Social work

Group calls for passage of social work bill

The national chairman of the Nigerian Association of Social Workers, Alhaji Moshood Mustapha, said on Tuesday that failure to pass the Social Work (Settlement) Bill, pending before the National Assembly, has contributed to the upsurge in murders, human rights violations and poverty in the country.

Mustapha said the non-passage of the bill has prevented social workers from fighting the good fight to protect Nigerians, thus aggravating social injustices such as murders, kidnappings, poverty, gender inequality, economic deprivation and other social ills.

The NASoW boss, who spoke at a press conference in Ado Ekiti as part of the World Social Work Day 2022 activities on the theme “Co-constructing a new eco-social world: not letting nobody aside,” urged the Senate to pass the bill, which he said was resubmitted in February 2022.

He said: “The bill aims to legalize the operations of social workers in the country, whose cardinal objectives are to prevent social injustices, to promote human rights, in particular that relating to the standard of living of the Nigerian population.

“Social workers must promote the social, political and economic growth of a nation. We must defend the rights of citizens regarding their social, economic, legal and physical well-being so that we can all feel the dividends of democracy.

“In order for social workers to get deeply involved and achieve this, we have introduced the Social Work (Settlement) Bill to strengthen us so that we can fight for our citizens. We need to get a bill to call a spade a spade when bad things are done. We need to be regulated and legally empowered to achieve them.”

The President of NASoW, Ekiti Chapter, Mr. Temitope Adewusi, who commended the state government for promoting the practice of social work, said Governor Kayode Fayemi, his wife, Bisi; and other state dignitaries would also be honored “for proposing a series of programs aimed at ensuring women’s empowerment, gender equality, rights protection and the like in the state.”

The group, however, described as a failure of common sense and an act of callousness the crowning of a murder suspect, Chidinma Ojukwu, as beauty queen in a contest organized by the Nigeria Correctional Center.

Ojukwu, who is on trial for his role in the murder last year of Super TV CEO Usifo Ataga, entered the contest and won with the photos shared on social media.

Mustapha, who said that labeling the suspect who, by law, is presumed innocent until trial, amounted to stigmatizing her, added that it also borders on insensitivity because one must realize that the murder d’Ataga was not in a long time and the family is still going through a lot of pain.

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