The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday warned parents and the society against practices that can be inimical to the lives of Nigerian children.
Osinbajo gave the advice at the National Children’s Day celebration in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the message of the acting president was delivered by Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Osinbajo said such acts include child marriage, child molestation and other forms of child abuse.
He said that the country would soon have a special telephone line where children could make distress calls for prompt intervention.
Osinbajo, who promised to protect and defend Nigerian children through the child rights law, however, advised the children to be obedient and hard working.
In his own message, Akeredolu said his administration would ensure that key role players in the state’s Child Justice Administration were given the required professional training.
He said that the state government would not refrain from carrying out the expected responsibilities towards children and the citizens of the state.
“There is no denying the fact that at all times, and especially during economic recession and conflict situations, children suffer and need protection against violence abuse, injustice and other forms of deprivation more than ever before.
“No government can therefore afford to abandon children related issues as today’s youths are future citizens, leaders and drivers of the various sectors of the society.
“That is why the persistent global increase in the reported cases of violence and abuse of children had continued to be a matter of concern to government and institutions at various levels,” he said.
Gov. Akeredolu further appealed to parents and guardians to take parenthood responsibilities serious, while teachers, caregivers and other handlers of children should ensure that they handle children under their care with love.
Earlier, Mrs Funmilayo Osundolire, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, said the day remained important as it draws attention of government at all levels and society at large to prevailing issues affecting children.