ACF seeks emergency on education to eliminate 13m out of school, Almajiri

Worried by the 13 million figure of out of school children in the country, most of whom are Almajiri in the North, mouthpiece of Northern Nigeria, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has asked the governments to declare a state of emergency on education, with a marshall plan that will revamp the sector and eliminate out of school children.

This was also as the forum called on the Federal Government to institute an inquiry into the unfortunate attack that led to the killings of many soldiers at 157 Task Force Battalion, Metele, with a view to finding the immediate and remote causes, in order to restore confidence in our troops and also avert re-occurrence.

These were part of the resolutions of ACF at its quarterly National Executive Council meeting held at the forum’s headquarters in Kaduna on Wednesday.

A communique issued at the end of the meeting and signed by ACF National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, said the meeting expressed serious concern over the deteriorating educational standards in the nation’s schools and institutions and the plight of over 13m out of school children.

It therefore urged the Federal and States Governments to declare a State of Emergency on Education with a Marshall Plan that will revamp the education sector that will gradually eliminate the 13 million out of school, especially in the North where the Almajiri situation is worrisome.

It equally appealed to the Governments to allocate at least 25% of their budgets to Education in order to address the lingering crisis.

On the perennial Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike that have continued to disrupt academic teachings in the universities, the meeting urged both FG and ASUU to sheath their swords and return to the negotiation table in the spirit of give and take.

While noting that strike has never been the best option in resolving grievances, ACF pleaded with ASUU to call off the strike, and urged the Federal Government to meet ASUU half way.

According to the communique, “meanwhile, the Northern State Governments should endeavor to pay their counterparts funding in order to access what are due to them from Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC to enable them improve the volume and quality of primary education in the North.

“The Council noted that Education being a fundamental right of every citizen as other aspects of our polity that are competing for the limited resources at the disposal of government, the Forum is therefore of the strong opinion that States, Parents and indeed communities should contribute to the funding of education.

On the security issue, the communique read that, “The meeting noted with grave concern the incidences of insecurity in the country, particularly the resurgence of the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State, where the insurgents attacked the 157 Task Force Battalion, Metele, Borno state which claimed the lives of many Nigerians.

“The attack was most devastating to the morale of our soldiers and worrisome to Nigerians. However, it commends the Federal Government’s quick intervention by way of deploying more troops, air surveillance and materials along the border towns of neighboring countries especially Tchad, Niger and Cameroon to tackle the insurgency.

“NEC also appealed to the Military and other security agencies to be proactive and always share intelligence and work in synergy to avert such unfortunate incidents.

“It equally called on the Federal Government (FG) to institute an inquiry into the unfortunate attack with the view to finding the immediate and remote causes, in order to restore confidence in our troops and also avert re-occurrence.  Leaders at all levels also have important roles to play by supporting the efforts of the security agencies and the intelligence community as the tasks and responsibilities for securing lives and property cannot be left to the government alone.” It read.

On the 2019 general elections, ACF urged government to give clear instructions to the Security Agencies to met out the severest sanctions against politicians, political parties, individuals and the media that might use hate speeches in their quest to win elections for themselves or their preferred candidates.

“Elections should not be a declaration of war where our youth are used as political thugs, but rather an opportunity to elect credible leaders who will enhance security, eliminate corruption, enthrone social justice and the improvement of the well-being of the citizenry.

“The Forum being a socio-cultural cum political that seeks to propagate the interests of the North, is not politically partisan. However, it will study the proposed policies and programs of the various political parties and take a nonpartisan position on issues.” Said ACF.

News Reporter

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