Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The video clip of Mrs Toluwaloju Lawal and her son, Oreofeoluwa Lawal, who was seen negotiating with her mother to calm down before whipping him has generated mixed reactions from Lagos residents. In the viral video, the boy was crying and at the same time negotiating with his mother to please calm down, he knelt down and promised not to commit the offence again.

In their conversation, the mother started with a statement in the Yoruba language that, ‘Ǹǹkan tí mi ò bá ti gbé lé ẹ lọ́wọ́, má máa mu’, anything that I did not give to you, don’t always take it, give me your hand.

The boy responded with a dramatic display; “you will whip all my body? Mummy, I just want to ask you a few questions for once, can I ask you a question please, #Mummy calm down, I say mummy calm down, don’t be angry, No am just telling you to be calming down, I want you to be calming down, I want you to be calming down so you will now rest small, you must rest a little. No! No just rest like this, (demonstrating), I am sorry ma, ‘mo máa ṣé bẹ́ẹ̀ mọ,’ No, I will not do it again; I will not do it tomorrow, I promise you. This is my last chance, last chance in this world. Let me wipe my tears.”

The most pronounced statement ‘Mummy Calm down’ in the viral video attracted the attention of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and gave him the inspiration to address the Muslim faithful during Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

The governor said: “I saw a video of a charming young boy online asking his mom to ‘calm down’ as she was set to punish him for a misdemeanour. I was moved by his sobriety, which reflected in his promise of “last chance” when confronted with the fact that he is a regular offender. Interestingly, the video inspired this special message to the good people of Lagos State because of the deeper meaning it conveys.”
The Governor’s speech ended with the request to see the boy, “As an aside, I would like to meet the young boy since we both now have exclusive rights to the phrasal verb ‘calm down’.”

As the governor has derived inspiration from Oreofeoluwa’s ability to negotiate his way out of the tension imposed on him by his mother, so was the President of the Combat Domestic Violence and Abuse Foundation, Chief Dozie Kaidi Obiaku, who conveyed his decision to make the young boy their calm down ambassador.

In the statement, released on behalf of the foundation, he said: “We would love to make him an ambassador. Every violence in the world could be avoided if we learnt to clam down. We have adopted ‘Calm down’ as a key mantra now and we would love to bring the boy in as one of us. Please help us find him.”

Meanwhile, a mother of four, Mrs Bola Adesola, who works with an orphanage home, believed there is no justification for celebrating a boy of 4years-old, who took what was not given to him and even have the courage to calm his mother down before punishing him. Though the boy can be said to be sober and probably might have regretted his action, but the act of turning him to a sudden hero would make him feel as if he has done nothing bad. She cited the Dino Malaye’s drama, Oliseh Mentu saga and the recent Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei fainting as an act that grew up with them and now exposing the level of our nation’s moral decadence.

She said: “It is disheartening and disgusting that our future leaders are been trained to follow the paths of politicians like Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, Kogi State former Senator, Dino Malaye and Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, who displayed one frenzy drama or the other when they were expected to be accountable to Nigerians.
“It is high time we stopped justifying sharp practices, we need to stop making jokes out of what is meant to be a national outcry, A mother was about to discipline her son for stealing, the boy went into frenzy drama to manipulate the mum out of being disciplined. Instead of her been firm in her decision, she made a viral video out of it and eventually the young boy was made famous for doing something wrong and able to persuade his disciplinarian. According to the mother who said the boy has found solace in persuading her to calm down whenever she wants to discipline him, this implies that the boy is a perpetual offender. Though am not saying the boy should be whipped at the slightest offence, giving him accolades for such act is disgusting. It is time we stop celebrating any form of misdemeanour in this country.”

Social media is a good platform for anyone to showcase anything whatsoever, provided it is not against the rules of that online community, yet every individual ought to be careful about what to post online. Especially, when it is related to a child, the paramount interest of the child reigns supreme in all circumstances. Therefore, the guiding principle and the primary consideration regarding every action undertaken by any institution, individual, the court of law, a public or private body, administrative or legislative authority, concerning a child should be at the “best interest of the child”.

Section 10 of the Child Right Law of Lagos State established the right to dignity of the child and states in subsection 10(b) that “Every child is entitled to respect and the dignity of the person and accordingly a child shall not be (b) Subjected to attacks upon the child honour or reputation.”

The mother of the boy can be referred to as a good disciplinarian, yet making a video out of the event and sending it to her sister who posted it online may not speak well of the image of the boy in later years. It is, therefore, necessary for every individual and organization to always ask and answer the question of: ‘how would such action serve the best interest of the child’, before posting videos or articles of a child online.

By Ife Adewole

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