Children’s Day: Okowa Decries Growing Cases of Child Abuse in Nigeria

  • Governor’s wife fetes children in Asaba
BY Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

The Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has on the occasion of this year’s Children Day, strongly condemned the increasing cases of various child abuse in the society, charging parents and responsible members of the society to have more interest in providing safer environment for proper growth and development of the child.

He noted that the different abuses children are being subjected often leave lasting physical, mental or psychological scar, which ultimately rebounds on the society in divetse and devastating ways.

The governor charged parents, teachers and other care givers to pay greater attention to the well being of children as well as ensure the protection and promotion of child rights in our society.

According to Okowa, “We must all condemn in strong terms the worrisome level of abuse against children in the society today ranging from rape, defilement, sexual exploitation, cultism, child trafficking, child labour, to mention a few. The situation calls for more concerted efforts of all and sundry to take proactive measures and increase the consciousness of providing safe and very secure spaces for our children to grow up in the midst of genuine and selfless love, care and attention.

“I wish to appeal to all duty bearers to actively promote the ideals of the Childs Rights Law, bearing in mind that we are accountable to God on how we discharge our obligations to our children, knowing very well that our future as a state and nation will be defined by the quality of today’s children.

“Parents and caregivers should devote greater time and attention to the children. We must not leave the upbringing and character formation of our children to teachers alone. We should take greater responsibility for the sake of their protection, wellbeing and the orderliness of society at large.”

He noted that the theme of the 2018 Children’s Day “Creating Safe Spaces for Children: Our Collectove Responsibility” was in tandem with his administration’s priority attention to all matters affecting children in the state.

“This administration has placed a high premium on the total development and protection of children on which the continuous existence and progress of the state and nation depend.

“The theme of this year’s celebration is meant to sensitise government, stakeholders and other duty bearers on the crucial need to strategise on ways of creating a protective, violence-free and safe spaces for every child in Delta State.

“We start the care of the child from when it has not been born through the free maternal care and free medicare from the earliest stage till the child is five years. We do this conscious that it is the most sensitive period of a child’s life.

“This administration through our SMART agenda, has taken various actions aimed at improving the welfare and security of our future generation. We do not want to give them fish, we are teaching them how to fish through the acquisition of skills with the aim of making them entrepreneurs and the results are beginning to bear fruit,” he said.

The feeding of numerous children at the Cenotaph, venue of the celebration, by members of the 05 Initiative, the pet-project of Govetnor Okowa’s wife, Dame Edith Okowa, formed the climax of the event, which also featured march past, cultural dances, modelling, among others activities done by the participating schools.

Earlier in a church service, the guest preacher, Master Chibuzor Promise, urged parents to create safe spaces for their children, bring them up in the way of the Lord so thst they can make good choices in life.

Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, members of the state executive council, national and state legislators, traditional and religious leaders as well as members of various professional bodies attended the event.