Akwa Ibom State Legislature has passed a resolution urging security agencies and other relevant agencies – National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) to step-up actions in Akwa Ibom State to effectively tackle the manace of child theft in the State.
The House passed the resolution following the information brought to the House by the member representing Uyo State Constituency, Hon. Anietie Eka by way of motion titled: “Urgent Need to Curb the Rising Manace of Child Theft in Akwa Ibom State”.
The House also called on the State government through the Ministry of Information, Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission (EARCOM) to embark on adequate sensitisation drive in condemning the manace of child theft in the State.
Again the Ministry of women Affairs and Social Welfare has been charged by the House to be proactive towards ensuring safety of Akwa Ibom children.
In his motion, Hon. Eka opined urgent need for adequate protection of Akwa Ibom children against unsuspected child Traffickers.
He made a case for recent cases where children were kidnapped at gunpoint from their parents, worried about the emotional trauma this unbecoming acts inflict on parents/guardians, he called on the House to take urgent actions for lasting solution towards preserving the future of the State.
Deliberating on the Motion, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Usoro Akpanusoh, Member Esit Esit/Ibeno State Constituency called for thorough accreditation of motherless homes operating in the State by Ministry of Women Affairs and Social welfare as most orphanage homes have been used as undercover for child theft in the State.
Condemning child trafficking and child theft in strong terms, Dr. Akpanusoh suggested death by hanging for any defaulter caught in such act(s), adding that it is debasing for a child to be sold for the paltry sum of 200 to 300 thousand naira.
Rt. Hon. Elder Aniekan Uko of Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency described the situation as worrisome, devaluing the integrity of Akwa Ibom people, the Ibesikpo Asutan Lawmaker said the issue of child theft is a daily occurrence in the State.
He called for all hands to be on deck in fighting the unbecoming situation of child Trafficking and child theft.
Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Aniefiok Dennis, Member Etinan State Constituency and Deputy Leader said non-implementation of existing laws create room for commitment of crimes irrespective of the available punishment for defaulters.
Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh of Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency made a case for a similar situation that took place in his Constituency and called on the House to take remedial measures in curbing the menace as it involves the future leaders of the State.
Member representing Onna State Constituency, Rt. Hon. (Otuekong) Nse Essien on his part unravelled that approximately 95% of female inmates in Akwa Ibom State Correctional Centres are either involved in Child theft or Child Trafficking, adding that some nurses are accomplices especially in child theft and wondered why a women should disguised as being pregnant only to end up stealing or buying an innocent baby.
On his part, the Chief Whip/Member, representing Ini State Constituency, Rt. Hon. (Otuekong) Emmanuel Ekpenyong said child theft, child Trafficking and illegal adoption is in the rampage in the State, adding that perpetrators tend to perceive the illegality as a lucrative business.
Hon. Effiong Johnson of Mbo State Constituency observed that the motion shall enhance rekindling of existing laws in the State, while the House Leader, Sir Udo Kierian Akpan and Barr. Otobong Bob in their separate speeches condemned child theft and Child Trafficking.