Enugu – The Enugu State House of Assembly on Tuesday read the Child’s Right Bill for the second time during plenary.
Opening debate on the bill, Leader of the assembly, Mr Ikechukwu Ezugwu (PDP-Udenu), said that when passed, it would protect the child and enable him to grow up without constituting a nuisance to the society.
“This bill aims at protecting the child from humiliation either from his/her parents, neighbours or any other person.
“This honourable house wishes to domesticate Child’s Right Act so that they will have right to parental care, feeding, maintenance and right to freedom of movement.
“When passed, every child should be guided and is entitled to his right and privileges as no child should be abused unnecessarily,’’ he said.
Ezugwu urged his colleagues to ensure speedy passage of the bill.
Contributing, Mrs Nkechi Omeja-Ogbu (PDP Nsukka-West), said that the Act had been domesticated in some states, including Lagos and called for its speedy passage by the house.
She said that after the bill had been passed, Enugu State Government would constitute a committee to take children off the streets and care for them properly.
Omeja-Ogbu lamented that some children were conceived and born in the prisons, adding that such children were serving jail sentence with their mothers.
She therefore said that for the sake of such children, the lawmakers should do everything humanly possible to pass the bill.
Also contributing, Dr Emeka Ogbuabor (PDP Isi-Uzo) said that the culture and environment of the state would be considered in the legislative scrutiny to delete contradictory sections of the bill
“We cannot adopt the bill whole and entire because in developed counties, children have the right to do anything they want.
“So, if we adopt the bill completely the way it is, the system will not work.
“There should be a town hall meeting on the bill in each constituency because the bill is a very delicate one.
“Every family should be involved in the decision making before passage of the bill,’’ Ogboabor said.
The lawmaker encouraged members to take the bill to their various constituencies for proper deliberation.
In his remarks, Speaker of the assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi, said that further debate on the bill would be differed to a later date to be determined by the Committee on Rules and Business.
Ubosi urged members of various committees to make wider consultation before passage of the bill. (NAN)