November 29, 2019

Former Nigerian Senator, Dr. Eze Ajoku has expressed regret for not taking advantage twelve years ago to speak for elderly persons whiles in Senate.

He made this remark on Tuesday 26th of November 2019 at the two days workshop organized jointly by the Economic Community of West African States Parliament and National Human Right Commission of Nigeria, on the theme “Human Rights Framework and the Situation of elderly people in Africa”.

“I do not want any of the lawmakers here to have same regret, I have tried to amend my regret, that is why I am in the sub-regional Community Parliament to appeal to you all haven recognised the plight of older persons”.

He appealed to lawmakers to become advocates of older persons as they will sooner or later join very soon.
According to the former Senator, when he joined the association of elderly persons in Nigeria; Coalition of Societies for the Right of Older Persons, he noticed that it was necessary to get a legal framework to define the basic rights and privileges of  older persons.

“As an elderly state man and former lawmaker, I cannot stand anywhere and say I have a right to anything, there is no legality to hold any person responsible for that, our organisation has started with a draft bill which is on the floor of the Nigerian Senate and has gone through first reading”.

He further appealed to lawmakers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliaments, to raise the issue at their various National Assemblies to start creating the basic right and privileges for their older persons, as a draft of the bill in the Nigerian Senate would be made available for adoption in the sub-region.

“If you have this same right you can move from Nigeria to Ghana and you would be accorded this same rights and privileges”.

Dr. Eze Ajoku, shared an experience with the sub-regional lawmakers, where two weeks ago in Nigeria he went to the American Embassy and spent only twenty-nine minutes to be served with more than three hundred people in line to be attended to.

“When they noticed I was above seventy years, they jumped me and served me. This is civilization that is what we seek for elderly persons. Some of these rights are not difficult so my colleagues lawmakers you have a major stake in this, you can help fighting for older person”.

Members of Parliament play a very important role with everything that has to do with a Nation, MPs are not aware of the plight of older persons, what “I have found is disturbing and policy makers and MPs should not forget the fact that they would get old”, he concluded.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/