Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to children and youths to imbibe and exhibit in greater measure, the virtues of hard work, diligence, discipline, honesty, prudence, selflessness and patriotism which he said are essential for the actualisation of a truly great nation.
In his message to celebrate this year’s Children Day, Buhari said the world looked to Nigeria as an exemplary model of democratic ideals after the smooth transition that brought his administration to power.
The president said: “You, our children and youths have a very significant role to play in ensuring that our democratic institutions of governance are continuously nurtured, improved and strengthened to underpin national development and prosperity.”
He said that under his leadership, the federal government would continue to do its best to prepare and equip the children and youths to show the world that with its brilliant, resourceful and resilient people, Nigeria is a country of incredible potential and opportunity.
While wishing the children a happy celebration, Buhari assured them that he remained fully committed to fulfilling our promise of a better Nigeria for all of our people.
He said: “On this happy occasion for our children, I reaffirm my belief that it is the right of every Nigerian child to have access to quality and affordable education, as well as healthcare and other basic necessities for a good life, in a peaceful and secure environment.
“The good health and well-being of Nigerian children remain a top priority on our agenda for national development and we have demonstrated our strong commitment in this regard with the allocation of N12.6 billion in the 2016 budget for vaccines and programmes to prevent childhood killer diseases such as polio, measles and yellow fever.
Other measures in the 2016 budget, such as the school feeding programme for children at a cost of N93.1 billion, will ensure that more children go to school and enjoy the fun of learning and growing together with their peers.
Despite the current economic and funding challenges facing our dear nation, my administration will continue to do all within its powers to achieve better living conditions and greater access to quality healthcare and education for all our youth.”
The president said it was a thing of joy that on this year’s Children’s Day, the country also celebrated the safe return of one of the Chibok girls, Amina Ali Nkeki and many other abducted women and children who had been freed from the clutches of Boko Haram by the nation’s gallant troops.
“I assure all Nigerians and friends of the country, once again, that my administration will not rest on its oars until the ungodly terrorist sect is totally eliminated from our country,” he added.
Buhari said as peace gradually returned to the insurgency-ravaged North-eastern states, the federal government would continue to work diligently to ensure the rapid and full reintegration and rehabilitation of all internally displaced persons, including orphaned children in the region.
He said government would continue to sustain and strengthen ongoing actions to protect children more effectively from violence, child-labour, child-trafficking, forced marriages and other related offences.