Yobe 42: When a Nation Shed the Blood of its Future

This is a very difficult piece for me to write. I am doing by best not to express anger but focus on the issues. I am trying to reach out to the inspiration of my soul and spirit to tame the anger and anguish of my heart. I am deeply sober but in my soberness, I see hope. What is this hope? It is the hope that this piece will cause someone to act. It is the hope that this lamentation will cause a ripple and sanitization in the stinking and deep pond of silence that has greeted one of the most heinous crimes against humanity, the slaughtering of our children.

On August 16, 2012, I raised an alarm in The Punch in an article titled, ‘Boko Haram attacks and the Nigerian child.’ The piece was my response to the bizarre case of suicide bombing in Maiduguri, Borno State, where a 15-year-old boy blew up himself at a mosque, killing five people in the process. I submitted among other things, ‘why am I so passionate about the right of the child to life? It is very simple, the right of the child to life is the foundation of every other right the child has. In fact, every other right of the child is fulfilled in the protection of the right of the child to life. Thus, when the child’s right to life is breached with impunity, every other right is breached.’

Permit me to take off from here in responding to the killing in Yobe State at the weekend. It was reported that ‘gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram on Saturday morning attacked Government Secondary School, Mamudo, Potiskum, Yobe State, killing 29 pupils and a teacher in the boarding school.’ It was also in the news that earlier in the year, ‘a similar attack was carried out on a school in Damaturu, resulting in the killing of seven pupils and two teachers in a government secondary school and nine pupils in another school in Maiduguri, Borno State.’ UNICEF puts the total figure of pupils and teachers, who have been killed since June 16, 2013 at 48 pupils and seven teachers.

The simple interpretation of the foregoing reports is that our children are not safe in schools, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria. Children are not only the focuses of attack, reports also have it that children are recruited to carry out attacks on fellow children.

It is sad that the Northern part of Nigeria is fast becoming another Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban has declared schooling, particularly for girls a capital offence. It was a crime for which Malala Yousafzai and two of her friends nearly paid the supreme price.

The difference between Nigeria and Afghanistan and Pakistan is that while Nigeria seems to be accepting the threat against our school children a necessary evil, the nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan have refused to accept the threat of the Taliban, despite its formidable capacity for blood-curdling and dastardly acts of terror. The states and its citizens (including the media) have honourably demonstration a steadfast commitment to the right of their children to life and the right of the girl child to education.

Here in Nigeria, I see a nation, which goes to bed while its children are been slaughtered. I see a nation, which shed the blood of its own future, which the children represent. It is very sad. Our near silence is our greatest crime as a people. Franz Fanon said it many years ago, ‘every onlooker is either a coward or traitor.’ Today, I share copiously, the deep philosophy against silence of one of the greatest human being living, who when he was been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 was called a ‘messenger to mankind.’ Elie Wiesel submits: ‘The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.’ He further states, ‘there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.’ He concludes, ‘we must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’

Consider the response of the government and people of America, particularly the Media to the December 14, 2012 killings of twenty children and six adult staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the United States of America to our reaction to what has become consistent shedding of the blood of our children and their caregivers in the Northern part of Nigeria. Apart from the fact that the American and international media focused on it fully, the shootings prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States, and a proposal for new legislation banning the sale and manufacture of certain types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition. The debate also extended to safety within the school environment and concrete security measures to be put in place to forestall future reoccurrence of such tragedy.

I need us to understand that when a child is denied any of his rights, including the right to life, there are three categories of culprits. The first is the actual perpetrators of the act, the second is the primary and secondary caregivers, who should form the four rings (family, community, state and international community) of protection, who fail in their duty of care and the third are people like us, who stay, passive and unconcerned in the face of cruelty against our children, blessing evil with the libation of our silence.

One major justification (among many others) of the majority who perpetrate the complexity of silence is that the matter at hand does not affect them. For those who thus justifies their silence, I urge you today the world of Martin Niemöller, when most of the German elites would not challenge the madness of Hitler, which later led to a pogrom, to which close to 70 million people were slaughtered, representing 2.5 percent of the population of the entire world at that time. Niemöller submitted, ‘First they came for the socialist, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist/ Then they came for the trade unionist and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist/ Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew/ Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.’ I love the way Martin Luther King Junior puts it, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ It may be public school children in the Northern part of the country today; tomorrow it may be the private and public school children in all parts of the country.

