Saturday, May 21, 2016 2:14 pm
A non-governmental organisation, The Senior Citizens Care Foundation, has berated the three tiers of governments over their insensitive attitude towards the plight of the elderly in the society.
In a press statement jointly released in Lagos by the foundation’s national coordinator, Mr. Jide Taiwo and a member of the management executive and the corporate communications adviser, Princelyn Oduenyi, the group lamented the ill treatment the society has continually meted out on its senior citizens. Due to ageing, they are now very fragile and vulnerable to such inhuman treatments as constant abuses, exploitations and in some cases outright killings by those who ordinarily are expected to protect and care for them.
Oduenyi and Taiwo admonished governments at all levels to always see it as a point of duty to ensure that retirees who have dutifully and sincerely committed a greater part of their youth in serving their fatherland are not abandoned at their old age or at their point of need. Both men insisted that senior citizens should be taken care of and whatever emolument they deserve must be paid promptly to enable them meet their various responsibilities as parents and grandparents. This will also enable them continue to take care of their old age in comfort, not in penury as is always the case in Nigeria. This will be in line with the acceptable standard as enshrined in the charter of the world assembly on ageing over three decades ago.
The foundation said it had asked its legal team to formally write the Edo State government, the Inspector General of Police and the Edo State Commissioner of Police to know the extent government had gone on some recent unfortunate incidents in the state where for example, a young tenant snuffed the life out of his 83-year old landlord. That happened because the old man wanted to know why this young man had decided not to pay his rent since 2014 despite the fact that he was still occupying the said apartment. And the most recent (which was perpetrated by a hoodlum whom police described as a teenage cultist and serial killer who has been on their wanted list) was the gruesome murder of a 65 -year old grandmother, Mrs Clara Uwaifo, a retired headmistress by a neighbour whose family has been at loggerheads with the deceased.
The NGO said further: “We have several other ugly incidences such as this but the unfortunate thing is that nobody seems to stand up for these frail and vulnerable elders in our society. Government’s continued nonchalant attitude to some of these heinous crimes must be condemned by all and will no longer be tolerated.
“In the last seven to eight months, Nigerians have witnessed the gruesome murder of some of these senior citizens. There are such cases as the gruesome murder of the 83-year old Iya loja of Ijebu Ode in her house in November 2015. Before then, a retired high court judge was also murdered in Abeokuta around September of that same year. A retired vice chancellor of a Federal University was killed by his domestic staff who made away with his RAV 4 SUV.
“The foundation at this point will want to know what government has done and doing with these first degree murders and will also want to use this opportunity to tell the world that NEVER AGAIN are we going to fold our arms and watch unscrupulous elements insult our collective responsibilities of caring and protecting these elderly in our society.
“We are calling on all the tiers of governments and the national assembly to urgently come up with strong policies and legislations that will protect the rights of these frail and vulnerable in our society.
“It is our strong conviction that this call has become necessary due to the rising cases of inhuman treatment and abuse of the elderly nation wide.”