From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
As children in some parts of the country celebrated this year’s Children’s Day, the event did not hold in Benue state.
The state government announced the cancellation of the Children’s Day celebration owing to the present security challenges facing the nation, particularly the abduction of over 200 Chibok school girls.
Though it was still a holiday for schools in the state, however, the usual fanfare that usually greets the day was missing.
A parent, Mrs. Eunice Azenda, who spoke to Peoples Daily on the cancellation of the event, lauded the state government for the decision, maintaining that the lives of the children are too precious to be endangered at that this time of high insecurity in the country, especially the abduction of school girls in Chibok, Borno state.
“It is a good decision that the state government took to cancel the celebration. The country is no longer safe; there are series of bomb explosions in northern parts of the country. Our girls who were abducted from Chibok for more than 1 month now are yet to be found and then we should cel ebrate Children’s Day? No. “The lives of our children, who are the future leaders of tomorrow, are too dear to be exposed to any danger. Government should make frantic efforts to bring back the children”, she advised.
The cancellation also, may be connected to a recent letter allegedly written by the Boko Haram sect threatening to attack and abduct boys from two (2) boys’ secondary schools in the state, Government College (Governor Gabriel Suswam’s alma mater) and Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School, located in Makurdi, and marry them off to the abducted girls.
Meanwhile, public primary schools in the state have remained on strike for the eighth months, to protest the non-payment of minimum wage to teachers.