I think it is a difficult task to respect the rights of children or any other group in a country, without deliberately locating it within the ambit of the national question. In my opinion, the national question speaks of the national vision and mission a nation is committed, which strict goals are the welfare and the security of the people, the entire citizenry. The prosperity of the Nigerian child is determined by the prosperity of the nation. It therefore means that children’s rights cannot be considered in isolation of the state of the nation and the character of the state. To do so is to embrace mirage as the destination of a critical journey.
For example, if a nation does not have as its value, respect for the dignity of human person, you do not expect it to treat children differently. It is simply not in the character of the state to make a difference in the lives of the people, including children. The truth is that where a nation has no respect for the dignity of human person, the children feel the impact more, simply because they (children) are limited in their options, unlike adults.
My fear, as expressed above is real in Nigeria and Africa. It is common knowledge to everyone, who understands the essence of the state and governance that our country and continent are without national and continental visions. It follows automatically that since the country has no vision, it has no mission and therefore has no set of values to which it is committed as a nation. A nation’s birthing and understanding of her vision will determine her mission (strategy) and her mission will show her set of values she will need to conform to be in a position to operate her mission in her pursuit of her vision. When a nation has articulated vision, it becomes the number one tool in the hands of the leader to meet the needs of the people and inspire confidence in them towards patriotism. Therefore everyone, the leader and the led, young and old, individual and corporate, private and public institutions strive to conform to the articulated vision.
In view of the foregoing, I think advocating that government and its agencies should promote and protect the interests of the Nigerian child, is asking for a hard thing. It is important to note that it takes inner commitment, deft diligence and uncommon faith to ask for a hard thing for an entity that does have the character to give it. I guess that is why the Yoruba proverb concludes, ‘the one, who chooses to eat the honey hidden in the stone, must not consider that damage that may be done to his axe.’
Thank you for visiting. I urge you to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…
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