Gov  Matawalle committed to ending child abuse, trafficking 

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From Maiharaji Altine Gusau

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state said his administration is determined to end all forms of child abuses and trafficking in the State.

Matawalle said this could be done through engagement with renowned Islamic scholars and Traditional leaders.

In a statement the Governor’s Media Aide, Alhaji Yusuf Idris said  “The Governor made this known today at a one day Public Hearing on the need to Eradicate child destitution and child trafficking through provision of standardized Education System which held at National Assembly, Abuja”. 

Idris said the Governor was represented at the Public Hearing by the Commissioner of Women, Children and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Lawal Gummi.

Matawalle said “Zamfara State Government is fully committed to ending all forms of child abuses such as Child Labour, Destitution and trafficking through engagement of Islamic Scholars and Traditional rulers in order to have more comprehensive ideas that will guide the implementation of all laws that will be enacted in the state”.

He said that a committee has  already been set-up by the State Government on Gender Based Violence and the child destitution which will soon be inaugurated.

The Governor further stated that a bill on the Child Right Act is before the State House of Assembly and has passed first reading which when enacted will make education compulsory to all children of school age in the State. 

Matawalle also drew the attention of the law makers for the need for federal Government Special social intervention to the state considering the number of orphans in the State as a result of years of banditry which orphaned them.

He explained that his administration has created many social intervention programmes with the sole aim of reducing hardship and poverty in many families which by extension will impact positively on the children of the state. 

Declaring the hearing opened, the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila recalled that the Child Rights Act was assented into law by President Olusegun Obasanjo 17 years ago in 2003 but that many states are yet to enact the law that will protect children rights in their states. 

The speaker explained that the Child Rights Act is to ensure that all Nigerian children are protected for the betterment of their future by providing compulsory, free basic education for all children of primary School and junior secondary school age in the country and the law will also provide punishment for the parents who failed to comply with the provision accordingly.

He enjoined all participants of the Public hearing to consider the issue of child destitution as one that requires everybody’s contribution and support.

During the hearing contributions were made from various state Governments, NYSC, National Bureau of Statistics, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, NAPTIP and UBE among others.

Those who attended from Zamfara included the State Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr.Bashir Muhammad Maru, Commissioner of Special Duties, Honourable Muhammad Maiturare Sadiq, Principal  Private Secretary to the Governor Lawal Umar Maradun and Director General Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications, Mallam Yusuf Idris Gusau. 

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