President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government fought for the freedom of children held hostage by Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in the Northern region of the country.
Speaking on Saturday during the 2023 Children’s Day at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari said his administration focused on children and their welfare in the last eight years.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, the President said Nigerians must not lose hope in the ability of the government to safeguard the future of their lives and children.
Buhari also appreciated the support his administration received from parents, government officials, development partners, professionals, and religious leaders in realizing some of its targets and programmes.
The statement reads: “As a father and grandfather, I share in the joy that children bring into our lives and the fulfilment of seeing them grow. And I also feel the pain of loss, anxiety, and frustration that comes with uncertain times, like the disruptions to families due to insecurity, which we have worked hard to contain in the last eight years.
“We must not lose hope, and our faith should be rekindled in the ability of the government to safeguard the future of our lives and children. In eight years, we have focused on children, negotiating and fighting for the release of many that were taken captive, and painstakingly building intelligence on the whereabouts of others. Some have been released; more will come, by God’s grace, as the next administration continues on the same noble path.
“At the twilight of this administration, we are thankful for all the support we have received from parents, government officials, development partners, professionals, and religious leaders in realizing some of our targets, like the school feeding programme, resuscitation of the primary health care system, and protecting our schools by the security agencies.
“As we are aware, raising healthy and promising children is a collective responsibility. In Nigeria, like in most of Africa, the community has a stake in the upbringing of the child. Truly, it takes a village to raise a child.
“And as the world continues to become smaller with new technology, and the borders on culture and cultural values are steadily getting blurred, we must retain our identity and values.
“Our core values of integrity, honesty, hard work, and love for learning should not be negotiated. Our children should know, and stay with the ancient landmarks of what is true, and right at home, and abroad.”