Gov Bala gives N7m to abducted, trafficked children

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By Umar Sa’id Moh’d, Baúchi

Governor Bala Mohammad of Bauchi State has given the sum of N1m to each of the seven abducted children from the state that were found in Kano recently.

He gave the directives while formally receiving the seven abducted children from the Commissioner of Police Auwal Musa after their return from Kano State, Gov Bala blamed parents for negligently handling the upbringing and welfare of their children leading to abduction and trafficking across the country.

The Governor emphasized that the issue of abduction and trafficking of children is not a religious issue but rather criminality perpetrated by criminals who should be kept out of circulation behind bars.

“We have to tell the parents that this, parents must take responsibility, you must be able to do that in a manner that is purely good and acceptable in the society, because if parents don’t take care of their children, nobody will do that thereby exposing the children to criminals in the society who are waiting for such opportunities to prey on the innocent children.

“I heard that the Kano State Government gave you incentives, I will not do that because you don’t deserve any such, you did not play your parental roles well, that was the reason the children were abducted and trafficked. I am not happy with you. You don’t deserve anything other than reprimand.

“I will direct all the wards Heads where you are living to put eyes on you and report to me about you. Though you told me that you reported the incidents but sometimes due to poverty, you may not know how to properly report such”, he said.

The State Committee on GBV was mandated to ensure judicious utilization of the money, saying, “everything possible must be done to ensure that the money did not get to the parents, especially the fathers so that they will not use it to marry more wives and give birth to children they cannot take care of.”

The Governor pointed out that for the sake of the innocent children; he directed that a dedicated bank account be opened in their names with the sum of N1m each for their upkeep.

He called on the security agents to brace up in order to face the challenge and nip it in the bud before it escalated saying, “this is worst than banditry, we must stop it now.”

“The act of trafficking is a mutilation of a person’s genealogy, somebody’s history; this is a serious crime that must not go unpunished. I will make sure that the Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development collated information about the children in order to effectively monitor their growth and career progression.

“We must be able to establish that they are well taken care of, my wife and I will make sure that we visited the parents, they must take responsibility and these children must be entitled to have a good life. If the parents cannot do it, they should confess it now so that we can take them to BASOVCA, we can keep them there but you know that blood is thicker than water, they will not want them there”, he added.

He then called on religious leaders to as a matter of urgency, use their religious centers to preach on the responsibilities of parents in the upbringing of their children, alerting JNI, CAN and other religious bodies to rise up to the occasion by using their Pulpits to educate parents on importance of good parenting.