By Ahmed Ubandoma
Abuja – The United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF) has appealed to Mrs Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, to partner with it in championing the rights and educational advancement of Nigerian children.
Mr Mohamed Fall, the Country Representative of UNICEF made the appeal on Saturday at a reception in honour of Buhari as a strong advocate of rights of women and children at the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) in Abuja on Saturday.
The event was jointly organised by the centre and the Blaugrana International Sports, with the theme: “Legends For Children Project”.
The UNICEF presented Buhari with a Global Award of Excellence for Humanitarian Services in recognition of her service to humanity through her pet project the ”Future Assured”.
Fall said the award was relevant considering her efforts in providing support to victims of insurgency, especially the protection of the rights of women and children, who suffered gender-based violence.
He lamented that there were over 10 million out-of-school children in the sub-saharan Africa hence the need for stakeholders, especially the wife of the president to join the campaign and advocate for child enrolment in school.
“We are very excited and overwhelmed that after a rigorous screening, you stood tall among the competitors.
“This is our own way of saying, continue with the good work.
“The UNICEF sees you as a mother of the children in the entire sub-saharan Africa and we urge you to continue in assisting UNICEF to champion the cause of child rights to education in Nigeria,” he said.
Responding, the Buhari pledged to continue her advocacy and support to eradicate all forms of abuse against women and children in the country.
Buhari, who was represented by the wife of the Speaker of House of Representative, Mrs Gimbiya Dogara, said her passion to advance the cause of women and children was borne out of her love to give back the society.
She called on stakeholders to join the campaign against child abuse and promote the enrolment of out-of-school children to ensure brighter future for the younger generation.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Musa Bello, the chief host, said the FCT administration had prioritised the child rights in education by providing necessary infrastructure to primary schools.
He said that the FCT administration would sustain support to the Federal Government in providing basic educational support to meet the UN standard of attaining universal basic education.
The Director-General of the Centre, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Ita, commended the wife of the president for her support to women and children in the country.
Ekpere-Ita called on stakeholders to assist in providing necessary support to women and children to complement government’s efforts in tackling unemployment.
She urged wealthy individuals in the country to support the eradication of all forms of women and child abuse in the country. (NAN)