ABUJA, OCTOBER 30, 2018 (CISA) – Nigerian bishops and lawmakers came together in a conference to discuss the educational needs of children in the country in the wake of revelations of sexual abuse incidents around the world.
The conference took place from October 15-18 at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria Resource Center in Abuja and had more than 600 attendees including bishops and government officials where the discussion mainly revolved around Catholic education.
“Catholic education should and must always protect the right and sexuality of the child,” said Bishop Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo of the Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta when he was delivering the opening address of the conference.
The bishop reiterated the Church’s commitment to the provision of quality education for the holistic formation of Nigerian children, irrespective of their ethnic, religious or social status backgrounds. He also encouraged the conference attendees to offer ideas for ways to keep Nigerian children safe.
“The summit therefore is apt at this period of time when children are most hit by deprivation, abuses and ignorance. At the backdrop of the very recent spate of abuses especially sexual atrocities against minors, it is salient to have a discourse that would evoke the consciousness of all stakeholders in the Church’s commitments to the values and rights of the human person and teachings on human sexuality,” he added.
As he celebrated the opening Mass for the conference, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria in his homily said that “…Catholic schools should be places of holistic formation of the human person and teachers should be ‘sound in the faith’.”
Nigeria is a country where the religious make up between Christians and Muslims is almost equal at about 49 percent each of the total population according to Pew Research Center.