The issue of pedophile in Nigeria has gotten itself to the top list of crimes, last year (2020) was filled with so many cases of rape and assault with the female being the victims. Some of the rape cases recorded last year are Vera Uwa Omozuwa who was raped, and killed in her church in Benin City, southern Nigeria while she was studying.
There is also the case of Barakat Bello who was raped and killed in her home as she was the only one at home. These are just two of the numerous rape cases that happened last year. The rape issue triggered lots of solidarity action by Nigerian women and activists including political officials’ wives including Lagos state and Ogun state first ladies among others.
it was confirmed last year that the Nigerian police officers in Kano nabbed one Muhammad Zulfara’u Alfa (32 years old), and he made a confession that he raped a woman and her daughters in Kwanar Dangora in Kano state. The rapist also confessed that he had raped over 40 women including an 80-year-old woman within one year.
These perpetrators have taken it to the extreme by assaulting, raping, and the killing their victims, and this has caused so much confusion and brouhaha in the society. People who are victims live with the trauma for live and some even experience post traumatic disorder (PTSD), while some go through several session of therapy.
Subsequent rape cases have been ongoing and we’ve practically lost count and then the current and pressing one at hand is that of a personality we are sure so many youths and young adults are looking up to in different spheres of life.
Baba Ijesha the Pedophilia:
The word pedophilia comes from the Greek παῖς, παιδός (paîs, paidós), meaning “child”, and φιλία (philia), “friendly love” or “friendship”. Pedophilia is used for individuals with a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children aged 13 or younger. Infantophilia is a sub-type of pedophilia; it is used to refer to a sexual preference for children under the age of 5.
Baba Ijesha whose real name is James Olanrenwaju Omiyinka is a Nigerian singer, comic actor, producer, filmmaker, and as well a director. He is known for his comic role in Yoruba movies.
James Olarenwaju was born in the early 70s to the family of Omiyinka in Ile-Ife, Osun state, and he got married to his wife in a quiet style on July 14 2012.
The news of his arrest was heard on Thursday 22nd of April 2021, the Nigeria police arrested the popular Nollywood star Olarenwaju James (Baba Ijesha) for allegedly raping a teenager for 7 years, the Nigeria police spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi in a statement on Thursday 22nd of April 2021 that the case of defilement was reported on 19th April 2021 by one princess Adekola Adekanye who happened to be the foster mother of the victim. Princess Adekola said there was something suspicious on her daughter and she had the feeling that someone has been sexually abusing her daughter, but she had no clue who he was until she decided to install closed circuit television (CCTV) in her apartment and she could monitor the output of the cameras on her phone, and surprisingly the James Olarenwaju was caught in the act defiling the innocent girl, the princess immediately rushed to the police station to make a report.
The case has attracted mixed reaction and comments and views from social media users and the actor’s colleagues.
The Chief press secretary to the Lagos state governor, Gboyega Akosile, via his personal Twitter account tweeted “This is not good news out of the Lagos state @PoliceNG command, which announced the arrest of popular Nollywood actor, Olarenwaju James aka Baba Ijesha, for allegedly defiling a minor. He has confessed to the crime. A CCTV captured him in complainant’s house.”
Also, the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria has expressed disappointment over the alleged sexual abuse of a teenager by the popular actor all known as Baba Ijesha. TAMPAN, in a statement sent to Sunday Scoop on Saturday and signed by its Director of Research and Documentation, Yemi Amodu, said it would never support any hideous act but support the Lagos State Government in ensuring that justice is served.
The full statement released by TAMPPAN (@tampanglobal) “We find it obligatory to condemn in totality the odious occurrence of pedophile confessed to by Mr Olarenwaju James aka Baba Ijesha as confirmed by the police. Our association TAMPPAN is crestfallen about this act and will approach and remonstrate the committer of prepubescent children.
Considering the sensitivity of the case, which is still under investigation according to Lagos State Commissioner of Police, TAMPAN will never all acts against what we preach and represent. As an association, we understand the mores and social norm of our people and behavior will always be homiletic. Therefore, we would not fail to support government in its bid to do justice towards ensuring that such ignoble acts are checked within our society.
We sympathize with the parents of the victim and also use this opportunity to charge all parents to give their children or ward freedom to express themselves for a timely arrest of such horrible acts whenever such are committed.
Finally, we will always stand for actions that are morally standard and continue to be law-abiding.”
However, the issue despite the official statement released the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, has caused misunderstanding between Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo(@iyaboojofespris) and her colleague actor and also a human rights activist Yomi Fabiyi(@realyomifabiyi) after the actor shared his own view on the issue as he wrote on his social media page “First and foremost, we belong to an association and they are investigating the matter in order to get the true picture of event and then act accordingly. We are careful as individual not to also comment because from the police statement, a CCTV footage was mentioned, the content not yet made public or seen by the representatives of our association or any close or any close colleague to the best of my knowledge, the suspect has not been heard from directly or his representatives etc.
Lastly, we forget, many hurriedly condemned Baba Suwe on the drug issued due to the style of reportage, it was alleged he excreted 16 wraps when NDLEA has no single pint of evidence from the day one of arrest or picture. We know what happened after. For many to cover up their gaffes, some consoled themselves with narratives that he used jazz, some said he used connection etc. all these cannot help a society like ours. I hate to see innocent masses fight behind half-baked information or charades. The foundation of such society suffers, it raises horrible, uncivilized children and youths.
Except a clear-cut open evidence, confession or trial with guilty verdict, it will be malicious and pre-mature for any or as colleagues to draw conclusion. Being famous come with a lot of responsibilities. Please understand and be patient.
Finally, child abuse, rape and sexual harassment are serious case and no artist or sane human being irrespective will condone or support such. However, it is better for majority in a society to be careful than sorry. I still have trust in the quality and honesty of our detectives and police officers and will prosecute whoever is found on the other side of the law.”
On seeing this, actress Iyabo Ojo with annoyance took to her Instagram page and released a live video where she called Mr Yomi Fabiyi out, she called him a rape apologist, rape accompanies, and a fool. She made it know in the released video that she will do everything within her power to make Mr Olarenwaju James (the predator) to get the exact punishment he deserves under the law.
Iyabo Ojo also claims that she has seen the CCTV footage which revealed the pedophile, and she feels that her colleague, Yomi Fabiyi shouldn’t have released such statement even after the predator already confessed to the act.
We are currently keeping all fingers crossed as the Lagos State Police Officers are still investigating the case.
Parents are advised to give adequate attention to their children and be very careful to who they trust with their children. We are in a time where the unexpected happens and no one can be trusted, parents should be very sensitive to their environment and always engage their child(ren) or ward(s) in discussions so as to know what the kids are going through at home, school, worship centers, with friends and everywhere.