Calls for special court to enforce children’s rights
Probes cases of child labour, molestation, abuse
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, raised the alarm that Nigeria as a country, loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age every day.
As part of moves to end the problem, the Senate mandated its Committees on Women Affairs and Health to work with the Federal Ministries of Women Affairs and Health to find ways of curbing maternal, new born and infant mortality in the country and report back to it.
In another development, the Senate has called for the establishment of a special court to enforce the rights of children and ensure that those who expose children to child labour, molestation and abused are punished adequately.
Against this backdrop, the Senate has begun probe into the level of child labour, molestation and abuse in Nigeria as it mandated its Senator Binta Garba (APC, Adamawa North) led Committee on Women Affairs to investigate the viral trend and report back to the Senate in two weeks.
The upper chamber also urged Ministry of Woman Affairs and security agencies to take measures that will arrest the war against rights of children.
The resolution of the upper chamber on the loses of about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age every day, was sequel to a motion by Senator Ahmed Ogembe (PDP, Kogi Central), saying: “The Senate notes with concern, the alarming rate of maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria.”
He added that statistics had shown that, every single day, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child-bearing age.
In his contribution, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North) called for the reestablishment of sanitary inspectors to study foods and environment living by Nigerians with a view to reducing or curbing diseases in the country.
On his part, Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East), who called for state of emergency in the nation’s health sector, said: “Nigeria has failed to follow the laid down indices to provide quality and adequate health care services to Nigerians.”
The Deputy Senate President,Dr Ike Ekweremadu, who described the rate as alarming, said: “If we allow a situation, where our women and children keep dying, it will come to a day where nobody will be living in this part of the world. We should deal with it early.”
Similarly, the call for the establishment of a Special Court to enforce the rights of children was sequel to a resolution reach on a motion by Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC, Imo North), co- sponsored by Senators Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra North), Gbolahan Dada (APC, Ogun West), Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South), Binta Garba (APC, Adamawa North), Gershom Bassey (PDP, Cross River South), Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East) and Nelson Effiong (APC, Akwa Ibom South).
In his remarks, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ekweremadu, who presided over yesterday’ s plenary, said that it has become imperative for a special court to be established to enforce the rights of children against the backdrop that any child that has been molested has a very slim chance of making it in life.”
Ekweremadu said, “Nigeria is a signatory to a lot of international convention regarding the rights of a child, unfortunately we have not been able to adhere to some of these legislations and protocols. The problem is not just legislation I think the major problem is enforcement.”