Buhari Calls for End to Child Marriage


By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for an end to all forms child abuse, including forced early marriage and exploitation.

The President made this plea yesterday during the National Children’s Day Celebration held at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

The president, who was represented by the Minister of FCT Muhammed Musa Bello, appealed to parents and the society to protect children against any form of violence.

He also stressed the resolve of Federal Government to intensify its efforts at rescuing all the missing Chibok Girls.

He cited the recent rescue of Amina Ali Nkeki and Sarah Luka all of Chibok, as evidence that government was unwavering in its resolve in that regard.

“No child or indeed any other Nigerian should be put through the brutality of abduction, violence or forced marriage in whatever. Every girl has a right to education and choice of life,” Buhari said.

While emphasising the commitment of his administration to protecting the rights of children as spelt out in the Child Rights Act of 2007 as well as in the 1999 Constitution, Buhari said his government would lead the fight against the scourge of child abuse, child abduction, child labour and child trafficking among others.

He thus, directed the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to liaise with other agencies to work out appropriate programmes including actions and measures that would help in tackling violence and abuse against children.

He appealed to parents to instill in their children a lifestyle rooted in honesty, dedication to live and patriotism.

The president similarly urged Nigerian children to be responsible citizens by respecting constituted authorities, their parents, teachers and elders.

In her address, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Jumai Alhassan who was also represented at the occasion by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Hajiya Binta Adamu Bello assured that the government would not leave any stone unturned in protecting the rights of the children.