A cross section of prominent traditional rulers in Gombe State have called for the creation of social welfare packages that will cater for the basic needs of the less privileged in the society as a way of addressing malnutrition.
The traditional rulers stated this separately in their Palaces during advocacy visits paid to them by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) on the need for them to press on the state
government for the funding of malnutrition activities.
Foremost to speak out was the Mai of Kaltungo, Engineer Saleh Mohammed who told the
delegation that the Nigerian Government needs to create sustainable welfare programmes
that will take care of the aged, disabled as well as other less privileged persons in the society due to their helpless situation.
According to him, Government has to strategically put in more money to cub poverty stressing that he doesn’t wait on Government to tell him his responsibilities as he supports a lot of less privileged families to feed themselves.
He commended CISLAC for engaging in the campaign stressing that even for the Federal
Government to release one billion naira for nutrition activities is a step in the right direction.
At the Palace of the Mai Tangle, Dr. Abdu Buba Maisheru II, he agreed that Government has to do more by providing services that will take care of children due to the ignorance of some parents on
how to effectively take care of their children against malnutrition.
He said, people need to be educated on the best way to take care of their children to avoid having
malnourished children in the society.
On his part, the Emir of Dukku, Alhaji Haruna Abdulkadir Rashid, described malnutrition as a
serious case that requires urgent attention in order to save children.
He acknowledged the improvement in the situation sometimes back in his emirate due to the
school feeding programme in the state but stated that there is need to increase the tempo on the
Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) programme because the school feeding
programme ended only in the schools.
He called on the Gombe State Government to partner with donor agencies in the direction of
solving malnutrition cases in the state and appealed that the CMAM programme already existing in only four out of the eleven Local Government Areas of the State be extended to all the other LGAs.
Earlier, the programme manager of CISLAC, Murtala Mohammed, told the traditional rulers that
the NGO wanted them to be vanguards on the call for State Governments to own up the funding of nutrition activities due to their importance as custodians of the people.
While decrying how nutrition funding had been sidelined by State Governments despite its obvious scourge, Murtala sought the support of the traditional rulers through sensitization of their subjects in addressing the problem adding, “ever since the running of CMAM project, governments have not been contributing meaningfully to the programme”.