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Children’s Day: Full text of Akeredolu’s message

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It is my pleasure to address you today on the occasion of the 2021 National Children’s Day Celebration activities which are being rounded off today in the State and other parts of the country.

I am particularly elated because, in spite of the ravaging effects of COVID–19 Pandemic, which have claimed the lives of millions of lives globally, we are alive and able to look back that the Almighty God has been so merciful to us, to be able to contain the spread and effects of the scourge in Ondo State.
It was with a view to ensuring that children in the State are not unnecessarily exposed to the effects of the pandemic that they are being prevented from gathering together in the usual large numbers for the year 2021 Children’s Day Celebration. This decision of ours, we hope, will contribute largely to the success we have achieved in the control of the spread of the pandemic in our dear State.

I, therefore, commend our children for abiding by government regulations in respect of the control measures against the spread of the virus.

Dear children, we are all cognizant of the general level of insecurity pervading our dear country now. As critical stakeholders in our country, you all have a lot of responsibilities and roles to play in stemming the tide of insecurity in order to guarantee a secure and prosperous future for you all. Towards this end, I encourage you to:
watch the friends you associate with. Moving with bad peer groups will only end up in spoiling your good habits;

avoid being used as tools in the hands of criminals;
be vigilant to be able to identify individuals or groups that are likely to endanger lives and properties around your homes, schools, or communities and promptly report such person to your parents, teachers or community leader;

avoid loitering about the street while you are expected to be in school; and

be conscious of your personal security all the time.

Let me assure you all that as a government:
we shall continue to fight COVID-19 head-on in the State;
we shall not relent in our strong determination to ensure that both the girl and boy child are given equal opportunities to access formal education as gender equality shall continue to be our top priority;

we are determined to ensure that Ondo State is made uninhabitable for perpetrators of all forms of Violence Against Children especially rape, sexual violation, ritual killings and other forms of crimes against children and the citizenry in general;

our health policy shall continue to focus on promoting the best interest of children in the State;

in line with global expectations from States contained in the United Nations Child’s Rights Convention, 1989, domesticated as Nigeria’s Child’s Rights Act 2003, and Ondo State Child’s Rights Law, in 2007, our administration shall continue to ensure the realisation of the basic rights of children in the State. Hence, the Survival, Protection, Development and Participation of children shall continue to be priority issues to us as a government.

Dear children of Ondo State, it is in recognition of the importance of your roles in the control of the spread of COVID–19 pandemic that we have provided customised COVID-19 control kits in small bags for distribution to children in the 18 Local Government Areas of the State. Accordingly appropriate mechanism has been set up to ensure effective distribution. Dear children please use these items effectively, for they are for your protection.
I call on the organised private sector, individuals and other stakeholders to support this effort of government by coming forward to provide more of these COVID–19 control materials to more of our children in all parts of the state.
In conclusion, I pray that the Almighty God will preserve all our children to witness many more years of Children’s Day Celebration in our dear State.

Promising children of Ondo State, congratulations.

God bless you, our children.

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