National News Nigeria

Governors’ wives harp on Girl-Child education

Wives of some state governors have advocated improved access to quality education for the girl-child.

They say their goal is to curb violence and harmful practices against girls.

The governors’ wives made the call at the state of the Nigerian Girls Summit (SONGS) in Abuja. SONGS has been convened to commemorate the 2022 International Day of the Girl-Child (IDGC).

The IDGC is commemorated every October 11 to celebrate the importance, power, and potentials of adolescent girls around the world, as set aside by the United Nations.

Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, wife of the Lagos state governor, in her address to the summit, expressed concern over girls in the informal sector who she said have no access to formal education.

“What about the child that doesn’t have the opportunity to go to school? Not by her own choice,” she inquired.

“Maybe she’s a victim of circumstances. And so every one of us here in this hall is an ambassador to this laudable program that we’re having today to go back into the community to ensure that no girl child is left behind. Whether your biological mom or not, we should ensure that every girl-child has the opportunity to education,” she said.

Also, Hajiya Hadiza Masari, wife of Katsina state Governor, said if girls were given the opportunity, free from all barriers, they would perform better than the boys in academic and all areas of life.

She said: “70% of our girls were performing extremely good compared to that of the boys.”

She recounted that some girls represented the state in a school competition in Malaysia, where they emerged in first position.

On her part, the wife of the Ogun state governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, said despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was need to continue to advance the rights of the girl-child and women as a whole.

To achieve that, she argued, there has to be “increasing investment in already existing programmes.

“This will encourage school enrolment and retention If we are to accelerate the progress towards the elimination of gender disparities,” she added.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, decried the increasing cases of rape and other forms of violence against the girl-child by fathers and members of the society.

According to her, the ministry receives, on a daily basis, cases of rape and other violence against girls and children.

She encouraged survivors of Any form of violence to always speak out to ensure justice is served.

Reporting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor