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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Enugu Gov offers scholarship to child abuse survivor Happiness Nwafor

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has awarded a scholarship to Miss Happiness Nwafor, an Enugu-born minor who was allegedly abused by her Onitsha, Anambra-based guardian, Mrs. Adachukwu Chikelu-Okafor.

The 11-year-old from Enugu State allegedly suffered severe abuse in the hands of her employer Chikelu-Okafor, in February 2024.

According to reports, Chikelu-Okafor allegedly used hot knife and electric iron to injure different parts of the little girl’s body, including her vagina.

Happiness’ erstwhile guardian was said to have suspected Happiness of touching her eight-year-old daughter’s private part while bathing her.

The scholarship, which covers Miss Nwafor’s studies from primary to university levels, was announced at the official handover of the rescued minor to the Enugu State Scholarship and Education Loan Board for proper documentation and continuation of her education, according to a statement by the media office of the governor.

According to the statement the governor also approved her continuous rehabilitation to ensure that her experience does not impede her present or future.

Governor Mbah expressed serious displeasure over the incessant record of abuse of minors, who are usually used as house-help, warning that his administration would not tolerate acts of violence and maltreatment of children by parents and guardians henceforth.

He noted that such criminal acts fall short of civilised norms and would be met with dire consequences.

Represented by the Commissioner for Children, Gender Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Ngozi Enih, the governor said the scholarship would afford Miss Happiness Nwafor, a native of Umuanigo Clan, Enugu Oweri in Awgu Local Government Area, the opportunity to pursue and fulfil her dreams in life.

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“The governor is very concerned about the welfare of citizens of the state through deliberate policies and programmes targeted at improving their well-being and also ensuring that their dignity are preserved.

“This is why the governor ordered that the minor be rescued from the claws of her guardian, who had been maltreating her. With the full rehabilitation and scholarship graciously awarded by the governor, Miss Happiness is certain of living her dreams like other children.

“It’s also for the reason that no child should suffer deprivation that the governor is building world-class smart schools and has also declared basic education in the state, free and compulsory.

“The Child Rights and Responsibility Law of Enugu State is also in place to ensure that those who abuse our children face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

On his part, the Head of Administration, Enugu State Scholarship and Education Loans Board, Mr. Peter Nkwuo, promised that the agency would give full effect to the governor’s directive as they had no excuse for failures.

He further commended the governor for the intervention, adding that the agency has been receiving huge support from the administration.

Also, Miss Happiness’ mother, Mrs. Nwanneka Anioke, who said she was traumatised on hearing about the incident, appreciated the philanthropic gesture of governor Mbah towards her family and other families, saying the news of the scholarship and the ongoing rehabilitation for full recovery came as a huge relief to her entire family.

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Recall that Happiness’ case was first reported on February 1, 2024 in a viral video, which attracted the attention of the Enugu State government and prompted its immediate intervention to rescue the child in collaboration with Anambra State government where the incident occurred.

The minor, an 11 year old, was living with an Anambra-based lawyer, Mrs. Adachukwu Okafor, as a house help, who carried out the torture on her.

Ede Nwa Ede
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