SPEECH OF MRS MARTHA UDOM EMMANUEL, WIFE OF THE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE ON THE OCCASION OF FEYReP PATH INITIATIVE’S AWARENESS CAMPAIGN TAGGED: “BRIGHT FUTURE FOR THE BOY CHILD”, AT IBOM HALL, UYO.
1. I am delighted to address you all today as we seek to chart a new trajectory that connects directly with the fabric of the family unit. Let me thank you for coming out to identify with this noble course even at a very short notice.
2. As you all know, the family unit is one of God’s greatest gift to humanity, but over the years, this treasured gift given to us by the Almighty has somewhat been choked by so many parental inconsistencies.
3. With much advocacy and premium in recent times placed on the girl child, she seems now free, confident, independent pursuing her dreams and is no longer seen as the weaker sex. But the downside of this is that; the vulnerability of the boy child is now becoming very obvious.
4. While many of our boys are invisible and forgotten, each boy is important in this race of life, and none should be left behind. Statistics show that the welfare packages attached to the boy child in the family has gone down significantly, thus, the danger that this portends is real and needs to be addressed speedily before things get out of hand.
5. Some of the challenges of the boy child ranges from: drug abuse, rape, defilement, cultism, lack of care and social amenities, inadequacy in good parenting, high rate of illiteracy, poverty just to mention a few.
6. We need to protect the boy child from the harmful influences of society. There is an urgent need to focus on the home and school in order to save the boy child. The boy child lives in a turbulent social environment that makes him vulnerable to a multitude of negative forces. If a boy child is neglected or groomed in hate and violence, it is obvious he will develop into a personality that is misguided and confused. And the next critical transition into manhood will be even more difficult.
7. If we must achieve the desired results from this awareness campaign, the narrative must change from today by focusing on the boy child, even as we also continue to amplify the voice of the girl-child in our respective communities. As mothers, we must pay attention to the ever increasing needs of the boy child.
8. We must come up with feedback mechanisms that allows us listen to their needs and as well feel their pulse. We must engage in pep-talk with our boys more often. We must counsel, we must teach them the Christian virtues of becoming a responsible man. As parents, our role cannot be overlooked in this regard.
10. The overall aim is that every boy child should grow up to be responsible become a man of honor with integrity and contribute positively to his family and community thus making the world a better and more secured place.
11. On my part, I will continue to use my nongovernmental platform, the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative (FEYReP), to engage in conversations that will better the lots of the family in the state and beyond. Like I always say, I can’t do it alone.
12. As we leave this hall today, let this very convocation serve as a reminder of the clarion and urgent call to salvage the boy child from the challenges of the present day. By so doing, we would have averted a major crisis in the family and society.
13. Thank you for using your various platforms to offer solutions to this very pressing need before us.
God bless you all for the shared time!