Ogun assembly assures group on bill to protect rights of senior citizens

Members of the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) have been assured that the necessary stakeholders would be engaged for the immediate domestication of the Older Persons (Rights and Privileges) Bill 2020 in Ogun state.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, gave the assurance while playing host to members of the coalition led by its Chairman, Mrs. Modupe Oladimeji at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Oluomo stated that such legislative action became necessary to uphold the dignity of the aged; thereby addressing the prevalent societal abuse, stereotyping, abandonment, denial of rights and family exploitation against the aged, while giving legal backing to safeguard their rights and privileges.

Commending the advocacy efforts of the coalition, the Speaker counseled the senior citizens to equally engage concerned stakeholders towards conveying their inputs in preparation for the enactment of the bill by the Assembly.

Earlier in her submission, the Chairman of the coalition, Mrs. Oladimeji explained that the formation of the non-governmental society was meant to provide a platform for the entrenchment and sustenance of the well-being of older persons in Nigeria, while awakening the people’s consciousness towards promoting and ensuring their well-being and dignity as older persons.

Oladimeji, who decried the flagrant abuse of the elderly in today’s society, especially while using public facilities, sought for the formulation of policies that would further cater for their medical and social needs in the State.

In their contributions, a retired Permanent Secretary, Elijah Akinyemi, a neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Folakemi Ogundele, a public analyst, Mr. Gbenga Gbesan and another member of the group, Dr. Solesi Abiodun, called for the creation of a Directorate in the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to further plan for the aged through the collection of statistics, with a view to catering for their well-being, through qualified manpower including social workers and medical personnel.

They lauded the ingenuity of the State Government on the training of community health workers, who often attended to the aged at the grassroot health care centres, appealing for more social amenities for the aged, who were not economically stable to cater for themselves socially and medically amongst others.