The Edo State Children’s Parliament, most of whose members are EdoBEST pupils, on Thursday advocated greater protection for the rights of children as the nation celebrates 2022 Children’s Day.
Nitta Beatrice Agbonze, Deputy Speaker of the parliament, made the call in Benin when she led other parliamentarians on a courtesy call to the State Universal Basic Education Board.
They made the visit alongside a delegation from the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, to present their concerns on behalf of children across the state.
“This 2022 theme, “Strengthening Supporting Systems for the Protection of the Nigerian Child: A Wake Up Call”, is coming at a crucial time when children need all the help they can get.
“We appreciate the effort the Governor of Edo state, Mr Godwin Obaseki is making to totally eliminate incidents of children hawking and other forms of abuse in our dear state,” Agbonze said.
Other members who spoke called on the state government to provide further opportunities for the parliamentarians to contribute to societal development.
Mr Ayodeji Arogundade, who responded on behalf of the Edo SUBEB chairman, expressed the commitment of the board to championing the cause of Edo children.
“It is a welcome development that the Children’s Parliament exists as a platform for children to express themselves and participate in decision-making.
“With education as a tool for global change, Edo SUBEB is happy to welcome all opportunities for collaboration with the Children’s Parliament in a bid to advance the transformation programme of Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki,” Arogundade said.
Similarly, Mrs Joy Ebhodaghe, the representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues in the state, said that the ministry catered for all vulnerable people.
She said the ministry was ready to work with the children’s parliament to protect the welfare of the Edo child.
“I charge you to come up with ideas to speak for and defend children in the state.
“The ministry has made preparations to make sure children are protected,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EdoBEST, an education reform programme of the government, is committed to advancing the cause of the Edo child by providing opportunities for development.