By Sunday John
Lafia – Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihoods and Households Empowerment (SMILE), an NGO, has expressed readiness to cooperate with journalists in Nasarawa state to drastically reduce violence against children in the state.
Nathaniel Awuapila, Consultant with the NGO, stated this during an interface with journalists on Friday in Lafia, the state capital.
According to him, the partnership becomes imperative due to the alarming cases of child abuse in the country.
He said that the media should be interested in exposing the perpetrators of violence against children and make them face justice in order to arrest the ugly development in the society.
“Exposing the perpetrators will go a long way in drawing the attention of the relevant authorities responsible for the protection of children’s rights.
“It will also help in bringing the perpetrators to book, thereby serving as a deterrent to potential perpetrators,” he said.
Similarly, Vivian Efem-Bassey, Nasarawa State Coordinator of SMILE, said that the NGO had empowered a lot of vulnerable families with cash and training in skills among others in the state since 2013.
The coordinator called on the state government to ensure proper implementation of the Child Rights Law and make budgetary provision to support victims of such abuse.
Responding, Mr Dogo Shama, the state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), expressed gratitude to the NGO for the partnership.
He promised that journalists in the state would give adequate attention to issues concerning child abuse with a view to exposing perpetrators.