Prominent Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, says to address lingering insecurity in Nigeria, the government must invest in education rather than executing “white elephant projects”.
The Islamic cleric said insecurity in Nigeria is a “tricycle of poverty, ignorance and injustice”.
In an interview with Sunday Sun, Gumi said the government must have a “rethink” on the need to make resources available to those at the grassroots and invest in their education.
The Islamic cleric said if citizens are not educated, insecurity will persist because it is fuelled by ignorance and unemployment, which are implications of lack of access to education.
“First, we need to understand that Almajarai is a cultural thing and until you change the mindset of the people, the fire brigade approach will not solve the problem,” he said.
Almajarai is an educational system that is outdated by modernity just like the use of donkeys and camels as means of transportation which have been overtaken by the modern transportation system.
“So, when you make the modern available, people will leave the old ones. Let me say that perhaps we still have villages where they still use donkeys and camels to move around.
“If you check, you will discover there are no good roads, let alone good cars in such places. So, Almajarai is not just a school, but an educational system that is not well-financed.
The boy, after taking the morning lesson, will go and beg for food because that food sustains him and pay a small fee to his mallam.
“So, we have to make education from primary to secondary and even tertiary a universal thing.
“Spend money on education rather than flyovers because insecurity is a tricycle of poverty, ignorance and injustice. So, selecting a few thousand out of millions of out-of-school children in Nigeria is just like a drop in the ocean of the problem we have.
“The development may encourage some Almajarai to begin to come to town to try their luck on scholarships and allowances. Let there be a policy where primary education will be absolutely free and put a sustainability plan in place.
Like what Awolowo did in the old western region. I remember the slogan then was “free education” and this is just what we need because if you don’t educate people, the problem will continue because one-third of the malady you see around is caused by ignorance and unemployment, which have a direct correlation with education.
“If you don’t teach people the needed skills to work through education, how can they survive even if you give them a stipend every month? So, the government needs to have a rethink, reduce all these elephant projects and make resources available at the grassroots to make sure every Nigerian is educated.”