By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
An NGO, Save the Boys Initiative on Saturday sensitised 1000 boys from 25 Secondary Schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on moral values and social reform.
The NGO also sensitised the boys on life skills to enhance their abilities and make the society free from social vices.
The NGO organised the event – International Boys Conference 2022, with the theme:
‘Reformation ‘ in Abuja.
Mr Ebuka Ede, the Founder of the initiative said the essence of the conference was to raise and empower boys to become responsible and live productive lives.
According to him, the initiative is aimed at raising and building boys for absolute reformation and make the society a better place devoid of criminal activities, social vices and immorality.
“We want to bring the boys together and make them understand what manhood is all about.
“There are lots of distortions in the society and if we keep silent, we will not see the change we desire.
“So, we are bringing boys to inculcate in them the values, discipline and mind set to become kings and leaders that will bring about the desired change in the country.
“If you look at the level of insecurity, criminality and social vices, they are mostly perpetrated by boys and men. This shows that some boys are not well raised,” he said.
Ede said that the NGO was also trying to train boys in raising their voices against boys being sexually assaulted or abused that “nobody is talking about”.
He said it had become imperative to enlighten and transform them to also speak out against the societal ills.
“So much have been done in protecting the girl-child and not much is being done for the protection and sensitisation of the boy-child.”
Eden explained that the initiative also involved community projects to save boys at the end of every year by going round the country and collaborating with other stakeholders to educate boys for effective reformation.
“We have been to IDP Camps to sensitise boys, because some of them are idle. We are also mapping out plans to target more communities and IDP Camps.
“We want boys reformed; we want parents to say their boys are now responsible. We want a new nation that is devoid of fraud, rituals, rape, immorality and criminality.
“We have over 1000 boys here. I will be going to Lagos and Jos in the next few days for same purpose.
“We believe it is possible to reform large numbers of Nigerian youths to have a better country,” Ede said.
Mr David Folaranmi, the Founder of David Folaranmi Foundation called on the boys to imbibe self-discipline.
According to him, self-discipline is a prerequisite to being regarded as a reformed boy or king.
Folaranmi admonished them to be disciplined in their appetite, time, sexual desires, adding that “social media leads to addiction and time wastage”.
He instructed them to run away from pornography, drug addiction, social media addiction and focus their time and energy on useful and productive ventures.
“If you are a drug addict, accept that you have a challenge and need help, seek for professional help, take responsibility, watch the company you keep and the places you go.
“You also need to learn life skills to keep you out of trouble. For example, refusal skills, problem solving skills and time management to be able to be organised and avoid destructive ventures,” Folaranmi said.
Similarly, Mrs Nanse Emeje, the Secretary/Director of FCT Secondary Education Board appreciated the organiser of the Boys Conference.
She said so much had been said and done on girls and it was only fair to also create awareness for the boys to also be at par with their female counterparts.
“There is need to reform the boys to be kings. They should be given the leadership skills they need to make the society a better place.
“Parents should also know that teachers are not magicians. They also need to get involved in the social, religious, academic and mental development of their children.
“However, I want the boys to take advantage of this conference because there is always a higher and better level to attain.”
Emeje said boys needed to feel empowered to speak out about unacceptable behaviours that they might see in others.
“They also need to develop the confidence to speak up for themselves.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the students expressed delight and satisfaction with the programme.
They said they learnt a lot on self-esteem and ability to manage their time had been enhanced. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Hawa Lawal/Grace Yussuf