Onimesi applauds FG, Erelu Fayemi over development

Impressed by the Federal Government’s social investment scheme known as At Risk Children Initiative (ARC-I) and Ekiti State’s first lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi’s passion for children and aged welfare, the Onimesi of Imesi, Ekiti State, Oba Festus Olatunji Olatunde, has patted the duo on the back and charged them to emphasise more on the vulnerable children because, he stressed, they are the future of every society.

In his capacity as representative of the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers at a stakeholders’ meeting in Ado Ekiti, on Tuesday, the Onimesi told a special session that the Federal Government was getting it right with the initiative but called for what he called data gathering and utilization to achieve a desired result ultimately.

“If good initiatives like ARC-I will not go the way of similarly good project, it should be given a solid foundation, based on data of children projected to be the beneficiaries of this laudable initiative,” he noted.

Oba Olatunde also called for the establishment of private hostels in urban areas to take care of children, “especially female pupils who, he said, roam the streets between the hours of 2 pm when schools close and 7pm when their busy parents arrive home to provide dinner.”

Erelu Fayemi, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs Mariam Uwais, top government functionaries and representatives of religious bodies attended the meeting.

She also commended the federal government for the initiative which, she said, is timely and coming up when it is most needed.

The first lady revealed that the figure of children at risk in Ekiti is gradually reducing as a result of government’s focus on child rights and welfare and noted that school enrollment of children has reached an all-high 20,000 increase in primary school enrollment in the last session.

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Erelu Fayemi also expressed appreciation to Oba Olatunde and appealed to him to convey to his people the message of community intensive involvement in seriously looking after the child to reduce their susceptibility to danger.

Mrs Uwais, commended Ekiti State for taking the initiative with all seriousness, acknowledging the observation made by the Onimesi in respect of the data collection and thanking him for the recommendation.

The meeting witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government and the Ekiti State government to ensure that the state benefit immediately from the initiative.

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