From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations advocating for the smooth passage of Child Rights Act in Sokoto state, has implored stakeholders in the state ensure the speedy passage of the bill by the State House of Assembly.
The meeting organised by YouthHubAfrica and funded by Malala Foundation is to chart ways forward on advocacy strategy needed by members of the coalition to ensure its smooth passage
Ameenah Muhammad of YouthHubAfrica while briefing participants on the meeting objective commended members of the coalition for their steadfastness and selfless service.
She reminded that, core objective of the meeting is to brainstorm on advocacy strategy to adopt in achieving the nine month timeline as targeted period for the bill to be passed by the state legislature.
A facilitator, Rabiu Bello Gandi who spoke on what should be done to ensure the bill passage within the nine months timeframe, urged relevant stakeholders to urgently perfect the smooth passage of the bill.
While enumerating many benefits of the Child Rights Act, Gandi also noted that the law is designed to protect the children against harmful practice in the state.
“We need the CRAs to protect the children against harmful practice in the state.” Mr. Rabiu told participants during the meeting.
He said, presently, no law in Sokoto State that gives children rights to demand for injustice committed against them by the society. “But with this Act in place, the future of our children will be secured.
“The law will enable them achieve their targeted goals in life, either by getting them the needed quality education or a deserved parenting care,” he assured.
The facilitator also disclaimed many misconceptions raised by the public against the Child Act, saying, “the drafted document has been filtered and fine-tuned by relevant Islamic groups and scholars to be in conformity with norms guiding Islam.
He charged members for the need to intensify for further engagements and consultations among opinion leaders to ease the bill passage at the state House of Assembly.
Dr Auwal Ahmad Musa in his note underscored the need for sustainable strategies to be deployed through advocacy to achieve the coalition’s objective.
On her part, Nafisat Gurori, a participant pointed out some of the contradicting views suggesting that see the Rights Act as a duplication of the existing Shari’ah law practicing in the state.
She however called for need to review the current advocacy approach to further enlighten those still holding the contrary views against the Act.
Other participants also enumerate many benefits the vulnerable children stand to gain if the bill is signed into law as well as organising capacity building for members of the coalition to abreast them with the norms of the Act.
Highlights of the meeting include active participation of members in brainstorming ways of achieving the set goals.