The Edo State Government has charged young people in the state, especially the girl-child to stay away from drug-related habits and channel their efforts towards being the best in their various fields of endeavours, reassuring of government’s commitment to protecting the girl-child and providing her with the space to realize her full potential.
Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon. Mrs. Maria Edekor, gave the charge while addressing female students at Imaguero Grammar School, Benin City, during an event to commemorate the International Day of the Girl-Child, on Tuesday.
She reassured that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration remains committed to improving the lives and protecting the future of every girl child in Edo State.
According to the Commissioner, the International Day of the Girl-Child marked every year by the United Nations and its sister agencies is set aside to “acknowledge the importance of the girl-child and look at the needs and challenges of the female gender.”
Edekor noted: “The girl-child is the best gift from God to humanity; we are not unaware of the issues confronting the girl-child, including rape, defilement, child marriage, child labour, discrimination, child trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
“As the ministry saddled with the responsibility of taking care and protecting the girl-child in Edo State, we are here to celebrate you, our girls, and let you know how important you are to us.
“It is as a result of your importance that you all must study hard to be the best in your various fields of endeavours. We are not also unaware of how some girls indulge in drug abuse by taking hard drugs; these are destructive habits capable of destroying lives, therefore, you must run away from it because it is difficult to rehabilitate any person that does drugs.”
“Edo State Government has a skills acquisition center where you can be trained and empowered for free, to be self-reliant. Every girl-child must be ready to learn a skill because there are many skills you can learn to better yourselves. You must be of good conduct in order to become a better person in the future for your families, the state and indeed, the entire country,” the Commissioner advised.
Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon. Mrs. Maria Edekor (right), addressing a cross section of female students at Imaguero Grammar School during an event to commemorate the International Day of the Girl-Child in Benin City