By Muhammad Amaan
Some Nigerian children on Sunday joined their counterparts in other countries to celebrate the 2023 World Children’s Day, also known as Universal Children’s Day, demanding a better Nigerian society.
The children, mainly pupils of Lagos State primary and secondary schools, made the demand at the celebration, organised by two Non-Governmental Organisations; Fola Mola Global initiative and Archbishop JKA Aggey Foundation.
The pupils, at the event held at Primary Health Centre Amukoko, Lagos, said that an improved Nigerian society was necessary to guarantee a better future, for the younger generation to achieve their dreams.
November. 20 of every year is set aside as the International Universal Children’s Day, to highlight the rights of children.
The celebration began in 1954 through a UN declaration, and the theme of the 2023 Universal Children’s Day celebration is “For every child, every right.”
The young Nigerians, treated like Queens and Kings by the organisers, thrilled guests with songs, dance, a quiz competition on the knowledge of Nigeria and recitations, to mark the day.
The children were rewarded with writing materials to support their education.
Grouped into four, of no fewer than 30 per group, with every group represented the names of the first indigenous Bishop of Lagos that was John, Kwo, Amuze and Aggey, led by the group leaders, presented letters of their dream Nigeria to the organisers for onward presentation to the state.
Speaking during his letter presentation, Master Fawas Dawuda said he was desirous of a Nigeria devoid of insecurity, where everyone could be inspired to attain his or her goal in life.
Dawuda, a JSS 1 student of Alaba Oro Comprehensive Secondary School, said that a corruption-free Nigeria with good healthcare and better education systems was needed to grantee sustainability and youth confidence in the future.
Also speaking at the event, a representative of the Aggey Foundation, Mr Taiwo Fadonugbo, advised the children on good behaviour and Patriotism to the country.
“Show respect to the elderly and take ownership of public facilities, discourage others from vandalising them.
“Ensure you make the best of your school period and come out with good grades that your parents and community will be proud of.
“The future of this nation rests on your shoulders, it is expected that as young people you equip yourselves, practise leadership through community selfless-service works to encourage your peers on Patriotism,” he said.
The Executive Director of Fola Mola Alhaja Folake Abdullsalam, described a child as anyone under the age of 18, and tasked parents to ensure their protection.
Abdullsalam frowned at the neglect of Children’s rights, saying “a right is what you are legally entitled to, it is what is due to you naturally.
She listed the four guilding principles of the convention on the rights of the child as: non-discrimination, priority given to the best interest of the child, right to life, survival, development and respect for the views of the child.
She said that the programme was to make the children aware of their rights and ways to ensure they were not being trampled upon.