Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state government has robust policies and laws to cater for the needs of children to ensure that none of them is left unattended to on the street.
The governor said this in commemoration of International Day for Street Children marked every April 12, by the United Kingdom-based Consortium on Street Children and other partners across the world.
He said that the state’s Child Rights Law has provisions for the protection of children against abuse, urging people to blow the whistle on parents who abandon their children.
“The state’s Child Rights Law is clear on punishment for people who abandon their children. On this day, I want to make it categorically clear that we will come hard on people who violate the law. I also want to call on people to report parents who abandon or abuse their children,” he said.
He added that the state government has made adequate provision to cater for children in the state, especially to their health and education needs, noting, “We implore parents to look after their children on the home front. As much as we are providing the environment and other amenities for acculturation of children into society, there is also the need for parents to look after their children, ensure that they get enrolled and stay in school, and are not left to wander about.”
He added that it was imperative to provide basic needs for children because they are the bedrock of societal progress, assuring that the state government is reforming the health and education sectors in Edo State to ensure that children are better prepared to compete favourably with their peers anywhere in the world.
According to him, “On this day, it is important to warn against abandoning children and leaving them to fend for themselves on the street. Not only will this stunt their development, they will be shortchanged later in life and will get fewer opportunities to succeed.”
“In Edo State, we are making sure we close gaps that expose children to vices on the streets and ensure that they are in classrooms during school periods. It is for this reason that we are revamping the support structures for them to get the best of healthcare and education and be well prepared to contribute to societal growth,” he added.