The apex northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has lamented the poor attitude of northern state governors towards education in the region, particularly with the increasing number of out-of-school children, describing it as unfortunate.
This was a part of the communique issued at the end of the group’s National Executive Council of the ACF after its quarterly meeting held under the chairmanship of Sen. Abubakar H. Girei, who stood in for the acting chairman, Alhaji Musa Liman Kwande.
The meeting was attended by the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
According to the communiqué signed by Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, ACF national publicity secretary, the meeting discussed, exhaustively, the security challenges, especially the runaway banditry involving kidnapping and killing of innocent people on the highways and frequent attacks on communities, causing growing death toll in the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna and Taraba.
The communique also noted that the underlying causes of insecurity differ from one geopolitical zone to another, hence the need for government to consciously develop appropriate measures to contain the situation.
“The Council noted the effort of the security agencies and urged them to do more and take the war to the criminals that have continued to make life unbearable for our people.
“The Council calls upon federal government to take drastic measures that will restore normalcy, peace and harmony in the affected states in order to assuage the fears of the people, in particular Zamfara State where the bandits activities have been most cruel and devastating to the socioeconomic and political life of the people.
“On the issue of more than 10 million children that are out of school in the North, the Council noted with concern the increase in the number of Almajiris and children roaming the streets and the unfortunate attitude of our states governors towards the development of education.
“Recently, the Emirs and Chiefs in the North organised a conference on this burning issue where it was discussed and we issued a communique on how the northern states should tackle the situation.
“Unfortunately, very few states attended the Conference or even send representatives. Furthermore, the Minister of Education recently lamented the attitude of state governments to access funds at the Universal Basic Education Commission for primary education development by paying their counterpart funding.
“This is an unfortunate development, Council therefore appeals to the Northern States government to seriously address this out-of-school children menace to avoid further escalation of insecurity and other vices that have bedeviled the North. Illiteracy, poverty and drug abuse are a result of poor education and nonchalant attitude of our leaders to good governance.
“The Council also notes with concern the most recent communal clashes between the Tiv and Jukun communities in Benue and Taraba states respectively with the attendant loss of lives and destruction of properties on both sides. The Council condemned this unnecessary enmity between communities that have peacefully co-existed over the years and called on the states affected to put in place a peace building mechanism that will ensure harmony among the various groups. “
The ACF communique also condemned the recent communal clash between Mada ethnic group and Fulani settlement in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, describing it as a hein crime.
It urged the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“Council also appealed to the communities to avoid using reprisal attacks as a way of addressing concerns, since such reprisals make victims of those who know nothing about the feuds. It, therefore, appeals for due process in addressing such grievances among the various communities,”, it said.
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