Children across the country yesterday celebrated this year's Children's Day with mixed feelings.
Reports from our correspondents showed that the abduction of the schoolgirls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, nearly two months ago took the centre stage of the celebration.
While calls were made by most state governors, the National Assembly and schoolchildren and their mothers for the Boko Haram sect, who claimed responsibility for the abduction, to free the girls, the authorities and security agencies were urged to intensify efforts to end the spate of killings especially in the northern region.
Enugu School Children Weep For Kidnapped Chibok Girls
Thousands of primary and secondary schoolchildren in Enugu State yesterday wept openly while praying for the safety and speedy release of the over 200 Chibok students abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents about than a month ago. The children, who wore long faces, wept at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, venue of the Children's Day celebration.
Senate Appeals For Release Of Chibok Girls
The Senate has appealed to the Boko Haram insurgents to release the abducted Chibok girls in the spirit of the Children's Day celebration.
Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, who made this passionate appeal on behalf of the Senate at the plenary, drew the Senate's attention to the challenges confronting the Nigerian child of today. He said children can only become true resources and wealth if they are well educated.
As Chukwumerije flays Defence Chief over comment
Similarly, the chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumereje flayed the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh over his comment that the Nigeria military knows where the abducted Chibok girls are held in captivity by Boko Haram but would not rescue them forcibly to prevent them from being killed by their captives.
Speaking to Senate Correspondents, he wondered why the defence chief would say that the military had discovered the camps where the abducted girls were being held only to describe it as a military secret, saying such a statement should not be made until after rescue operation as such would notify the abductors.
Reps Decry Non-rescue Of Abducted Schoolgirls
The House of Representatives yesterday held an hour-long special session to mark the 2014 International Children's Day.
Federal lawmakers lamented the inability to rescue the abducted schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno State.
"Even though we are supposed to celebrate children today, it is very sad that up until now, we are yet to know where our children, kidnapped in Chibok, are," House leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola said while leading debates at the session.
Chibok Girls: Don't Despair, Uduaghan Urges Nigerians
Delta State governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by the incessant attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists' sect but to continue to stand behind President Goodluck Jonathan and the various security agencies in their determination to defeat the insurgents.
Terrorist Have Taken Away The Joy Of Children's Day - Maina
The minister of women affairs and social development, Zainab Maina, has stated that this year's Children's Day, which is usually a day full of fun and merriment, is very emotional for parents and government because terrorist have taken away their joy with the kidnapping of their girls.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the National Children's Day with the theme "United For Peace of Nigeria: Unite for Children" in Abuja yesterday, Maina said: "It is regrettable to note that at a time that our strategies for promoting the girl-child education and to balance the gender gap in education are yielding significant results, the abduction of the Chibok girls has drawn us back."