The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, has applauded the Federal Government for its ageing policy, which gave birth to the National Senior Citizen Center (NSCC), describing it as a long-overdue policy.
Oba Balogun gave the commendation when the Oyo State Forum of the NSCC paid him a courtesy visit at his Alarere residence, along with the Independent Expert of the United Nations on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older Persons.
The Olubadan, in a statement by his Media aide, Oladele Ogunsola, said the Centre, which came into being through an Act of 2017, could not have come at a better time in view of its relevance to the needs of the elderly people who had suffered neglect by the government over the years.
Oba Balogun said elderly people in the country over the years had suffered neglect by the government as if they do not belong to the society any more, not minding whatever might have been their contributions to the country in the past. Fortunately, it is a stage everybody aspires to attain and we are all subjected to the same fate at our different times of getting old.
Earlier, in his remarks, the Director-General of the Center, Dr Emem Omokaro, noted that the purpose of the visit was to introduce the Center to the monarch as a body with a mandate to identify the needs of senior citizens and to cater to them.
The United Nations Human Rights Officer, Claire Natheuie, who represented the United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older Persons, in her remark, apologised for the absence of her boss just as she commended the monarch for hosting the team, insisting that the older people equally have rights to whatever dividends of any government that are available to the younger generation.
The Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs. Grace Oderinde, applauded the team for the visit to the state.
She disclosed that the state government had bought into the policy and programmes of the NSCC as all the relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are being encouraged to register with the appropriate body.
The NSCC team was accompanied to the palace by the Oyo State Stakeholders Forum led by their two Co-Chairs, Amb. Sola Olagunju and Chief Kikelomo Laniyonu-Edwards.