Governor Mimiko Makes An Uncommon Move To Protect Girls From Sexual Abuse (READ)
As Ondo State joined other states across the country to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day, the state’s governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has reiterated his commitment towards protecting child rights by investing in the future – in the state.
Mimiko, who made this disclosure at the 2016 National Children’s Day celebration on Friday, May 27, 2016 at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Square in Akure said the celebration has focused on ensuring adequate protection for all children everywhere they are, stating that child marriage is a form of sexual molestation of the girl child.
The national theme for this year’s celebration, Protect the rights of the Child in the face of Violence and Insecurity: End Child Marriage was chosen to ensuring adequate protection of children.
In his address, Dr. Mimiko said the issue of sexual abuse of the girl child has become a major concern to many stakeholders, and that informed Ondo State government’s decision to re-modify the national theme to Protect the Rights of Children in the face of Violence and Insecurity: End Sexual Molestation of the Girl/Boy Child to address the issue in the state.
He noted that his administration has placed high priority towards investing in children, stressing that it is the greatest investment any government can make, he hammered on the necessity of adequately protecting every child’s right and the he frowns at the molestation of children and girl child marriage which is rampant in the country and vows that the government will continue to establish the law and protection of every child’s right in the state.
Dr. Mimiko said, “As a government, we shall continue to promote and empower the various establishments by law. That is why we have focused more on a better learning and healthy environment with the provision of Mega schools, free shuttle scheme, Abiye (Safe Motherhood) programme and lots more.”
He also pointed out his concern for girl child marriage because of its relevance beyond the state, stating that his administration has rolled out programmes towards educating the children of Ondo from child molestation.
“The second phase of this celebration will take place next week at the International Event Centre, this is when we will be able to have a robust interaction with these children, in terms of sensitizing them to the issues of molestation, especially sexual abuse,” Mimiko said.
Speaking as a medical practitioner, Dr. Mimiko said child marriage can lead to physical and physiological damages to the girl child, citing Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), Rectovaginal Fistula and other reproductive health challenges it can pose to children.
“Vesico Vaginal Fistula, this is a force linkage between the vesicles which is the bladder and the urine, because the pelvis of the child is not well-developed and carries pregnancy, [causing a] physical damage that creates a hole between the bladder and the vagina, there could be Rectovaginal Fistula,” he added.
The governor advised stakeholders including parents, families, religious bodies, and the general public to spend “quality time” with their children and instill moral values in them. He also urged them to be conscious of the rights of their children, adding that they are their future, pride and heritage that God has given unto them.
Read the full speech below:
AN ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE, DR. OLUSEGUN MIMIKO AT THE GRAND FINALE OF THE 2016 NATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY HELD ON FRIDAY, 27TH MAY, 2016 AT THE GANI FAWEHINMI FREEDOM SQUARE, IGBATORO ROAD, AKURE
It is with great delight that I address you, the promising children and the entire good people of Ondo State at the grand finale of the 2016 edition of the National Children’s Day celebration.
The 2016 National Children’s Day has as its focus ensuring adequate protection for all children everywhere they are. Hence, the choice of the theme:
“Protect the rights of the Child in the face of Violence and Insecurity: End Child Marriage”
The major challenge facing the State presently is the increasing rate of violence against children. The issue of sexual abuse of the Girl Child has become a major concern to many stakeholders.
In the light of this, The above National theme has therefore been modified to address this issue in Ondo State to “Protect the Rights of Children in the face of Violence and Insecurity: End Sexual molestation of the Girl/Boy Child”.
The modified theme for this year’s celebration is timely and apt as it reflects Government’s clarion call to all stakeholders including parents, families, religious bodies and the general public at large to work hand in hand to ensure that children’s rights are respected.
Our belief that “in a global economy that is driven by knowledge, no investment on children can be said to be too much” has been a driving force for our Administration.
This is evident in our laudable programmes specifically targeted at the girl/boy child such as:
1. The Mega Schools of international standard to cater for children of both rich and poor.
2. The free shuttle buses;
3. Laboratories in both Primary and Secondary Schools across the State;
4. Abiye Safe Motherhood programme;
5. Mother and Child Hospitals; to reduce maternal and child mortality;
6. Support for the children’s parliament to engender participation of our children;
7. Passage and implementation of the Ondo State Child’s Rights Laws, among others.
As a government, we shall continue to promote and empower the various establishments created by Law such as the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and Family (Children’s) Courts involved in Child protection services.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, there is no divine duty more germane than ensuring that our children are protected and are free from fear of molestation of any kind, to enable them to make the best use of the various windows of opportunities offered for them for development especially by the present Administration in Ondo State.
At this juncture, I wish to express profound appreciation to all the security agencies in the State for the very good working relationship between them and the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development on Child protection issues. I appeal to you all to let this good work continue. This is especially so in view of the increasing cases of violence against children.
Hence, I urge all parents and guardians to protect their wards. Spend ‘quality time’ with your children and instill moral values in them. Give them orientation on a continuous basis on how to identify traps of sexual molestation (which is now a serious challenge) and how to avoid falling into such traps as victims.
Roles of Teachers
Roles of Teachers
Our teachers should always be seen by pupils/students under their care as very strong source of protection for their rights and not abusers of the rights of children.
Roles of the Children
Children should be security conscious and avoid bad companies. Do not stay in places that are isolated where you can easily become objects of attack.
My Administration will continue to improve on A CARING HEART Development programme which has been greatly beneficial to the generality of our children. I therefore wish to appeal to all stakeholders to always protect children from sexual molestation and all forms of abuses of their rights.
This is a possible task to achieve, if all of us, young, and old are committed to this course.
“Protect the Rights of Children in the face of Violence and Insecurity: Let’s, End Sexual molestation of the Girl/Boy Child” NOW. Children are the world’s most valuable resources and its best hope for the future.
I LOVE you all’’.