Date Published: 05/12/11
AKSG reiterates Commitment to Welfare of Children
…Rescues Abandon Children from obscure locations
The Akwa Ibom State government has reiterated its determination to do everything in its power to ensure the protection of children, as well as the safety and wellbeing of all residents in the state.
Reacting to certain media reports of neglects and abuse of some Akwa Ibom children at some locations in Eket local government, the government warned parents, guardians and others in the habit of orchestrating sharp practices against children, especially labeling the children as witches, to desist forthwith or risk incurring the full wrath of the law.
In a Statement by the Commissioner for Information and Social Re-Orientation, Mr Aniekan Umanah, the Government warned that it is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that all those culpable in the neglect and abuse of children in the state are brought to book in line with the provision of the Child Rights and Protection Law.
Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State government has concluded plans to rehabilitate 21 abandoned children who were discovered taking refuge at two locations in Eket local government Area.
The commissioner for Women Affairs and Social welfare, Mrs. Eunice Thomas disclosed this when she visited the children at the premises of the Eket Sports Stadium and the moribund Qua River Hotel.
She stated that information about the condition of the children did not get to the government early and promised to work expediently to integrate them with the society.
According to her, the ministry has been involved in the rehabilitation and integration of other children who were abandoned by their families for several reasons.
Mrs. Thomas said a temporary accommodation will be provided for the newly discovered children at the Women Development Centre pending when government will make permanent provision.
As part of the rehabilitation, the commissioner added that they will be given immediate medical attention; while plans will go on to ensure that they are enrolled in schools in line with the government education policy.
She instantly returned with one of the female children, Miss Jane Bassey who confessed that she was four months pregnant, a situation she explained, led to her being ostracized.
Interacting with the commissioner, the some of the children said they were chased out by their parents and relatives who alleged that they were witches, while some of them said they were forced out on allegations of pilfering and truancy.
Most of them alleged that their ordeals were caused by their step mothers. Master Godswill Felix Okon said he was about taking his Common Entrance Examination when her aunt took her to a church where the pastor alleged that he was a witch, culminating in his being sent out of the house by his aunt.
Another girl, Blessing Effiong also said she recently gave birth to a baby that was immediately taken from her by some members of the public.