The National Association of Ijaw Female Students (NAIFS) on Saturday called for adequate protection of the rights of the girl child, saying the future of the girl-child was crucial to nation building.
The President of the association in Bayelsa, Mrs Bilkisu Adoko, made the call at a rally to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child in Yenagoa.
Adoko, who is also the Special Assistant to the Bayelsa State Governor on the Girl Child, said the theme of the 2015 celebration was:
“The Power of the Adolescent Girl Vision 2030.
“In this year’s programme, we are advocating total freedom of a girl-child from all sorts of abuse.
We want a situation where a girl can grow to become the president of our nation.
“We join the whole world in celebration because like the youth, a girl is also the future leader. We, the society must say no to the spate of inequality to the girl-child.
“We must say no to molestation of the girl-child and women; it is high time we protected the girl-child against violence; a girl-child must go to school,” she said.
Adoko said that plans were on to ensure that the Child Right’s Act was signed into law and implemented fully in Bayelsa.
An activist, Mrs Elizabeth Egbe, stressed the need to educate the girl-child, explaining that a girl had the quality to impact positively on society.
Egbe, who is the Coordinator of Operation Rescue in Bayelsa, argued that if a girl-child and women could be protected the society would be much better.
According to her, when you educate the women, you have built the nation.
“I am urging parents and the society to support the campaign for girl-child education and together, we can build Nigeria.
“This programme is organised by NAIFS in collaboration with Operation Rescue and other relevant bodies in Bayelsa State.
A parent, Mrs Karinabo Benibo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that raping a girl child was born out of wickedness.
“Those men having sex with a two or five years girls are wicked; how can a 40 year-old-man go for sex with a little girl of such age.
“We must stand together to protect the right of a child in Bayelsa State and Nigeria at large,’’ she said. (NAN)