#THESTORIESOFMYCHILDHOOD: DEFICIT OF SOCIAL PROTECTION: YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW

I was not born with any spoon in my mouth, gold, silver, bronze, aluminum, paper.

I was born to parents, who lived from hand to mouth, depending meager salary and proceeds from a petty trade that was not enough to accommodate all of the necessities of life not to talk of luxury.

But for the government of the United Party of Nigeria and the mercies of the missionaries, I wouldn’t have seen the four walls of primary and secondary schools.

Today, that support from the government and the missionaries as small as it was has been deliberately wound up.

Post-COVID lockdown, I was with my colleagues working with the precious children in one of the communities where our Children’s Parliament exists.

The question was if they loved Nigeria and none of the over 50 children we were working with could answer in the affirmative.

These young lads neither knew nor had a nation to love. They have lived stateless, in a nation that has never been touched by the feelings of their legions of infirmities.

Childhood, has not bestowed on them any chance.

Over 90 millions of their disempowered and impoverished parents live in abject poverty in Nigeria, according to World Poverty Clock, abandoned with no access to any form of social protection, healthcare, shelter, nutrition, education, care and protection.

These children are not underprivileged as we love to call them. For you to be underprivileged, your basic rights must have been met and what you do not are privileges.

These children are the denied and the abandoned, who in the words of Erwin Macmanus, started life in deficit and now live in deficit of basic needs of human existence.

As I think about my childhood, as rough and tough as it was there was a glimpse of support from the government and the missionaries.

But to these precious children, whose childhood does not provide a chance in life, WHO IS COMING FOR THEM? Awawa Boys? One Million Boys? Egbesu Boys? Boko Haram? Yahoo Boys? Armed Robber?

Nigeria RONU or KASALA DON BURST!!!

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