*say over 400,000 out school children are in Oyo State
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Association of Orphans and Vulnerable Children Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, (AONN) on Sunday alerted that over 400,000 children are presently out of school in Oyo State
Oyo State Chairman of the Association. Pastor Marcus Williams raised the alarm in Ibadan while addressing a press conference to commemorate this year International Day of the African Child with the theme “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”
Pastor Williams stressed that with the situation on ground. there is the need for the Governor Seyi Makinde led administration in Oyo state to pay particular attention to the plight of vulnerable children. saying, “Children all around the world are facing a lot of challenges as their rights and privileges are been trampled upon by people who ought to be protecting them. Government agencies, private sectors and major stakeholders must rise up to defend the Rights of Children.”
The AONN Chairman maintained that the African Child “commemoration is not for funfair but to reflect on how best to shape children, secure their future and work on their overall wellbeing.
“We want to use this medium to appreciate the Oyo State Government for prioritizing education and children welfare in the State. The Ministry of Women Affairs in the State have been doing great work in ensuring the Rights of children generally are protected.
We also want to appeal to the government to do more in ensuring that laws that protects the rights of children are enforced and the populace sensitized on existing laws with emphasis on penalties when the Rights of children are trampled upon” he said..
Pastor Williams added. ” it is the duty of the government to protect and fulfil the Rights of children but the roles of the private sector cannot also be overemphasized. Hence, we want them to reinforce government efforts by contributing their own quota to the overall development of children in Oyo State.”
“Children in vulnerable situations suffer most from these crises. A case in point is children with disabilities, who need special care and attention before, during or after a crisis. Stakeholders are obliged to evaluate the viability of their policies to cater for children in vulnerable situations, including children with disabilities, to ensure that their rights are upheld. Humanitarian crises have far-reaching implications and affect all strata of society, with children being the most vulnerable to the impacts, as ‘they have fewer resources to draw on to plan for, cope with, and recover from difficult situations. “
Speaking further, Pastor Williams noted that “the Private Sector should also invest more in education, health, clean environment and shun all forms of child labour and protect children affected by emergencies. Attention should be placed on supporting children in the State through organisations Corporate Social Responsibility.”
Emphasizing that “AONN Oyo State chapter is ready to partner with government and key stakeholders so as to achieve improved quality of life for children in Nigeria and in Oyo State in particular.” he disclosed that “AONN has membership in 33 LGAs in the State as well as the newly created LCDAs. Being a child focused NGO Network we seek to commemorate the day of the African Child via this press conference to draw attention to the rights of children and access to humanitarian response”
He pointed out that concerted efforts must be put in place by all tiers of government as well as private sectors to ensure issues surrounding the well-being and protection of children are re-evaluated to pave ways for new approaches, children-friendly policies and laws that will bring about better services for children in Oyo State.