First Intellectual pageant debuts in Abuja

By Stanley Onyekwere

A nongovernmental organisation, Helpline Foundation for Needy, Abuja, in partnership with Child Right Brigade (CRIB) has unveiled plan to stage first intellectual pageant for young Nigeria girls in June, aimed at promoting child rights, welfare and development.

According to the organisers, the pageant tagged: “Face of the Nigerian child Intellectual Pageant”, unveiled yesterday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center, Abuja.

Founder, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Mrs. Jumai Ahmadu, while addressing journalists, said, the pageant is to produce an ambassador that will be talking for Nigerian children.

“Because every year children parliament meets and passes resolutions, but nobody is there to take it up for them. So we want to create an office as a platform for somebody to follow up, and to ensure that these resolutions regarding the child rights are implemented.

“The pageant is unique in the sense that it is not about the physical beauty, but intellectual, it is only the people who are intellect to be are able to tell us what they feel are the things that the children need, to be able to have a sound education and a proper wellbeing in the society”, she said.

Similarly, Head of Operations, CRiB, Mr. Achibom Anderson, said, the person, who becomes the ambassador, will be able to get one thousand children off the street, while the person who wins at the state level and zonal gets another one thousand children off the streets in the state.

According to him; this is the time that Nigerians can show they are ready to work and support children activities in the country; “because the project is not a jamboree, we will assure you that the children of this nation will stand up tall.

“The situation of the children in this country is very critical and there is need to domesticate the Child Right Act at the convention of the right of the child.”

On her part, Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT)- Social development Secretariat (SDS), Mrs. Blessing Onuh, who was represented by Deputy Director, Child Welfare, Mrs. Agnes Hart, said, the idea is a laudable one given the many challenges facing the children in Nigeria.

“The issue of children is not be taken seriously. So may children are abused even by their biological parents but this is a way of giving the child a voice and a face”

According to the organisers, the contest is open to girls between the ages of 18 and 25 and the winner expected salary is to the tune of N2 million with brand new car

The winner (ambassador) who will be trained on issues relating to children’s right is expected with other contestants to spend time with children in villages scattered round to come up with ideas on how to take care of the children’s right and wellbeing in the society..

Peoples Daily reports that there will be zonal draws across throughout next month, and by June 16th, being the Day of the Africa child, when the winner of the Pageant will be crowned as the Child rights ambassador.

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