The Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has called on parents to reflect on the state of children in the society and inculcate in them, values of discipline, commitment and respect for hard work, as a prerequisite for success.
Duke made this call in Abuja during the 2013 National Children’s Day Celebration, organized by the National Gallery of Art (NGA), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Station, on the theme: “Restoring Hope in Our Nationhood: Creativity Through the Eyes of the Children.”
Represented by the Director of Culture in the Ministry, Mr. George Ufot, the Minister said the theme of this year’s celebration, simultaneously taking place across the Federation and presented in different styles, contain one message: the restoration of hope in our children, just as it reflects the abundance of creativity and creative endowment in the country.
Stressing the need for concerted efforts towards education and meaningful engagement of children in order to disabuse their minds from criminal tendencies, especially things that divide us as a people, Duke maintained that the theme of the 2013 National Children’s Day was very apt and timely.
“The theme of this year’s event is timely and a wakeup call to all and sundry to the realization of commitment to nationhood. We all are aware of the numerous events threatening our corporate existence and by extension, our common nationhood. Issues of corruption, tribalism, arms struggle, sectional agitation and other vices are threatening the peace and good governance,” he said.
While the Children’s Day celebration, undeniably, presented an avenue for children to showcase their different talents, Duke reiterated that for the Ministry, it was equally an opportunity to also showcase the talents of the Nigerian child, as they are the future of the nation.
Out of the participating children, drawn from nursery, primary and secondary schools around the FCT, selected schools were engaged in dance competition, in which Community Nursery and Primary School, Asokoro, emerged overall winner, Louisville Girls Secondary School, Gwagwalada came 2nd, Safe hands School, Maitama took 3rd position, while Nigeria Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) Nursery & Primary School, Asokoro, came 4th.
Other dignitaries present at the occasion were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, represented by the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the Office of the SGF, Dr. Jamila Shuara, the Director-General of the National Gallery of Art (NGA), Mr. Abdullahi Muku, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Osita Chidoka, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Mr. T. S Dalok, as well as the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma.