Worried over the plight of their vulnerable peers in the insurgency stricken north-east, a group of Nigerian children have initiated plans to raise N20 billion to meet their needs.
President of the Nigerian Children Parliament, Miss. Hawa Musa, has announced that the parliament will soon launch the appeal fund, intended to correct the myriad of problems plaguing the Nigerian child.
Mid-wifed by the “Care for Heros Initiative”, the children’s parliament president was optimistic that the adults in the country could live up to the billing to raise the huge sum to meet the needs of their peers in internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps strewn in the geo-political zone.
“In fact all the official banks are over stretched that is why new branches are now opened in homes, ceilings, sewage tanks, water tanks and the latest bank now is the grave bank Nigeria plc, we thank God for EFCC.” she added.
Hawa Musa who addressed parent stake holders in Maiduguri last week regretted that the momentary silence they are hearing now from the front lines of the north east war does not translate to peace, adding that until every child returns to school and proper homes, and until every youth is empowered and given a meaningful direction to live, peace is still elusive.
She went on ” Until every woman, widow or the elderly have gone home and their sources of livelihood restored to them, until every village and towns destroyed are rebuilt, and every farmland restored back to normal, we cannot dream of real peace. The north east is only at ease.
“Until we stand up as one and confront the challenges of IDPs, we have internal destructions pending IDP.
“My parents you know more than I do but what I know is true is that the war against insurgency has been largely won but the battle for the enthronement of peace which was lost has just begun.”
Miss Musa announced that the forth-coming children’s day celebrations slated for May 27th would be dedicated to IDPs with a tall order to remove every child from the IDP camp back to school and to proper homes within one year.
She said that all the public schools in the north can absorb all the children in the IDP camps in the north east of the country and they as kids will not sit back and watch their fellow kids roaming about in the camps.
The children parliament president revealed that the children were considering working with the Nigerian communications Commission to raise five naira only from each network subscriber on a monthly basis from their airtime with a view to generate at least N400 million out of the 154million active subscribers in the country.
She further disclosed that it was their intention to meet several chief executives of blue chip companies in Nigeria with a view in ensuring that they donate materials towards the well being of their fellow kids, abandoned in ramshackled schools in IDP camps.
She said that they were in touch with the Controller General of the Nigerian Customs and the Nigerian Postal Service for more resources as part of their social responsibility to help the many vulnerable kids.
She also told the forum that to ensure that all the “children focused programmes” to work out effectively, the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Mamman Durkwa, has been appointed as the national children’s protection ambassador adding that they have been able to establish the board of traditional rulers as advisers with the Shehu of Borno Alhaji Abubakar Garbai as chair.
She later swore in the former Borno Head of Civil Service, Bulama Gubio, as the maiden chair of the children protection implementation committee.
Responding to his inaguration as the chair of the committee, Borno elder Alhaji Bulama Gubio described the era of Boko Haram harassment as the worse in the history of mankind.
He regretted that no form of brutality has announced itself the way the Boko Haram insurgents announced themselves in the north east of Nigeria in the last eight years.
The politician painted a sorry and sordid situation of sorrow, tears and blood as a patent trade mark of the terrorists who have wasted thousands of lives.
According to him, “they killed our wild animals and carted away millions of cattle from the north east where they have been holding sway for the last eight years.”
Gubio agreed that most of the children within the insurgency region have lost eight of their productive schooling years adding that all must be done to ensure that they all return to school because it is not too late for them to acquire western education.
Present at the stakeholders forum were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Mohammed Askira, Alhaji Bunu Mongunu and Usman Askira and a generation of kids ranging from seven to seventeen clad in various professional attires including that of the military and paramilitary.