Director General of the National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), Dr Emem Omokaro has disclosed that 1 in 6 older persons are victims of abuse with abusers living within families.
Dr Omokaro who revealed the research findings in a goodwill message during the 13th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria at Abuja today, said that Older persons, Older women especially are accused of witchcraft practices and stigmatized, due to loss of memory from dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment and most times become victims of violence.
“There were for a very long time critical gaps in the national preparedness to respond to the needs of older people”, she noted.
She also disclosed that while Nigeria, is recognized as having a large youthful population accounting for 70 per cent of its population, the rate of increase in the proportion of older persons is significant, NBS NLSS 2019 puts it at 14.9 million older persons with a growing rate of 2.8%. The population of older persons is projected to increase considerably and about 70% live in rural and remote areas. An estimated 6.5 % from age 65 years live with varying disabilities that affect self-care and daily activities, there are many vulnerable among older persons and most are muti-dimensionally poor.
Emem who commended the Royal Fathers for keeping Nigeria united and ensuring peace said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has been very responsive to the enormous challenges.
“This present government has instituted the right set of sustainable coordinating, coordinating legal mechanisms that can make an inclusive Nigeria a reality for older persons and considerably reduce inequalities, discrimination and violence.
“We wish to inform your Eminences and Royal Highnesses of NSCCs extensive Stakeholder engagement mechanisms which we have created within each of the 35 States and FCT, aligned directors of the Departments of welfare or social developments of the relevant state Ministries, enables NSCC to reach older persons in the States and Local Government Councils, and to understand the peculiarities of each State. The challenges of older people require a whole-of-society approach to interventions. It requires the State and local government authorities’ investments to accelerate effort. The role of our Royal fathers is exceedingly significant in influencing positive outcomes. NSCC humbly seeks your partnership”, NSCC Boss requested.