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CHILDREN AS DEVELOPING STORIES

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Modest Thoughts with Ayuba Yilgak’ha

Children’s Day celebration as it is being observed in many countries around the world is a product of consensus agreement amongst nations. In 1925, the World Conference for the Wellbeing of Children, unanimously, recognised that “Mankind Owes to Children the Best That It Was to Give” and, declared June 1 as a day to draw global attention to issues affecting children: Fall out from wars, child labour and children molestation, hunger and starvation, etc.

Although countries observe Children’s Day on different dates the motive is one and, squarely, the same: Welfare and fair treatment of children. In other words, there was need ‘to change the way children are viewed and treated by society and, to improve children’s welfare.’

In Nigeria, the celebration holds on May 27, 2024. On that day, school children filed out to designated centre like stadiums to do match out parade, gardens and relaxation spots to wine and dine with their loves. The theme for this year’s Children Day Celebration was, “To every child, every right.” It is apt and could not have come at a better time than now.

Based on the report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), young people below the age of 30 represents 42% of the country’s population. This statistic entails great potential for a country that aspiring to attain greatness!

Children are assets and the future of every institution or nation. In Psalm 127:3-5 (NIV) the scripture says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” With the benefit of this understanding children are to be valued above all things!

With children, there is no dull moment. With them the world smiles broadly. They are harbinger hope for value creation, addition as well as defence when they grow and become adults!

It is important to know that this children are innocent and pure in mind. They are, fertile grounds or minds for the cultivation of new ideas, orientation, experiences and/or methods now and will live with those virtues. In other words, whatever becomes of the future of man and humanity depends on the investment we made on children.

Children are a developing story or stories yet to be told. They are fragile and can be vulnerable if not properly guided and tendered with care!

In the fragility and vulnerability of children, they need utmost care, affection and protection to grow. They should be guided properly if they must reach adulthood and productively make great stories in the future.

It is unfortunate that the stories of some adults who were children yesterday are twisted in everyway. Those concerned here have railroaded into shadow activities and have become wayward in every sense of the word. Hardened criminals, terrorists, insurgents, bandits, Kidnappers, drug traffickers or addicts, human traffickers, prostitutes, rapists, etc. on my mind!

When a child falls into the luring traps of illicit drugs and/pornography or illicit sex, the sense of logic, morality and productivity of the child is badly altered. Pornography or illicit sex, specifically, loosens the child’s self-control and drug abuse reduces him or her into a loaf of bread soaked in water and an unproductive chap that he/she will not want to associate with, on a normal day.

Today, there is traffic at our prisons, Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs) and Refugee camps are expanding, abject poverty is refusing to fizzle out, inequality is striving, strange orientations like LGBTQ are with us, etc. These are complex problems that need urgent solutions to make the world a better place.

When we complaint that the world is twisted today, the explanation is that those parents and guardians we had yesterday failed in their responsibility to do the needful when present adults were growing up as children. In order to get the world straight, therefore, we have to fix our children through godly instruction and discipline.

As this little ones celebrate their day, they are prayed for and wished well. Let me pray for parents and guardians whose responsibility it is nurture this children into useful maturity also. May their strength never fail them but, instead, be renewed to deliver their parenting functions with great distinction.

May God help us all, save our children that have derailed or become victims of man’s inhumanity to man. Happy Children’s Day Celebration and may the sky remain blue and the beauty of nature whisper melodious songs of joy to every child in the world!

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