The Senate on Thursday urged the Federal Government to intensify effort to secure the release of Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi Schoolgirl that is still in Boko Haram captivity.
Leah was among the 105 pupils of Government Girls Science and Technical College Dapchi abducted by Boko Haram insurgents on Monday, February 19, 2018 but left out on March 21 , when the insurgents released and returned her colleagues to Dapchi for refusing to renounce her faith.
The Senate also called on the federal government to intensify efforts on the release of the remaining Chibok schoolgirls abducted by the insurgents in April 2014.
The Senate also urged all senators to pledge support in cash or kind for 20,000 orphans in Zamfara State and about 10,000 widows in the state caused by incessant killings by armed bandits.
These resolutions followed a motion on “2018 Children’s Day Celebration” sponsored by Chairman Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Binta Garba and eight others during at plenary on Thursday.
Senator Garba explained that the Nigerian Child played asignificant role in the development of the country, adding that there was the need to lay a good foundation for them and secure their future.
She noted that though series of legislations already passed in form of the Child Rights Act, 2003 and the Universal Basic Education Act, 2004 had greatly helped in protecting and securing better future for Nigerian children but the problem of infant mortality and maternal mortality need to be seriously tackled.
However, she lamented that contrary to provisions of National Health Act, 2014 , pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled and children are still being charged for health care services in public hospitals.
She added that over 70% of the people in Internally Displaced (IDPs) Camps are women and children who have been rendered orphans and widows .
In his contribution, Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central) said celebrating the Children’s Day on yearly basis without giving them adequate security and their parents at all times , would amount to nothing and in fact, not securing their future for them.
According to him, as a result of incessant wanton killings in Zamfara, not less than 5, 000 lives have been lost ,creating a very bleak future for children and mothers going by statistics on ground which shows that there are about 10,000 widows and 20, 000 orphans.
” To us in Zamfara, it is not even about child rights act but right to life or better put, child survival”. he said.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki in his remarks, called on states yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do without further delay.
He also declared that the UBEC law may be amended as a way of strengthening its implementation towards ensuring that every Nigerian child goes to school.
According to him, “Nigeria accounts for 10% of the total world infant mortality and maternal mortality rate.”