Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu said that Abia has signed into law the Child Rights Act which seeks to provide equal opportunity for all Abia children irrespective of background, creed or circumstances.
The Governor who made the statement during the 2021 Children’s Day celebration tagged “Abia Children Pray for Peace and Security” organised by the wife of the Governor, Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu, in Umuahia, said that the signing into Law of the Child’s Rights Act makes street hawking and child labour an offence in the State.
He also informed that the State is interested in the welfare and mainstreaming the rights of the girl child, stating that, “this government will continue to rise against any individual or person that indulge in abusing young children especially the females. We will deploy every strength and effort within us to ensure that we bring to book all those who make it a habit of abusing our children”.
He used the opportunity to inform the students and pupils that Basic Education in Abia State is free while the scholarship scheme for Abia students of tertiary institutions has been revived. He encouraged students from the State to feel free to contact the Scholarship Board with evidence of their inability to support themselves in high school.
The Governor stressed the need for students to acquire skills alongside formal education and that every child should be interested in learning, at least, one skill. He regretted the fact that students can no longer boast of basic skills these days and urged them to follow his footsteps of acquiring skill of shoe making despite being a PhD holder and a Governor.
The State Chief Executive while wishing the children a Happy Children’s Day celebration, prayed for their safety, protection and provision for their wellbeing.
Dignitaries who witnessed the event include Wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, Wife of the Deputy Governor, Lady Vivian Oko Chukwu among others.