AYGF would like to affirm that children are leaders of tomorrow, boys and girls from different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. By virtue of nation-building and development, these significant lots are the future. However, children all over share a common vulnerability as age almost always renders them unripe, unformed, and ingenious to confront life’s challenges. This has also proven to be a weakness throughout the years of their growth, and thus poses several consequences to the development of our society. The society owes these promising and inspiring lots a responsibility of proper guidance and protection all through their various stages of development.
AYGF also advocates for the protection of children in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large by encouraging the Governments of all Thirty-six (36) states to adopt the Child Rights Act. According to the findings of the 2014 NIgeria Violence Against Children Survey conducted by the National Population Commission with the support of the United States Centre for Disease Control and UNICEF; there is a high prevalence of violence against children in all the states in Nigeria. It was observed that approximately six out of ten children experienced some form of violence and 50 percent of all children in Nigeria experienced physical violence. The survey also noted that one in four girls and one in ten boys experience sexual violence, while one in six girls and one in five boys experience emotional violence by a parent, caregiver, or adult relative.
AYGF also points out that over the years in Nigeria, we have also witnessed the rising spate of kidnappings and mass abduction of students from schools for ransom. It is rather sad to note that these crimes are regrettably on the rise in Nigeria. The case of Government Science college students Kagara, Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, the Chibok girls, and Dapchi students kidnap amongst others still forms a dark cloud on our minds. It is unfortunate to note that for many of these cases, perpetrators of the ungodly acts have not been served the justice they deserve, as children continue to live in fear.
It is in this light that AYGF, Urges the government to secure schools and the country at large from banditry, terrorism, and kidnapping. With a special interest in governance, development, and education, the organization will keep generating support and sending out messages to the government to secure schools and the general public from banditry, kidnapping, and terrorism, with children being the major victims of these heinous crimes.
The millions of children living in fear of harm can still have hope in Nigeria as AYGF, amongst other stakeholders continue to make bold presentations and pragmatic move to the Government in order to curb insecurity and restore safety especially to children, which is an integral part of our MICC project this year in the area of migration.
As we commemorate this Children’s day, we wish to use this avenue to reiterate that the Children’s Rights Act is a Human right and must be respected and protected. Happy Children Day.