International Children’s Day, is a day set aside to celebrate children. The day is celebrated on various dates in different countries.
In Nigeria, May 27, is the day set aside to celebrate children. The day is marked by different activities all focused on the children. Also, issues affecting children are looked into with the objective of finding solutions to them.
As attention is focused on children today some of them spoke of their dreams for the country of their birth.
They sort of set an agenda on what they would like the incoming leaders, who incidentally would be assuming office in two days time, May 29, to focus on, to assure a better and brighter future for them and those coming after them.
Khalid Shittu, a JSS3 Student of Jonsog College, Illasamaja, said:
“I dream of a Nigeria where all children can go to school. I want a Nigeria where some children will not be hawking, while others are in school.
“I want a Nigeria where people can get jobs after finishing their education, a Nigeria where those working are well paid and the government will not wait for them to go on strike for many months before they pay them
“I dream of a Nigeria where people will not be killed every day, where there is no kidnapping.
“I would like to have electricity every time or if they take the light, it will not take too much time before they bring it back. I want things, especially food to be cheap so that everybody will have food to eat well. I don’t like to see people begging. So I want the government to do something about that and other things.”
Onyedikachi Nworga, an SS3 student of Timi Comprehensive College, Itire, Surulere:
“I dream of a wonderful country where every Nigerian will live in dignity. I dream of an end to high levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment in Nigeria. I dream of a Nigeria where there will be well-constructed roads and beautiful environment. I dream of a Nigeria where government will value human capital development and industrial development. I dream of a country where governments will ensure that citizens have access to quality healthcare, where the rich would patronize local hospitals rather than go abroad for medical treatments. I dream of a Nigeria with reduced infant and maternal mortality rates. I wish the rich invest in the Health sector, build world class hospitals, rather than waste money to place adverts on obituaries of loved ones because of poor healthcare.
“I dream of Nigeria where every Nigerian child has access to quality education, where parents will see the Universities as world class schools or institutions, a Nigeria where there would be no strikes for academic and non academic staff, where there would be an end to cultism and lecturers will not seek sexual favours from students and where lecturers won’t pass off work of students as theirs.
“I dream of a united, stable and peaceful country, where ethnic and religious crisis would be a thing of the past. I dream of a Nigeria where citizens will stop worshipping money. I dream of Nigeria with well equipped police force, where Police Force can protect the lives and properties of citizens without collecting bribes. I dream of Nigeria where government workers do not use their positions as means of accumulating wealth and of a society where public officials will not steal government money or money that is meant to develop the country.
“I dream of a country that rewards hard work and excellence, where entrepreneurs and not politicians are the richest.
“I dream of a Nigeria where manufacturing of commercial products take place in every corner rather than religious houses in every corner. I dream of a country where we will experience uninterrupted power supply and take advantage of our natural environment to generate power. I dream of a country with free and fair election where genuine losers of elections will accept the results and move on until the next election.
“I dream of a better Nigeria with a brighter future for children, where all Nigerians work to make these dreams a reality.”
Ekeomachukwu Merenini, a Primary 6 pupil of Vantage Heights School, Surulere, said:
“In the Nigeria of my dream, I would like to have better roads and clean streets so when people are walking on the streets they would not be disgusted. I would also like the Nigerian government to give free medical treatment to every Nigerian so they can be sure that they are healthy and strong.
“I would also like more available jobs for people who are qualified to work in the Nigeria of my dream.
“In the Nigeria of my dream, we will have more available schools to accommodate more children who are willing to learn and grow to what they want to be in life.”
Duke Nsikan Nkutt, a Primary 3 pupil of Saint John Paul 11 Montessori School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said:
“I would like Nigeria to be a place where people would not be killing other people, where there would be no kidnapping of other people. I would also like Nigeria to be a place where there is peace and harmony and people could live as one big family. I would want every child to have the opportunity to have basic education and also have enough food to eat everyday. I would also want the government to be sensitive to children’s issues.”
Chukwuma Evergreen Maduagwu, a JSS3 student of Jonsog College, Ilasamaja, said:
“I want Nigeria to be free from any form of poverty and have good food and affordable health care. I want Nigeria to have quality education for children and jobs for people when they finish from school with decent wages and salaries.
“I want Nigeria to have clean water and good sanitation to prevent diseases from spreading in the country. I would like Nigeria to have good roads, good means of transportation and industries.
“I would want to have regular electricity. The Nigeria of my dream should be a corruption-free country where nobody is collecting bribe to do what they are supposed to do. I want Nigeria to be free of any form of violence like robbery, political crisis, religious conflict, tribal war, etc.”
Ese Igila, a Basic 5 pupil of Boldamind Nursery and Primary School, Ilasamaja, said:
“I want a Nigeria with good roads so that when people go out, they won’t be coming back in the night because of hold up.
“I want a Nigeria where there is always light. I don’t want kidnappers and robbers in Nigeria. I also want a Nigeria where every child will go to school because the school fees are not too high.”
Indeed, the children have said it all. They have summed up all that is wrong with the country and their expressions of hope for the future should form the goals for those in leadership positions.