From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Stakeholders in Gombe State have been told to end the lingering debate on the Child Right Act (CRA) and move for the domestication for the state to kick-start child protection and save lives of innocent children.
The call was made by Alhaji Sale Danburam, the Secretary of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), at a Stakeholders meeting on Child Right Act which was organised by Save the Child International (SCI) in Gombe, where stated the debate which boarders around the religious and cultural point of view has been more harmful to the protection of children and therefore call for immediate ironing of all issues and enactment of the law to put an end to various crimes against children.
Hajiya Zariyatu Abubakar is the coordinator of the coalition of Civil Society Organisations (SCOs) working on a better life for girls in Gombe State and she told Daily Sun that debate for the domestication of the CRA which was first signed by the Federal Government in 2003 have been on for about 13 years in Gombe State.
‘We have been on it since 2007 and we have going forward and backward. At the moment, the bill is already in the state house of assembly and it has passed first and second reading. A committee has been set up and they were given two months to prepare the bill for passage, so we are hoping that within the next few weeks we will be able to have the law passed and before the end of March we should have a signed Child Protection law by the Gombe State Government,’ Zariyatu told Daily Sun.
However, she revealed that having the law is the first step and that implementation of the law and making sure it works another. She said: ‘A lot of vices have happened and a lot of things have affected the children negatively. The children should be given the level ground to strive and grow. You will a lot of adults and sometimes you see behaving waywardly, but if you go back to when they were children and you would find out that they were things that have been missing. So these missing links are what we want the child right law to address.’
Also speaking at the meeting, Rev Gaius Isuwa Bangus, stated that ‘if the government could enact a law mandating the use of face-mask show will to enforce it, within 1-year of having COVID-19, I don’t why we could not so for laws including the child protection law. Every crime against is a crime against humanity and must not be overlooked for whatever reason,” the staunch supporter of child rights said.
On his part, the Interim Manager of Towards Ending Child Marriage (TECM) project of SCI, Mr Akpan Effiong, explained that SCI has looked beyond the establishment of the child protection law and looking at the implementation strategies which include having all stakeholders on the same page.
‘We have sat down and have a very deep taught and we felt that just passing the bill into law will amount to nothing, we felt that we need to galvanise other stakeholders to ensure that the rights of children are protected all over the state,” Akpan said while commending the policymakers as well as the lawmakers and other stakeholders for standing fame to ensure the protection of children in the state.’