Youths from eight northern states under the umbrella of ‘Committee on Youths Engagement Priorities and Inclusion in Governance in Nigeria’ have said the Federal Government should make a declaration of a State of Emergency in education in all states of the northern region.
The group stated this after a meeting on Saturday in Bauchi. It was mandated by the Northern States Governors Forum to share ideas and find lasting solutions to the security challenges facing the region and the country.
The youths said the declaration of a State of Emergency in education in all northern states would help the region catch up with other country areas.
The youth committee said the low education index is the primary reason for the developmental setbacks in the region when compared with other areas of the country.
“We can no longer pretend that all is well. The north is burning, and we are looking the other way. Two-thirds of our people are children and youths, and a massive number of them are out of school. Does that not explain the poverty and insurgency that our region is facing at this material time?
“Our leaders must do something before it is too late. Look at those areas where they have succeeded in educating most of their youths; they don’t have insurgency on this scale. Education readily solves most of the problem we are running helter shelter for.
“Take for instance, who can radicalize me to take up arms with all the education I have received? And why would I resort to kidnapping when I have the education and skill to be self-employed?” Zuwaira Umar, a Gombe state delegate, queried rhetorically.
In his opening remark, the Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed, reiterated that the northern region is in crisis and called on youths to hold governments accountable on all issues that are of interest to them.
The summit, however, said there is non-implementation of the 35% affirmative action for women, non-involvement of youths in politics, tribal and religious tensions are affecting the region. Those in attendance include hundreds of delegates from six Northeastern states, including Kano and Nasarawa states.