By: BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has advocated creation of a separate Ministry to be known as Ministry of Children’s Affairs or Ministry of Nigerian Future by the Federal government with special budgetary attention.
Ooni Ogunwusi made the call while speaking at this year’s Children’s Day celebration held at his Ile Oodua palace in Ile Ife, as part of the activities he organised to mark the 2018 Children’s Day graced by over 5,000 pupils drawn from 80 schools including Orphanage centres in Ile-Ife and environs
The royal father according to a statement by the Director, Media and Public Affairs in the Ooni palace, Comrade Moses Yera Olafare emphasized that this became necessary in view of the need to properly groomed the children as leaders of tomorrow in the country, saying, the Ministry when created should be saddled with the responsibility of solely taken care of the children
“If we don’t want to put ourselves in precarious situation, this is the right time to start inculcating what Nigeria is all about to these children and dedicate a special space for them in the budget. As a matter of fact, we should be mindful of the future of this country by hugely investing in these children because they are the future of our country” he said.
Ooni Ogunwusi while emphasizing that Children should be celebrated “everyday and not only on 27th May which is Children’s Day”, added, “if you look at the demography of Nigeria today, you will see that 60 % of the entire population is below the age of 30. They are growing very fast and nobody is giving them any sense of belonging.”
“We are building roads, infrastructures, industries, power projects, etc. Who will man these projects tomorrow if not these future leaders? so we must start including them in our national plan by earmarking a special budget for them if we would not have ourselves to blame tomorrow.”.
The 2018 Children’s Day at the Ooni’s palace witnessed colorful displays by the pupils drawn from both public and private schools, during which they marched in colourful sportwears and school uniforms with several cultural performances graced by dignitaries including traditional rulers, Ife Highchiefs, government officials and representatives of the House Of Oduduwa Foundation.
During the match past, Right School, Oke-Ayetoro, Ile-Ife and Special School For The Handicapped, Ile-Ife won the joint 3rd position while God’s Time Nursery/ Primary School and Ifedapo Community Primary School, Ile-Ife came joint 2nd while Ansar-U-Deen School, Ogbon Agbara, Ile- Ife and St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Obalejugbe, Ile-Ife won the joint 1st position.
They were rewarded with cash prizes of #50,000.00; #75,000.00 and #100,000.00 respectively while
Ooni Ogunwusi also gave the teachers that accompanied the pupils to the event a sum of #200,000.00 saying the impressive conduct and performances of the pupils were results of their effort
The teachers were made to dance for the children with the first, second and third winners getting #15,000, #20, 000 and #50,000 cash gifts respectively while in the Mathematics Quiz Competition organized by the Ooni’s Charity Foundation, Hopes Alive Initiative(HAI), prizes were given to Divine Solutions Kiddies Academy which came third, Ifedapo and L. A Primary Schools, Ile-Ife which came joint 2nd while Jesus The Bread of Life School, Ile-Ife as the overall winners went home with the star prize presented by the Deputy President of Hopes Alive Initiative, Temitope Adesegun.