Henceforth, any person who abducts a child in Akwa Ibom State will face death sentence like a kidnapper under the state child’s rights and anti-terrorism law.
Already, 25 persons arrested for alleged child abduction by security agents in the state are to face trial while 30 kidnapped children from the state and some neighbouring states had been rescued.
The state Governor, Chief Godwill Akpabio, who stated this at the thanksgiving service to mark the 50th birthday celebration of the state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, at Power City International, Uyo, remarked that the convicts would face death sentence like hardened criminals.
According to him, the trauma parents go through in such incident is always heart breaking, and promised that every child abductor would be brought to book.
He then called on the people of the state to report any suspicious movement to security agencies and to always be security conscious at all times, hinting that five teams of security agencies are carrying out investigation to check child theft in the state.
The celebrant, Enoidem, disclosed that the history of his life characterised by the exceeding grace of God, which he said he wasn’t even qualified for, stressing that education is the bedrock for what he has now become in life and that his wife and family are the pillar and inspiration of his life.
In his sermon, Pastor Abel Damina, who preached on the topic: “The Supernatural Church’, said the church of God was born supernatural since the days of Pentecost in the bible, pointing out that the mission of God was for children of God to function in the supernatural, which he stressed that the supernatural signifies the realm of God.
Later at a grand reception organised for Enoidem at Ibom Hall grounds, Uyo, the governor warned teachers to desist from abusing school children in the state because offenders would face stiff punishment, pointing out “We have made direct phone numbers available to school children and their parents so that they can call or send text messages and report any molestation.
“I assure them that I will not only punish the teacher in question through dismissal, I will also punish the principal of the school if it comes to my notice that the principal did not take action to stop the child from being molested. Parents, take care of your wards and ensure that they are not abused and taken into child labour and trafficking.”
Akpabio, however, described Enoidem as a man with abundant initiative, who only report results and not efforts, and advised leaders at various levels to borrow a leaf from the commissioner, saying: “For some of you who have the chance to be managers of resources for the tate, try and develop initiatives, have it in abundance and then move the state from one point to another.”
He reminded the people that the Akwa Ibom State today is not Akwa Ibom of yesterday, noting “We should bear one thing in mind that Akwa Ibom of 2006 is not the Akwa Ibom of today because the state has changed and there are a lot of things that require sustainability. There are a lot of things that we must sustain.
“We must sustain the free and compulsory education programme for our children, we must sustain the operation zero potholes in the state, we must maintain the three hotels in the state, we must attract people to the state; the conference must continue, that means we must secure the state and make possible for people to come in from all part of the world into the State, they must see Akwa Ibom State as the Oasis of peace, we must love one another,” he maintained.
Earlier, Enoidem who had thanked God for His faithfulness to him and his family and Governor Akpabio for giving him the opportunity to serve in the State Executive Council recounted God’s faithfulness to him for seven years as a member of the State Executive Council.
Enoidem, who thanked Akpabio for the development of the state, pledged his continued loyalty to his administration, saying “I will not disrespect you; I will not disappoint you, not as a governor or as brother or as the senator that you are going to be. You have done well for Akwa Ibom State and I believe God is going to reward with a successor. I can compare notes with the previous government and I can say that you are good man.”