Gombe State Department of Women and Social Development Director of Child Protection Joseph Markus lamented the increase in the number of underage girls for cheap labor on farming lands.
Markus made the revelation in his speech Tuesday at a media roundtable hosted by Save the Children International to end child marriage in the state.
According to the director, the situation is growing statewide, noting that some of the privileges he enjoys as a person come from education.
He urged stakeholders to ensure that girls’ issues are given a deserved priority.
Markus said: âAs we came from Kumo this morning with the president (the children’s parliament), I saw groups of girls waiting for those who will come and hire them, taking them to the farms to work all day in the morning. in the evening. .
âCan’t we be nice to them, can’t we support them. I told the speaker, the speaker sees your people. We have been agitating, urging members of government as well as lawmakers to help us pass this legal framework so that we have something to build on. So that we can fight this fight.
âRight now, I can shake hands with the governor, have dinner with him because I went to school but for school. Education is a tool.
Markus also reminded relevant stakeholders to ensure the domestication of the children’s rights law, as well as the implementation of a framework to end child marriage in the state.
âThe question is whether lawmakers see young people as they are used for work. As recently as last week, a four-year-old was defiled; the question is if she was my daughter, how am I going to feel; if this was your child, how would you feel?
âWe neglect what our holy books say about caring for one another. I urge all of us to put our heads and energy together to provide a favorable environment for these children, âhe added.
Also speaking, Abdullahi Hussaini lamented the failure of parents to use free basic education in the state.
He called on the government to form a task force to make education compulsory.
“The government should set up a task force that will make school attendance compulsory and make peddling activities by children punishable by law,” Hussaini said.
In addition, the executive director of the Saif Advocacy Foundation, Alhassan Yahya, while praising the current efforts of stakeholders, urged them to set an agenda to challenge the government in public education.
For his part, the Speaker of the Children’s Parliament, Umar Abdullahi, instructed the government to ensure the swift passage of the Children’s Rights Law, in order to protect children’s rights in the state, adding that the employment of more female teachers to encourage school attendance.
He advised creating more schools within communities to reduce the long distances between schools and homes.
Abdullahi said: âMany parents do not help their daughters go to school because of the insecurity. Parents are afraid when their daughters go to or come back from school.
âI don’t feel good when the girls are not educated. It is the right of every citizen to be educated. So why should girls be denied this right? I call on the government to look at girls’ education in Gombe State and find a solution. ”
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