Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has enjoined
indigenes of the State not to discriminate against children
with special needs.
Responding to questions from children at a forum with the
Governor organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs in
collaboration with a state fit for a child, a pet project of
the governor’s wife, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke with theme,
“The Right of Children with disabilities: “The Duty to
Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill in Commemoration
of 2012 Day of the African Child celebration in Calabar,
Imoke maintained that he has special concern for those
with special needs.
Imoke reasoned that they should not be subjected to only
vocational education because they have equal
opportunities to be professors as well as lead the society.
The Governor maintained that just because a child is in
special need does not mean he is not intelligent and
disability does not mean he should be subjected and
deprived from achieving his needs.
He disclosed that the policy of the state is different as it is
its determination to ensure it is a state fit for a child as
every child is created by God and is none had influence
over God about his creation.
Imoke explained that emphasis should be placed on how
to integrate them to become what God has destined them
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Don’t discriminate against children with special needs - Imoke
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
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On the theme of the celebration, the governor said it reflected on special children, whose creation
was not by accident as they could be even better than those without disability and no one should
stop them from attaining their targets.
He noted that emphasis on renovation of schools is not focused on renovation of buildings but also
on readjustment of curriculum both in public and private schools to raise standards and quality in
According to him “as we renovate our schools, we should renovate teachers, we should renovate
students to create great opportunity for all as a ticket out of poverty,” adding that “teachers,
parents, and the society have a great role to play for you to be better than your parents.”
Imoke said though every child has right to education, it is not free because things that are free can
not be demanded as a right but it should be seen as the least cost item.
The Governor disclosed that government will intensify the ban on street hawking by children
because the way out of poverty is for the child to go to school in order to eradicate a vicious cycle
He remarked that though government has no power over parents covering their children, it will
continue to size their wares and therefore urged the children to be part of the crusade to stop street
The Governor condemned in examination malpractice as teachers involved will be sanctioned and
commended the children for the quality of questions asked, adding that he was excited because
they make government proud and that their presentations was a proof that their future will be bright.
Contributing, the Commissioner for Education, Professor Offiong E. Offiong, blamed the late release
of terminal results from the Ministry on late submission of answer sheets and incomplete results
sheets from principals and school heads and promised results will henceforth be released two days
Offiong, who gave his telephone numbers to the children in case of any complaints, commended
them for alerting the Ministry when ever the issue of examination malpractice came up in their
He described Cross River as one of the leading states in HIV/AIDS advocacy as six pilot schools
have been picked to kick-state a training programme which will be replicated in all schools when E-
The Commissioner agreed with the children that though there is dearth of sciences teachers in the
state, efforts were at hand to distribute teachers while volunteers were to be converted to
permanent staff and the College of Education is expected to produce science and technical
The Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs. Edak E. Iwuchukwu reiterated the resolve of government
to create a child friendly environment in the state while the crusade for a state fit for the child will
continue to be sustained.
Iwuchukwu explained that the theme for this year’s celebration was therefore a clarion call to all
stakeholders to give a thought to the rights and privileges of all children especially those
with special needs.