Displaced Children: Setting Agenda For The New Government On Rehabilitating Them By Adua Bitrus
Permit me to quickly extend my congratulatory message to the new government as a patriotic Nigerian citizen. We have battled words with ourselves too long to keep playing politics even after the election. It is no longer APC or Buhari anymore. It is Nigeria, yes another new Nigeria and welcome to it. Congratulations to the new president Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR and the entire cabinet of the new ship, we do hope things get better in the course of our four years journey.
Nevertheless, that would not deviate me from my incessant agitations for the younger generations, which I believe are a greater part of our tomorrow, until things get better for them. Until they are able to live like their counterparts in the western shores. Several agitations both online and physically have been done and still in progress but yet, very little action have been taken by the government in saving the future from dying. And this of course is one of many reasons why me and a host of others who believe in the course of the Nigerian child will not rest until the positive is achieved in favor of the child out there.
I am quite aware of the agendas the new governments had set before it, to direct its administration In the next four years .I want to commend them for such great plans and strategies employed, I must say, the agendas are just what an ailing nation like ours that have suffered the brutality of democratic displacement and mismeanors need only if well implemented. I do hope you create a space to tackle the long overdue Child/children’s right abuses and neglect.
However, I write not to create a public recognition for myself or self appraisal but I write because I once was a child who knows the darkness of been abandoned to street menaces and ill fates. I write this piece, so Nigerians home and abroad could know the plight of the Nigerian child since inception, I write as a voice to that Nigerian child who daily rest his head on bricks beneath bridges at night falls, I write for that child daily endure starvation as meals ,I write for that little pretty girl with big bright dreams but she’s far from achieving them because her life is daily put at high risk on highways trying to make a living, I write for that beautiful future mother who has been gang raped countless times, I write for that Nigerian child who roam around party venues to scramble for crumbs to keep body and soul together, I write for that child, I write for that child who does not know the beauty of childhood because he his dwelling in the dark shades of good life. I write unbehalf of that child who is seen begging in busy motor parks and road side, I write to help save the Nigerian Child.
I want to clearly state the alarming state of the Nigerian child which I was able to discuss in my recent articles/publications –Ranging from Child labor, child hawking, child trafficking, child marriages and the increasing number of children on our streets and slums et all—.The younger generations are faced with life threatening challenges and some of them are placed at the mercy of no one. Some unlucky enough meet their dead end. Nigeria is blessed with resources enough to help provide the displaced Nigerian children better homes and social amenities to help them have a better living condition. This is a fact we obviously can’t deny. Reverse has always been the case here, the displaced have been left to survive the harsh life out there on their own with very few private individuals coming to some of their aides. The government has done nothing to tackle this despicable state of the Nigerian child thereby giving rooms to rapist patronizing the feminine class of the children, kidnappers picking them up at the fall of the nights for all kind of reasons.
Riots, especially in the northern part of Nigeria has driven some of these children into the streets with no parents or family relatives to cater for them, some have been victims of displacement due to disaster like flood, fire e.t.c , some after losing both parents and no family relative ready to take up the responsibility to see them through, they take to the streets as the next available option to survive via begging, scrambling for crumbs at party venues, hawking petty goods on dangerous highways and at odd hours et.all.It is really not their faults that they get littered on the streets or motor parks begging, but it is really our fault for not looking up to helping and saving them out.
The future of our nation is blur and Infact too bleak to be called future. It’s like we have forgotten that the Nigerian child is equally a Nigerian and they are entitled to the benefits of our resources. The situation of the displaced children is too serious for to pretend as if all is well with them. Not every one of them is so privileged to be born with a silver spoon to see someone who could rise up for them ,none of them is your own, is no reason to ignore the dwindling state of their survival.
The evils, yes, countless evils have been unleashed on these homeless kids, they are weak, and not many of them could sustain themselves through the tough conditions. We are wasting brains, we are wasting good future, and we are trading good dreams for bad ones. Don’t we fear for the number of dying children, rising number of child rape and child kidnappings? We do nothing and that is why we have so many of them eroding our highways even at odd times and some used as sex toys. Some are accident victims because the governments care less about rehabilitating the displaced victims.
However, I wouldn’t want to spend so much time discussing these problems as they are crystal clear to everyone and if anyone is having doubts, take a stroll out into any busy motor parks or busy highways or perhaps under bridges at late hours and see for yourself will give my own possible solutions to helping the displaced numbers of children to put out the cause of the fire. I am quite aware of the government little efforts in time past in building refugee camps and centers where the displaced citizens are kept but very little or nothing is done to maintain the abode, social amenities are well absent and far from reach. The centers are built and afterwards neglected. A visit to one of the refugee camps situated in Ogun state almost moved me to tears, the poor state of infrastructure is not worth the view, the government stopped supplying food and other amenities, some of the children still had to go out to hawk to be able to feed. This is more like setting a trap for someone you meant to set free, At the end, it is of no use taking the first step because it’s still going to bounce back to the same old situation. Building camps and centers are just not enough help to render to displaced children but an effective management and control of such places could be better. Creating a sustainable child care development programme
Moreover, some good strict laws could be enforced to prevent child abuses e.t.c. I am quite aware of some Childs right protection laws and some other few statutes set up by private lawyers and bodies towards reducing the high rate of child abuses in our societies. I am still of the view that, the government could be of paramount assistance to this course by instituting strict and good disciplinary measures need be put in place to make it more effective. Such menaces are not to be tolerated or handled with levity; the law should be ready to bring to book any defaulter of it no matter their status in the society. Only these, would we be able to combat the excesses against the Nigerian child. They are humans too and as far as I am concern, they are covered by the law within Nigeria as citizens and the deserve to be taken care of instead of abandoning them to ill fates.
Meanwhile, this is not just a fight for the government alone but for all passionate Nigerians who believe in the course of the Nigerian child. A solid stand against child abandonment is a solid stand for the future of Nigeria.
Save a child!
Save a Nation!