By: Oluwatosin Adesola
A leading governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in the October 10, 2020 election in Ondo State, Chief Olayide Owolabi Adelami has promised that welfare of children in the state will receive top priority of his administration if elected governor.
Adelami said he will address all inadequacies impending efficient implementation of Child’s Rights Law 2007 if elected into office.
Adelami made this known in a press statement he personally signed to celebrate the 2020 Day of the African Child.
Noting that the Day of the African Child, celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991 was set aside to honour those who participated in the Soweto Uprising in South Africa in 1976, Adelami assured that his administration will give full commitment to welfare of children in the state.
He also berated the Rotimi Akeredolu-led administration for not doing enough for orphans and vulnerable children in the state since coming into office.
“It is of note that the interest of children, especially the vulnerable ones must be important to a true leader to make the difference required.”
” I have it on good authority that in the past three years, orphans and children of the less privileged people in our state have got little attention from the government.
“The orphanages in our states are not seen or heard of in the scheme of things. When the right thing is to leave no one behind, many of such have been left behind in the past. How many orphans do we have in the state? How many child headed homes do we have? How many street kids do we have and how many out of school kids do we have? These are not known because there is little commitment to children issues.
“Today, Ondo State has 20 functional private orphanages that the government doesn’t even consider to support despite the great work they are doing. In over three years, the government has not given subvention to any of these orphanages, whereas in some other states, this kind of support comes on a monthly basis.
“We are also aware that the government-owned Ondo State Children’s Home in Oba Ile has been surviving on donations from good spirited nigerians as it some times wait for three months to receive fund for food from the government.
“The correctional center along Ondo Road lives on past glories. The school for the mentally retarded, Oke Igbo is a place that even parents are scared of taking their children. The cost of the “free education” has also increased the out of school kids in Ondo State,” Adelami said.
The former National Assembly Deputy Clerk also promised to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act in the state if voted into office.
“A government should be measured by its care for children. While the present government has paid lip service to the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, we as an administration will make it our priority to domesticate it once elected.
“How do we protect children from violence in the state, if there is no law set aside for that purpose? The Child’s Rights Law 2007 is not even been implemented with the required resources and manpower. This needs to change. We will bring this change.
“The beginning of the care for the children as God expects, is for us to take care of the orphans, the widows and the poor. A leader who neglects these is not practicing the true religion or real leadership.
“That is why for us the children in need of special protections such as the orphans both in institutions and families will be of great interest because when you make the lives of these ones better, it is then a government has served the people and served God,” he added.
Adelami while celebrating Ondo State children promised that his administration would give quality leadership to them irrespective of which side of the divide they find themselves.
“Today is significant to children, their caregivers, Africa as a whole and, of course, all blacks in the world. Let’s give our children the best of governance, no matter the class, status, colour, in rural or urban setting, rich or poor, in fact, every child. And that is what I stand for.” he said.