By Ndahi Marama
MAIDUGURI â€” APPARENTLY disturbed by the increasing number of children roaming the streets, hawking petty food items in the northern parts of the country, which has become paramount among the Almajiris/Sangaya Islamic Schools, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, has appealed to all the 19 northern governors to wake up from their slumber, as the Federal Government alone could not adequately shoulder the responsibility.
Mrs. Suleiman made the appeal when she paid an advocacy visit/campaign to Governor Ali Modu Sheriff at the Government House Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
She said Nigeria had a population of about 140.3 million people, of which according to UNESCO and UNICEF study, a proportion of about 49.10 per cent are women while 20 per cent constitutes children and people living with various forms of challenges and disabilities.
She said her ministry was charged with the mandate of promoting and protecting the rights of these vulnerable groups in integrating their issues and concerns into national development.
The Minister said issues concerning these critical segments of the society were listed on the concurrent list of the Nigerian Constitution, which underscores the importance of state governmentâ€™s support for the actualization of the Ministryâ€™s initiatives at empowering the women fork, children and other vulnerable groups in the society.
Responding, Governor Sheriff who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Adamu Shettima Dibal, thanked the minister for the visit and her effort since she assumed the mantle of leadership of the ministry, and promised that all the issues highlighted would be looked into.
Dibal said since inception of the ANPP-led administration in the state in 2003, the state government had created three new ministriesâ€” Women Affairs and Social Development, Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment as well as that of the Religious Affairsâ€” which he said, were created and given appropriate budgets every year to cater for the needs of women, children and the disabled persons.