By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€”As Nigerian children join their counterparts across the African continent to mark the International Day of the African Child, wife of the Governor of Rivers State,Â Dame Judith Amaechi,Â has appealed to African leaders to demonstrate sincerity in tackling the plight and sufferings of the African child.
She was of the view that African leaders had failed to provide a holistic solution to the problems facing the African child, adding that onlyÂ lip service was being paid to the problem of the children.
Mrs. Amaechi in a statement to commemorate the 2010 International Day of the African Child,Â said the African child faces more challenges than hisÂ peer in other continents of the world.
She expressed worry that cases of poverty, hunger and preventable diseases as well as abuse of the rights of the child to basic education, were being handled with levity, adding that the UNICEF reports on the plight of the worldâ€™s two billion children,Â shows that the African child is worse hit.
Amaechi who also lobbied the Rivers State House of Assembly for the passage and domestication of the Child Rights Acts in the state,Â said the 2016 target for stopping all forms of child labour will become a mirage,Â if African leaders failed to rise to their responsibilities.
The Governorâ€™s wife, whose NGO, Empowerment Support Initiative, ESI, initiated the Early Child Education in the 319 wards of Rivers State,Â said the effort was to complement that of the government in providing a state fit for the childâ€™s education in all ramifications
â€œIn Rivers State,Â parents who deny their children or wards basic education should be arrested and prosecuted because a policy to that effect is in force,â€ she said.