By Bashir Bello, KANO

Children from various schools across Kano State have on Monday called for a downward review of the voting age in the country to enable them to exercise their voting rights and participate in the decision making on matters that affect children.

Currently, the voting age in the country is pegged at 18 years but with the call, the children want it reviewed to 15 years.

The children led by Saudat Wakili made the call while acting in the capacity of UNICEF Chief of Field Office, CFO and when the children took over the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Field Office in Kano for two hours in commemoration of World Children’s Day.

Wakili also appealed to the government to look into the need to ensure upward review of the official child marriage age from 18 years.

She lamented that street begging is still rampant in the state.

Street Begging

“Street begging (Almajirici) is still rampant in Kano.

“United Nations Convention, UNESCO states that the right of a child as spelt out, the Children have the right to education and should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level.

“We advise the government to do the needful to address this trend.”

Child marriage

“In Kano State, child marriage is still being practised especially in rural areas as many are being given out before the age of 18.

“Therefore, we are urging the government to increase the official marriage age to enable the children to complete schooling and build their future.”

Online abuse

“Children are often exposed to exclusive prime time, cyber-bullying and online abuse. On this note, we would like to call on the stakeholders to monitor the content of the online media platform. Cyberbullying should be sanctioned to ensure online safety for the children.”

Voting age

“We are calling on the government to consider increasing the voting age to ensure that children are part of the decision making in the matters that affect them. We think that bringing the voting age down will be a step in the right direction.

“Finally, we are urging the government and other relevant authorities concerned to consider making education more digital. The government needs to give teachers training on how to handle e-learning gadgets and resources.

“For proper e-learning to take place, more source of power supply, internet connectivity must be put in place,” Wakili however stated.

Earlier, the Chief of Field Office, CFO, Maulid Warfa while handing over the office to the children said UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child in everything it does hence the commemoration of the day.

Warfa represented by his WASH Manager, UNICEF field office, Kano, Rafid Aziz said, “The #KidsTakeover of the UNICEF Field Office Kano will provide an opportunity for the participating children to learn about the organisation that works to promote their rights and well-being, as well as provide them an opportunity to share ideas with UNICEF as to what they consider to be the solutions to the issues that affect children, including those in the Changing Childhoods Study Report.”

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