Social Workers under the umbrella of Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW), have resolved to support President Muhammadu Buhari, State Governors and other stakeholders in the fight against social menace such as insurgency, kidnapping, terrorism, corruption, armed robbery, human trafficking and examination malpractices among others.
This was the resolution at the end of its 31st Annual General Meeting/ Annual National Conference in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
NASoW National President, Nathaniel Olawale assured that henceforth Social Workers will be fully involved in providing Psychosocial care and support to families, inmates and victims of social vices and social problems such as insurgency, divorce, and rape at hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centres, Internally Displaced Persons’ Camps, schools, hospital among others.
Olawale who decried the increasing numbers of social vices in the country declared that these problems are bye products of social problems assured that the only solution is the involvement of Social Workers at schools, courts, hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centres, government agencies; National Emergency Management Agency, National Action Committee on AIDS among others.
” I wish to reiterate the willingness of The Nigeria Association of Social Workers to partner with President Muahmmedu Buhari led administration in the area of combating social vices such as Child abuse, Drug addiction, trafficking in person, gangsterisms, rape, prostitution, kidnapping, disasters, insurgency and marital conflict among others.”
NASoW in a communique issued at the end of the conference, however warned that the only way to reduce Social vices and Social Problems in the country is the involvement of more Social Workers, Rehabilitation Centres, Schools, Prisons, agencies such as NEMA, NACA, SACAs, NGOs where professional Social Workers would be providing Psychosocial help to those who need such help.
The association however called for the speedy passage of the Bill on Professionalization of Social Work and the Establishment of the Nigeria Council of Social Work which has passed through the second reading at the 7th National Assembly and awaiting final passage at the current 8th Assembly which according to them would enhance the, Social Work practice and profession in the country.
The association while calling all Nigerians to support their move and prevail on the current House of Representatives in ensuring that the bill scale through, called on the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and his colleagues to as a matter of urgency pass the bill into law for the interest of all Nigerians whom the association declared would be the beneficiaries of the bill.
The association also called on Social Workers across the nation to make use of the relevant legistlations such as Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, NAPTIP Act and 2003 Child Rights Act in the discharge of their professional duties.
NASoW while condemning various deviant behaviors across the country also reiterated its commitment in supporting the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration in his fight against corruption.
However, presenting a lead paper titled “Promoting the Dignity and Worth of People,” a lecturer in the department of Social Work, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mrs. Christy Obi-Keguna, enumerated lack of food, shelter, clothing, racism, ethnicity, favoritism, terrorism, marital instability, single parenting, lack of access to basic education among others as some of the problems affecting human dignity most especially in Africa.
While describing dignity as “the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed, Obi-Keguna also implored Social Workers to actively play their roles in policy formulation, modification and implementation of people-oriented projects.
In his presentation, “Youth involvement in Criminal Activities and Other Anti-Social Behaviors”, Mr. Jamal Ali Ahmed, of the Department of Social Development, Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse called for community-based correctional programs as a way of integrating the offenders with the community.
Part of the activities was a visit to a rehabilitation centre “Caring Family Enhancement Initiative for Mentally” a pet project of the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano where the association was received by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Victoria Chikwelu and Permanent Secretary in the ministry Mrs. Oby Nwankwo.
Mrs. Obiano who was decorated as Grand Patroness of the state chapter of NASoW during a reception at the Anambra State Government Lodge declared that she shared the same idea with the association in providing selfless service to the needy at all times.
“Whenever I see people like NASoW, I usually feel happy, I used to tell them that we are doing the same thing. I am championing the cause of humanity not because as wife of the Governor, but because I like to champion the cause of humanity. I have been doing this since 1991 and since then, I have been putting smiles on the faces of people, children, women, aged, widows, vulnerable and the physically challenged, that is what your association is all about.
“I have been empowering people, training people, I have been giving them maternal and child health care kits, building rest rooms at markets through my pet project, payment of stipends to the aged in the state, the old peoples’ home in the three senatorial districts under-way. All these are to uplift the status of humanity.