In the course of the week that just ended, there is this BBC report that was being circulated, though it is about a year old, and here is an excerpt of it below;
“NIGERIA’S YOUTHS – A TICKING BOMB, BBC News (25 July 2017); https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-40715305
Nigeria has ‘largest number of children out-of-school’ in the world.
Nigeria has the largest number of children in the world who are not being educated, the government has said. Acknowledging the scale of the problem the education ministry’s permanent secretary Adamu Hussaini said it was “sad to note” that Nigeria had 10.5 million children out of school.
This is the first time senior officials have admitted the size of the problem. Cultural factors have been blamed but critics point to a lack of money going to publicly funded schools.
The UN’s children’s agency, UNICEF, has been campaigning on this issue as well as a number of other groups. On a visit to the country last week, education activist Malala Yousafzai met Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and asked him to declare what she called “an education state of emergency in Nigeria”.
Mr Hussaini said those most affected were girls, street children and the children of nomadic groups and added that economic prosperity can only be achieved with an “inclusive and functional education system”.
But BBC Hausa editor Jimeh Saleh says the failure in the education system is due to a lack of government funding, rather than any cultural factors as suggested by the ministry.
“Government funded schools in Nigeria have practically collapsed over the years because of poor funding leaving children from poor homes with nowhere to go but the streets,” he says.
UNICEF estimates that 60% of Nigerian children not attending school live in the north of the country.”
Whether we like it or not, without education there is so much one or even a nation can achieve. All of us may turn away our faces from this tragic and damning report, but it is a ticking time-bomb that the impact will affect us all. Because such alarming number is a standing and ready army for future insurgencies, militants and social miscreants.
If these children grow up with nothing to look forward to in the future as means of livelihood – they will grow up to be menace to us all, then no one will know peace, and we all we become their prey. “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
We need to find a way to put them into school or/and any and some form of education, else some people will soon start putting arms and ammunitions, Tracy Chapman captures the present and future scenarios for us succinctly in hit song Bang! Bang! Bang! Find the lyrics of the song below;
“What you go and do, you go and give the boy a gun? Now there ain’t no place to run to, ain’t no place to run. When he hold it in his hand. He feel mighty he feel strong. Now there ain’t no place to run to, ain’t no place to run.
One day he may come back repay us for what we’ve done.
Then where you gonna run to. Where you gonna run? But one fine day. All
our problems will be solved.
Bang bang bang we’ll shoot him down.
Give him drugs and give him candy, anything, oh to make him think he’s happy, and he won’t ever come for us, he won’t ever come. But if he does and if there’s no one else around. Bang bang bang – we’ll shoot him down.
If he preys only on his neighbours, brothers, sisters and friends, we’ll consider it a favour, we’ll consider justice done. But if he comes for you or me and we can place a gun in his hand. Bang! Bang! Bang! We’ll shoot him dead.
What you go and do you go and give the boy a gun? Now there ain’t no place to run to, ain’t no place to run. Now we’ll all be at his mercy if he decides to hunt us down ‘cause there ain’t no place to run to, ain’t no place to run.
If he wants the chances that you took from him. Oh, and nothing that you own. Then there’ll be no place to run to, there’ll be no place to run. And if he finds himself to be a reflection of us all. Bang! Bang! Bang! He’ll shoot us down
Before you can raise your eyes to read the writing on the wall Bang! Bang! Bang! He’ll shoot you down
Before you can bridge the gulf between and embrace him in your arms. Bang! Bang! Bang! He’ll shoot you down.”
We had better start seeking ways to put pens in the hands of these youth before someone/people starts putting guns in their hands, because if they are able before we can start to make our moves – there would be no place to run for us all – they will come and shoot us all down, with no one to blame but us all!
God bless you.
God bless Nigeria.
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Invite your friends and share widely with others, especially the youth, and together we shall build and create our own future.