NAF to support NGO in tackling child terrorism, exploitation
By Paul Michael
Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has pledged to support the curbing of child terrorism and exploitation in the country.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, made the pledge when he received the Federal Capital Representative of the Nigerian Children’s Parliament, Miss Splendour Joe-King and members of her entourage recently at NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
Joe-King said the Nigerian Children’s Parliament has visited to solicit support in its quest to minimise the vulnerability of children and protecting them against all forms of terrorism.
Appreciating Joe-King for her efforts, Amao stated that the timing of her project, which seeks to transform the lives of vulnerable children could not have come at a better time considering the myriads of security challenges and other sensitive issues confronting the nation.
In a statement signed by NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the CAS was quoted to have said, “It is commendable that as a young lady, you have focused your attention on helpless children bearing in mind that sustenance of peace is key to nation building.”
He advised Miss Joe-King to look beyond her current focus on assisting school-attending children but to also focus on out-of-school children and women who according to him, bear the brunt of conflicts and are more vulnerable to being recruited as terrorists.
Amao further urged that the awareness campaign initiated should be intensified especially in rural communities to educate school children on the implications and effects of child terrorism and other social vices.
He also promised to inculcate the peace club initiative in all NAF Schools nationwide.
“I will also lend my voice to yours on the best way possible in the fight against child terrorism,” he stated.
Earlier, Joe-King, who also doubles as a National Peace Ambassador, stated that her ongoing campaign, “Nigerian Children Call for Peace Project” aims at propagating the doctrine of peace, unity & sustainable development in Nigeria, as well as the establishment of Peace Clubs in schools across the country.
The initiative, according to her, intends to mainstream children into peace development and peace building to achieve a zero violent society.
Miss Joe-King added that the urgent need to integrate terrorism education into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools was her inspiration for writing a book titled, ‘Effects of Terrorism on Children’.
She noted that the book was an opportunity to educate and carry all children along on matters concerning terrorism.
According to her, the book will inculcate positive ideas in children and youths because they are an integral part in the fight against terrorism. She then solicited for NAF support and encouragement for the campaign to succeed and make remarkable impact towards national development.
Ambassador Splendour Joe-King, who is 16 years old, is a human rights advocate for the National Human Rights Commission and an award holder of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award for Young People.
She is also an author having published a book titled, ‘Effects of Terrorism on Children’, at the age of 9 years. Currently, she is the lead convener of the Nigerian Children Call for Peace Project.