2016 Int'l Day of the African Child: Gov. Okowa Pledges Commitment To Child Protection, Survival

Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Albert OGRAKA– 

Mr. Patrick Ukah, Delta Information Commissioner &  representative of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (left)) and Rev. Omatsola Williams, Commissioner for Women Affairs
Mr. Patrick Ukah, Delta Information Commissioner & representative of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (left)) and Rev. Omatsola Williams, Commissioner for Women Affairs

Delta state Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has expressed the state government’s commitment towards the promotion and protection of of the rights of every child in the state, as enshrined in the Child’s Right Law 2009.

Governor Okowa said this during the commemoration of the 2016 International Day of the African Child, held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba on Thursday, June 16, 2016.

The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah said being mindful of the many challenges arising from several centres of conflict across the African continent, the state government has been involved in organizing workshops, seminars, retreats, camps and the participation of nongovernmental organizations in community education on children’s rights, protection and responsibilities.

“I guess you all know my keen interest on issues concerning children. I take pride in assuring you of my full participation in all your matters at all times.”

While appealing to stakeholders to ensure that children’s rights are constantly protected, he urged them to continue with the education and enlightenment on children’s rights and responsibilities, including the right to life and development.

“Our focus should always be on children’s right to life and the commitment of all towards their survival, protection and provision of basic needs such as food, potable water, sanitation, health, shelter and education.”

He noted that despite resistance among some community members who have negative setbacks are in efforts to ensure child survival, the state government is working tirelessly towards issues of child survival and protection, through the provision of Vitamin A supplement for children between ages 0-6 years, PMTCT programme and community education on child protection.

He however advised children to always identify their rights and protect them without overstepping their bounds, just as he called on communities, civil society and the private sector to partner with the state government to ensure the survival of the African child.

In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Rev. Mrs. Omatsola Williams, expressed confidence in the efforts of the Delta state government in improving the lives of children through various policies.

Highpoint of the event was the rendition of poems and songs by school children, as well as the clarion call by members of the Delta state Children’s Parliament who expressed worry over several cases of abuse on children across Africa, which include forced marriages, child soldiering and labour among other violence and crimes against children.

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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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