By Ismaila Chafe
The Presidency on Saturday in Abuja released some filed pictures of President Muhammadu Buhari with children in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as part of memorial events to mark this year’s Children’s Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari left Abuja for London on May 10, to see his doctors for follow-up medical checks.
The pictorial report showing the president with the children was released by Mr Bayo Omoboriowo, the president’s personal photographer.
Omoboriowo captioned the report as “File photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and children on the occasion of Children’s Day 2017.
“Let little children come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of God.”
He added: “Pictures of the jolly grandfather and the little ones were taken at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“Subject: Images relevant for Children’s Day on May 27th 2017.’’
One of the pictures showed the president carrying a child standing alongside the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Other pictures showed Buhari in relaxed-mood with the children as one of them attempting to fix a cap on the president’s head.
Meanwhile Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday met with school children in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he offered them gifts.
Osinbajo also took group photos with the children as part of activities to mark the 2017 Children’s Day.
In Abuja operators of parks and recreational centres on Saturday recorded low patronage as children celebrate this year’s Children’s Day nationwide.
The Millennium Park and Magic land were scanty with few parents and children to celebrate their day.
However, security presence, including police, NSCDC and private security officers were at strategic locations within the parks to safeguard lives and properties.
Some parents and vendors attributed the low turn out to the commencement of the Ramandan fast by Muslims on May 27.
Other residents and operators attributed it to the current economic recession bedeviling the nation and non-payment of salaries.
Mrs Linda Ikezuka, a mother of three, who visited the park with her children, noted the low turnout of fun seekers, compared to previous years.
“It is so sad that the turn-out is very poor compared to the past years, where children were celebrated and there was massive turn-out.
“However, Muslims worldwide started their Ramadan fast today, which probably I think contributed to the low turn-out as well,’’ she said.
Mr Isaac Ayodele, a civil servant, attributed the low attendance at the park to the effects of economic recession.
“The fact is that most people don’t have money to carry their children out for fun because of the biting effect of the recession coupled with the prices of commodities that had skyrocketed.’’
Ayodele appealed to the government to work towards improving the nation’s economy to alleviate the sufferings of the people.
Similarly, Mr Samuel Chukwauma, another civil servant, attributed the poor turn-out to non-payment of salary.
“Most civil servants have not been paid their salaries and it is only few workers that have money at the end of the month before the payment of salaries.’’
He therefore appealed to government to pay salaries as at when due to reduce economic hardship on the people.
However, Mrs Halima Danladi, a legal practitioner, called for the full implementation of the Child Rights Act to protect children from acts of violence and abuse.
“There is a need for the full implementation of the Child Rights Act to protect the rights of children, which will also go a long way to reduce the rates of child abuse and molestation.’’
Also, Malam Umar Isiaka, an ice cream seller, lamented the low turnout at the parks, which he said had affected his business.
“I have not been able to sell much since I arrived because of the low turn-out of people, as well as the commencement of the Ramadan fast,’’ he said.