FCTA to pros­e­cute res­i­dents guilty of in­fan­ti­cide

Daily Trust - - CITY NEWS -

The Min­is­ter of State for the FCT, Ms Ola­jumoke Ak­in­jide, Tues­day, said the Federal Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FCTA) would, hence­forth, pros­e­cute res­i­dents found guilty of in­fan­ti­cide in the ter­ri­tory.

Ak­in­jide made the an­nounce­ment in Abuja dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of re­ports by the com­mit­tee on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the al­leged prac­tice of in­fan­ti­cide in the FCT.

“The FCTA will make sure it brings to an end such an evil act. We will en­sure the prac­tice comes to an end in the FCT and Nigeria,’’ she said.

The min­is­ter said the FCTA would no longer con­done the crime as its core man­date in­cluded the de­liv­ery of ma­ter­nal and child care.

Ak­in­jide said all rec­om­men­da­tions by the com­mit­tee would be im­ple­mented im­me­di­ately, to en­sure that such prac­tice was erased com­pletely.

She com­mended the me­dia for ex­pos­ing such acts and called for more syn­ergy be­tween the FCTA and other or­gan­i­sa­tions to bring such evil acts to an end.

Ear­lier in his re­port, the Chair­man of the com­mit­tee, Mr Sha­ban Isi­aku, said the com­mit­tee’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed in­fan­ti­cide was be­ing car­ried out in some com­mu­ni­ties.

“In the course of the com­mit­tees’ in­ter­ac­tion with the tar­geted com­mu­ni­ties, it was re­vealed that in­deed the crime was be­ing prac­tised.

“The harm­ful prac­tice has how­ever ceased to ex­ist in most com­mu­ni­ties of the FCT,’’ he said.

The 30-man com­mit­tee formed in Septem­ber 2013 re­vealed that in­fan­ti­cide was be­ing prac­tised in 22 com­mu­ni­ties in four of FCT’s Area Coun­cils.

The com­mit­tee listed the Area Coun­cils as Abaji, Gwag­wal­ada, Kuje and Kwali.

The prac­tice of in­fan­ti­cide in the ter­ri­tory was first re­ported by the me­dia in 2013.

Ishaku said the com­mit­tee’s other find­ings in­clude the ab­sence of ba­sic so­cial ameni­ties such as potable wa­ter and health­care fa­cil­i­ties in the com­mu­ni­ties.

“In some sce­nar­ios, some preg­nant women, with­out ac­cess to pre­na­tal care, do some­times give birth to mal­formed ba­bies.

“The wide use of herbs not pre­scribed for preg­nant moth­ers, killing and aban­don­ing of twins and other ba­bies due to lack of proper med­i­ca­tion or due to re­li­gious be­liefs have all con­trib­uted to the prac­tice of in­fan­ti­cide.

“In such cases, the ba­bies are usu­ally handed over by the com­mu­nity elders to the vil­lage deities or mas­quer­ades to be ‘taken care of’,” he said.

The com­mit­tee’s re­port also showed that the lack of potable wa­ter was iden­ti­fied as a ma­jor cause of “bil­harzia’’ which is de­scribed as the pass­ing of bloody urine in some com­mu­ni­ties.

The com­mit­tee said the re­port was struc­tured to serve three ba­sic pur­poses, which in­clude serv­ing as a use­ful guide to ad­dress iden­ti­fied cases of in­fan­ti­cide in the af­fected com­mu­ni­ties.

“It is also to serve as a com­mu­nity needs as­sess­ment doc­u­ment for the com­mu­ni­ties vis­ited, with a view to bring­ing to the fore the in­fras­truc­tural and so­cial ameni­ties gaps therein.

“Also, it is to serve as cul­tures, val­ues and tra­di­tions’ ref­er­ence doc­u­ment on the re­searched com­mu­ni­ties,’’ Ishaku said.

He urged the FCTA to study the ob­ser­va­tions, find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions high­lighted in the re­port care­fully so as to ef­fec­tively ad­dress the harm­ful cul­tural prac­tices in the area coun­cils. ( NAN)

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