As Nigeria joins the international community to celebrate the Day of the African Child, President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged the commitment of his government to protect children from sexual violence, domestic abuse and exploitation.
In a statement by Presidential Spokesperson, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari also reiterates that this administration will continue to ensure that every Nigerian child has access to quality and affordable education by promoting free and compulsory basic education for the first nine years of schooling.
According to the statement, “President Buhari expresses concern on the recent spate of sexual and physical violence on the girl-child and directs relevant government agencies to scale up support for victims of violence and ensure that those who have infringed on their rights face the full weight of our laws.
“The President affirms that it is the right of every Nigerian child to be protected from sexual or physical violence and abuse, and to enjoy an environment conducive for learning and development.
“President Buhari further affirms that the safety of every Nigerian child remains paramount and government will continue to do all within its means to protect children from violence and abuse. The President recognises that this year’s commemorative activities with the theme, ”Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa,” have moved online due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector, the President notes that school-age children have been forced to continue education and learning online, as well as through the electronic media.
“Recognizing that not all children have access to the tools and resources to do this, the President assures Nigerians that the priority of the Federal Government is to ensure that things get back to normal as soon as possible.
“He says that in dealing with the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic; the Federal Government cannot allow education and learning to take the back seat.”
The President encourages all Nigerians to take a moment this day to celebrate the African child, who represents a better future for all of us.
”Nigeria is blessed with exceptional and remarkable children and this government is ever ready to help the Nigerian child achieve their dreams and build a better tomorrow,’’ he says.