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Children’s Day: Stakeholders urge FG to prioritise child’s rights

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As Nigeria joins the rest of the World in commemorating the 2024 Children’s Day, stakeholders have called on the government for the protection of child’s rights through a safe environment.

The stakeholders spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the side line of an event, organised by the Boom Kiddies Festival, in Abuja on Monday.

NAN reports that the theme for the 2024 commemoration is, ”For every child, every right”.

The Creative Director, Booms Kiddies Festival, Mila Ajakaiye, said there was need for the Federal Government to focus on boosting the country’s economy to allow parents have the means for their children’s education.

Ajakaiye was speaking against the backdrop of out-of-school children menace and the threat that many children might be forced to withdraw from school due to economic challenges.

She also called on the government at all levels to pay adequate attention to the protection of rights of children.

“If the economic situation is friendly, parents will be able to afford their children’s education.

“But when we have high cost of school fees everywhere, those looking for a means of survival, how will they be able to afford it?

“Even some of the government schools are equally not cheap. If the government can focus on the economic situation of the country, it will water down to every aspect of life including students going to school,” Ajakaiye said.

She said there was need to promote inclusivity and create a sense of belonging for all children as well as cultivate empathy and compassion in them.

“We want to build and create joyful experiences for the children; we also want to cultivate empathy and compassion in them at their young age.

“We have chosen a theme for our own celebration which is actually ‘Empathy, an Act of Kindness’. We want to teach them the importance of empathy which is a lifelong skill.

“Through meaningful interactions with less privileged children, participants are expected to develop greater empathy and compassion towards others,” Ajakaiye said.

Also, Head of School, Namu Legacy Schools, Abuja, Mr Joseph Usman, called on the government to place priority on the education of Nigerian children.

Usman, asserting that government cannot do this alone, urged civil society organisations, and non-governmental organisations to support the government in contributing to the development of the country.

He said this must be done by giving every child the right to education.

“A child has every right to be educated. The issue of 20 million out-of-school children should not be there.

“Education is power and if a child grows up without education, then that child is lost, so the government should make sure that every child should be educated at all levels.

“Once a child is educated, every other thing will follow,” Usman said.

Some of the children, who spoke with NAN, expressed hope in the future of the country, while urging the government to give them the opportunity to know their rights.

At the event, e children participated in horse riding and other popular games.

Students from the Cuddle School, Namu Legacy Schools, SOS children Villages, among others participated in the celebration.

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