Greetings to our distinguished Rivers people, and welcome to another episode of RivEthics on Radio, our character-building weekend show. Please remember that there are certain things that money cannot buy. One of them is childhood. Let’s value it. Our topic this week is in commemoration of the 2019 Children’s Day, coming up on 27th May.
Statistics has shown that about 42% of Nigerian population are children and one third of children aged from 6 to 14 years don’t go to school. Many children leave school for different purposes and children’s rights are often violated on daily basis. Unfortunately, not much is being done to counter children’s right violation and the imperfect system of education. More also, 70% of children live below the poverty line with Nigeria also having a very high infant mortality rate of 93.93 per 1000 births. (This compares to 6.3/1000 in the US). In addition to all of this, the children are also exposed to kidnapping, street trading, lack of qualitative education, malnutrition and a host of other societal ills.
A UNICEF Consultant captured the plight of Nigerian children in clear terms in a recent newspaper report. She said, that the high level of diverse and tedious jobs that children execute in dangerous circumstances is particularly worrying. These jobs include being street vendors, beggars, and shoe shiners. Traditionally, children have worked with their families, but today children are forced to work for their own and their family’s survival. The money earned by child family members has become a significant part of poor families’ income. These children who work suffer from fatigue, irregular attendance at school, lack of comprehension and motivation, improper socialisation, exposure to risk of sexual abuse, high likelihood of being involved in crime. There is urgent need for government to enforce laws on child labour in order to stem the tide and further reduce the heavy burden placed on these children.
Children’s day is the day we celebrate all the little ones that have been gifted into our lives. All of us know how Children are a source of unconditional love, laughter, and joy in our homes. Let us continue to value, mentor, celebrate and parent them. But let’s not forget that Children’s day is also a reminder for us about the other children — children who have nothing to eat, who are abused, or trafficked. Let us remember and try to do one small thing to help alleviate their challenges.
Our guest speakers, Mrs. Harmony Dangosu Akanimo, Coordinator of the Niger Delta Kiddies Club, and Miss Fortune Harmony will throw more light on the topic. Please enjoy the episode.
Our kind and loving Rivers people, please remember to always let your manners speak for you.
God bless and keep you and your families and God bless Rivers State.
Hon. Justice Mrs. Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike,
The Wife of His Excellency,
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike CON. GSSRS. POS (Africa),
The Governor of Rivers State
You can also listen to and download the Pidgin English version of this Episode below