by crossriverwatch admin
A child right protection group, Basic Rights Counsel in Calabar has challenged the Cross River State House of Assembly to Review the activities of the state ministry of social welfare and community development under the tenure of Barrister Patricia Endeley, the incumbent commissioner.
The group accused the commissioner of insensitivity and dereliction of duty as well as corruption and extortion by staff of the ministry.
In a statement signed by the executive director, Barrister James Ibor and made available to CrossRiverWatch in Calabar, the group said: “For the past two weeks, we at the Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, a civil society organization promoting and protecting the rights of Children, have struggled without success to secure the placement of a 13 year old Anna Bassey Effiom (not real names) who was pushed out of her home by Mr Eyo Archibong (her uncle) after a pastor alleged that Anna is a witch and responsible for Eyo’s poverty. Anna, an exceptionally brilliant child is an orphan.
“Although we have reported the case to the Atakpa Police Station, Calabar, we have for two weeks now been unable to win the interest of the Ministry Of Social Welfare and Community Development to find an alternative home for Anna pending Police investigation as required by Section 43 of the Cross River State Child Rights Law, 2009.
“Again, the Basic Rights Counsel Initiative is compelled to call on all her partners and sympathizers to join her in the campaign to compel the Government of Cross River State to fully implement the Child Rights Law.
“We call on the Cross River State House of Assembly to defend their mandate by reviewing the activities of the Ministry of Social Welfare and the tenure of Barr. Patricia Endeley Inyang, who has refused to provide her staff with the basic operational facilities to justify the huge budget allocation to her ministry.
“It may surprise you to know that her staff demand for money from complainants to do follow-up and dispatch even mails. Anna needs care and protection, it is her fundamental right.
“In sections 210, 211, 213 of the Criminal Code Act, it is criminal and immoral to accuse any Person (child) of witchcraft. It is demonic for any government, person or group of people who read this to fail to act”.
Several attempts by CrossRiverWatch to reach the Commissioner for Social Welfare, Barrister Patricia Endeley were unsuccessful as calls to her phone were not picked.
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