The Director-General of the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), Dr. Emem Omokaro, has indicated the Federal Government’s plan to address abuse of senior citizens in Nigeria.
Already, a move in this direction has commenced with partnership with the Legal Aid Council to ensure senior citizens in Nigeria get unfettered access to justice.
This is contained in a statement by the Head of Communications and Public Affairs of the agency, Mr. Omini Oden, in Abuja.
The policy, he said, includes removal of financial barriers and other obstacles irrespective of earnings when it involves senior citizens in Nigeria; language barriers; financial constraints; distance; travel logistics; excessive delays and backlog in judicial processes; gender bias; discrimination and entrenched ageism.
The statement said Dr. Omokaro, while applauding Legal Aid Council’s presence in the six geo-political zones and all states of the federation, said the centre would partner with the council to put in place a national technical working group that would develop an inter-sector community mechanism to address elder abuse through rapid response to the challenges of senior citizens.
When operational, the squad, which will be known as the “Anti-Elder Abuse Community Rapid Response Squad” shall be composed of community organisations and representatives of various interests, faith-based organisations in the communities and security agencies across the country.
The National Senior Citizens Centre, she said, would take advantage of the Legal Aid Council Community Legal Service, which includes non-court advisory services, public awareness, mediation and other counselling services available in the act establishing the Legal Aid Council.
Under this partnership with the Legal Aid Council, Dr Emem Omokaro said she looks forward to a Nigeria where the dignity of senior citizens will be respected and upheld at all times.
The Director-General of the Legal Aid Council, Aliyu Bagudu Abubakar, said the move by the NSCC was reassuring and that the Legal Aid Council was available to work with NSCC to change the fortunes of senior citizens in Nigeria.