Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:32 pm
Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Bauchi House of Assembly, Mrs Maryam Begel has blamed reluctance of most Northern state governments to domesticate the Child Rights Act on the approach adopted by those who started the campaign for its application in the region.
“From the beginning, the effort at explaining the content of the document was scanty as a lot of people had not been adequately sensitized,” she told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Wednesday.
“Most of the contents of the document are also backed by our religions and tradition, for example, Right of child to education, good health and humane treatment.
“Alongside the rights enshrined, are also obligations. The campaigners however ignored the obligations and harped on the Rights, thereby giving a negative perception of the document,” she observed.
According to her, the document can be domesticated to tally with traditional and religious demands, but added that such move is too late because the negative impression created in the minds of most people, is already deep-rooted.
“As it is now, no political office holder or lawmaker in some Northern states of this country will be willing to talk about the document.
“In fact, you dear not touch the issue, even with a long stick, otherwise you kiss goodbye to your political career,” she said.
Honournable Begel also said female students in some schools in the state were being withdrawn to engage in menial jobs to generate capital for their marriage.
She said the interactive session she had with 60 girls of a particular secondary school in the state, revealed such practice.
“I had an interactive session with 60 girls of a particular tertiary school in Bauchi state and what I gathered from them was shocking.
“They complained that some parents were in the habit of withdrawing their daughters from school when they reach JSS two or three.
“They said such parents initiate their daughters into engaging in menial jobs to generate funds that would be used in buying items preparatory to their marriage.
“The girls were so disturbed and were lamenting that a lot of their colleagues have had their education either temporarily suspended, or completely terminated, on such grounds,” said Begel, who once served as a Child Protection Officer with an international non-governmental organization, ‘Save the Children’ (UK).
The lawmaker lamented that such action by parents was inimical to the development of the Girl-Child at a time campaign was being intensified to encourage the education of female children.