Nigeria, at the weekend, joined the rest of the world to celebrate Children’s Day with the United Nation’s International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), urging governments, at all levels, and parents to create an enabling environment for children to participate in sports and other activities.
Speaking after a five-a-side football championship held at AstroTurf 2000, Ikoyi, Lagos, to mark the day, Nigeria’s UNICEF representative, Christian Monduate, said the theme of this year’s World Children’s Day, which is inclusiveness of children in every activity, was projected to enlighten people that the country’s children should be given equal opportunities with their counterparts round the world to aspire for quality education and engage in sports to become better citizens in the future.
“UNICEF is celebrating World Children’s Day with the vision of giving hope to every Nigerian child.
“Our goal is to ensure every child is given equal opportunity to get to any level they can attain. Making children express themselves by taking part in this football activity is another platform to educate government at all levels and parents to allow children play and hone their skills.
“Football has a way to also unite children. Every Nigerian child needs good health, education, well-nourished food and UNICEF, as a world body, is sensitising parents.”
“UNICEF promotes the rights and well being of every child in everything we do. We work in 190 countries, where we educate children to stay away from crime,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, Nigeria’s La Liga Ambassador, who is also a former Super Eagles player, Mutiu Adepoju, charged children to always focus on pursuing their education alongside sports, while stressing that more facilities should be provided by corporate bodies and government to encourage children to take to sports.
Over 10 teams participated in the five-a-side competition supported by Asisat Oshoala Foundation and La Liga. UNICEF Ambassador in Nigeria and music icon, Cobhams Asuquo, who was at the event, thrilled the children with lovely songs and also allowed them to display their skills in singing.