The Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, a platform that promotes societal transformation in attitudes towards women and children, has called for the enforcement of children’s rights and privileges on the anniversary of the children’s day.
This was at a symposium held on Saturday for children from all walks of life at the palace of the Ajalorun of Ijebu Ife, in Ogun state.
The theme for this year’s children’s day celebration : “Creating Safe Spaces for Children: Our Collective Responsibility” is an opportunity to promote the safety and security of our children.
In his welcome address, the Ajalorun of Ijebu Ife, HRH Oba A.A Oguntayo, who was ably represented harped on the importance of children in the society.
”Our youths are our heritage. They are our tomorrow. The least we can do is to create an enabling environment for them to achieve their possible best,” he stated.
In her humanitarian address, the deputy governor of Ogun state Chief Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga lauded the activities of organisations like the Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative through educating, enlightening and generally complementing government’s efforts in its desire to empower children to take over the mantle of leadership in the future.
“Recent developments have shown that government alone cannot cater for the whole needs of its people, especially when you juxtapose the available funds with the competing needs, hence the assistance and cooperation of well meaning individuals and organisations are required to ensure an enabling environment for our children,” she said.
She also stressed that the government recognizes that the society cannot thrive without children, hence their effort at putting in place policies and programmes that will continue to ensure the development of children of Ogun state, irrespective of their location, gender and religion.
The deputy governor appealed to children to be more focused on their educational activities and utilize the ease of access to the internet in harnessing information for their overall improvement and development.
Other speakers at the event include Dr. Pamela Jackson who spoke on healthy living, and other representatives from the Ogun state police command, NAPTIP, IOM and the state ministry of Education.
In her invocation, the convener of the initiative, Dr. Ama Onyerinma likened the journey through life to ‘The Stew of Life’ which requires ingredients just like any other stew: Tomatoes, Pepper, Salt, Onions, Oil, Chicken, Meat and/or Fish, Spices, Fire and a Pot.
While the ingredients are the necessary everyday challenges and experiences, they, in the overall scheme of things, help us in achieving our lofty dreams and making us better people.
She therefore urged the youths to embrace education, family and friends, healthy living, creativity and generally allow their lives to become a vehicle in making a difference for others and their society at large.
A member of the board of trustee, Prince Gbenga Oguntayo, who is also the crown prince of Ijebu Ife stated that the passion for positive change for all, regardless of age, gender, socio-economic and psychological limitation motivates the team. He urged the children to enjoy their youthful age and make the best use of it.
“Nigeria is a great country. It can only get better. Our youths are our future leaders. The future starts now,” he said.
Other activities carried out to mark the day included spoken word rendition by school pupils, child rights drama and entertainment by a ventriloquist.