…be vigilant, govt urges residents
A three-month-old baby girl was yesterday dumped at a refuse site opposite GT Bank on Apapa Road, by St Peters Pry School fence, Costain area of Lagos Mainland Local Government. The baby was confirmed dead by the evacuation team consisting of the environmental health officers and some other regulatory agencies. The baby was discovered by a pass er-by who raised the alarm which drew residents to the scene while some alerted relevant agencies.
The baby appeared motionless, malnourished, sick and lifeless. But for several minutes no one could move near her to confirm if she was dead or alive. Residents of the area did not know who dumped the baby. Officials of the Ministry of the Environment, health officers and some agencies later evacuated the corpse.
Worried by the report of the abandoned baby, the Lagos State government yesterday described the habit as heartless and wicked, saying that it would ruthlessly deal with anyone found wanting.
The Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Mrs. Adeola Olabisi, said the baby could have been rescued if someone had alerted the police and relevant government’s agencies.
Olabisi appealed to the residents to be vigilant and report suspicious movement around their area. The director confirmed that the baby had died before the rescue team of the ministry could reach the scene.
Olabisi wondered why any woman could abandon a baby after carrying the pregnancy for nine months. The director said the state would intensify its campaign over such habit. She said: “The state government is saddened by the development and wants to appeal to the residents to always alert the relevant agencies in order to rescue such babies. If someone had alerted the police or the government agency, perhaps we wouldn’t have lost the baby.
“Parents and guardians must also guard against unwanted pregnancies by paying attention to their girl child. The best way to reduce social vices is for all of us to play our roles as expected in the society.” Olabisi, who refused to comment on the next line of action on the baby, however, said that the relevant government’s law enforcement agencies would investigate the case.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri, had during the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing, said that a total of 79 babies were abandoned on the streets and other areas in the state just as 950 road accident victims were either abandoned on the roads or in the hospitals in the last 12 months.
Dabiri also said that 39 babies were engrossed with issues relating to paternity denial in the last one year. The commissioner said that 43 children were also sexually and emotionally abused. He said that a total of 162 children suffering from one social issue or the other were rescued. Dabiri said that the ministry also handled 1,259 matrimonial cases. He added that government was also currently taking legal custody of 307 children.
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