By Charles Agwam
Youths numbering over 100 from six northern states have converged in Bauchi to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), while also celebrating the milestones achieved in the areas of child rights and development since the ratification of CRC by the United Nations.
The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF in partnership with United Kingdom Department for International Development, DFID organized a forum, at the weekend, for youths across the six northern states to discuss the challenges facing youths in Nigeria and proffer their own solutions to leaders in order to increase access to rights of children across the nation.
Addressing youths from Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Plateau and Taraba states, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Bauchi Office, Bhanu Pathak said the event was designed to enable young people discuss and proffer solutions to crucial issues affecting them and their peers.
According to him, “Today’s Youth Talk tagged ‘The Nigeria We Want: Voices from Bauchi’ will allow young people to identity, highlight and discuss issues that hinder them most from attaining their God-given potentials. UNICEF and partners want to build on the momentum of young people as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the CRC this year and keep youth voices at the centre of the conversation on the rights of children.”
On her part, the wife of the Bauchi state governor, Aisha Mohammed who played host to the youths, advised them, especially girls to take their education seriously.
“I want to advice you all, especially the girls among you to take your education seriously. Many of the problems we face today as a nation stem from our failure to educate the girl child. These girls grow up to become our mothers and producers with little or no education, and that affects every one of us.
“Thank God for the opportunities you have today, most of us didn’t have such opportunities when we were growing up. I urge you all to seek education with all seriousness because that is what will ensure we progress as a people and develop as a nation,” she advised.
Speaking on behalf of youths, President of Youth Advocates For Education, Sagir Musa said youths will deliberate on issues affecting them and come up with solutions for government to implement.
“This forum will discuss issues affecting us as youths, as well as the possible solutions that will be recommended for government to implement to once and for all alleviate the day to day challenges we face that threaten our future,” he noted.