I urge us to begin the debate today and I think the issues are clear in my mind: first, is the school environment safe for our children in Nigeria, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria? If not, what kind of security measure are we to immediately put in place for the safety of our children, beyond a blanket declaration of a state of emergency? What kind of relief mechanics can we put in place for the affected schools and the families of the deceased, pupils and adults alike?
On a final note, for a nation, who slaughters its future, its hope and for the citizens, who keeps mum in the face of this crime against humanity, I challenge with the words of Walt Whitman: ‘…Those corpses of young men, Those martyrs that hang from the gibbets, Those hearts pierced by the grey lead,
Cold and motionless as they seem, Live elsewhere with undying vitality; They live in other young men, O, kings, They live in brothers, again ready to defy you; They were purified by death, They were taught and exalted.’ Have an INSPIRED day.


YOBE 42: What Shall We Do?

‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere,’ says Martin Luther King Junior…Thousands of Children and teenagers are being slaughtered in the Northern part of Nigeria…The School System is no more safe for the Northern Children…What shall we do ladies and gentlemen…It is Northern Children, who are been killed today, it may be Southern Children, needless to say that we have children from across the country in the North and our children are in Schools in the Northern part of Nigeria…We CANNOT fold our arms…How shall we(men and women of good conscience) hold our government accountable for the security and welfare of our children, particularly those within the School System? Please let the debate start…Do have an INSPIRED evening Taiwo Akinlami http://www.taiwoakinlami.com

My Father Has a Plan…A Comprehensive Plan

My Father,
Did not consult me before creating this world;
He did not consult me before creating me;
I am also fully aware He was not under any kind of pressure or blackmail to push me to this world;
Above all, I know surely that IRRESPONSIBILITY is NEVER in His Character,
Therefore, He did not send me here without a comprehensive plan, SIGNED, SEALED and DELIVERED before the FOUNDATION of the world;
Without doubt He has everything about my life from the beginning to the end Water-tight COVERED;
I’m SAFE and SOUND in His MIGHTY hands, inscribed on the palms of His Hands;
Have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s Day http://www.taiwoakinlami.com

Join to make a Solemn Declaration of Child Protection Specialist

It is Friday and I am sure you are all in the mood for the weekend, hence, I am breaking my treatise on Commandments of Rights Based Commandment.

I will like you to relax and make these declarations with me, which I believe the Lord placed in my heart on a beautiful Sunday morning…It has blessed many and changed lives in many of my seminars, where I have shared same live. I believe it will help everyone, who is genuinely interested in doing all in the best interest of the child to not only make  genuine declarations, but to live up to the demands of the declarations. I await your responses. Thank you as you make these declarations with me:

Dear LORD,

Is there a CHILD YOU want to save today?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to lift.

Is there a CHILD you want to befriend?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to love.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to love?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to protect and perfect.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to bless today?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to honour.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to send an angel to?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to help.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to give direction by YOUR SPIRIT?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to comfort.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to visit?

I mean a CHILD, whose story YOU want to change forever.


Yes, dear LORD,

I know there is a CHILD YOU want to reach;

I mean a CHILD YOU want to reveal YOURSELF to in the FLESH,

As a FATHER, who daily and generously LOADS



So, here I am dear LORD,


Don’t look too far.

SEND me,


I mean I am LOADED TO GO.



© 2010 Taiwo Akinlami

Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 7 Audio Books and 3 E-books are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

Commandment 8 of Rights-Based Communication with Children: teach the child how to reason

The child is never a dumping ground of knowledge. He must be a co-facilitator. The principle is very clear: in all things, tangible or intangible, never do for a child, anything a child should be able to do for himself by reason of his mental and physical development. We must also understand that their mental development in particular, will be dependent on how much time, energy and other resources, we have sacrificially invested in same.

This principle also applies to communication with children. Do not say for a child anything the child should be able to say to himself. Do not answer a child a question; the child should be able to reason out by himself.

The best we can do when we find that a child is asking a question he should be able to reason out himself is to lead the child to an answer. How do you lead the child? You ask him leading questions that will bring out the answer in him, giving adequate consideration to his physical and mental development.

