Saturday, 27th May 2023

The change we desire is achievable, Nigerian children task government

By Gbenga Salau and Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
27 May 2023   |   2:30 am
To commemorate this year’s Children’s Day celebration, The Guardian reached out to Nigerian children to speak on their dreams for the country and what they think could be done to make them realities.

Nigerian children. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

To commemorate this year’s Children’s Day celebration, The Guardian reached out to Nigerian children to speak on their dreams for the country and what they think could be done to make them realities. Their responses are reproduced below:
Goodness Nnamani, Primary 6: They should think twice before choosing leaders. There should not be election malpractices. They should learn to listen to the complaints of people and work on it. They should reduce the price of goods. They should construct good roads. Government should be kind to the citizens because there is no way they can rule us without being kind and listening to our cries.

Surajo Shamsudeen, JS1: As a country with natural resources, I expect Nigeria to provide employment and jobs for people and they should kill the kidnappers that are killing people.
I feel the situation of things in Nigeria is both bad and good because everyday in Nigeria there must be bad news about something, which could be corrected.
Yes, children are the leaders of tomorrow and by the grace of God, we will do better than the present leaders. The present leaders are not preparing us to be good leaders because they seem to be teaching us to be corrupt. So, I want this corrected.

Sanni Abdul-Roheem, JSS 2: I expect a country of peace with all tribes living together in harmony; a country with no brawls, robbery and falsehood but good governance.
I do not feel good about the country because there is no peace. I hear about kidnapping and fighting. Things are expensive and our parents talk about how things were very cheap. Why can’t it be like that now? So, I am not happy with the situation.
Yes, we are future leaders but one could say that today’s leaders are not trying their best to make us leaders. Our teachers are preparing us to be leaders through what we learn in school. Then, we have leaders who are said to be corrupt, embezzling the country’s money for their own benefits.

Shekoni Oluwadarasimi, SS1: I expect Nigeria to be a country of peace and harmony, where citizens can call a home. I also expect that Nigeria should give the citizens very good education.
The situation of things in Nigeria is not good at all. Citizens are suffering from poverty, unemployment, kidnapping, killing and theft and the government is not doing anything to address it. All they do is to sit back and embezzle the money meant to develop the country.
Our future leaders are not doing anything to help us. We want to be medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, police officers, military officers and detectives but we cannot see the facility, which can help us to pursue our dreams.

Yusuf Hauwa Barde, SS3: I expect Nigeria to be more developed than what it is at present. I expect the leaders to make proper use of state funds and ensure that the country’s mineral resources are used to the people’s benefit. There should be reduction in corruption.
I feel the country is getting worse day-by-day, from insecurity to lack of employment to inflation. We need the government and the citizens to make a change.
Our leaders are not doing what is expected of them. They are not putting in the effort required to change our country for better. I hope I will emerge the first female president to put a stop to corruption, insecurity, embezzlement, bribery, inflation and much more.

Sulyman Sa’eedah, SS2: I am tired of hearing stories about what Nigeria used to be. I want to experience what it was like living in the former Nigeria and even a better version. So I expect a country that is truly the giant of Africa where the citizens are provided social amenities, free education, uninterrupted power supply, a crime free and safe Nigeria.
I feel sad and not really proud of the situation of things. I am particular about the inflation in the price of goods and services, dishonesty, insecurity corruption and nonchalant attitude of the citizens.
Today’s leaders are not preparing us to be the leaders of tomorrow. There is too much embezzlement of funds, bribery and corruption.

Kaka Motunrayo, SS3: The things going on in Nigeria are not something to feel good about. Most politicians want to win election to embezzle money meant to fix roads and refineries. With that, how would Nigeria develop? The only thing stopping Nigeria from being developed is corruption.
Today’s leaders are not preparing me to be tomorrow’s leader because they are not setting good examples. Is it corruption they want us to learn from? No, we need to learn good habits that make good leaders.

Adegbite Mojeedah, JS1: I feel really bad because almost everywhere I look in Nigeria, there are beggars. Citizens are dying of starvation, from unclean water and polluted air. People are meeting untimely deaths caused by reckless or drunken drivers. Our youths are becoming wayward due to overindulgence by our parents and guardians.
The government is not using the taxes to build more learning institutions instead the money is used for personal projects. How can we be leaders when we are uneducated? Our government is creating more problems for us. The saying of being a role model to younger ones is being ignored.

Adegbite Almukarram, SS2: I expect Nigeria to have good roads that are maintained. The housing infrastructure should be affordable so that people don’t live on the streets and more employment opportunities should be created because a lot of undergraduates are jobless. I expect the crime rate to reduce drastically. I expect the country to use our budget and taxes wisely. I expect Nigerians to look out for each other and create a better environment. All these attacks create fear in children.
I am not happy about the things happening in Nigeria. I feel the situations need urgent attention, as there is still hope for change.
Our leaders are trying but the environment we are in right now is not enabling enough for us to have the courage to lead our country. Our leaders display a lot of bad habit. If our leaders are in order, Nigerians will fall in order. To be honest, I am worried about how our future leaders will be able to cope.

Nwokoro Joyce: My expectation about Nigeria is that there should be electricity, good roads and jobs. I pray Nigeria becomes a beautiful place, better than what it is at present. I do not think the leaders of today are doing well for the country but I hope the leaders of tomorrow will do better.

Abigail Akinola, Grade 3: I want the government to make teaching a well-paid profession in Nigeria to motivate teachers. I want free education so that those in rural areas could have access to education. With poverty being a major reason a lot of children do not go to school, the Federal Government should make a policy on child education and enforce it. I also want support in terms of free meals, housing and allowance to help children thrive.

Gideon Bisiriyi: I want the Ministry of Health to collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that food is provided adequately for children. Imported foods should be properly screened so that children do not eat food that makes them sick. Government should establish pediatric hospitals with trained doctors and nurses. This will reduce the number of children who die as a result of their parent’s inability to pay hospital bills.

Ebuwa Michael: My expectations from the Federal Government is that they should come together to get things right. As Nigerian pupils, we are facing numerous challenges. The government should look into providing us with library resources. There is a general saying that ‘readers are leaders ‘ and lack of books or library resources as a whole is threatening the reading culture in pupils.

Secondly, the road network we ply on a daily basis has been left in a pitiable state. It is either there are potholes impeding free movement of cars or the roads are too narrow for two cars to move on at once. This has left a majority of pupils coming late to school or being absent from school. We need to improve on our educational and security system. Nigeria is destined to be a great nation, given its natural and human resources. We can all join our hands to make this a reality in our lifetime. I beckon on the government to hasten and look into these points written in this article and I believe the change we desire would be achieved.

Eniola Bello: “My expectation from the government is to look into the health sector and generate power enough to reach the pupils and the masses. The economy is very bad, in terms of education, food and financial issues. The government needs to help in bringing down prices of food and other items, because most Nigerian parents are really complaining. The best legacy government can give children is education. If a child is well educated, he/she will be confident and creative to make meaning out of life. So, government should provide good schools and try as much as possible to see that all Nigerian children are beneficiaries of free education in Nigeria.

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