By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has said that the state government is committed to the well-being of children, therefore, has taken proactive measures to protect their rights as they are the greatest asset of the state.Emmanuel said the state government domesticated the Child Rights Act since 2008 in order to ensure that children were not abuse.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, made this known on Friday while declaring open the 52nd/53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) in Uyo.
He said that the free and compulsory education programme of the state government was aimed at taking care of the children’s basics education, while preparing them for a bright future ahead.
“Children are our greatest asset, so, their growth and overall wellbeing should be our topmost priority.
“We have worked hard through our various skills acquisition programmes and entrepreunial schemes to get our children off the streets thereby engaging them positively.
“This development has impacted so much by reducing the incidence of abuse of children in the state,” Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel said the theme of the conference; “Child Abuse: An Escalating Menace In Nigeria” is apt given the situation innocent children are confronted with in the society today.
He commended the Paediatric Association of Nigeria for their timely intervention to fight on behalf of the children.
The Governor assured the Paediatric Association of Nigeria that the state government would continue to partner with them to curb the menace of child abuse in the country.
Earlier in his remarks, the President of PAN, Dr Edward Alikor, called on all states in the federation yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act to so without further delay.
Alikor said that the domestication of the child rights act is a fundamental weapon against child abuse in the country.
According to him, a communique will be issued at the end of the conference on how to tackle the menace of child abuse.
In her keynote address, Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun, Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan said that children should be given a voice and protection in order to promote peace.
She said that a protected, safe, supportive, and stimulatory environment leads to a healthy development for every child.
By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo