A student of the Department of Industrial and Production Engineering at the University of Ibadan, Sadik Olayemi Abdulroshid, has emerged champion of the 2022 essay competition on the Boy child for the tertiary category.
Oni Alli Atilola of Department of Medicine at the University of Ibadan emerged first runner up in the debate competition on the topic ‘The importance of a father and son relationship from the lens of the boy child’ while Okorie Divine Ujunwa of the Department of English and Literary Studies at the University of Nigeria (UN) Nsukka won the third place.
For the secondary category, Laseoluwa David of Rainbow College Boarding, Maba in Ogun State emerged champion; Amuni Awwal of Baptist Academy, Obanikoro emerged second while Mosope Ogunyemi of Dansol High School won the third place.
To amplify the campaign against neglect of the boy-child in Nigeria, a non-governmental organization named A Mother’s Love Initiative (AMLi) created a platform for young boys to compete among themselves and creatively render their insights on the topic in commemoration of the International Day for The Boy Child marked on June 16 annually.
At the end of the timeline provided for the essays to be submitted, hundreds of scripts were received across various schools in Nigeria, including Secondary and Tertiary institutions.
Students from 18 Universities and 12 Secondary Schools participated in the essay competition while their scripts were reviewed by a team of examiners who allocated scores to then.
At the inaugural parenting seminar themed, ‘Parenting the 21st century boy child: A pathway to transformation’, the Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, renewed the call on the United Nations to fully recognise May 16 as the International Day of the Boy Child to deepen initiatives and interventions targeted at promoting the interest, welfare and wellbeing of the Boy Child globally.
The First Lady spoke at the inaugural Parenting Seminar, with the theme: ‘Parenting The 21st Century Boy Child: A Pathway to Transformation’, as part of the Boy Child Initiative of her office held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu said the seminar was aimed at ensuring that parents have an in-depth understanding of the nitty-gritty of effective approaches to dissuade the boy child from social vices such as rape, drug abuse, cultism, and bullying, among others.
She said: “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 and I must say we are open to partnerships to scale up our programmes to support the boy child and secure their future. Parents have a lot to do to address the plight of the boy child.”
Founder and convener of AMLi, Mrs. Hannatu Enwemadu noted that the boy-child is fast becoming invisible because the society assumes that they are invincible. According to her, they are hurried through childhood into adulthood and taught to mask their pains, as their tears must not be seen because showing their pains is a sign of weakness. They are also taught to be tough: ‘Boys don’t cry’, as such, they end up bottling their emotions.
She lamented that there exist a social but subtle bias against the boy-child, which has adverse effects on the psychosocial balance and development of the boy-child. “If we do not fix these anomalies and reverse the imbalance now, these young ones may turn abusive in the future,” she said.