February 27, 2018
“If you think Education is too expensive, try Ignorance”
Indeed, the situation in Nigeria captures a group of people who consciously sacrifice the future of its younger generations, not only through alienating them from political power or economic strangulation but in concrete terms by butchering their dreams, their future and ensuring permanent crisis of confidence as they are forced to grow under acute insecurities of lives and properties. Nigeria has lost more youth to curable or containable health malaise, hunger and starvation, road accidents, fire disasters, robbery attacks, armed banditry, official security forces’ brutalities, kidnappings, herdsmen and farmer carnages than countries in civil strife and wars.
Yet, the country has the highest cadence of recycled leaders who keep mouthing that children/Youth” are leaders of tomorrow. The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL and its ally organizations including the Child Help In Legal Defence Of Rights to Education in Nigeria, CHILDREN Project and Action Team Against Conscription and Kidnap, ATACK strongly calls on all well-meaning Nigerians, progressives world-wide and the youth of our great country that our children deserves to live today!
The Boko Haram terrorist sect, which like a cat with nine lives has evaded two successive administrations; the murderous group government which has variously claimed to have atomized its reared ugly fangs again on 21st February, 2018 struck by kidnapping 110 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi in Yobe State. This is reminiscent of a similar kidnap of over Two Hundred students in Chibok, Borno State in 2014. These incidents and many others exposed the nation’s weak care for its children and absolute neglect of this generation of Nigerians. It is trite to emphasize here that many children are languishing away in Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) Camps all over the country, as a matter of fact; a girl child recently cried out that she wakes up every morning to bemoan the fact that she can no longer continue her studies. Many others kids across the Nigerian landscape even where there are no manifest security threats can go to schools because many state governments are owing public sector workers and their tutors have embarked on indefinite strike actions while the economic downturn have compelled many parents to withdraw their wards from schools. We are alarmed and scared on what would be the future of our society when we refuse to commit social investment on the future of coming generations? We see a country that would face monumental dysfunction, decay, stagnation, violence, degradation and inevitably collapse into a bedlam if emergency intervention scheme is not initiated to rescue the future of our youths and children.
In the country today, many young persons are victims of sexual abuse, debasements and ritual killings which show a society that has lost its soul at the altar of morbid search for filthy money and power at the expense of its children’s future. The spate of kidnappings is further exacerbating the hollowness of the country’s moral fibre particularly when we examine how we dis-regard the education sector.
Beyond the continuous negative slide of education and lack of social and political will to stem the tides, belligerencies in the country is further compounding the crisis. Recently, lecturers of University of Maiduguri who have been kidnapped since 2017 were released after negotiations brokered with Boko Haram by International Red Cross Society with some of them clamouring for jobs outside the North=East regions. If teachers feel unsafe to live in a region, is the future of the children of that area not totally foreclosed and mortgaged? In the same token, some wives of armed forces kidnapped since last were released and this cannot but get any rational person to ponder on what remains of a home when the mother is taken away, this is the first point of social education and training to mould children who are supposed to be the future of our nation.
Holistically, this insecurity threat is dangerous to the survival of our country, requisite attention must be paid to remedy if not eliminate it. As much as we note the readiness of the present administration to rescue the Dapchi 110 students as against denial of the Chibok kidnap by the immediate past regime, we totally condemn the buck passing by the Military hierarchy. The military command was fingered by the State Governor to have withdrawn its troops from the streets of Yobe State just before the kidnapping occurred. Though it defended itself that it handed over to the Police which contended by the Commissioner of Police in the state.
This issue is too huge a threat to be handled with kid’s glove. We call on President Muhammed Buhari to demonstrate that he is a father and leader who cares about the future of the younger generation by ordering a comprehensive probe of the failure of security apparatuses in Yobe State as it concerns this tragic episode of kidnap.
We make bold to assert that if the security forces had been alive to its responsibilities, this kidnap would have been foiled or in the least, the kids would be rescued almost immediately. The Government should also invest on enhancing security infrastructure as well social standards that make life more meaningful for security personnel and citizens respectively.
We are extremely disturbed that the armed hordes promoting violence, kidnaps, and brigandage in the North East region are migrants infiltrating the country through the porous borders with neighbourhood countries like Chad, Niger, Sudan an Cameroon. This is a grave national security threat which our country cannot afford to toy with.
We empathize with the families of the victims of the Dapchi kidnap as they grapple with the trauma of the abduction of their loved ones and we seriously charge the FG to leave no stone unturned in putting in the extremely needed concerted efforts to rescue the girls to reunite with their definitely traumatized parents and relations.
Executive Chairman, CACOL
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