The President of the Coalition of Societies for The Rights Of Older Persons In Nigeria, COSROPIN, Senator Eze Ajoku has congratulated Older Persons in Nigeria on the occasion of this year’s United Nations International Day Of Older Persons, UNIDOP.
In a congratulatory message in Abuja, Senator Ajoku said the day marked a double celebration as Nigeria also celebrates her 62nd Independence Anniversary.
“We congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and all other Nigerian past leaders and a hearty felicitation to Nigeria’s senior citizens whose efforts, sacrifices and commitment helped in Nigeria’s arduous task at nation-building which is intended to be a mark of striking coincidence and admonition for Nigeria that this year UNIDOP’s theme is: Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World with Older Women being given special attention” he said
According to him, the expectation is for the world to use the day to focus on the environmental, social, economic and lifelong inequalities that have been a recurring burden of older persons, particularly among women, leading to raising of awareness about the problems, and coming up with policies and programmes to address the problems.
Senator Ajoku explained that in Nigeria, there have been remarkable steps forward through policies and legislative frameworks advancing ageing particularly with the government deserving the credit for the progress compared to the previous administrations.
” We acknowledge and thank the President as well as the Federal Executive Council for evolving and approving the National Policy on Ageing (NPoA), the establishment and constitution of the board of the National Senior Citizens Centre, NSCC, however, these are foundations that require important building blocks to put the care and welfare of older Nigerians in an irreversible path” the COSROPIN President stressed.
He therefore used this opportunity to call on the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to urgently begin the implementation of the NPoA by constituting the National Advisory Council on Ageing which will facilitate States and Local Governments participation on ageing issues.
He commended the Federal Government, the NSCC, other collaborating Federal and State Agencies as well as the Non-Governmental Organisations that facilitated the fact-finding mission of the United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by the Older Persons to Nigeria.
“A major part of her finding was that: “The pending bill called ‘Older Persons (Rights and Privileges)’ would offer the most comprehensive legal framework ever available for older persons in the country, addressing among others, the social and economic challenges triggered by ageing” COSROPIN President emphasized.
He therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Older Persons Bill without further delay and as part of his extended legacy to promote the rights of older persons in the country.
“To millions of the Nigerian older citizens, it is the best legacy that President Buhari will be leaving behind for them” he added.
Report by Mathew Ayoola,Edited by Grace Namiji