We must understand that Children like to indulge themselves. It is our responsibility to love them without indulging them to the point of spoiling them. Indulging themselves means they want to have their way. When it comes to that it is always a battle of will, which the child must not win often. Informed parents labour to create a balance here, that is, not to damage the will of the child and at the same time to train his will to respect order. The challenge, I have seen is that parents and other custodians make much effort in the foregoing area but do not extend it to communication with children. If he has his way in communication, he will have his ways in other things. It does not make sense to indulge him in communication and claim to be strictly in other areas.

How do we indulge the child in communication? Ignorantly, when we answer all the questions we should lead him to answer; when we say for him what he should be able to say for himself or what we should coach him to say for himself; when we pass instructions to him as if he is not a reasoning being and spell out everything and leave no room for some pleasant puzzles. And if we manage to give room for puzzles, we are more than willing to reel out the answer at one attempt by the child. We will not reason with him.

The mind of the child needs to be developed and communication is a tool, I mean skilful communication by the custodians of the mind of the child. That is why we should expose our children to games like crossword puzzle. An expert submits, critical decision making should not only be left to adults. Children should also be taught to make critical choices and decisions in the nick of time. Sometimes, this does not happen and when the occasion arises, a child may be found wanting in this area. Instilling the discipline of critical decision-making is essential to a child’s survival. Crossword puzzles can resolve this easily.’

When we lead of children to reason and find answers to their own questions, we teach them to bring out the best in themselves, even when they did not know it is there. It becomes a template for them in life that there are always more in them than they can see and this helps them to task themselves in everything they do. Also, through this process we teach our children to own their thoughts. When they own their thought, it helps them to think originally and their creative ability is set in full and unstoppable motion. When they own their thoughts, it also has direct and positive impact on their self-esteem and their self-esteem has direct impact on their self-confidence and their self-confidence has direct impact on their performance and their performance has direct impact on their destiny in life.

Socrates remains one of the greatest teachers, who ever lived. His method of imparting knowledge, which is today known as Socratic Method is summed up thus: ‘is a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.’ If we must help our children, we must resign from loving the sound of our voice and give our children spacious rooms to bring out what God deposited in them.

I must tell you, our children were not born empty, as philosophers have told us before now. The good news is that they are born loaded. It is our responsibility, however to bring out the deposit, first to their knowledge and they will in turn bring it to the whole world to see, applaud and reward.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE. Have an INSPIRED day.

Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 7 Audio Books and 3 E-books are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.



The Chairman of the APEN, Dr. (Mrs.) Femi Ogunsanya and highly esteemed members of Board of Trustees of the trail blazing Association of Private Educators of Nigeria (APEN), committed to LEADING THE WAY in the educational sector in Nigeria and beyond. Thank you for this priceless opportunity to address you today.

I will like to begin by saying that I feel very much at home in your midst because my relationship with you did not start today. It has spanned a period of over 2 years, when I trained the teachers of Ox-bridge Tutorial College. I also facilitated 2 sessions at the 3rd APEN Conference, disseminating The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution and thereafter, I have trained many of the APEN member schools. Permit me to also note that in August 2000, my organisation partnered with Atlantic Hall Education Council, Lagos to train all its pupils on their rights and responsibilities. The event was reported on page 36 of  THISDAY newspaper of Friday, August 25, 2000.

I consider it a priceless opportunity to address you today on the burning and globally-trending issue of Child Protection. I consider it a priceless opportunity for 3 reasons: first, today I am addressing renowned, committed, visionary and nimble educationists, who have not only defined excellence and professionalism in the educational sector, but in whose hand lies the past, present and the future of the sector. I say the past because you are all pioneers of great institutions of learning, recognised and applauded beyond the shore of our great nation, Nigeria and continent, Africa. I say the present, because you are still in the trenches building credible blocks of sustainability and I say the future because you are working smart, hard and selfless to create the next generation of responsible educators in Nigeria and beyond.  

The second reason, I consider it a priceless opportunity to address you is because, advocating for the protection of children is what I am born to do. I believe that if I abandon it, my Creator, who gave me life, has a moral obligation to demand my life from me. Having been rescued from seemingly insurmountable impact of troubled upbringing by the grace and the mercies of God, I will be ungrateful, unfaithful and irresponsible if I do not plead this noble cause. Thus I have made this a lifetime commitment since Sunday, February 16, 1997.

The last reason is that I believe, here is an opportunity for us to again make history in the lives of our children. It is my long-held opinion that every day is a usual day until something happens and things do not happens until human beings, who God gave dominion over the affairs of this world decide to take action in that direction. My goal here is to make today, Tuesday, July 2, which appears as a usual day to become an unusual day in the diary of change in the lives of our children and the educational sector in Nigeria and beyond. It is in the light of the foregoing that I most humbly and respectfully invite you to open up your conscience and listen to my advocacy today.

