Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Wednesday said his government would collaborate with relevant agencies toward the promotion and empowerment of girl-child in the state.
Bello made the pledge in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Petra Onyegbule, in Lokoja to mark the 2017 International Day of the Girl-Child”.
International Day of the Girl-Child is celebrated annually on Oct. 11 to highlight issues concerning the gender inequality facing young girls.
This year’s theme is: “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.”
The governor said that he was not unaware of the myriad of issues facing girl-child in today’s society during the time of conflicts and peace.
“As a father and a governor, I am aware of the need for the girl-child to be empowered for life, especially during conflicts through information and education.
“My administration will continually seek ways to ensure that this objective is achieved in collaboration with relevant agencies within and outside the country,” he said.
Bello assured that girls in the state would continue to be adequately taken care of under the present administration in the state.
He said that his administration would also continue to explore policies, opportunities and partnerships which would empower girl-child since they suffer most in times of crisis.
The governor said that the 2017 commemoration of the girl-child was to reflect on the plights of girls in IDP Camps in the North-East and the psychological trauma they had suffered over the years.
Bello said that while the Nigerian Military was winning the war against terrorism, all hands should be on deck to empower the survivor girls to live purposeful lives that would impact the society.
He appreciated the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in securing the release of the Chibok Girls, assuring that others would soon reunite with their families.
The governor said that the Federal Government was doing its best to ensure that everyone in captivity was freed.
He urged the three tiers of government, domestic and international partners, non-governmental organisations, religious leaders and the society to intensify efforts in the pursuit of a better life for girls during peace.
Bello appealed to parents and caregivers to pay closer attention to the needs of the girl-child.
According to him, instilling values of strength, self awareness, self confidence are the most effective ways of empowering the girl-child to adequately prepare for the vagaries and cruelty of life.
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