A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mike Ozekhome at Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) forum, yesterday, in Abuja, called for a new constitution that would reflect the will of Nigerians.
Speaking at the human rights lecture with the theme: “Nigerian School Children, Insecurity and Human Rights” the constitutional lawyer, stated that years back many people became governors between the ages of 28 to 30 but today we have people who are between the age of 35 and above struggling to have first degree in the universities.
This he said is because the course they ought to have done for four years is extended due to strikes and other misfortunes and it became course of seven and nine years.
“Now the children that ought to be protected are render most vulnerable. In Nigeria, they go to school and in their school, they are captured by Boko Haram, kidnappers, arm bandits and their parents are made to pay ransom.
“In fact there is one that happened in Kaduna that took on higher magnitude, when the kidnappers informed the parents that they should buy food and bring for them or else they will kill the children.
“So we have problem where we are all vulnerable not just our children. In school we are vulnerable, in the market we are vulnerable, in our working place we are vulnerable, on the street we are vulnerable, in our farms we are vulnerable. So it is not just our children but all of us.
“Security and welfare of the people are just keys things for a nation to focus on without this there is no progress.
“So Nigeria needs a new constitution that reflects the referendum of the Nigerian people,” Ozekhome said.
He maintained that the theme has provided an opportunity to express their views on the current issues that are depressing the Nigerian child.
The national coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said what is happening in Nigeria is not just a threat to the economy but also a threat to ecosystem.
He said President Buhari is a president for all not just for the people that voted for him or his party.
“President Buhari is a president for both the people that oppose him, because even the people that did not vote for him are still under his care. So he must act to stop what is happening in the country.
“I respect the office of the president and not as if I hated President Buhari but I do not like his policies.
The government should stop reintegrating terrorists. The government should do what is possible to stop what is happening in the North,” Onwubiko said.
The guest speaker, Prof Abiodun Adeniyi said that state actors inflict violence on children in form of neglects, the mismanagement of state funds and kick backs.
President of SOKAPU, Mr Jonathan Asake said that people have been chased out of their homes and children have been out of schools for over five years.
He said most of these people have been chased to IDPs camps which is not being taken care of by the government. He said the right of children are being violated, while farmers are being chased out of their homes. “So this is what is happening in Kaduna State,” he added.