Kaduna children at the weekend asked Governor Nasir El-Rufai to provide wheelchairs for physically challenged children and sign language interpreters for those with hearing impairments to aid their mobility and communication skills.
The children, who were privileged to speak directly with their Governor during the commemoration of this year’s children’s day celebration at Sir Ibrahim Kashim House, Kaduna, also demanded the provision of the standing order in child protection and return of all out-of-school children to school.
Other demands are the provision of dispensaries and medical attendants in public schools, enrolment of students in contributory health schemes, the inclusion of skill acquisition in the school curriculum, the establishment of child protective communities and the opportunity to have a say in decision making in the state through children parliament.
Responding, Governor El-Rufai, after directing his commissioners to note the issues raised by the children as applicable to their ministries to ensure that most of them are addressed before the expiration of his tenure in a year, took his time to explain the commitment of his administration to the visiting children in his quest to revamp education and health sectors in the state.
“I have noted all the gaps you have identified and I’m sure the relevant commissioners are taken note as applicable to address all these gaps and I hope we will be able to address most of them before we leave office.
“Regarding the children’s parliament, I’m happy that some progress has been made. I will like to ask the Commissioners of Human Services and Social Development and Justice and Attorney General to start clear legal administrative work for the establishment of this parliament so that we inaugurate it before we leave office and input it into our law so it can be part and parcel of the Kaduna State legal system and not at the expression of the governor.
“You have all spoken well, better than some senior government officials. I want to encourage you at this stage of your life to focus on your education.
“Focus on building your character and get inspiration from those you think are better in what you want to become in life. All of you have the capability and are smart enough to be all you want to be if you are focused
“Shun peer pressure. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t experiment with drugs. I hope I will live long enough to see some of you becoming governors or presidents of Nigeria”, the governor admonished the children
The children were drawn from Government College, Queen Amina College, Kaduna State Special Education School, Government Girls Secondary School, Kawo, Government Secondary School, Badarawa, United Secondary School, Kurmi Marshi and Government Secondary School Angwan Baro, all within Kaduna metropolis.