Nigeria at 57: Children demand good governance
• Want End To Corruption, Unemployment
Over the years, they have watched helplessly as the good life continues to elude their parents and older siblings. And as they increasingly become aware of their plight and the dire challenges of growing up in the country, children in the country are demanding better deal from government.
In fact, they are of the belief that if the political class musters enough will to overcome corruption to the floor, without partisan considerations, the country would have started making its way out of the woods.
They also want governments at various levels to sustainably fund public education, as this remains the only befitting legacy that can be bequeathed to generations yet unborn, just as they want insecurity, graduate unemployment and sundry national malaise tackled.
Ebosetale Ailuelohia, of Mind Builders School (MBS), Ikeja Lagos State, said: “As a child, I feel the pain behind the smile of every Nigerian. At this period, I would like to encourage us to continue to look beyond the problems and challenges of this great nation, such as the high rate of kidnapping, power failure, lack of jobs for graduates, and abandoned projects.”
Ailuelohia, who says he believes so much in the country added, “at this point, let us seek peace and unity; let us do things right, and say no to bribery and corruption, and let us say yes to qualitative education for our children, who are the leaders of tomorrow. Let us give them the kind of education that will enable them compete with their peers from other parts of the world.”
Egbule Ifeoma, also of MBS, Lagos, believes the Federal Government has done great things in the lives of children, with respect to the Child Rights Act, which has given great powers and considerations to children in the society.
“Even though we are faced with so many challenges, we know that before long, all these will be things of the past. We only need to start with a step at a time, as “Rome was not built in a day.”
She expressed optimism that, “Nigeria can improve to be a better country; we just need to borrow a leaf from developed countries like America, United Kingdom and so on. I hope to see a better Nigeria in the nearest future, where our citizens in the Diaspora will desire to visit and see Nigeria as their home indeed.”
Oha Delight, of Community Secondary School, Rumuekini, Rivers State, said, “Nigeria is a lovely country regardless of all our challenges. But we need to improve on our educational sector, which concerns me most as a student. Most of our school facilities are in a very bad condition. There are no adequate chairs, making students to sit on the floor to learn. Such a situation discourages a lot of parents from bringing their wards to public schools. So, I want governments to give priority to public schools.”
For Muhammed Yahaya, of Junior Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja: “What has been bothering me lately is the issue of ethnicity in the country. We shouldn’t hate or cause separation among ourselves due to our culture or ethnic differences. There are a lot of young children who if they get killed in the midst of all these, their talents would be wasted.”
He continued: “Government has tried in our educational system, as school fees have been reduced so that our parents can afford to pay. But in the area of facilities, a lot more needs to be done. Our libraries and computer laboratories should be attended to. We don’t have enough equipment for practical lessons. We need government’s help to realise our dreams.”
“The Federal Government needs to address all issues affecting the country’s economy. Another area that needs urgent attention is unemployment. Government should take youth empowerment and job creation more seriously, because the number of unemployed youths is increasing,” is the plea of Matanmi Ifeoluwa, of Greenlands Academy, Onikolobo, Abeokuta, Ogun State, to government.
Timothy Adekusibe, of Okepata Community High School, Ososun-Ifo, Ogun State, is urging the Federal Government to tackle frontally, corruption in all areas of national life, as a country blessed with immense mineral resources, while Suleiman Abubakar, of LEA Primary School, Kpadna, Abuja, wants government to provide “jobs for our parents and siblings, so that they can take care of us. Government should also build more schools and provide books and facilities for learning.”
He added that, “Nigerian children’s future would be great if there is free education and books and other things are provided. Government should try to find solution to the problem of ethnicity in the country.”
More on pages 6, 17 & 18
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