Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has warned that if the Almajiri system is not completely overhauled, the North-East may end up dealing with an army of youths who may join the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents to torment the people.
He spoke on Thursday at the third North-East Governors’ Forum meeting in Yola, Adamawa State.
Zulum, who is also chairman of the forum, said one issue which needed to be urgently tackled was the Almajiri phenomenon and its associated challenges already having a telling effect on the overall socio-economic development of the society.
“Unless the Almajiri system is completely overhauled along the lines of its original objectives, we may end up having to deal with an army of perhaps untrainable youths who inadvertently become vulnerable to the influence of social misfits like kidnappers and bandits and even terror groups like the Boko Haram insurgents.
“It is a problem common to all of us and it needs both multi-dimensional and individually selective approach, based on the general and specific peculiarities of the system in each State. As for us in Borno State, I have already set up a High-Powered Committee to forensically and comprehensively look into the system, particularly its attendant issues of begging and unsavoury learning environment and determine whether or not such characteristics are integral part of the system or the result of a deliberate or inadvertent negligence on the part of the proprietors.
“On the short term, the Committee will advise Government on how to improve the learning environment, the academic standard as well as the status of the pupils, while as a long-term measure, the Committee is to look into the possibility of integrating the Sangaya system into the overall Western education system. These are some of the measures we have taken so far on the Almajiri system,” he said.
Zulum said it was pertinent to table the problem for a thorough and meticulous deliberation with a view to coming up with pragmatic and impactful ways of addressing the issue or even replicating the Borno example by setting up a committee with broad terms of reference, that should cover the entire sub-region.
He added that there is also the daunting phenomenon of youth unemployment in the North East which is increasingly becoming a serious cause of concern not only to the sub-region but the entire country as well.
“As we have discovered recently, the EndSARS protest was one of the direct consequences of youth unemployment which unfortunately degenerated into youth restiveness, with its concomitant effects, particularly on governance.
“We must therefore find ways and means of creating opportunities for our youths to be gainfully employed or actively engaged in useful activities, in order to ensure that they do not constitute a menace or pose a danger to society. Education is key to achieving these objectives and therefore we must work towards ensuring that our education system is resuscitated and reinvigorated to meet up the socio-economic needs and developmental requirements of our society.
“On the economic front, we must renew our commitment to collectively harnessing the vast and diverse resources we are endowed with, in order to build a prosperous and economically sustainable society for both the present and future generations,” he said.
Lai Mohammed insists no proof protesters were killed at Lekki tollgate
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said there is no proof that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos in October 2020 during the #EndSARS protest.
Some soldiers on October 20, 2020 were said to have opened fire on protesters in an attempt to disperse them allegedly leading to the death of many.
Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, described the 2020 event at the tollgate as a “phantom massacre”.
“Today marks the first anniversary of the phantom massacre at Lekki tollgate in Lagos, which was the culmination of an otherwise peaceful protest that was later hijacked by hoodlums,” the minister said.
The minister also said, “At earlier press conferences, I had called the reported massacre at the tollgate the first massacre in the world without blood or bodies.
“One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing. Where are the families of those who were reportedly killed at the toll gate? Did they show up at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry? If not, why?”
Adebanjo leads Afenifere chieftains on visit to Tinubu
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has led other chieftains of the body on a visit to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at his home in Lagos.
Others on the visit are Chief Supo Sonibare, Oba Olaitan Oladipo, and retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunji Alapini.
The visit came a few days after Tinubu returned from a medical trip to the United Kingdom where he underwent knee surgery.
The Punch reported that the last time Tinubu and Adebanjo met was in April when the former Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, died.
Prior to the visit, Adebanjo had told PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable, that the reason why Tinubu had been silent on the herdsmen crisis was that he felt President Muhammadu Buhari would make him his successor.
In another interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Adebanjo stated that Buhari won’t hand over power to Tinubu, adding that they were both deceiving each other.
He said, “I have said it openly before and I would say it again that Buhari is deceiving Tinubu and Tinubu is deceiving Buhari. I’m an old man and I’m a funeral candidate already, so quote me. If Tinubu contests the primary in APC today, he will fail.”
Adebanjo then advised Tinubu and other APC members from the South-West to leave the party in the interest of Yorubaland.
He said, “I have always told them, from Tinubu downwards, that it’s better they save themselves speedily. I’m talking to all of them, that in the interest of Yorubaland and the country, they should get out of the carcass they call APC. I made a public pronouncement that they were a conglomeration of incompatibles. It’s on record. I said it then and I’m still saying it now; if they don’t save themselves early enough, then they are ready for a disaster.”
Kaduna gives civil servants 12-day ultimatum on COVID vaccine
The Kaduna State Government has given all civil servants in the state 12 days to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or be barred from office.
The ultimatum was announced in a statement issued on Tuesday by Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman for the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.
According to him, all civil servants are expected to be vaccinated by October 31, after which they would be denied entry into government offices if they failed to comply with the directive.
“The Kaduna State Government will from 31st October 2021 require compliance with COVID-19 protocols, especially facemasks and vaccination, for access to its offices,” the statement said.
“The Ministry of Health has since commenced the vaccination of all civil servants, and this is expected to be completed by 31st October 2021. All civil servants are required to be vaccinated by that date.
“Visitors to government offices will need to present their vaccination cards. Given the limited supply of vaccines that are currently available, visitors that have not yet been vaccinated will, in the interim, be permitted entry upon presentation of evidence of registration with the state Ministry of Health for the purpose of vaccination, while wearing their facemasks.”
Adekeye said the decision was taken following a review by the Kaduna COVID-19 task force, and urged residents to ensure strict adherence to the protocol for preventing the spread of infections.
According to the statement, Amina Mohammed-Baloni, Kaduna commissioner for health, has also asked residents to register at the nearest primary health centres for vaccination “so that the relevant authorities can easily contact them as more Covid-19 vaccines become available”.
The development comes weeks after Edo began its ‘no vaccination, no entry’ campaign, which bars unvaccinated civil servants from entering government offices.
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