Former governor of Abia, Dr Orji Kalu, has urged parents and guardians to bequeath good moral values on their children.
Kalu, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), also urged parents and guardians to uphold good moral values in their daily pursuits, for their children to emulate.
Kalu in a Children’s Day message signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, and made available to Newsmen, on Sunday in Abuja, also called on government at all levels to adopt child-friendly policies.
According to the former governor, to avoid social unrest and other vices, parents must continually engage their children on the consequences of bad behaviour.
He also called on parents to adopt family planning as a way of preventing unwarranted pregnancies and ultimately unintended births.
He said: “As we mark this year’s Children’s Day, I recognise and celebrate children across Nigeria.
“Children are integral part of the society and as such, they deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated today and always.
“They are the future of the world and it is high time we started integrating them into policies that will translate into sustainable development.
“We, as parents, must live by example so that our children can emulate us and sustain our good legacies.
“We must educate, guide, support and mentor children, both biological and foster, so that we can build a decent society.
“It is only through good moral upbringing that a child can be valuable to himself/herself and the society at large”.
The former governor while charging parents to spend valuable time with their children, stressed that children, regardless of age, need proper guidance and counseling at all times.
Kalu used the occasion to encourage children to engage in various sporting activities, and urged the government to build recreational facilities for children in schools and public areas.
In a related development, Rev. Istifanus Koce of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), AA2, Kuje Area Council, Abuja, has called on parents to spend quality time with their children in order to ensure proper upbringing for their better future.
Koce made the call in Kuje during the Sunday service to commemorate this year’s Children’s Day.
The clergy described the celebration as a reminder for parents, to monitor their children and to spend more valuable time with them, to ensure a better future.
“So many children suffer some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence at a very tender age in our society today.
“Many of them encounter violence of different types and yet, receive very little support from the society.
“No nation can grow beyond the quality of its children who are potential leaders and experts in various fields,” he said.
He urged parents and guardians to ensure quality education, moral and spiritual upbringing of their children and wards to make them useful citizens.
He added that education remained very important and should be compulsory.
The clergyman expressed dismay over the growing cases of abuses meted out to children by some parents, guardians and caregivers.