By Miriam Humbe
Former National President, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), Ms. Evelyn Onyilo has urged the federal government to channel some of the monies recovered from the past military leader, General Sani Abacha by allocating it to care for the needs of the older persons population in the country.
Onyilo also advocated for the establishment of a Commission for the protection of the rights of the older population, and a Bill to protect their health, economic and sundry concerns.
The Media expert made the demands at the opening ceremony of the five-day training for media practitioners and other stakeholders jointly organized by the Dave Omokaro Foundation and the International Institute on Ageing, UN-Malta.
While delivering a keynote address titled: Leveraging the Power of the Media for Social Justice: Older Persons and Development at the occasion,
Onyilo also challenged the media to form a media forum to support the reportage of issues with the older population, get to the rural areas where the older population dwell and ensure their voices are heard by creating access to older persons to talk shows in the media to enable them tell their stories.
Speaking earlier, Executive Director of the Dave Omokaro Foundation, Dr. Emem Omokaro said, “the Foundation recognise the inevitability of persons ageing and the need to adequately prepare all stakeholders, (Governments, civil societies, private sector, communities and families) for the growing numbers of older persons.
“We believe that the central challenges include a combination of factors, central of which is the failure of public policy in the design and implementation of life course and human right based integrated strategic plan on ageing.