Olufemi Oguntoyinbo Ajadi, the Ogun State gubernatorial candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Ambassador, has reacted to the latest ranking of Ogun state as the highest in child mortality within the South Western part of Nigeria, saying it is indicting and indeed a source of worry to all good loving sons and daughters of the state. He made reference to the study by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) which said Ogun had the highest record of deaths of children between the ages of 0 to 5 years in the Southwestern. This was a high point Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 6 undertaken in conjunction with the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics of UNICEF’s, which said that the state was also lowest in postnatal care for newborns, among others.
Mohammed Okorie, the Social Policy Specialist of UNICEF, also estimated that 56 out of 1000 children between the ages of 0 to 11 months died after birth in Ogun State. Ajadi also said it was unacceptable for a gateway state with its record of producing distinguished academics and other experts to rank worst in child mortality. According to him, the gateway state has enough resources to take proper care of its citizens but the problem has been the effective management of such resources.
Ajadi said the UNICEF verdict had also vindicated the stand of the NNPP that the state was not very well governed, because basic necessities were indeed lacking. According to him, the priority of any good government is first the welfare of the people because they voted him into office and secondly children, because without them the future of that state could indeed be bleak. He then questioned what happened to the proverbial statement that the youths are the future of tomorrow if the state has now become synonymous with child mortality.
“In a situation where other states are doing everything possible to take adequate care of their citizens through welfare provisions, what could be said of our dear state? Why have things deteriorated to the level where Ogun state can’t take adequate care of its infants? This is a source for concern”, Ajadi said. He said the promise of NNPP to bring about a change in the state once elected is not rhetoric but a course of action. He referred to his manifesto to have captured all the key areas of need in the state, adding that adequate welfare provision and health infrastructure were included.
“I promise our good people that we have been taking note of those critical infrastructure human and otherwise, lacking in our dear state. Once we come into power, our immediate work would be to tackle them. A comprehensive programme of collaboration is already in place, to roll off as soon as possible, once the will of the people speaks,” Ajadi said in conclusion.