THEME: CHILDREN AND WOMEN: TWO PILARS OF A PROSPEROUS FUTURE.
I feel really humbled on this historic day to be accorded with such great honour of sharing my views and making my contributions to the national discuss on a contemporary issue that challenges our existence and our future as a people.
This feeling is occasioned by the sense of fulfillment I enjoy at the end of such discussions especially, with genuine stake holders of our society.
To put it straight, child abuse and women trafficking are twin - evil that plagues our generation.
The consequences of the former grossly challenge the future of any nation, as children remain the healthy seeds of today which metamorphose into full-blown fruits in the future. And so long as a nation remains fruitful her future is permanently guaranteed.
The consequences of women trafficking is even graver. For one, it decimates the source of the seeds of a nation. Women are the fountain of the society and their fruitful existence guarantees the continuous availability of the seeds that eventually secure our future. For another, women trafficking are a direct assault, calculated attack, and organized crime against the dignity of a woman, ditto, feminine virtues.
In simple parlance, a child depicts a young human being below the age of full physical development. Childhood then is the state or period of being a child.
To abuse a child then is a bundle of issue. Literally, it could mean to treat a child cruelly or violently. It could also mean to use or engage a child badly or wrongly. However one defines it, the bottom line is; to abuse a child is to overtly undermine and take advantage of the innocence and vulnerability of the child in such a manner as to jeopardize both his present and his future.
By this then a child can be abused sexually, ------- rape, exposure to indecency and pornography, etc. -------psychologically -------imparting negative orientation, mentoring, etc. ------- violently -------physical assault, bullying, threat, etc. -------socially------- exposure to harsh conditions, pushing school age children into street hawking, child bread winners, etc.
A critical analysis of these various abuses reflects a singular fact ----- a huge crime against children.
The same goes for the women who are either willingly or forcefully trafficked. The immediate constituency that suffers from women trafficking is our homes, which is the smallest unit and nucleus of the larger society.
Our homes today loose what ordinarily would have been virtuous mothers to trafficking and prostitutions. And because our homes lack the quality ingredients of womanhood, the defect is carried over to the larger society. Little wonders today we face the excruciating problem of credible leadership in our society.
The most worrisome aspect of this national palaver is that within the global statistics on child abuse and women trafficking, Africa is the worse hit.
For this reason we must begin to act with the greatest sense of urgency to address this twin-evil that threatens the very foundation of our existence.
We must continue to organize platforms like this, as advocacy medium, for a radical change of the status quo.
Prohibitive laws must not only be enacted but also appropriately enforced. Concerted efforts must also be galvanized and geared at social orientation for moral improvement.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen. If we must equal and exceed the standards of those societies by whose performance we assess ourselves, and I am certain that we can, then we must all reach a consensus from today to play by the acceptable social and moral rules, such as saying an emphatic No to child abuse, women trafficking and any form of violence.
Thank You and God bless.
Eko oni baje o!
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!!