Alia promises better welfare for Benue Citizens
By Bridget Ikyado
Governor of Benue State, Rev Dr Hyacinth Alia said he is committed to empowering the citizenry, particularly focusing on uplifting the girl child.
The governor made this known on Monday, October 9th, 2023 when he received the Save the Girl International team at Government House Makurdi.
Governor Alia expressed gratitude to Save the Children International for the exceptional work they have been carrying out in the state, like their activities in Adikpo, Kwande Local Government, where they have been working tirelessly to manage the refugees situation, and support Internally displaced persons, a feat which he said was truly commendable.
He emphasized that much still needed to be done and extended an invitation for them to expand their humanitarian response beyond the borders of Cameroun into other areas of Benue state including Makurdi, Guma, Gwer and other regions most affected by the crisis, and also the significant child crisis in the IDP camps in the state.
Governor Alia said he was committed to empowering the citizenry, particularly focusing on uplifting the girl child and appreciated the foundation’s support in this endeavor.
He commended the efforts made in showcasing the International day of the Girl Child a formidable one, and requested that there should be a high level publicity campaign for the event.
The governor directed the Ministry of Women Affairs to coordinate with relevant media outlets to arrange a robust media campaign, both before and after the event to amplify it’s impact and importance, and submit a comprehensive itenary of the event for necessary preparations for it’s success.
He further directed the Ministry of Education to invite 3 best female students from 10 public secondary schools, and 5 private senior primary and secondary schools, as to arrange an interactive session with them, with the Save the Children International taking the lead in planning the session.
Earlier in her remarks, the Field Operation Manager of Save the Children International for Benue and Cross River States, Adeseyi Olujide assured the governor that Benue State is one of the states that will be given priority attention, disclosing that the program had been in the state since 2019 when their first response was over the influx of refugees, and later expanded to intervene in areas of education, child protection and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facility provision, and also flood related issues.
Mrs Olujide disclosed that Save the Children has priority on Child Survival, learning and protection, as expressed in their support of the Children Parliament, which the essence is to help the children to have a voice to directly express some of their concerns.
She also announced that that a girl champion, Miss Shamiga Doosuur Rita, a member of the Children Parliament, was selected by her own peers to Champion the cause of the Girl child in Benue.
She thanked the governor for his willingness to collaborate in the commeration of the celebration of the International day of the Girl Child, which is on the 11th of October, whereby issues on discrimination of the girl child will be highlighted, with focus on preparing them for leadership, and other opportunities to actualize their maximum potential.
She singled out education as a priority for the girl child, as it situates her on a better position to maximize her potential, and said the program will support the government to also empower children and teachers in the state as to protect education, because the future of a state depends on the level of education of it’s citizenry, and assured to partner with the state government team as to support the state to get the right quality of education.
Govenor Alia announced that the girl child, which will hopefully be selected amongst the IDPs, will serve as the master of activities on that day, and also most importantly, conduct activities of the day as the Governor of the state.