By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Save the Children International, SCI, Tuesday, commended the Borno State Government and Borno State House of Assembly respectively for passage of the Child Protection Bill into Law.

The Country Director, SCI, Nigeria, Mercy Gichuhi, made the commendation in a statement, where it described the action of the state government as “phase of a new dawn and a New Year gift to the children of Borno State.”

Save the Children, SCI, is a leading child rights organization headquartered in the UK with offices in over 120 countries around the world. Since it was founded over 100 years ago, it has changed lives of over 1 billion children.

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In Nigeria and around the world, the organization gives children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm as it believes that every child deserves a future and it works every day including times of crisis to ensure the future of every child is secure.

It also works with other partners to help governments identify and scale up innovations to ensure that children survive, learn, and are protected.

Gichuhi said, “The passage of the law is a new year gift to the children of Borno State. Good governance is about listening to the voices of the most vulnerable – the children, who have been crying over the years for their lives to be protected.

“There is no gainsaying in the fact that this singular effort of the Borno State government led by the Governor and the progressive thinking of the members of the Borno State House of Assembly will go a long way in reducing issues that are inimical to the development of the children of the state. We can only call for a thorough implementation of the law.

“Over a decade, SCI has been leading advocacy towards the domestication of the Child Rights Act in Borno State alongside partner organizations, CSOs, child champions, communities, religious and traditional leaders, and in the last couple of years in with the Borno State Children’s parliament.

“SCI is glad to see the role that children played in the process leading up to the passing of this bill into law. This demonstrates the impact and effectiveness of child-led advocacies. SCI Nigeria will continue its collaboration and partnership in the implementation of this law.

“It is a phase of a new dawn in Borno State northeast Nigeria for children as the government rolls out the ‘Child Protection Law’.

“Approved by the house of assembly in December 2021, and signed into law by Borno State Governor on January 10, 2022, the law seeks to protect children who continue to bear the brunt of the 12-year conflict in the region.

“The law puts the state in the spotlight as the first-ever in the region to domesticate the Child Rights Act (CRA) aimed at improving and protecting children’s rights.”

The statement also quoted Speaker of Borno State Children’s Parliament, Ibrahim Zana Sunoma, saying that, “The Borno State children’s parliament appreciates the efforts of all stakeholders involved in the passage and domestication of the CRA. Big thanks to the Governor of Borno state for signing this bill into law. We look forward to seeing the positive impact of the law in Borno State.”

Also, Girl Champion, Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria (Borno), Madina Abdulkadir, said, “We the children of Borno state would like to show our sincere appreciation for passing the Child Protection Law.

“There is no gainsaying that the act will be the best for the children in Borno State because the crisis and abuses that have been going on in the state have always been a threat to our lives, we are grateful to the Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, the government of Borno State and other international bodies for ensuring the bill was passed.

“The provision of the Act will make a change in the narrative of an average Borno child who is not guaranteed or assured of a daily meal or proper shelter. We are very grateful.”

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