Home Politics DEMOCRACY TAKES ROOT FROM CHILDHOOD AS PLATEAU STATE GOVERNMENT CONDUCTS ITS 7TH...

DEMOCRACY TAKES ROOT FROM CHILDHOOD AS PLATEAU STATE GOVERNMENT CONDUCTS ITS 7TH NATIONAL CHILDREN’S PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS AHEAD OF CHILDREN’S DAY CELEBRATION.

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In keeping with the spirit of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which recognises the right of the child to be heard, (UNICEF), the Plateau State Government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development conducted its 7th National Children’s Parliament Elections ahead of Children’s Day Celebration.

Held at Dimples Hotel Zarmaganda, Rayfield Road Jos on Sunday, 26th May, 2024, the election had 3 special delegates from the 17 Local Governments and 6 special delegates from the Plateau State orphanages. The special electoral umpires that superintended over the elections were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

To ensure the children’s parliamentarians comfort, they were camped from Saturday in Jos and had series of educational lectures on the roles of the children parliament. The election was preceded by manifesto presentation and eventual officers were thereafter, inaugurated underscoring Plateau State status once again as a beacon of youthful democracy in Nigeria

The timing of the elections, corresponded with the celebrations around Children’s Day, and reinforced the importance of young people in the discourse of nation-building. These initiatives directly influence the children’s understanding and practice of democratic engagement, as they participate in electoral processes mirroring those of the adult world. These practical experiences equip them with a realistic understanding of political mechanisms, thereby shaping a more informed future electorate.

The National Children’s Parliament serves as a model government, where children elected by their peers represent the voices of youth on various platforms. This, in turn, nurtures a politically conscious generation that can better contribute to the democratic fabric of the nation.

Speaking to www.pointblank.com.ng, Hon Caroline Panglang Dafur, Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development said “leadership does not begin in adulthood, nor is it exclusively the domain of experienced professionals. Instead, it takes root in the fertile minds of children who are given opportunities to lead. The Children’s Parliament elections are an avenue to identify and nurture budding leadership qualities in young individuals”.

She added that “the role of early child participation in cultivating leadership skills states that providing children with leadership roles helps develop important life skills, such as decision-making, public speaking, and negotiation”

At the end of keenly contested elections, Rt Hon Gyang Daniella of Barkin Ladi won with 16 votes against 13 while Rt Josiah Nathaniel of Bokkos emerged the Deputy Speaker. The position of the House Leader went to Praise Ajiji of Jos East, Abubakar Abdullahi of Kanam was voted as the Deputy House Leader.

Victor Daniel from Mangu was saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order as the Chief Whip to be assisted by Rotminen Kefas of Kanke. The Clerk of the House is Mankami Binvyat of Langtang North to be deputized by Samaya Mustapha of Jos North

Aslo elected were: Abdulaziz Amina (Bassa) and Nerat Richard Davou (Riyom) as Mace Bearer and Deputy respectively. Others are Emmanuel Makwer (Kanam) and Anita Chidiogo  Okonkwo (Pankshin) as National Representatives.

Pointblank News Blog gathers that some of the criteria used to determine eligibility include performances in debate, quiz, quantitative analysis and eassy writing

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