The Oyo State chapter of the Child Protection Network (CPN) has decried the increase in early marriage and teenage pregnancy, saying it is now endemic in Ibadan, the state capital.
The group mentioned traditionally harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, early child and forced marriage, ritual killings, child sexual assault for ritual purposes, old men defiling little girls including babies for ritual purposes as things that need urgent attention in Ibadan.
CPN while insisting that the trend of early marriage and teenage pregnancy were denying women the opportunities to realise their potentials, called on all stakeholders to find solutions to the problem.
The state Coordinator of CPN, Dr. Ebunlomo Walker, who made the declaration during an advocacy visit to seek the support of the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, in order to tackle the menace of violence against children in the state, said the visit to the monarch was part of the 19-day of activism on prevention of violence against children and youths.
She added that early marriage along with teenage pregnancy had become endemic in Ibadan, thus it requires urgent attention from stakeholders including the Olubadan of Ibadan land.