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El-Rufai signs law on child welfare, protection

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Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna state Governor

*Group urges action against prisons congestion

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has signed into law a bill on Child Welfare and Protection, weeks after its passage by the Kaduna State House of Assembly.The Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammad Baba, hinted that “the Governor has already signed the bill into law. He has also instructed the Attorney General to gazette it immediately.”

She added that the governor will launch the law at a creche inside her ministry at a date to be announced later.In Kano, a non-governmental organisation, Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), yesterday advocated urgent attention on the ugly state of inmates and congestion in prisons.

It also called for immediate and unconditional discharge of innocent citizens who form about 50 per cent of the inmates.Addressing journalists in Kano yesterday, Executive Secretary of CURE, Mr. Sylvester Uhaa, lamented overcrowded facilities, poor feeding and lack of access to healthcare by inmates. He regretted that majority of the prisons have not undergone rehabilitation in more than 50 years of establishment.

Citing drug abuse, access to illegal firearms and violation of human rights as the major causes of prisons congestion, he advocated pragmatic government action to check the ugly trend. He added: “The argument that we need to build more prisons, recruit more Police, increase security budgets and buy more arms for law enforcement agencies as the best ways to fight crime is false and does not serve the common interest, and most be rejected. Although incarceration is sometimes necessary to achieve public safety, that alone dies not provide the entire solution.

” Rather, effective and economically sustainable public safety strategy must include investments that will help reduce recidivism and address the root causes of crime such as unemployment, marginalization and poverty.”

Meanwhile, there is palpable fear and apprehension in Eziama over the vacant position of the chief priestess (Nwanyi Iga) for their Mgbede Shrine where the community’s members worship their indigenous goddess.

Since the death of the last chief priestess who is the messenger of the goddess (Iyi Mgbede) they are yet to install a successor as the new one chosen by the deity, Oluchi Nonso Ajah, as a Christian, had rejected the role, causing untold hardship for her immediate family.

On December 27, 2017 a town hall meeting was held to find solutions to the Nigerian community’s problems. At the meeting, Oluchi’s uncle (Mr. Uwaoma) and two sisters were held hostage while her father escaped after being almost lynched by angry members of the community. The uncle was told to produce Oluchi and her family or remain in their custody.

They were held for over a month, starved and manhandled. The family, however, escaped on February 13, 2018 through the help of a prominent member of the community.On his part, the Convener, Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM), in the South-East Zone, Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu, has canvassed for support from Ndigbo to collectively work with the group towards easing out President Muhammadu Buhari from office at the 2019 General Election.Nwosu who is also the National Chairman, African Democratic Congress (ADC) stated this yesterday in Awka during the zonal meeting of CNM, decrying the carnages and wanton destruction of property in the country.

He therefore, urged Ndigbo to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) and collaborate with CNM as the best alternative to rescue them from poverty, hunger, recklessness and ethnic cleansing in the hands of the Fulani marauders.

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