Sadly, for a long time, child-labor has been in vogue especially in the northern part of Nigeria. Going down history, research has it that in 2006, the number of child workers was estimated to be about 15 million. With the exponential growth in population and the dilapidated economy, it is safe to say that the number has increased greatly.
Unfortunately, victims of Child- labor fall between the ages of 5 to 17 years of age; seen hawking in the streets, garages, in traffic, sent to homes as helps they have to work 13 to 15 hours just to earn something. For these chaps, anything is better than nothing. It is much more disheartening to see that Children are the automatic choice of even their parents to go out there and source money to either feed or sponsor themselves to school. For, they work more but are underpaid, worst still the girls are exposed to harsh situations of rape and molestation thereby putting their future in the hands of early pregnancy and even early marriage. What about male children? They fall victim to bad company and they are forced to grow up with messed up mindsets. Working under hazardous conditions they start living a life of perpetual unhappiness and frustration. It is a tale of deprivation and longing. The fact to be most greatly fear is that some of these children have to do tedious work that doesn’t match their health status and thus lose their lives in the process.
Furthermore, It is so unfortunate that in a country where there are abundant resources grossly enough the serve its citizens, poverty is rather the other of the day. There is a rather clear cut difference between the A Social Class and the F Social Class. The system of administration is so deformed that politicians and people in government are paid ridiculous allowances that are sufficient to feed Nigerians and there will still be leftover to cover other expenses. The focus has shifted and priorities have been misplaced, and now even children have to dance to the tune of the music. Poverty, over-population, parental neglect and social callousness amongst others has brought young creative minds on their knees. It has forced them to be premature death adults when there are supposed to live and bloom freely. Their potentials are buried underneath and instead of them to be groomed as leaders of tomorrow, they are to settle for the survival of the fittest. The diseased society forgets that what is done to children, they will do to society; it’s a chain and if the link is not stopped soon enough, the aftermath is irreparable.
Conclusively, it cannot be overstated that the kind of value placed on a thing depends on the quality of that thing. Children are of great value because they are the future of the country, they deserve anything and everything of great quality. Let the children enjoy the blessing of being children, let the children enjoy warmth hugs from their parents and society. Let the children live, breathe and bloom.
Fehintola Marylorna Oladele is a Nigerian changing the old order of doing things with a aim to creating a BETTER NIGERIA. #NigeriaAt59
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