Today, May 27, 2021, marks the annual children’s day celebration, a special day to recognize, honour, celebrate and appreciate God’s precious gifts to humanity.
Children’s day was first established by the United Nations in 1964 and till this day, it has remained an important day in the lives of many Nigerian kids.
Children are the future and hope of any Nation or society. Without them, there is no hope of building a youthful and productive workforce so attention must be paid to their upbringing.
This stage is unique because it is marked with moral instructions, home training, and fundamental education. It is at this phase that learning ability develops. If guided on the right path, children can perform well and if not, they can evolve into individuals that are capable of destroying a whole nation.
Therefore, parents have a huge role in how their children turn out. Also, the government has to put in place things that would secure the lives of children and their well being as our adulthood is informed by our complex childhood and teenage experiences and there is no doubt that a child’s upbringing has a huge impact on how he/she turns out in life.
On this day every year, a holiday is declared and several social activities are dedicated to celebrating the day. In saner and safer climes in Nigeria, most kids converged at stadiums and social centers to commemorate the event. But the reverse is the case in recent times as most kids now celebrate this day at home because of the worsening insecurity in the country, as bandits and kidnappers abduct, kill and maim uninterruptedly, as the government looks on helplessly, practically begging the criminals to stop their dastardly acts.
As a result of the current security situation in the country, children no longer go to the stadiums to march, present, and have a good time as parents are skeptical of allowing their kids to go to public places.
As we are celebrating children’s day, many children are still being held in captivity. There are children who are being denied basic education, proper feeding, children on the streets who have become beggars, and children who are being used as tools to perpetuate various forms of evil.
These have hindered them from enjoying their basic rights which include the rights to security and shelter, quality education and development, freedom of expression, etc.
As we celebrate yet another childrens’ day, parents should sincerely evaluate their parent-child relationships. If in doubt about the adequacy and efficiency of their parenting efforts, and the trajectory of their children’s lives, they should make proper amendments.
Also, the nation’s governments at all levels should objectively assess their efforts in securing the lives of their electorate, as the importance of stable and safe environments cannot be over-emphasized in the upbringing of children. As the saying goes, “vagabonds do not grow from the soil and neither do terrorists fall from the sky.”