Calling Your Attention to The United Nations Alarm:

I will like to call your attention as custodians to the report of a recent survey conducted by the United Nations on the state of the world children. The survey sadly reveals that never in the history of our world have the children been under the kind of siege and abuse they are today. The United Nations Survey exposes a shocking picture of physical, emotional, sexual abuses, neglect and mistreatment of children in countries in every corner of the world. The survey declares, ‘while abuse may be at its worst in the developing world, no country is guiltless.’

It is also a major and disturbing trend in Child Protection, the world over today that children are being mostly and are likely to be mostly abused and molested by those, who are closest to them and by those who claim to protect them, including primary care givers like parents/guardians and secondary care givers like nannies, teachers and others and not by strangers as most of us erroneously believe.

Global Frustration

United Nations Survey also reveals ‘International conventions on human rights for children have flatly failed to guarantee protections for the most vulnerable members of society.’

The Big Question

Why has the celebrated national and international legal framework failed woefully to protect our children from abuse?

Our Informed Answer

Having been in the forefront of Child Protection through the instrumentality of the law in the last 16 years and working with UNICEF in the last 8 years, we have come to the irresistible conclusion that the law as an independent tool of child protection is as powerless as a paper tiger. Therefore, for the law to make sense, it must be mixed with enlightenment. It is our informed position that Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement™ of the laws relating to children and their rights. The strength of enlightenment is that it leads to prevention of child abuse. ‘Prevention is better than cure.’

Enlightenment is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The goal of enlightenment is Child Protection Social Policing™. Child Protection Social Policing™ happens where every primary and secondary custodian within the four (4) institutions (Family, Community, State and International Community) responsible for the protection of the child are equipped with Knowledge (what to do), Skills (how to do it) and Attitude (wisdom and inner strength) to professionally and effectively protect, preserve and defend the rights of the child, even at the cost of personal discomfort.

The United Nations recently supported our position that Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement™ as it submits, responding to child abuse cases is four times expensive as child protection and protecting children against violence and abuse aims at saving cost of families, communities and ultimately the state.

Our Role as Whistle Blower

As an organisation whose mandate is ‘to bring to the very front burner of private and public conscience and consciousness the rights and responsibilities of the Africa child for due respect, IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD,’ we are committed to eradicating child abuse in Africa through enlightenment, which cuts across the Four (4) Rings (Family, Community, State and International Community) of Child Protection.

Having being on the field for over 16 years and trained from within and outside the country in training and establishing Child Protection Systems, according to global standards, the foregoing, we intend to do with our Child Protection Creed Campaign, which seek to equip every custodian in the life of the child with Knowledge (what to do), Skills (how to do it) and Attitude (wisdom and inner strength) to professionally and effectively prevent abuse against children. Apart from educating the custodians, we desire to leave them with Child Protection or Child Safeguarding Policy, which seeks to create a culture of child protection by creating an internal system for child protection.

Our targets are primary custodians (parents and guardians), secondary custodians (teachers and non-academic staff) and the pupils themselves as they have the right to participate and be educated in matters that affect them.

Our Request: A Call to Best Practice

Having partnered with APEN in the past, we seek to further collaborate with the association, to bring to the front burner of the conscience and consciousness of the private school system in Nigeria the inevitable message of Child Protection, thereby becoming our Child Protection Social Policing™ Partner within the private school system with the following responsibilities:

  • Short-term: Create an opportunity for us to disseminate our ChildProtectionCREED™ One-Day Academy to the TEACHERS, POLICY MAKERS, ADMINISTRATIVE and SUPPORT STAFF, PARENTS and PUPILS of member schools of APEN both individually and collectively;
  • Long-term: To set up a Child Protection Committee for APEN, to which we offer to serve as consultants to come up with a globally compliant system of Child Protection within the private school system, culminating in drafting a Child Protection/ Child Safeguarding Policy for APEN, which member schools can adapt and be trained on how to implement in their individual schools. Such system and the policy enumerating same can also be hosted on the website of APEN.

