By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State celebrated the Children’s Day with Enugu children in his office assuring them that he would urgently liaise with the members of the State House of Assembly to ensure that the Child Rights Bill now before the legislators was passed into law before long.
The governor who addressed members of Enugu State Children’s Parliament as well as other school children when they paid him a courtesy visit at Government House as part of the Children’s Day Celebration, noted that in view of the importance of the bill, his administration would do what was possible to get the bill passed into law with the urgency it deserved.
Governor Ugwuanyi informed members of the Parliament who were led by the state Commissioner for Gender Affairs, Hon Peace Nnaji, and the Speaker of the Parliament, Winifred Madubuko, that the bill was almost ready for public hearing and promised to attend the public
hearing session to lend his support for its passage.
He also promised to always stand by the children at all times, especially in matters concerning their welfare and their future, saying that the pursuance of the passage of the bill into law would be his best children’s day gift to Enugu children.
Earlier in her speech, the Speaker noted that the theme of this year’s Children’s Day celebration is “End Violation Against Children, End Child Marriage in Africa” and pointed out that the aim of the visit to the Governor was to solicit his support for the passage of the Child Right Bill by the House of Assembly.
The bill, she stated, would go a long way towards securing the future of the average child in the State by righting all the wrongs perpetrated against children by adults including even some parents.
According to her, the bill would as well protect the girl child from the ills of early marriage that comes in the form of such diseases as Cervical Cancer and VVF among others.
Saraki Celebrates Children, Canvasses Implementation Of Child’s Rights Act
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and some of his colleagues spent yesterday celebrating children as part of activities to mark the 2016 Children’s Day.
The school pupils and secondary school students who arrived the Senate at 9am took a tour of the Senate Chambers. Saraki later received them in his office and thereafter read to them from a story book Titled: “Ngozi Comes to Town.”
The Senate President admonished the children to read and take their studies seriously so as to grow to become great leaders. He also presented packs of gifts, consisting reading materials to the children.
After the reading session, the Senate President and other Senators including Chairman Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Summonu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND, Senator Binta Garba Masi and Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, held another session for secondary school students drawn from Shining Star College, Abuja and Government Secondary School (GSS) Jabi, Abuja.
At the session with the students, Saraki presented them each with a “Children’s Handbook on Nigerian 1999 Constitution” and advised them to read it as a preparation towards playing important roles in the society in future.
Saraki had earlier on Thursday held an interactive session with students from various secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja as part of activities to mark this year’s Children’s Day, where he called for the strict implementation of the Child’s Right Act to guarantee security and safety for the Nigerian child.
He noted that the theme for the 2016 Children’s Day which borders on protecting children against violence and early marriage were issues that were very dear to the Senate.
He said the Senate would henceforth ensure through its relevant committees that those found to have infringed upon the rights of children were made to face the law and appropriate sanctions meted out to them.
“I want to first of all reassure you that we believe the future belongs to the children and there is no society that can flourish if the future is not better than the present and for the future of Nigeria to be better than the present, we want all our children to have a greater future and that is our own responsibility”, he said.
On the implementation of the Child’s Rights Act, the Senate President said: “We are going to engage with legislators from the different states to see how those who have passed the Child’s Rights Act can begin to implement them and to make those in the remaining 12 states who have not passed it to understand the need for them to pass it.
“We are going to do a lot of advocacy and consultations and we are hoping to have a kind of conference with all the states, so that the entire 36 states would have the law. Clearly, it is a task before us to ensure that the laws we passed that have to do with the safety of our children are adhered to. We must today as part of the ceremony for this year’s Children’s Day, make a commitment to see that through oversight we ensure the implementation of laws meant to protect our children from abuse and violence.
“I think it is also the responsibility of the supervising ministries to engage us and bring some of these cases of abuse to the attention of the relevant committees so that we can through our oversight function address them.
“No matter what we do in any other aspect of this society, if we cannot achieve the basic things of providing safety for our children then we cannot say that we are one of the top 20 economies in the world. A country does not just achieve that status by GDP measured on the scale decided by economic forces. The quality of the future life for our children is very important,” he said.