The Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has called on parents, teachers and guardians to do more to safeguard the dignity, rights and privileges of children against any forms of molestation.
The first lady made the call on Wednesday while speaking in an event to mark the 2021 Day of the African Child in Abuja.
The theme of the celebration is, ” 30-Years after the adoption of the charter: accelerate the implementation of agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for Children”
Buhari, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on African First Ladies Peace Mission Dr. Mairo Almakura, said that every child had the right to survive and prosper in the face of violence.
She said, ”it is important to keep the children informed about their basic rights as leaders of tomorrow.”
Bujari also informed the gathering that the reason for the event was to create awareness in restoring the dignity of the African child through assessing their achievement and challenges.
” Many children in Africa are affected by different types of abuse such as sexual, gender discrimination, limited access to healthcare Street hawking among others” she said.
She, therefore, urged all stakeholders to make concerted efforts to ensure right and privileges of African child are protected.
In her address, the Coordinator African First Ladies Peace Mission, Mrs Beatrice Bassey, commended the first lady for her passion in supporting women and children.
Bassey said the will and spirit of the African Child would never be broken.
Also speaking, the Speaker, Street Children Parliament, Mr Saifullah Khalil, expressed hope that the event would provide avenues for street children to prosper.
Khalil said noted with concern that most of the interventions by the Non-Governmental Organisations ( NGOs) were just remedial in nature.
” It is worrisome that majority of the programmes ran by NGOs are remedial in nature, they serve the children on temporary basis by providing food, clothing occasionally.
” These initiatives have to be complimented by programmes which addresses the question of why the children are on the street ” he laments.
He, therefore, urged relevant stakeholders to support the street children.
” There is need for the authorities to collaborate with the Street Children Parliament to give the Street Child not only a voice but hope that will go beyond Africa.
” All of us have one goal to ensure our children live at homes not on the streets, remember when children are on the street, the nation is on the street.
” When hunger and anger hits the children on the Street, the people in the house will leave their houses and run to the streets for safety” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that since 1991, the Day of the African Child is celebrated on June 16 to commemorate ten thousand black students killed during the Soweto Uprising in South Africa, and to recognise the courage of the students who marched for their right to an education.(NAN)