It was gathered that Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has lamented the increasing cases of kidnapping of children for ransom.
The governor said this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Wednesday by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, spoke at this year’s Children’s Day celebration.
Aregbesola also prayed for the release of the 219 Chibok girls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in 2014 while tasking security agencies to do more to protect children from being raped, kidnapped and other criminals.
He said, “It is regrettable that violence against children has increased globally and that children are easy targets of kidnap-for-ransom.
“The nation is still distraught by the tragedy of the 219 Chibok girls kidnapped by terrorists in their school hostel, which the government is still groping to find solution.
“We are asking parents and the law enforcement agencies to provide greater protection for children against physical abuse, rape and torture.
“We also ask our teachers and schools to stamp out bullying. Our schools should not become a Darwinian social experiment where the strong predatorily consume the weak.”
He urged parents and the society at large to stand against any form of abuse and cruelty against children.
The governor added that Osun children were topmost in his administration’s pursuit and policies.
He said his administration recognised that education was the most important need of children, hence its investment in the education sector.
Aregbesola pointed out that Osun, under his watch, had built so many modern schools, recruited teachers and provided educational and teaching materials among others for the development of education in the state.
He added that the e-learning tablet (Opon Imo) introduced by his administration was the first of its kind in the world and had become the envy of the whole world.
The governor said, “We have also recognised that a child must have the physical, mental and emotional requirements for leaning, for school to be of any value to him or her.
“This is why we introduced the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O’MEALS) to provide rich and nourishing meals to school children on school days and treat them of worms and other parasites capable of stealing the food in their stomachs.