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Anenih seeks legislation to protect rights of elderly

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
17 May 2022   |   3:07 am
Former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, has called for legislation for the protection of the elderly in the country and social inclusion of the elderly in the society.

Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Iyom Josephine Anenih

Former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, has called for legislation for the protection of the elderly in the country and social inclusion of the elderly in the society. 

Speaking at the Community of Practice on Eldercare in Nigeria dissemination workshop in Abuja, Anenih lamented that the elderly in Nigeria suffer a lot of discrimination and neglect, especially in this modern era. 

She observed that a lot of elderly people are abused at home by their children and grandchildren. She advocated a law that would ensure that the rights of elderly persons are protected. 

Anenih said: “As a country, we need to put in place policies backed up with legislation for the protection of the elderly in the country. When we were young, the elderly were much respected but with modernity, the young people are saying that the old people should take the back sit; that they are not too young to run without understanding that the elderly people still have a lot to offer.

“They have the experience and the wisdom. The elderly people are now being relegated and unlike in the past when we had communal living, today’s mothers no longer allow that bond between them and their grandchildren.” 

“In fact, some of them are being abused by their own children and grandchildren and this is not good for the society.”

She also stressed the need to provide free medical services and introduce elder friendly initiatives in the hospitals. 

Earlier, President of the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) Senator Eze Ajoku announced that the Older Persons Rights and Privilege Bill 2019 previously passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly has been transmitted to the President for assent. 

He explained that the bill seeks to confer privileges and benefits on older persons to enhance their quality of life and also address the social and economic challenges triggered by ageing and the need for the government to formulate policies that will incorporate the elderly. 

Ajoku noted that accent by President Muhammadu Buhari will be good for his administration and accord it older persons friendly administration, adding that having created the National Senior Citizens Centre and approved the National Policy on ageing, the bill provides the legal framework on which all national policies on care of the elderly will revolve.

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