This is a very timely call, coming just days after an Islamic cleric was caught red-handed sexually abusing a girl child that was put in his care.

The Nasrullahi-Il-Faith Society (NASFAT), an Islamic NGO, has called on all Nigerians to declare war against perpetrators of violence against children in the society.

The President of the faith-based organization, Alhaji Kamil Bolarinwa, made the call on Thursday at a news conference as part of a week-long campaign to end violence against children in Calabar.

The Coordinator of “Ending Violence Against Children” Programme in Cross River, Alhaji Abdulateef Abdusalam, was the first to speak.

He said violence against children was assuming a dangerous dimension.

Abdusalam urged Nigerians, especially parents, to guard against any form of violence against children or relatives living with them.

“This job is a duty for all Muslims because it is now clear that this violence happens everywhere, even in mosques.

“UNICEF decided to work with us because they know that Nigerians listen to their religious leaders.

“So, we would go round, sensitise our children, build their confidence so that they will confide in their parents if they are molested,” he said.

When his turn came to speak, Alhaji Kamil Bolarinwa said Nigerians should not only speak out against child violence but also ensure that perpetrators were adequately punished.

The president of NASFAT, who was represented by the Vice President 1 of NASFAT, Alhaji Suleiman Fagbemi, said violence should never be visited on any citizen, child, adult, woman or man” in the country.

According to him, the conference is initiated to enlighten the public that, despite recent success in reducing child violence, a lot of cases of violence against children still exist in the society.

“What this signifies is that, a lot of these abuses are under reported, concealed ignorantly or criminally.

“It also suggests that there are no strong legislations against the apprehended violators of the hapless children.

“NASFAT’s role as a partner in this crusade is to collaborate with other religious bodies, individuals and stakeholders to substantially wipe this menace out of our society,” he said.

He urged parents to monitor their children as Nigerians approach the general elections, for the children not be lured into thuggery by politicians.

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