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Illiteracy In North Threat To Peace — Emir Sanusi

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Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II has challenged leaders in the North to change the education narrative so as to save the region and the country.

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari, whose state is battling bandits, said education is the panacea to criminality and killings.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan added his voice to the call for mass education in the North, saying 14 million out-of-school-children in the region is a clear danger.

The Emir and the Senate President spoke in Kaduna while Masari spoke when he received a presidential condolence delegation in Katsina on Monday.

The Kaduna event was a ceremony to mark the 60th birthday of Governor Nasir EL-Rufai.

The emir said the North will destroy itself, if it does not address the challenges of poverty, millions of out of school children, malnutrition, drug problem and the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Emir explained that no leader of the North could afford to be happy in the face of the multifarious challenges confronting the region.

He lamented that 87 per cent of poverty in Nigeria is in the north with millions of children out of school. He said nine states in the North contribute almost 50 per cent of the entire malnutrition burden in Nigeria. “There is drug problem, Almajiri problem and Boko Haram problem in the North.”

He urged leaders of the region to move away from doing things the old way, which had produced the same negative results but should invest in education, nutrition and primary healthcare.

The emir also cautioned against continuous reliance in quota system and federal character to get jobs at the expense of other parts of the country which are busy educating their own children and turning out graduates.

He said: “When we talk about birthday, we talk about happiness. Just last week, someone asked me, are you happy? And I said I am not. And the person was surprised. The truth is, nobody who is a leader in the Northern Nigeria today can afford to be happy. You cannot be happy with about 87 per cent of poverty in Nigeria being in the North. You can’t be happy with millions of Northern children out of school. You can’t be happy with nine states in the North contributing almost 50 per cent of the entire malnutrition burden in the country. You can’t be happy with the drug problem, you can’t be happy with the Boko Haram problem. You can’t be happy with political thuggery. You can’t be happy with all the issues; the Almajiri problem that we have.

“So, we wish Nasir a happy birthday, but we do not want him to be happy as a leader. Because you are happy when you think you have reached a state of delivering and taking your people to where you want them to be.

“Now, because of the condition of Northern Nigeria, it is almost correct now to say that, if you are seen as normal, if you are a governor in the North or a leader in the North, and you are seen as normal in the sense that you continue to do what your predecessors have been doing, doing the same thing, which has been normalised, then, there is something wrong with you, you are part of the problem.

“The real change in the North will come from those who are considered mad people, because you look around and say if this is the way, we have been doing things, and this is where we have ended up, maybe we need to do things differently. If we have populated the government with middle-aged men, maybe we need to try younger people, maybe we need to try women. If we have spent our money and time on physical structures, maybe we need to invest more in education of our children. Maybe we need to invest more in nutrition. Maybe we need to invest more in primary healthcare.

“And the truth is, if you look at what Nasir is doing in Kaduna, with 40 per cent of his budget in education that is the only thing that is going to save the North. I know that, when we say these things, they don’t go down well.

“We have been saying this for 20 to 30 years. If the North does not change, the North will destroy itself. The country is moving on. Quota system that everybody talks about must have a sunset clause.

“The reason that people like Nasir stand up and they are nationalists is that, they don’t have any sense of inadequacy. You don’t need to rise on being from Kaduna State or being from the North or being a Muslim to get a job, you come with your credentials, you go with your competence, you can compete with any Nigerian from anywhere.

“We need to get our Northern youths to a point where they don’t need to come from a part of the country to get a job. And believe me, if we don’t listen, there would be a day when there would be a constitutional amendment that addresses these issues of quota system and federal character.

“The rest of the country cannot be investing, educating its children, producing graduates and then they watch us, they can’t get jobs because they come from the wrong state, when we have not invested in the future of our own children.

“So, as we celebrate Nasir at 60, we need to celebrate him as a public officer who is addressing the core problems of his constituency. It is education, it’s girl-child education, it’s women’s right, it’s child begging, it parental irresponsibility, demographic growth, it’s managing a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society and bringing them into one community where they are all citizens and he has done a lot that we can learn from.

