By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Nigeria, Forum of Concerned Professional and Trained Social Workers in Nigeria (FCPTSWN), on Tuesday asked President Muhammadiu Buhari to rreview his stand and sign the Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment) Bill 2017 .
FCPTSWN made the call in a petition addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, copied to Office of the Vice President, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Director General, Department of State Service, Senate President, Speaker House of Representatives, International Federation of Social Workers among others made available to newsmen in Ibadan by its spokesperson, Mr. Musliudeen Adebayo .
The group stressed that signing the bill now which President Buhari rejected to assent to some weeks ago will go a long way in addressing most of the socioeconomic and political problems militating against the existence of Nigeria and its people”.
According to the Nigeria, Forum of Concerned Professional and Trained Social Workers in Nigeria, the Nigerian Council for Social Work bill has been passed by the National Assembly but only awating assent by the President which accordiny to the group will serve as one of President Buhari major achievements in office
The group however urged Nigerians to support it in ensuring that the “Nigerian Council of Social Work (Establishment) Bill 2017” is sign by the President without further delay,, saying, it was surprised that some elements under the guise of Institute of Social Work of Nigeria (ISWON) led by one John Emaimo (Executive Director) and Eze Ifem (President) are sponsoring another bill “Chartered institute of social work practitioners”, which is not only in conflict with the existing bill but tends to cause confusion.
While pledging FCPTSWN continuous support for the Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW), the umbrella body of Social Workers in the Nigeria,
NASWE, AMSWON and other relevant bodies in kicking against “a broad day robbery on the profession of Social Work, ” the group stated that the bill introduced by ISWON would not only regulate, control and relegate the profession of social work and its practitioners, it will make Social Workers in the country, NASOW, NASWE and AMSWON among other bodies irrelevant because, ISWON, by the provision of the proposed bill will be the only body controlling Social Work and its practitioners in Nigeria.
In the petition. the group called on
those in positions of authorities to prevail on the National Assembly especially the House of Representatives to stop further work on the bill introduced by Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga (Abakaliki/Izzi, Ebonyi State) which would be in conflict with Nigerian Council of Social Work bill. and that Social Workers across Nigeria should resist any attempt to subject them to antics and plans of ISWON to silence them, urged NASoW to call a meeting that will be open to all interested members as a way of finding lasting solutions and provide ways to which the Council bill would be sign and put a stop to the conflicting bill introduced by ISWON which can only relegate them to the background, should it allowed to be passed.
Calling the attention of relevant bodies to a planned meeting slated for this week in Abuja which has been postponed, the hroup noted with concern that such meeting should not be a 20, 25 or 30 man meeting but the one that will be encompasing; open to all members because such meeting where future of Social Work and Social Workers is to be decided should not be left in the hands of some few individuals.
It then lamented that despite threats from some individuals and groups to truncate its efforts in rescue Social Work from hands of usurpers noted that the group will not rest on its oars to ensure that such injustice on the profession and the professionals is not allowed to stand, saying there is the need for thevrelevant agencies including security agencies to give its petition the necessary consideration it deserved, urged House of Representatives to stop further reading on the bill which was targeted to sabotage the age long efforts of social workers in Nigeria in ensuring that Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment) Bill 2017 see the light of the day.