Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

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Cross River Commits to Protecting Vulnerable Children

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by Irene Offiong, Calabar

Concerned about the number of children on the streets, the Cross River State Ministry of Women Affairs has established strategies to address the situation.

The ministry has also resolved to arrest and prosecute those exploiting innocent children and indoctrinating such to embrace a life of crime on the streets.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Edema Irom gave the hint during a parley with journalists in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, southern Nigeria.

Irom disclosed that an investigation conducted by the ministry in collaboration with development partners uncovered an underground cartel responsible for recruiting innocent children to engage in nefarious activities for their selfish gains.

She further disclosed that the Governor Bassey Otu’s led administration was prepared to commence the implementation of a comprehensive rehabilitation progrmme for children, especially the boy child, rescued from the streets.

“It is the responsibility of the government to protect these children against all forms of molestations and exploitations carried out by the cartel exploiting these children for their selfish motives.

“There is a cartel behind some of these children, who derive benefit by keeping them on the streets. They give them different names other than their real names to conceal their identity as part of the indoctrination process intended to paint the streets as a comfort zone,” the commissioner revealed.

According to her, the Cross River government through the Ministry “approach the issue headlong with our strategy to crack the cartel and take the children off the streets. It wil be an all inclusive strategy and we are going to be very deliberate in handling the issue.”

Irom also revealed that the ministry has put together exciting and uplifting programmes to mark explained the International Day of the Boy Child, the National Children’s Day and Day of the African child.

The commissioner said, “it is our responsibility to also protect the boy child against all kinds of violence, exploitations and molestations as they are vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional violence and others.”

She added that the present administration was working assiduously to make Cross River State a haven for children of all ages.

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