To reduce the menace of child-bride ravaging Northern Nigeria, Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Ganduje,has revealed that the education policy that protects the girl child.
The governor disclosed this on Sunday night during the 2019 Human Rights Summit/Award with the theme, ‘Adopting Rights Based Approach in the Public Sector Sustainable Development Agenda’, organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Ganduje who was one of the awardees also said that the almajiri system of education was now being integrated into the modern system of education.
He explained that his government introduced free and compulsory basic and secondary education, while also taking care of all the out-of-school children to make sure they are being given the opportunity for education.
According to him, “The much talked about almajiri system is now being integrated with modern system of education. The girl-child education, you know the problems of marrying underage girls, but from our policy now, all our girls have to at least finish secondary education before they are married.”
Ganduje noted that after the recent kidnapping of the nine children taken to the other part of the country where they were converted and their names changed, the state government instituted a judicial Commission of inquiry to find out circumstances under which they were kidnapped, return them to their parents and assist in their socialisation.
He added: “We provided free education for those nine children up to university level. Two more children have been recovered making 11.
“The implication of this commission of inquiry is not only to recover the children, it’s not only for the punishment of those who were found guilty, but creating awareness for parents to take care of their children so that enabling environment is not provided for kidnappers.”
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, said that the commission in collaboration with Centre for Civilian in Conflict (CIVIC) championed a policy on Protection of Civilians and Civilian Harm Mitigation in Conflict.
He stressed that the draft policy document is awaiting approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), adding that the policy was aimed at safeguarding the security and welfare of Nigerian citizens in areas affected by conflict.
Ojukwu noted that the commission was also focusing on the herders/farmers conflict in the North central zone, especially Benue State.
He added that in collaboration with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the commission had set up a human rights violations monitoring team in Benue State, working with community based organisation to document violations, timely deal with complaints, develop early warnings, resolve conflicts and promote peaceful co-existence and accountability, working with security agencies in the communities and the state in general.