, some observers wondered as he spoke to journalists.
Speaking through an interpreter, Onajobi said he was sad for what happened. Stating the reason why he used his daughter as a sleeping partner, he added that since his wife died 4 years ago, he longed for female companionship but none was forthcoming. When asked why he resorted to his daughter, he blamed the devil.
Speaking to THISDAY, Kehinde who was carrying her four-day-old baby appealed to the government to come and take the baby from her, so that she can get her life back on track as she could not even breastfeed the baby. The reasons for this is that it is an abomination in her town and so the innocent child would have to rely on baby food instead of breastfeeding which is what the new born needs now. Perhaps, this influenced her reason of not yet naming the baby girl.
Disclosing how the nefarious activity that left her pregnant and finally, the delivery of the baby for her own father, Kehinde said, “My father came to me in the night and slept with me. I told him that I might get pregnant but he said I will not.”
To get the motherless girl not to disclose to anybody what was going on, Kehinde claimed her father threatened her with death if another person should be privy to the affair. According to her, “he told me that I would die if anybody knows what is happening between us but along the line my twin brother knew but he didn’t tell anybody until I got pregnant, then he went to report to our relatives.”
THISDAY learnt that in a bid not to get her pregnant, the man resorted to sleeping with her four days after her menstrual period but fate, as always, had another plan because despite the man’s carefulness, his daughter came to him one day with the disturbing news that she was pregnant. Kehinde added that he took her to the hospital where she was confirmed pregnant and he told her to carry the baby to term. She said, “when people were looking at me and mocking me, I told him that I had missed my period and he took me to the hospital and it was true so he told me to keep it.”
The bubble burst one day as the man’s family stormed their quarters demanding to know who put her in the family way. Kehinde, who could not point out her father as the culprit told them that it was someone else. Undaunted, the family members who had earlier been told by Kehinde’s twin brother, Taiwo, tied up the man and took the teenager to another place where she confessed the sordid details to the shock of the family.
Commenting on the sad incident, the Deputy PRO, Samuel Jinadu said,” when the villagers realised what happened, they sent Yesiru out of their village and he ran to Elemoro Police Division and gave a fictitious account but on closer investigation by the DPO, he found out that he impregnated his daughter. The villagers sent him out of the village because he had committed an abomination which is strange to their culture.”
He advised that grown men and women should desist from such barbaric acts that would taint the kids throughout their lifetime. According to him, “instead let the adults preach morality to their children. This case is a clear case of defilement of a minor and it would be duly taken to court and let the court met out justice to the offending party.”
However, a conflicting story of the man’s arrest by an officer who didn’t want her name in print stated that the man was apprehended when he wanted to smuggle the baby out. According to her, he took the baby and was about boarding a bus, when the passengers got suspicious and wondered what an old man like that was doing with a young baby.
Fielding questions, he gave out different accounts and this aroused the suspicion of the passengers and they dragged him to Elemoro Police Division in Lekki, where he was probed until he admitted the truth. The arrest of the 50-year old father, raises questions of those not yet discovered or known as this acts has on countless times been brought to the public glare by acts of providence.
Many argue that the girl-child’s care and protection should be taken more seriously than ever before.