A message to His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State, through the elders in Kafanchan:
Age Demands Action (ADA) fights for the rights of older people
On October 03rd, 2013, elders in Kafanchan celebrated the International Day of Older Persons as part of the Age Demands Action, ADA program. Age Demands Action (ADA) was launched in 2007 in 27 countries and it has rapidly grown in 62 countries where it helps to challenge age discrimination and fight for the rights of older people. Older people are at the heart of ADA since they are best suited to become activists on ageing issues and are passionate advocates for change in their communities.
Kaduna State is the first state in Nigeria to host ADA global event
In order to demonstrate the global concern about these issues, the UN has set up the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) which meets at the UN headquarters to discuss how to protect and promote the rights of older people at a global level. This year is the first time that ADA is being organized in Nigeria, and it is significant that Kaduna State is the first state in Nigeria to host this global event, and we are pleased to forward this message to Your Excellency through the Elders Forum.
Government's responsibility to protect older people
The Kafanchan Age Demands Action was particularly concerned at the lack of protection and care for elderly persons across all ethnic groups and religions, and other vulnerable members of the population during the recent civil unrest in the State. These vulnerable groups had no shelter, food, medical assistance and physical protection. The consensus at the Kafanchan ADA meeting was that there is a need to ask the Kaduna State Government to provide clarity about the Government’s responsibilities to protect older people’s rights, taking into account the fact that over 80% of older persons were not ex-civil servants and therefore they do not receive any pension from Government.
Urgent intervention requested:
The issues and areas in which the Kafanchan Age Demands Action group would appreciate Kaduna State Government’s urgent intervention include the following:
- Provision of a monthly pension for all older persons above the age of 65 as already obtains in some states of Nigeria
- Ensuring public and private health providers make provision for geriatric care
- Convening a multistakeholder forum to monitor and provide feedback to Kaduna State Government on the various age-specific initiatives of Kaduna State in areas of health, public transport, household food security, housing and legal protection
- It will be the pleasure of the Kafanchan Age Demands Action to promote the image of Kaduna State nationally and internationally as a State that takes the issue of older persons seriously