….We’ll monitor happenings there- FCTA
By Stanley Onyekwere
Attempt by the FCT Administration to provide alternative shelter for over 130 homeless children dislogded from the demolished Orphanage in Kubwa Abuja was yesterday vehemently resisted by the children, who insisted on staying back in their hitherto home.
Our correspondent reports that the children who were brought with Police escorts to the Minister’s office, from a temporary home where they were assembled after their orphanage home was demolished last Tuesday by the Department of Development Control (DDC), rejected the offer, saying their happiness would be jeopardised if they they are moved to an entirely new home.
Recall that an orphanage home, compromising of a school and church – known as Divine Words of Jesus Christ Church operated ba widow was reduced to rubles by bulldozers of the DDC, even as the said property is still entangled in litigation.
Explaining the situation, FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Christian Ohaa, said FCTA wanted to make sure that the children were secured, given protection and better welfare in Gwagwalada.
Ohaa, said the administration had to concede to the children’s request to stay back with their care giver, so as to prevent them from having any form of trauma.
While addressing Journalists after the short meeting with the children and some officials of Social Development Secretariat, the Permanent Secretary noted that while the children’s request will be granted, the administration would ensure that the necessary rules for administration of orphanage in the territory was not breached.
“We want to know what has gone because most important thing is minister has decided to do is to make sure that they are happy anywhere they are.
“As you can see they said they should go back to where they were before and those who were taken care of them should be released, as uppermost of the FCT administration is to make sure that they are welfare is taken care of.
“That is why we brought them here, the headquarters of the administration and interacted with them by no less a person by the Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello and my humble self.
“If you were here earlier, the whole students insisted that they must go back to their home. We wanted to take them to our area in Gwagwalada but they refused and if they refused, they will not be obedient there and if anything happens to them it will be taken against you.
“Now, we want the peace to reign first and foremost. Let them be at peace and we will work with the woman and make sure their welfare is well taken of because whether you like it or not, if somebody is not happy, even if you put him in an expensive place in government, it will affect the person’s pschy because if you notice when FCT Minister was talking to bring them and put them in a better condition but they refused.
“Our Social Welfare Departments must be there, monitor what is happening there, so if we see that that place is not conducive enough, we must apply the law, but above all, their welfare is the most important”, Ohaa stressed.
Responding, the head girl of the orphanage home, Olajumoke Lawrence , who spoke on behalf of the children said that the happiness of the children will threatened if they are separated from the place they have been for years.
She said the children would prefer to be kept together in one place rather than be separated into other homes at different locations.