By: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Cross River State Government has concluded plans to Rehabilitate over 1,000 street children popularly known as “skolombo children” currently roaming the streets in the state capital.
To achieve this, the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade, recently established the Child Protection Commission headed by Chief (Mrs)Theresa Ezeama.
As a result, the Commission has commenced visitations to the various locations where they exist in the state capital to interact and sensitise them on the plans by the state governor to Rehabilitate and restore them to normal way of life.
Addressing a section of the group at the Cultural Centre Complex ground, Ezeama said “we have come to bring hope to you through the benevolence of the governor Senator Ben Ayade”.
According to him, the Child Protection Commission was set up to cater from r the need of the less privileged as well as abandoned Street children roaming the streets.
She said,.”His Excellency Senator Ayade, before establishing up the Commission has good plans for you all. You are God’s children and as such will not be abandoned”.
Ezeama assured them of a befitting accommodation, good food and a Medicare for them provided “you are ready to accept our humble invitation”.
She said “we want to let you know that we are with you. We share in your agonies and we don’t want you to be left this way”.
Today, she added,”we come to mark your own Children’s Day celebration since you were not part of the original celebration. His Excellency extends his felicitations to you all and urge you to have hope as government will soon Rehabilitate you all”.
This event, she said, will be organized quarterly so as to restore our confidence in you.
Speaking, one of them , Edidiong Basset, told them that he want to go to school but has no sponsor.
Favour Okon Etim and Margaret Asuquo Etim, could not hide their feelings as they sought for a training in any trade to be self sustained in life.
“We want to learn a trade so that we will help ourselves in future, they added”.
Earlier, the leader of the group, Kingsley Basset, thanked the Commission for coming to bring back hope on them as well as feeding them too.
He assured the Commission “most of us are looking forward when this lofty idea will materialize. We are tired of sleeping on the streets. We are tired of stigmatisation. We are tired of neglect by the society”.
Basset lauded Chief Ezeama for a accepting this big challenge, describing it as a wonderful gift and urged her not to relent.