I see the tears of Nigerian children. I hear their wailings. I feel the agony of their childhood. Have they not been maltreated, abandoned, abused, neglected and sexually exploited long enough? Are their wailings not vociferous enough to move us to action?
I see the tears of Nigerian children. Excessively beaten, bashed and assaulted. Inhumanity to children, often under the guise of discipline. Sometimes leading to heart-rending early deaths. No crime in correcting children. But why subject them to unjustifiable violence?
I see the tears of Nigerian children. Debilitated under the scorching sun. Excessively fatigued from long hours of labour, strain, hawking and burdensome load. Vulnerable to diverse forms of societal ills and dangers.
I see the tears of Nigerian children. Being sexually exploited and indecently assaulted. Sexually abused by families and friends whom they trust and strangers alike. Protruding bellies of children all around. Being trafficked across borders as sex and work machines. Their innocence being snatched away from them at such a tender age.
I see the tears of Nigerian children. Being subjected to uncivilized and draconian verbal attacks. I hear vicious adults yelling: "Bastard, Feather-brained, Idiot..." at innocent children. Shattering their egos, emotions and destroying their self-esteem.
I see the tears of Nigerian children. Being neglected, abandoned, denied care and attention. Being denied education and basic amenities. I see children, homeless and shivering, ailing and starving.
I see the tears of Nigerian children. Are we a nation of cruelty? Have we become so cold-blooded, callous and insensitive? Nelson Mandela once said: "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." Nigerian children have been neglected, abandoned, abused, assaulted and exploited long enough.
Children are God's precious gifts. Beautiful and tender flowers in need of our love, care and nurturing. Shouldn't their tears move us to greater action? Shouldn't their pains and tears be our pains and tears too? The time has come for us to listen to their cries and attend to their pleas.
"Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Say NO to Abuse and Violence against Children!
Happy World Day for Prevention of Abuse and Violence against Children- November 19.
God Bless Nigeria!
God Bless Nigerian Children!
By Fisayo Aransiola & Fela Bright.