By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Apparently, owning to prevailing hardship, the widespread child abuse and trafficking in the Kaduna state has been ‘diagnosed’ by Commissioner for Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba, as “children being sold like groundnuts” in Kaduna state.
Briefing newsmen at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kaduna Tuesday, preparatory to the state launching of the Campaign Against Violence on Children, scheduled for August 11, 2017, Hajiya Baba said out of 37 so far rescued, three were from a Ghanaian trafficker.
The commissioner said that the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has been in the forefront of this campaign, adding that it has been their mandate to ensure the security and safety of these children, saying the ministry has been supported by their development partners, like UNCEF and Safe the Children (DFID) project.
“We want everyone to join hands with government to ensure that all our children are safe. Sometime ago, there was an incident where a child was molested, and that child actually lost her live. Sometime, this act is being perpetrated by parents, relatives, neighbors – including teachers; but most especially by those people close to them.
“As I speak, there is a girl in Gwamna Awan that was beaten and could not stand up. Just on Friday, I got a text (message) that a father killed his three-year-old child. And that’s always the story. That is a wakeup call for us that we should always protect our children, because we were once children, before we became adults.
“With all the support we have received from the development partners and, also the government of Kaduna state, we want to show you that the state government and the development partners are investing in children; indeed, they have been very active.
“We work with other ministries. If I have a case on child trafficking – because recently, we are also battling with children being sold – people buy and sell children like groundnuts. I have like, about 37 children rescued, including a non-Nationale, Ghanaian, who brought 3 children; we have collected them.
“Kaduna state children are being sold. So, please you media, we need to wake up. I need to say it loud that we cannot allow our children being sold. So, what we did was to actually rescue the children, first; as our mandate, there request, protection and safety is of priority to us.
“We have written to the ministry of justice to do their work, as well as the security agencies, who will investigate the issues. Therefore, we shall continue to follow up cases and ensure that justice is served, just like the way I told you of Zainab – that we followed that case and made sure that the case got to High Court.”