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Published On: Tue, Mar 17th, 2020

Child trafficking: SDS mulls closure of ‘baby factory’ orphanages

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By Stanley Onyekwere

The Social Development Secretariat (SDS) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has disclosed intensified move to shut down child trafficking camps and baby factories in the Territory, masquerading as orphanages.
In particular, the SDS which reiterated its resolve to rid FCT of illegal institutions that operate under the guise of providing succour to vulnerable children, decried that many of the Homes were used as transit Homes for Child trafficking, baby factories and other heinous crimes against children in the Territory.
“Let it be known that the FCT Administration and or the Social Development Secretariat will not and cannot in anyway be cowed to submission through undignified means while carrying out its statutory mandate and responsibilities to residents of the FCT.
“Our staff are well trained and display exemplary signs of professionalism while discharging their duties, and SDS resolve cannot be dampened,” the Secretariat said in a statement yesterday.
According to the statement issued by Head, Public Relations of the SDS, Shaka Sunday, the Secretariat had to make its known, in the wake of a media report, which accused it of destroying the social space rather than developing it.
The statement recalled how on April 16, 2019, it had received a call from Alhaji Idris Musa, the traditional ruler of Jiwa, a Community in the Abuja Municipal Area Council AMAC of the FCT on the existence of an alleged illegal Orphanage in his community and the need for an investigation.
It explains that: “As a responsible organization, the then Acting Secretary, Hajia Sefiya Umar in conjunction with the Director of Gender, Amb. Agnes Utah Harts quickly assembled a team comprising of the SDS evacuation Team, the Media/PR units of the SDS and Members of the FCT Minister’s Press Corps to Jiwa community for a fact finding mission to corroborate or otherwise of the information at our disposal.
“Upon arrival at Mount of Mercy Home, we discovered among other infringements the Home/Orphanage was also neither among the registered ones with the Gender Department of the FCT Social Development Secretariat, the only government Organization saddled with the responsibility to do so.
“The Home operators couldn’t present any relevant account information or possible source of income with which to run and administer an Orphanage. Mount of Mercy Home lacks decent accommodation, space nor a conducive environment to raise and nurture Children.”
The Secretariat said it however evacuated the weary and unkempt children to one of the FCT Orphanage Homes for proper upkeep, medication and care pending when the proprietress would complete the processes that will confer on her eligibility status to operate as a registered Home/Orphanage.
“After several interventions by well-meaning Nigerians as well as the Deputy Commissioner of Police, FCT Command and the fact that some of the parents of the children interfaced with us at the Secretariat, we did on compassionate ground release the children.
“So, it was with shock and total disbelief that the Social Development Secretariat learnt of the spurious, malicious and vindictive media blackmail and outburst by operators of the same Mount of Mercy Home who we showed mercy even in the face of glaring violations of our guidelines.
“The Social Development Secretariat hereby issues a 14 days ultimatum to the Owner and Proprietor of Mount of Mercy Home to retract the allegations made against the Secretariat through the same means they used to malign and denigrate us and subsequently tender an unconditional apology”, the statement added.

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  1. Fine Shaka says:

    The FCT Administration will not lower its standard or renege on its mandate to the resident on the provision of basic social amenities. All illegal homes & orphanage in the FCT will be sanctioned and closed for clandestined operations.

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