By Ikeugonna Eleke
A non-governmental organization (NGO), Greater Awka Allies, has condemned the rampant dumping of children in orphanage homes by prison inmates.
The group said visits to orphanages around Anambra and persistent enquiries about children in the homes had shown that they were usually children of convicts who serving terms in prison.
Mr Chinemerem Oguegbe, the coordinator of the NGO stated this on Wednesday, during a visit by its members to various orphanage homes around Awka to felicitate with children on the new year celebration.
Oguegbe said, 'We have discovered that a greater number of children in orphanage homes were children of prison inmates who come here to dump them to go and serve their prison terms.
'This should not be so. A parent who is going to serve prison term should drop his or her children with relatives who will give them better care, than exposing them by bringing and dumping them here,' he said.
The group insisted that such children should rather be handed over to their uncles or close relations and should also be enrolled in regular schools.
Members of the group who took time to organize a new year party for children at Model Orphanage, Awka called for the attention of government on the anomaly.
He said it was wrong to 'imprison' children in orphanages because their parents were going to serve a jail term.
'Government has to do something about this. Children of convicts should be handed over to their uncles or relations. Keeping them here is not healthy for them.
'There is no reason these children should not be given basic education which is nearly free in Anambra,' he said.
Oguegbe charged the children to be of good behaviour, pray constantly and make the most of every opportunity and experience they had.
He promised that the organization, through its members, both in Nigeria and Diaspora, would ensure that children in orphanage homes in Anambra State had access to quality health care and ensure a healthy environment through provision of basic infrastructure in Government owned Orphanage homes.