Enugu State Government has pledged to take adequate care of wellbeing of the 10-year-old female house-help (name withheld), who was grievously maltreated by her guardian, Mrs Ifeoma Ozougwu.
The state’s Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Princess Peace Nnaji, made the pledge when she visited the victim at the hospital on Saturday.
The state government also promised to offset her medical bills and ensure that she receives adequate medical attention at Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane.
The 10 year old girl was reported to have been burnt by iron and locked up in the toilet by her guardian before good samaritans were able to rescue and take her to the hospital.
Nnaji, who was immediately directed by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to visit the abused child, empathised with the victim and her family.
She assured the family that the state government would not take the matter lightly.
“We can never sweep it (matter) under the carpet as the dastardly act undermined the Child Rights Act that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration spent millions of naira, time and energy to enact in the collaboration with UNICEF.
“The Child Rights Act makes sure that every child in Enugu State is protected, given education, healthcare and right to life among others.
“Enugu state government is not taking this lying low.
“The government will take care of all the medical bills and everything concerning this girl,’’ she said.
She expressed deep shock over the cruel and inhumane treatment of the minor in the hands of her guardians.
Nnaji thanked neighbours for bringing the ugly incident to public domain, describing them as “Good Samaritans’’.
In his remark, Prof. Hycienth Onah, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, explained that the victim had been responding to treatment.
“Her chances of full recovery are high,’’ Onah said.
Responding, the mother of the victim, Mrs Nnedinso Nnadi, expressed gratitude to the state government for intervening in rescuing her daughter.
Nnadi said that it was a traumatic experience for the child and the entire family.
She asked God to reward all those who had played roles in the rescue and treatment of her child.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victim’s guardians, Mrs Ifeoma Ozougwu and her husband, Mr Jude Ozougwu, have been arrested by the Police.
The Ozougwus hail from Aku community in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of the state.