Best Practice Defined: Child Protection is today a global trend within and outside the school system. It has become a critical reference point in determining best practice within the school system. It is therefore our professional belief that for today’s teachers and others working directly or indirectly with children to achieve effective service delivery, understanding child protection must become a core and inevitable skill. In my opinion, it becomes unethical to hand over children to teachers and others working within the school system, who lack knowledge of child protection.

In the same vein, we believe that effective parenting is impossible without an understanding of child protection. We also think that when teachers, who are secondary custodians, are trained in child protection and parents, who are primary custodians, are not trained, they make the job of the teachers not only difficult but almost impossible. Our findings also show that today’s parents do not go out of their ways to seek knowledge, therefore the institution of learning, where their children attend have a role to play to be a link to equipping them with the knowledge of child protection. By this effort, our institutions of learning become celebrated change agents in creating a word fit for children.

Conclusion: A Voice Against Child Abuse

The impact of child abuse is eternal except there is divine intervention. Therefore child abuse must be prevented by all noble means possible. For our children to become responsible family men and women, leaders of organisations and responsible citizens, we believe that academic pursuit is critical but it is not enough. We must be concerned about the sanity (heart) of the child, which is what we attack when we abuse the child. The heart of the child is the seat of character and compassion. It must be preserved and protected. It is in THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR CHILDREN, our families and nations to CREATE A WORLD FIT FOR CHILDREN. We urge you to embrace this challenge.

Thank you for listening and God bless you. Do have an INSPIRED Day.



Commandment 7 of Rights-Based Communication with Children: Understand their communication Style

I say happy new month to you all. I am excited to be with you today.

Permit me to share with you the Commandment 7 of Rights-Based Communication with Children: Understand their communication Style.

Children do not communicate like adults. The first communication barrier between adult and children is lack of knowledge on the part of the adults that they and children communicate differently. When an adult understands that he and a child communicate differently, he will seek to find out how a child communicates and meet the child at his own level.

Please note that the first thing we must understand about the way child communicate is that their communication is not structured or organised in most cases. Due to the foregoing, they are not always brief in their discussion. Consider a 6-year old, who was yelled at by the school bus driver. She approached her teacher to complain. Characteristically, she is not just going to report and leave. She will begin from when the driver picked her in the morning, how he did not use his seat belt until he saw some uniformed men ahead, how the driver waited in the house of one of her classmates and she did not come out on time, how a car nearly brushed them and so on. If you are not careful and do not understand how children communicate, you will get fed up and ask her to go straight to the point. When you ask her to go straight to the point, you will notice that she will make one or two attempts to continue from where you interrupted her and it will take your insistence for her to go straight to the point. If you observe, you will find that the child at that point becomes uncomfortable with the discussion and the only thing on her mind is to leave your presence. She simply feels rejected. Her countenance tells her story eloquently.

When you interrupt a child this way, you gradually kill her self-esteem and confidence. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with the way the child is communicating. It is either, you do not understand how children communicate or you do not have the time to hear the child out. Both will not be an excuse for interrupting the child. Your interruption is obstructing a process and it has dire implication.

Adults interruption also makes them lose quality information. There are many things a child may say in trying to report a matter that may not directly relate to the case at hand but reveals to you one or two things about the character of the person involved or give you better facts on how to handle a situation. For example in the case of the six-year-old above, she told the teacher that the driver did not wear his seat belts. That provides a clue to the disposition of the driver to safety while driving the children. It also gives you a clue that the supervisor, assigned to the bus with the driver is not effective.

Even when children are inarticulate and it appears they are not making sense, we must not interrupt them. Our responsibility is to help them to crystallise their thoughts and make sense out of what they are saying. The child does not need to know the implication of what she is saying, it is the responsibility of the custodians to clarify, interpret and act.  The truth of the matter is that we are only able to do this if we have it settled in our minds that childhood is not synonymous with foolishness and that the child is not out of his mind, just because he is not as articulate as an adult.

I think the way children communicate is deliberately installed by God. Since they will not go straight to the point, it helps them to know if they have your attention before they go to the main point. It also helps them to build confidence before they get to the main point. Lastly it gives the adult an opportunity to show love to the child and as I have said times without number on this page, love to children means attention and acceptance.

I believe it requires a lot of patience to have a meaningful communication with children. I implore you as a primary or secondary custodian to be ready to supply a large dose of patience in communicating with children.

I think I should sign out here. Thank you for visiting today. Sure you learnt one or two things on how to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY and Think the FUTURE.

Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 7 Audio Books and 3 E-books are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.