Saturday, 26 May 2012


I stared. I was lost in thought as i stared and i must have been opening my
mouth because my friend, Lola, came up to me and tipped my chin, causing
my mouth to snap out.
    "Dan, what are you looking at? why the sudden interest in these kids,
thought you said you don't like kids?".
    As she threw these questions at me, i opened my mouth in response to
her questions but the words are not forth coming.
I watched with joy how these kids fell on each other, destroying the sand castle
they had just built and reconstructing it again. I felt like partaking in the game
but I was all dressed up and ready for Lola's elder sister's wedding ceremony.
Lola had invited me for the wedding ceremony a week before and it is a must-
attend occasion for me because Lola and I are childhood friends. How time flies.
    I remember vividly my childhood, I had little friends. I was quite
reserved. I used to envy those kids across the block that visited beaches and
amusement parks during summer holidays and Children's Day.

    My family was not the type that takes kids out on such treats. My
parents were strict and we were told to read and work hard so that we can make
money and have time to play and do what ever we wanted.
    But my childhood was still fun, i played 'suwe' (if you can remember)
'kelegbe', 'ten-ten', 'after-round-one', e.t.c, with my friends after school hours. I
really had fun and the most important thing was that i had most of the things i
needed at my disposal.
I don't really think nowadays - kids had fun like we did back then. I could
remember when i was in primary 5, after school hours, Ben, Lekan, Lukman
and I used to.......
    I have digressed so terribly. I apologise.
    With all that is going on in Nigeria, very few people remember the
fact that next Sunday, May 27th is Children's Day. A day dedicated to
celebrate children.
    The Federal government has declared Monday, May 28th public
holiday but that is not enough. The government should really look into matters
concerning children in Nigeria. The future of this nation is in the hands of our
    Child abuse and child trafficking has become rampant in the society.
Just last week i heard a story of how children are being transported illegally to
neighboring countries, maltreated and abused sexually.

    Young teenagers from 11-17 have taken to hawking, begging and
stealing. You see them selling 'Gala', 'La-casera' and sachet
water in traffic jams. some run after fast moving vehicles in abid to sell and
earn a living.
    I had a chance to speak with one of these teenagers. Biodun, 13,  when
asked about her parents said her mother died when she was nine and since then
been living with her aunt who roast fishes for a living. Immediately after
school, she(Biodun) hawked fishes from street to street until very late in the
evening. " sometimes i dey enter house around 8pm and na that time i dey chop
my afternoon food", she said.
    Imagine such a scenario. How is she even expected to be at her best at
school when she does not even have time for herself.
Hawking fishes till late into the night! That is risky, exposing her to sexual
harassment and molestation. This is "pure child abuse", but how do we expect
her to survive?
     The Federal government is tardy in matters relating to child abuse, I
only hear of different programmes but i do not see their effects, I still see children
on the street being molested and abused.
    Go to the street and you shall see them in mass numbers. These kids
don't deserve to be treated this way, the rate at which young teenagers die
these days is alarming.

    Our leaders should initiate projects and programmes for the
upliftment and growth of these kids; these way child abuse can be reduced to
the bearest minimal.
    Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, (GEJ), Olusegun Obasanjo, (OBJ),
Babatunde Raji Fashola (BRF), David Mark, Ibrahim Babangida (IBB), all passed
through childhood and now are leaders and fathers.

    These kids deserve to be treated with respect, they need values,
attention, love and security.
    Oh! lest i forget HAPPY CHILDREN'S DAY. Who said i am not still a
child. **laughing**