At 13, he is already a child rights activist and has tasted political powers. He holds the exalted post of the deputy speaker of the Nigeria Children’s Parliament, a body responsible for issues affecting the Nigerian child. Ibrahim Adamu If you think this young man just performed one or two magic and got to that position, then you are wrong because he actually scaled his way through a tough hurdle. Hear him: "I didn’t have to spend a dime to get elected to the position of the deputy speaker. No, I used my intelligence. I educated my fellow children, who were the voters on the rights of children and the need for us children to participate in governance," he told Daily Sun. Honourable Ibrahim Adamu as he prefers to be called, is not a new comer to the world of child rights activism. In fact, before he became deputy speaker he was the president of the African Children’s Broadcasting Network until November 2002. Young, brave and intelligent, Honourable Adamu, a former secondary school (JSS2) student with the Government Science Technical College, Garki, Abuja, is also a resource person who has delivered some good number of lectures on child rights environment among others on various occasions and outside Abuja. The fourth child in a family of eight, Ibrahim could best be described as a gifted child. According to his father, Adamu Abdullahi a journalist with the Nigeria Television Authority headquarters, Abuja, Ibrahim started manifesting his intelligence at age one, when at that tender age he would recite and repeat exactly what he has either watched on the television or heard on the radio. He told Daily Sun that his son recited whatever he heard so well that, he began to suspect indeed there was something special about him. Despite all these, the proud father says he enrolled him like his other children in a public school. "I didn’t send him to any special school. I sent him to a public school like his siblings." At his tender age, this honourable has dined with the high and mighty and has travelled far and wide. As former president of the African Children Broadcasting Network, it is on record that young Adamu is the first ever Nigerian child to hold a live interview programme with a serving President of the Federal Republic. Having won himself so many awards from both local and international organisations as a result of his astute belief in the rights of the Nigerian child; he says, of all the problems in Nigeria, the most important area that he wants addressed is the right of the Nigerian child to education. He also regrets that adults who are supposed to be their guide do not realise the right of the child to survival, protection and participation in things that affects them. As future leaders of this nation, Honourable Ibrahim advises the government to invest more in children for a better tomorrow. "We are not an expenditure but investments and investing in us today is investing in the future of Nigeria," he says. With activism running through his veins, Ibrahim says one of his greatest achievements and that of the parliament was the smooth passage of the child’s right bill by the National Assembly. He spoke more… The Nigerian Children’s Parliament The parliament is a democratically elected children’s body, comprising of mostly child’s rights activists that speak the minds of other children. The body came into existence in Nigeria in 2000 but was formally inaugurated by President Obasanjo in 2003. It is recognised all over the world and seen as the best way in which children can be seen and heard on issues affecting them. How I came into the parliament I got to know about it in 2002, when I was invited as the president of the African Children Broadcasting Network by the National Human Rights Commission to participate and have a sitting on the celebration of the International Human Rights day, where the president of the parliament was also invited. After the celebration of the international day of broadcasting for children, I again met the parliament’s president. UNICEF invited us and made us mock members of the parliament pending when elections would hold on children’s day (May 27th) of that year. Election Having been nominated as one of the mock participants, I really didn’t want to contest for an election, but the president of the parliament who was very popular amongst children drafted me into it. I must let you know at this point that you don’t just get voted for because you are interested. Some criteria were specified by the adult facilitators which includes how articulate you are, especially on the United Nations children’s rights in general and the situation in the world. I had more advantage in this area, and so, I started my campaign after which I was screened, cleared and made to face my fellow children who came from all over Nigeria and Abuja. When I came face to face with them, I told them of the rights of the child and the need for them to participate in governance. We also had a syndicate group that I facilitated with the President, Dayo Israel. Duties As the deputy speaker, part of my job is to preside over sittings in the absence of the speaker. Apart from that, I have to ensure that basically every member of the parliament has to be child friendly, extend the spirit of cooperation and interact freely amongst fellow children. We also try to find out their problems and represent their interest. Ambition To make sure that the child’s right bill is passed in my state, that is Nasarawa. Likes I like people who appreciate and love children and are ready to work for children at all times, I hate people who hate children. Solution to the plight of the Nigerian child The only solution to the plight of the Nigerian child is to ensure the full participation of children on issues affecting them, because we children believe that when we are involved, we can make the difference. Nigerian politics Ibrahim who plans to go into politics when he is older, even hopes to become the President of Nigeria. His words: "I will like to go into politics when I’m older, but not the politics of this generation, which has now become a do or die affair. For now the Nigerian politics is that of money which has made it difficult for those with genuine intention to win elections because money is now your voice, nobody listens to you if you don’t have money. "As future leaders, if any government will invest in us and stop looking at us as expenditure but as investment. Remember that all the great things that happens in ones life are learned at childhood, that is why both the government and private sector needs to put its hands together on issues relating to children."