Children, Essence Of Our Future

BY SAM DUVWODE
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has drawn the consciousness of parents that the future belongs to the little ones and, therefore, urged them to celebrate and rejoice with their children.
Dr. Uduaghan, who made the assertion on the occasion of National Children’s Day Celebration with the theme: “Violence Against Children; Addressing The Challenges”, held in Asaba, said it is not a coincidence that his administration placed premium on on human capital development with a focus on children.
He urged everyone to rescue society and the future of the younger generation from uncertainty and insecurity, which are not only detrimental but avoidable threats.
The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama, at Children’s Day celebration immediately after the march past held at the Cenotaph, saw schools from Asaba, Ugbolu and Ogwashi -Uku axis participate in drama presentation and cultural dance.
According to him, the theme for this year’s celebration is a conscious call to parents, families and society at large to be aware of the need to protect children against all forms of abuse and violence, saying that violence against children occurs at various settings and forms, which includes the home, schools, workplaces and community. Some of the forms include child labour, child trafficking, child prostitution, sex tourism and forced child marriages among others.
“Violence against children endangers their rights to survival and good life. Children who are exposed to child violence are prone to become disoriented and could resort to drug abuse, prostitution and other such vices.
Considering that our children are the foundation of society’s future, all stakeholders, parents , care-givers, schools and churches should rise up to ensure that we come together to check the growing incidence of violence against children”, Dr Uduaghan stated.
The Governor also remarked that the protection of our children is an obligation we owe them in conformity with the right guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution and other international protocols and treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory. The state government’s commitment to the protection of our children gave rise to the enactment of the Child Rights Law ( Delta Stat), 2008. The theme of this year’s Children Day celebration is, therefore, a wakeup call to all stakeholders to take actions to stem the unacceptable tide of violence against children.
He charged children to avoid all actions that are inimical to their progress but ensure that their resilience, diligence and uncommon creativity remain a source of pride to the State.
He also urged all children to imbibe the principles of hard work, integrity, honesty and to be good ambassadors of the State wherever they are.
In her speech, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Betty Efekhoda, said the regular and constant celebration of the “Day” over the years in the country and Delta State in particular, has contributed immensely to increased awareness of the needs of children and also served to catalyze various actions that contributed to improve the welfare of children.
The Commissioner stated that this year’s theme was borne out of the alarming increase in the number of cases of violence against children. Even the continuous insurgencies and spate of abduction of school children by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria calls for concern of every well-meaning Nigerian and, therefore, the need to address the challenges in Nigeria at large and Delta State in particular.