Although World’s Children’s Day is on November 20, 2022, May 27 has been Nigeria’s Children’s Day since 1964.
“A Better Future for Every Child” is this year’s theme. Nigerian Children’s Day isn’t a holiday.
It has traditionally been used for non-academic activities like marches, excursions, and other programs to promote child civic awareness and leisure. This year’s edition comes as our children face bleak prospects compared to their peers abroad.
According to UNICEF, in Nigeria, 13 million out-of-school children have risen to 18.5 million. Over 10 million are girls, and 80% live in the North. Poor governance widens the gap in children’s education and care.
Few children of super-rich parents can afford the world’s best schools. Middle-class children attend public and affordable private schools. The poorest children can’t be fed, let alone educated.
The future is bleak for all three groups of Nigerian children. Inhuman crimes, violence, and terrorism are offshoots of neglecting our 1990s and early 2000s-born children. Even those we educate languish in the job market; most are unemployable due to poor education.
Nigeria has many malnourished children. Boko Haram, bandit, and armed herdsmen terrorism have forced many farmers into refugee camps, worsening malnutrition.
Time to save Nigeria from bad governance. If we continue, Nigeria will be a disaster zone in 5-10 years. The hungry children of the poor will make sure the overfed children of the super-rich have nowhere to hide, except maybe abroad, where they’ll be treated like scum.
Let’s use the 2023 elections to elect leaders who will bring smiles to Nigerians, especially our children.
Happy Children’s Day! Let’s keep fighting for a better future for every Nigerian child.