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Protect our children from abuse, save the future

By Odita Sunday, Isaac Taiwo, Chijioke Nelson, Benjamin Alade, Tobore Efe, and Oluwaseun Akingboye
30 May 2016   |   2:48 am
Across the country at the weekend, it was a potpourri of celebrations for children, who on Friday marked the Children’s Day. Schools were shut and in its place, were activities and fun games to excite, educate and entertain children.
 Children celebrating their day...on Friday

Children celebrating their day…on Friday

Stakeholders raise the alarm over rising violation of children
• No hiding place for child traffickers, others, Ambode threatens

Across the country at the weekend, it was a potpourri of celebrations for children, who on Friday marked the Children’s Day. Schools were shut and in its place, were activities and fun games to excite, educate and entertain children.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday said the state government would no longer tolerate any form of child abuse, domestic violence, child trafficking or violation of any law on the development of children, warning that perpetrators would be dealt with in accordance with the provision of the law.

Ambode, who was speaking at the Children’s Day celebration organized by the Lagos State Ministry of Education at the Police College ground, Ikeja, said in recent times, there has been a noticeable increase in child abuse, raping, kidnapping, deliberate neglect and above all, child trafficking in the country. The governor warned that his government would not tolerate any of these acts in any part of the state.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, disclosed that recent findings from Violence Against Children (VAC) survey indicated that children under the age of 18 in Nigeria are being abused in the society, most especially by those they refer to as their family members.

“My beloved children, let me assure you all of our determination and commitment towards ensuring that anyone who engages in any form of abuse and violence against any child shall be appropriately dealt with under the law’’ the governor warned.

He reminded them that his administration has demonstrated its zero tolerance for child abuse, kidnapping or violence against children with the prompt approach taken to recover three kidnapped students of Babington Macaulay Seminary, Ikorodu. He said he has directed all security operatives including the police to provide security around all public schools to forestall a re-occurrence in the state.

As children all over the country marked Children’s Day at the weekend, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs.) Idiat Oluranti Adebule, has enjoined parents and guardians to instill financial literacy into their wards. The deputy governor spoke at the launch of a financial literacy comic book of Heritage Bank Plc, profiled, ‘The Protector’ which is aimed at increasing the awareness of children’s financial education.

Adebule, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Lagos, Adesina Odeyemi, commended the initiative of the bank, adding that the book would help children understand better how well they could be financially disciplined, prudent and imbibe the culture of savings.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said, “with this comic book project, we envisage the birth of creative writers, voice over artistes, motion graphic producers among children.”

The pupils of Police Children School, Obalende in Lagos, were feted by Fidelity Bank Plc, as the bank handed over a renovated block to the management of the school. Besides, the bank pledged to renovate two other ones that flanked the completed building, together with a generating set to run the school’s laboratory.

Managing Director of the bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, who handed over the project to the school, said children represents the future and the future is currently led by technology, hence the bank is interested in offering them learning environment, as well as support efforts to keep them technologically sound. He added that the project was unique as it was initiated by the bank’s security men, who contributed N500 each, before it was made up by the management under its Fidelity Helping Hands Project (FHHP).

At the Lord’s Lady Fellowship of Royalty Christian Centre, kids were celebrated in a special way. Wife of the Senior Pastor, Adesunmbo Adeoye, said the fellowship decided to feed every year the less-privileged children and make them have a sense of belonging in the society.

“This year, there was a little departure from what we used to do as we surveyed schools around our community to know their needs and we have decided to give two schools with comfortable and convenient learning materials, which include electronic boards, tables and chairs from JSS1 to JSS3. This is in tandem with our culture of being a blessing to our host community by being passionate about their welfare and development,” she said.

In the same vein, the Kingdom Friends of the Needy Orphanage hosted indigent children at the weekend to a special Children’s Day celebration at the Tastee Laurel Event Centre, Jakande Estate Gate, Oke-Afa, Isolo in Lagos State.

Tagged ‘Children’s Day Celebration with the Orphans,’ a trustee of the home, Emmanuel Ebuka, said as an organization, they are braving the odds to attend to the needs of many widows and orphans under their care. “It has not been easy running the home for the past 14 years. In spite of the challenge of funding, we have been able to bring smiles to the faces of this orphans and widows.”

The guest speaker, Dr. Kehinde Ayoade, who spoke on the danger of social media to teenagers, advised the youths to be mindful of their interactions with people online and also time spent so as not to distract them from their studies.

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Akure, Ondo State capital, Kids and Teens Resource Centre, also feted pupils of My Jesus Is Lord International Schools, Atia, in Akure South local council to mark the 2016 Children’s Day celebration.

The programme manager of the NGO, Folasade Bamgboye, said the organization focuses on kids and teenagers in remote areas that have little or no privilege to enjoy the usual funfair peculiar to cities. The event featured Micky Mouse, games, sports, gifts, menu, talent hunts and a cooking competition on locally-made dishes to encourage the young pupils to appreciate African diet.

A group of three engaged in the contest while the duo of Ajayi Segun, 11 years, and Banmeke Kaousarat, 10 years, of Group B came first with 65 points by cooking a sumptuous meal of Amala and vegetable soup.