The Northern Elite Created These Bandits

A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) put the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria to 13.5 million – as of 2018. An unimpressive mass of this number comes from Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, and other northern states.

In December 2019, Jigawa state government announced it would open a bidding process for the construction of 95 mosques across the state. This is a state with over 800,000 out-of-school children,

According to a survey by the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), there are more than 800,000 out-of-school children between the age of three and 18 in Jigawa.

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In Kano, there are about one million out-of-school children in the state. This is according to Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF representative to Nigeria, who disclosed this at a four-day workshop organised for commissioners and permanent secretaries from the 19 northern states in August 2019.

In Katsina, there are approximately one million out-of-school children. Though, Aminu Masari, the governor of the state, put the number at 996,000. Ditto Zamfara.

In addition, reports by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) reveal that the north-west region has the highest number of drug-related arrests in years, with 2,205 arrests in 2015 alone. A motion on drug abuse in the north adopted by the senate in 2017 disclosed that three million bottles of codeine were consumed by drug abusers daily in Kano and Jigawa.

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Also, Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), revealed that 70 percent of the youth essentially, the young boys, abuse illicit drugs in Kano.

When you put all these numbers together what you have is chaos, banditry and kidnapping.

In June, 2019, the federal government said it was considering proscribing the Al-majiri system of education in order to tackle insecurity.

Babagana Monguno, national security adviser, who disclosed this at the end of the national executive council meeting in Abuja, said the ban is to ensure that no child is deprived of basic education.

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He said Almajiris were becoming a prodigious problem to society, and that many of them end up becoming “criminals, drug addicts and willing tools in the hands of those who have very dangerous intentions’’.

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