By Ignatius Okorocha
Ahead of the 2018 Children’s Day celebration on May 27, the Senate urged the Federal Government to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents.
Leah is one of the abducted 110 students of the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi in Yobe State who is yet to be released by the insurgents.
While congratulating Nigerian children on Thursday on the event, the Senate felicitated with the Federal Government and the families of the released Dapchi schoolgirls.
It called for dedicated funds for the Ministry of Social Welfare in the affected states with a view to setting up a platform to assist victims of rape, kidnapping and violence, among other human rights abuse being suffered by Nigerian children.
Also, the Red Chamber directed all senators to pledge assistance in cash and kind for the vulnerable women and orphans in Zamfara State.
The Upper House resolutions were sequel to a motion on “2018 Children’s Day Celebration” moved by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Binta Masi-Garba and eight others during plenary.
On February 19, 110 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents from GGSTC, Dapchi, while on March 19, the government secured the release of 105 of them through negotiations with the insurgents.
Four of the girls reportedly died during the operation, while Leah, a Christian was not released for refusing to renounce her faith as demanded by her abductors. She has since remained in their captivity.
Senator Masi-Garba, who presented the motion, noted the significant role of the Nigerian Child in the nation’s development and the need to lay a good foundation for them and secure their future.
“We recognise the importance of developing the Nigerian child through the passage of legislations such as the Child Rights Act, 2003’’, she said.
The lawmaker added that there was also the Universal Basic Education Act, 2004 which made education of the Nigerian child compulsory and enforceable rights, with penalties for parents and guardians who fail or neglect the obligations.
She therefore stated that a proper system of education and good healthcare were indispensable towards making the Nigerian child relevant in the global scheme of things.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, urged his colleagues to continue to live up to the responsibility of ensuring that they showed love and care to the children.