As the nation marks Children’s day on 27th of May, 2020, there is that need for us to look at the Subject matter “Child Safety and Security in Nigeria”; the Role of POCACOV Volunteer Club Scheme.
There are many definitions for the word”Child’ but the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child states that; “A Child is a human being below the age of 18 years”. In the same vein, the term “Children” is also referred to as a minor who do not have the maturity and understanding to make important decisions for themselves while a Young person is referred to an older and experienced and who is more likely to be able to make these decisions for themselves.
The children lives with parents, caregivers, guardians amongst others and learn the process of living and existence from what he perceive from his immediate environment. It is these Children that grows to become these adult that usually replaces the ageing ones. They are important in the Nation building, growth and development hence they are addressed as Future Leaders.
Regrettably, the manner in which some of these children are treated, neglected and sometimes abused without due reference to their right is quite alarming and begging for urgent attention. These Children are many at times left to their own fate as they are made to hawk and engage in other illicit activities and labour which makes them to be vulnerable and exposes them to cultism, thuggery, substance abuse, sexual and gender based violence and other vices.
According to the provisions of the Child Rights Act Part 1, when a child is concerned, their best interest is to take precedent, it goes to state that the parent or legal guardian is obligated to fulfill the duty to give the child basic protection.This will also help in the realization of goal 11 (SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world.
According to Dame Pallen Tallen the Honourable minister for women Affairs “Children should not be taken for granted as the future of any Nation lies in the children. Therefore, if we don’t rise up to the challenges of ensuring that they are not exposed and vulnerable to cultism,violence,substance abuse and other vices,there will not be hope or future for our dear Nation”.
It is in the light of the Foregoing that the Nigeria Police Force Under the Leadership of IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu through the IGP MA Adamu POCACOV Resource Centre, Enugu came up with POCACOV Volunteer Club which its module have been developed to strengthen the partnership tie between the Police, school and community in line with the realization of Safer School/Community Partnership of the community oriented policing. This is because,vagabonds do not grow from the soil neither do terrorists fall from the sky.
The POCACOV Volunteer Club will reawaken the consciousness of parents, guardians, community members, caregivers and other relevant stakeholders with a view to practically coming to terms with reality on ground and with a sincere way of resolving the teething problem.
For instance, some parents, guardians, caregivers are usually busy to offer relevant supervisions on their children and wards as they oftentimes leave them at the mercy of unpredictable maids, uncensored media contents and thus making them to pay attention to some negative development which might not be relevant for their upbringing and growth.
In Order to raise this awareness and consciousness thereby deepening the campaign of making our children better as well as enhancing their safety and security in schools/communities,the Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV) has come up with a community driven programme tagged “POCACOV VOLUNTEER CLUB.
The POCACOV Volunteer Club scheme is in line with the Inspector General of Police IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu vision and mission of evolving best and world class strategies that is premised on Community Policing Practices which encourages building partnership towards addressing delinquencies that threaten our Communal Values.
The POCACOV Volunteer Club consists of School Children/Students with reputable character as well as Parents Teachers Association acting as patrons, Matrons and School Teachers. POCACOV Volunteer Club at the community level consist of members of the public with sound record and who will also serve as a role model and ‘influencers’. They will be partnering with the POCACOV Ambassadors drawn from Actors, Actress, Artiste and Comedians of great repute as well as members of the NYSC POCACOV Community Development Service (CDS).
POCACOV Volunteer Club will steer up advocacy, reorientation, awareness creation amongst others in our school environment and communities and also facilitate and prepare ground for renouncing membership of cultism and other violent act amongst other things.
Above all, the essence of POCACOV Volunteer Club will be to make our school environment and communities safe and secure. Stakeholders Partnership and relationship with the Police will be strengthened and galvanized towards resolving issues associated with children and young persons involvement in criminal gang and deviant behaviour as well as abuse by parents, caregivers and guardians.
It will also enhance the communication network of Children, Young persons and Girl Child with parents, Teachers, Community Leaders, Caregivers and other relevant stakeholders. The various enabling laws and Policies dwelling on the child, children and young persons and girl child are to be strengthened and backed with due enforcement to ensure that we all walk the talk on the issue relating to children and young persons safety and protection as well as that of the girl child. They are our future leaders and the Nation’s future lies in them.
The Popular Saying that the headmaster was a teacher and pupil reminds us that they are expected to grow and contribute positively to the Nation but if the reverse becomes the case, God Forbid!
In this direction, the media, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Government at all Levels, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Judiciary, Ministry of women Affairs, Non Governmental Organizations, Religious and traditional leaders, Security Agencies and other relevant bodies need to close Ranks and join in this campaign which is aimed at putting our children right and protecting them for a greater Nigeria Tomorrow.
CSP EBERE AMARAIZU
NATIONAL COORDINATOR, POCACOV, FORCE HEADQUARTERS, ABUJA.