By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Kwali Area Council of The Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, on Wednesday, inaugurated 21-man Committee Child’s Rights Implementation Committee (CRIC) to implement the Child’s Rights Act in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria and Rule of Law and Ati-Corruption, RoLAC.
The inauguration was done by the Chairman of the Council, Hon Danladi Chiya, who was represented by the Vice-Chairman of the Council, Hon Jubrin Zubairu Yahuti.
Chiya who commended AcionAid for choosing his Area Council to set up CRIC said his council will do everything to support its success and will ensure children in the area are fully protected from abuses and allowed to exercise their rights as entrenched in the Act.
The CRIC is expected to address issues relating to infanticide as well as other harmful practices against children. It will also provide an avenue to tackle one of the identified challenges of the Child’s Rights Act 2003 which is its effective implementation.
The essence of the CRIC is because many government officials who should be implementing the Child’s Rights Act are oblivious of the laws that pertain to their work. The inaugurated can subsequently be trained on how to deal with issues related to children in line with the provisions of the Child’s Right Act, the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015and other policies that relate to violence against children particularly infants in the FCT.
He said: “This gathering is paramount because it is a key to nation-building. No doubt ActionAid Nigeria has been on the news headline considering its stance for human and social prosperity, justice, and equity.
“I want to commend ActionAid for choosing Kwali Area Council for its projects. On the strength of the Child Rights Act 2003 which stipulates Area Councils set up this committee we want to assure ActionAid of the Area C unflinching support to this initiative.”
He also boasted about the quality and background of those selected to be part of the CRIC in his council.
“We have nominated hardworking and zealous persons who will work for its realization of the purpose of this committee. I hereby declare the committee inaugurated”, he said.
Also the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, represented by a staff of the Ministry, Helen Onwuka, in a goodwill message acknowledged that children in FCT are still abused of their rights and promised that they will be given adequate protection including other vulnerable persons. However, she charged parents to be conscious of all that happens around their children and protected from being abused because they are the leaders of tomorrow.
The Minister also commended ActionAid and RoLAC for the facilitating inauguration of Kwali Area Council’s CRIC, and promised her Ministry’s support.
Meanwhile, the Co-Chair, National Child Rights Implementation Committee, Mark John, represented by Anderson Achibong, in a goodwill message stressed the need for action from the committee and also explained by the Child’s Rights Act is important for the well being of children and not to be misunderstood.
“I want to appreciate ActionAid, RoLAC for making it possible for us to be here because this is the full implementation on issues that affect our children and the Child Rights Act itself in this local government.
“I want to state that when a child is denied his or her rights it also includes limitations and obligations because we found it difficult to pass this Act year back in 2003 because people don’t really understand when you talk about the child’s rights and thought children will become heady. No!
“When say child’s right we are not trying to make the child naughty or revolt on any issue but rather we are teaching them that in every right there is a corresponding responsibility and you have to respect other persons right too.
“So by setting up this committee we the players-NGOs will now have a level playing ground to be able to support the committee to fully implement the rights of the children.
However, he lamented how children were exported to all forms of abuse during the lockdown due to Conavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is no gainsaying that the rate at which children are abused is becoming very rampant. Everybody that stayed at home during this lockdown will definitely tell us the truth that children were fully abused.
“Now the sensitization is left with the committee to let people understand that it is very wrong not to protect the child that is in your custody or other person’s child that needs that protection.
“Please, it is a wake-up call that everybody should join hands together to protect our children. I am happy that I saw the Police here and that is to say, we are having the support of the Police.
“It is a very serious thing. We should not just come here and do the inauguration and go sleep and I assure you that in due course ActionAid and RoLAC will plan your training so that you know the in-depth of what the Child Rights Act is talking about.”
Speaking on behalf of the committee, the Chairman, Hon Bako Iya Pai, said, “We will ensure that the right of children is protected. If you don’t give a child the right parental discipline, the required parental upbringing that child turns to be a problem, and not only to his or her family but the entire society.
“This committee is in fact a body that will ensure that some of these issues are tackled and we want to assure you that we will do our best to address some of these challenges within our mandate. We will do everything possible to achieve our objectives as expected.”
Meanwhile, the MATAI Project Coordinator, Ubong Tommy, appreciated the efforts of several organizations at the inauguration including RoLac, National Population Commission, National Human Rights Commission, National Orientation Agency, National Agency On Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, and others, while he presented the Child’s Right Act to the Committee and other materials.