The Yoruba World Congress, an umbrella body of all self determination groups and socio-cultural organizations of Yoruba descent worldwide has taken a studied notice of the recent compulsory evacuation of thousands of Almajiris throughout the 19 Northern states by respective state governors in the region.
Almajiri educational system is a federal dictated, financed and controlled educational system for usually abandoned and wandering children scattered all over the vast mass of land in the Northern part of Nigeria.
The Governors took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to give vent to their age long dissatisfaction with the federal government’s meddlesomeness in the running of their respective primary education system.
In sacking the Almajiri pupils and evacuating them in hundreds to their respective states of origin, Northern governors ‘vowed not to allow the system to persist any longer because of the social challenges associated with it including the perpetuation of poverty, illiteracy, insecurity and social disorder. Their statement went further ‘ this is for the common good of the states and Nigeria in general’
Kano State evacuated 524 Almajiris to Jigawa state, 435 to Katsina state and several others to Niger Republic whose education was being financed with Nigeria’s tax payers money.
Gombe state evacuated 700 in the first batch and escorted them out under heavy security to their states of origin.
In view of the drastic and bold steps taken by the 19 governors to rid their region of security risks and social and economic malfeances brought about by ill digested centrally controlled educational policies, notice was being served on the heavily loaded government at the centre that time was up for federal government arm-twisting control of educational, state and local government schedules in Nigeria. Each state in the North now determines their destinies.
It is also a clarion call on all other regions in the country to send non indigenous people that constitute nuisance and epitomise grinding poverty back to their regions of origin so that each region can properly plan for their indigenous populations and remove the crushing burden imposed on them by Nigeria’s Unitary Government..
Totalitarianism and ruthless over centralisation have been the bane of Nigerian federal system of government which is federal only in name. And its time is over.
Yoruba World Congress is convinced that this is the time to jettison self serving policies like Quota System, Unity Schools, Federal Character, Education Trust Fund, Universities Commission, Universal Primary Education Board, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and several similar self serving, corruption laden agencies smuggled into our peculiar federal system of government so that each region can determine their education system, their housing needs, their energy requirements, their roads and transportation priorities and food security requirements and, of course, internal security.
Covid-19, in spite of its cruelty, has brought about stark and compelling realities and after its departure, Nigeria and indeed the world shall never be the same again.
Akogun Tola Adeniyi
Communications Secretary, YWC
International Hqts, Lagos.