…Renews call on UN to recognise May 16 as Int’l Day of the Boy Child
…As experts proffer solutions to challenges confronting boys
The Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Monday, has called on parents to pay better attention to the boy child, as she renewed the call on the United Nations to fully recognise May 16 as the International Day of the Boy Child.
This is in order to deepen initiatives and interventions targeted at promoting the interest, welfare, and wellbeing of the boy child globally.
She made this clarion call at the inaugural Parenting Seminar as part of the Boy Child Initiative of her office held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, with the theme: “Parenting the 21st Century Boy Child: A Pathway to Transformation”.
The seminar for parents is the third leg of the Boy Child Initiative to commemorate the international celebration.
Stakeholders including wives of government officials, government functionaries, traditional and community leaders, market associations, religious and professional bodies, security agencies, youth voluntary groups, orphanages, correctional facilities, and people living with disabilities among others were present.
According to the first lady, the seminar was aimed at ensuring that parents have an in-depth understanding of the nitty-gritty of effective approaches to the upbringing of the boy child.
This is to address the social vices such as rape, drug abuse, cultism, bullying and others in the society.
Earlier, Sanwo-Olu said had organised an advocacy walk, formal launch, and a three-day residential workshop for boys selected from across the state to extensively address topics of interest to boys.
Her office further decided to follow up the interventions with a seminar on how effective parenting can lay the foundation for promoting family values and civic responsibility.
She emphasised: “Our Boy Child Interventions are aimed at making a positive difference. It is gratifying that it is already catching the fancy of the International Community.
“I must say we are open to partnerships to scale up our programs to support the boy child and secure their future.”
Parents, she noted, have a lot to do to address the plight of the boy child. Sanwo-Olu hinted that the issue of the boy child is a burning one that parents must pay special attention to because if we don’t, the boy child is at risk.
“As parents, for instance, we need to desist from exerting pressure on our boys; we need to kick out drug abuse; we just have to focus on all issues affecting the boy child,” the First Lady outlined.
In all, there were three lectures on the importance of sex education in birthing a sexual and gender-based violence-free society; mental health issues in children: early signs and preventive measures; and parenting.
Others included “Our civic responsibility and its overall impact on nation-building”. There was a panel session on parenting the boy child in the 21st century: the journey, challenges, and solutions, facilitated by subject-matter experts.
The experts are the Chief Operations Officer of Cece Yara Foundation, Mrs. Bisi Ajayi-Kayode; Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Olusegun Ogunnubi; and the Founder of International Parent Network, Mrs. Wendy Ologe.
The panel session was moderated by the Founder of Boy Child Transformation Centre, Mrs. Nkiru Oguadinma.
Panelists included Justice Jumoke Pedro of the Lagos State High Court; Dr. Dokun Adedeji of the Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM); DCP Fayoade Adegoke of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti.
Controller Adewale Adebisi, Controller of Corrections, Nigerian Correctional Service, Lagos State Command; Consultant General Surgeon and Imam, Dr. Sayeid Ahmad; and Mrs. Ologe.
They unanimously harped on the need for parents to give quality time to their male children and improve the communication line in the family.
The experts also cautioned parents to lead by example to teach boys good values, especially the need to respect the rights of others.