SYLVESTER AND THE UNNAMED OJODU 17: DIFFERENT OCCURRENCES, SAME ISSUE


It has been widely reported that on Tuesday, December 7, when the dew of the bizarre experience that led to the untimely death of Sylvester Oromoni was still wet on the grass of our collective conscience, 17 precious children of Bab Fafunwa Millennium School, Ojodu Junior Grammar School and Omole Junior High School were killed by a delivery van and others injured and rushed to the hospital.

It was reported that the precious children were returning home after school. They were unaccompanied, not in the company of adult caregiver as they navigated their ways home.

Few months ago, I called attention to the old-fashioned practice of our precious children walking home alone unaccompanied after school, pointing out the inherent danger.

By the principles of Securing A Friendly and Protective Environment® for Children, also known as Child Protection, children left on their own without adult supervision are called unaccompanied children. The professional advice is that every group of 10 children must be accompanied by 2 adults under the ‘two-adult rule.’

Both public and private school in Nigeria today in their majority do not have a CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM, codified into a POLICY, broken down into IMPLEMENTATION PROCESSES on which every stakeholder is trained periodically and the same is reviewed annually or biennially.

If such system exists, It would have made suitable school run provisions in anticipation of the danger of leaving our precious children to go and return from school unaccompanied considering how volatile and dangerous the road traffic dynamics are in Lagos State in particular.

The LCDA chairman, who is today writing a letter of condolence to the parents would have provided buses to pick these precious children at designated points and the incident of Tuesday, December 7, 2021 could have been avoided.

I am not aware of any sane nation, who leave her precious children to the palpable dangers of residing in a state like Lagos unaccompanied.

I again call on us all to not relent in our call for Systems Approach to Child Protection within the school environment, noting that anything short of that is aiding and abetting a POTENTIAL CRIME SCENE and it becomes hypocritical for us to begin to lament when crimes occur in an environment created for it and funded by us.

Do have an INSPIRED rest of the week.

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