“We have just heard how he has developed himself over the years, he is a surveyor, he is a lawyer, he has got Masters degrees, he has had over 80 certificates from Havard, because education is what makes a man.

“So, I am proud to count Nasir as one of my friends. I usually say I have to keep him as a friend, because he is the only person in Nigeria beside whom I am considered a moderate. People usually go to him and say talk to your friend the Emir or your friend Sanusi, same way people tell me, talk to your friend Nasir. Even two days ago, someone sent me to him with two messages. I delivered the first one which I thought was nice and friendly, but when I saw his reaction, I did not deliver the second one, I am waiting for the right time to deliver it.

“It is important to realise that the positions we hold are trascient and they do not define us. Anybody can be called a governor, anybody can be called an Emir, a commissioner or a minister, but at the end of the day, but you should know that, God had given you a chance to do something, do leave a mark and impact people’s lives.

“When he had issues with teachers in Kaduna State, some of his friends came to me to advise him because he was in his first term. That, he should not take such risks, he can lose election. I said, okay I will advise him, but I knew he was not going to listen to that advice. So, I told him what people were thinking, he said, your highness, if the people of Kaduna want to vote me out because I want good education for their children, let them do it. And I agreed with him. After winning an election, you should be governing, you should not be in a campaign mode for four years. You were elected to serve, if people appreciate it and vote for you, fine, if they don’t, you have done your bit.” Emir Sanusi said.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi paid tribute to the governor, saying that, Nigeria needs leaders like him.

He described the governor as a small statured man with massive engine capable of pulling anything to achieve result.

He said Nigeria needs leaders like Nasir El-Rufai who will take tough decisions to achieve great results.

The event had in attendance the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed, APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, former APC Chairman Odigie Oyegun, former Zamfara State Governor, AbdulAziz Yari and MD of Nigeria Port Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, among others.

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Court Orders Immediate Release Of Orji Kalu

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Nigerian Correctional Services to immediately release a former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

Kalu is in the Kuje Correctional Service centre following his conviction last December for looting N7.65billion belonging to Abia State.

Justice Mohammad Liman granted the lawmaker’s application for release moved by his counsel Lateef Fagbemi.
The judge made the order after he received no opposition to Kalu’s application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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BREAKING: Senator Muse Dies

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state, Munir Adekunle Muse, is dead.

Muse was a former lawmaker who represented Lagos Central Senatorial District in the Senate between 2007 and 2011.

His death was announced by his son, Sulaimon Muse, on Tuesday.

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Rivers Govt Begins Decontamination Exercise

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The Rivers State Government has kick started the decontamination of public places as part of measures to keep the state safe from coronavirus.

Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who flagged off the programme today at Government House, Port Harcourt, said with the commencement of the exercise, all public places in the state will be decontaminated.

He restated his administration’s commitment to the protection of the lives of everyone living and doing business in the state.

“I have always said that the lives of Rivers people and those living and doing business in the state is paramount. Part of the reason why markets are still shut is because we have not decontaminated them.

“As we decontaminate the markets, particularly the ones in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Area, traders will undertake to abide by all relevant protocols because we are talking about the lives of people.

“All public and private schools will be decontaminated before schools open. Churches and motor parks will also be decontaminated,” he stated.

The Governor reiterated that coronavirus is real and that people who denied its existence have started believing due to the number of persons that had died.

 

He warned that government will not allow recalcitrant persons who refuse to obey government advisories to infect law abiding citizens with the virus.

“This issue of COVID- 19 is real and government will not hesitate to seal up and prosecute owners of banks, shopping malls, restaurants, shops, business places or offices that fail to enforce social distancing and the wearing of face masks in their premises,” he said.

He urged the Decontamination Team not to compromise standards but to put in their best to ensure that the entire state is decontaminated.

In his speech, the Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency, Bro. Felix Obuah said the Decontamination Team made up of medical and environmental experts was put in place in line with the governor’s directives to decontaminate public places in the state.

The Leader of the Decontamination Team, Dr. Ian Abraham Gobo pledged that the team will carry out the exercise with utmost dedication.

He commended the Governor for putting Rivers people first in his fight against COVID-19,adding that the decontamination of the state will give the people a new lease of live when normal business activities resume.

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