By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna.
As part of effort to get States Executive and Legislatures to domesticate the Child Rights law in some states in Nigeria where it has not gotten attention, Chairman, Board of Trustee (BOT) of Linking the Youth of Nigeria through Exchange (LYNX), Olusegun Mayegun has charged the Nigerian child to be ready to fight the war that will enable them enjoy their Fundamental rights.
He laments the attitude of executives and Legislatures of 12 states in Nigeria who deliberately ignored the law even when Nigeria has already adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) since 2003.
Olusegun said this at the closing ceremony of a 5 day Training Camp and Project Launch of Aflatoun Child Rights Cooperative Project, Friday in Kaduna, organised by LYNX and Societal Socialis (SOS) Children Villages International, in collaboration with the European Union (EU)
According to him, “there is no doubt that there is a war on children in Nigeria, and this war is not a war that will be fought with guns or advanced military artillery. It is not a war that will be fought in the streets with protest and with shouting.
”It is a war that must be fought in citadels of power, where those who make the laws and are charged with implementing the law and keeping the law, rest on their oars, not ready to take the struggle to give the most vulnerable in our society the chance they need to survive and thrive.
“This is a war that will be taken up by the children themselves, they will be the ones to speak up and they will be the ones to make their voices heard. The time has gone when children will be passive recipients of what they hear and see, when they will accept their fate as leaders of tomorrow while they are dying today.
“It is a call for them to rise up and break the shackles that entangle and chain them. It is a call for them to speak up and break through the silence that is often deafening. It is a call, for children to claim what is fundamentally theirs and what is enshrined in the document for all time, i.e the UNCRC.”
Olusegun who is a child rights advocate, lamented the increasing rate of out of school children, child suicide bombers, child trafficking, child labourers, sexual molestation and assault on children, saying there is need for them to participate in the laws and policies that will affect their well being.
“Being under the age of voting, children are relegated to the back seat of participatory governance. Yet the very laws that are meant to protect children most often do not. The very institutions that are set up to protect children most often fail them” he stressed.
On his part, Programme Development and Strategy Adviser, SOS Children Village, Nigeria, Mark Nwankada, explained that the Aflatoun Child Rights Cooperative Project use social and financial literacy to empower children to understand and achieve their rights.
He said the programme is primarily being implemented in Kaduna and Enugu states which are currently part of the 12 states that were yet to domesticate the law.
The states are; Kaduna, Enugu, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno. Others are Gombe, Kano, Katsina Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna.