From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Following the passage of a bill called Child Welfare and Protection into law by Kaduna State House of Assembly, members of civil society organisations rose from a meeting in Kaduna to call on the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai to ascent to the law in good time.
This is coming even as the state’s ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) Kaduna office are collaborating to awake the people of the state before the law is signed by the governor.
The law, which was domesticated to protect the welfare and safety of children in the state was already on ground before the emergence of Nasir El-Rufai as 22nd governor of the state, but he dusted it up and sent to the state assembly as one of the executive bills in 2016.
After rigorous scrutiny, criticisms and debates, the bill was eventually passed into law by the state assembly under the leadership of Aminu Shagali on Wednesday, February 7th this year and has since awaiting the signature of the executive governor.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the stakeholders meeting organised by a non-governmental organisation, YouthHubAfrica supported by Malala Fund, representative of Women’s Right Advancement and Protection Alternative, Mallam Abass Shehu hinged the delay in signing the law by governor El-Rufai on the need to fine-tune the law and at the same time produce a simplified copy for easy reading, comprehension and application.
Chairperson, Federation of Women Lawyers in Kaduna, Barrister Bukola Ajao harped on the need to embark on massive awareness sensitisation campaign to capture children and women who are the most vulnerable especially those at grassroots.
According to this legal practitioner, “there is need for sensitisation especially the children who don’t go to school. We need this in churches, mosques and all that.
“Our girls must be taught to know when to talk no matter the threat because their abusers always threaten to kill them if they tell anybody about their nefarious act with them. A visit to the places where there are no schools, where those bad-gangs lay in wait for the girls to molest them and even rape them.
“Mothers too should be in the picture of what happens to their children especially, girls daily. We also need to address the problem of loosing homes while law enforcement agents should equally step up their game”.
Earlier, Segun Medupin and Malti Danjuma, YouthHubAfrica Programme Manager and Communicatios Officer said, it has become necessary to draw the attention of Kaduna state government towards the signing into law the child welfare and protection law as domesticated in the state.
“Nigeria has 10.5 million out-of-school are girls, approximately 6 out of every 10 Nigerian children experience some form of physical, sexual and emotional violence before the age of 18”, added the programme officer.
Some of the grey areas the law will address when fully passed include but not limited to upholding the duties and obligations of government, parents and other authorities, organisations and bodies towards children, ensure adequate measures against individual or body who goes contrary to the provision of the law, propel reduction in the number of out-of-school children in Kaduna state.