The Hypocrisy of Al-Makura’s Free Education By Ibrahim Kabiru Dallah
“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation”- Walter Cronkite.
Some few days ago after the good people of Nasarawa State both at home and Diaspora read one of my commentary on how my grouse began with the government of Al-Makura, my attention was immediately called upon by some of them to chart a way forward on the issue of the free education in Nasarawa State, I laughed in French and Greek, thinking what those guys in Diaspora take me for. Am I in government, or what are they thinking about me? Then one salient question came to my mind; I said to myself, may be those guys are interested in reading my opinion on the bound of contention called free education in Nasarawa State? Yes that’s exactly what they want!
Accidentally, one young man from Doma called my attention to an unfortunate incident at Government Secondary School (GSS), Doma, where one Jamila Attah a Student from Health Science School, Keffi, who registered as an external student for National Examination Council (NECO) due to the fact that she has a deficiency in her Ordinary Level Results was mercilessly beaten to HELL by 3 Staff members, namely, Ibrahim Hussaini Babatsoho also known as Nation, Mallam Dahiru, Mallam Mohammed Maiyasin because she was unable at that time to pay the sum of N500 as taxation for renovation of the school examination hall. It is also unfortunate that the beating was shamelessly supervised by the Principal of the school Mr Ibrahim Orume. As an individual I condemn this act of Staff of the GSS, Doma as barbaric and animalistic.
For the avoidance of doubt, Al-Makura introduced free education in the state in January, in fulfillment of his campaign promise wherein he claimed to make education affordable to all; but it is deception of the highest order for the government that has announced to the world in a press conference that education is free in Nasarawa State to have descended so low in victimizing students who couldn’t pay money for renovation of halls.
I have said it in my previous commentaries that free education is a welcomed idea but the ways and manners the government are going about the implementation is very poor, which goes to show that government of Nasarawa State is brilliant a little but unintelligent when it comes to issues of good governance, apologies to some of my people that are working with the government of the day.
It should be noted that Government is not all about selling of coconut in the market but Government exists in order to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, not aggravating them. As such, Al-Makura should not be playing with our intellectual capacity as part of his effort to mortgage the future of yet unborn generation; if not, how would one described a situation whereby some of our brothers and sisters in Nasarawa State boarding school are eating poorly cooked foods to the extent that some of them go back home to receive treatment at hospitals? If Al-Makura cannot handle the free education properly, he should please kindly ask parents to start paying the school fees.
Recently I read with one of my eyes closed that Abdulhamid Kwarra is the chairman of the committee that is expected to advise the state government on the school feeding aspect of the free education, and I asked myself some salient questions: ‘are we short PhD holders or Professors in Nasarawa State’? Are we not having people that are academically sound expect Mr Kwarra or what? The answers are not far-fetched.
It is very sad that the said Abdulhamid Kwarra that is the chairman of the committee is alleged to have forged results from the University of Jos. The incumbent Attorney general of Nasarawa State, Barrister Innocent Lagi, floored him in court immediately after the 2007 general election as member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly. I make bold to be sued in the court for libel if I am wrong.
It is widely accepted that the future leaders must be taught how to think, not what to think. As such, with Abdulhamid Kwarra as the chairman of the committee, that really reaffirms that Al-Makura is synonymous to corruption.
For the avoidance of ambiguity, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) was initiated in order to make basic education available and accessible to all Nigerians. In order to achieve this, three bodies namely: UNESCO, the federal government of Nigeria and their state government counterparts, came together and agreed that the best way to achieve that goal was by pulling resources together yearly called counterpart funding. What this basically means is that each state in Nigeria opens an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and at the beginning of every year the Federal Government and United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will remit their own part of the counterpart fund into each state’s CBN account. This later money will remain “dormant” until the state government pays its own part of the fund into the same CBN account. Once that is done, the entire SUBEB money can be accessed by that state government for utilisation.
It is also quite worrisome that recently the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has exposed fraud committed by some cronies of Al-Makura under the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board (NUBEB). It involved the in-law of the Governor, Yakubu Ahmed Ubangari who is the Secretary of NUBEB, together with a family friend to the Al-Makura, Usman Sarki Ahmed, in a scam of N1.989 billion meant for the supply of desk and chairs to junior secondary and primary schools in the state.
As I write, the future of the Nasarawa State youths is at stake. The so-called Free education has not only comes to make us happy but to mar us, if not, how would one described an instance where award of the contracts for the purchase of the free education equipment always serve as a conduit pipe for looting of our public treasury by Al-Makura and his cronies? Indeed our own public treasury is now a family business! I want to categorically states without fear of contradiction or ill-feeling that the free education in Nasarawa State is death at arrival.
Please do not get me wrong here as I write not as a member affiliated to any political party but I am more interested in the betterment of our people’s life and generation yet unborn.
Next I shall be addressing the reason why Al-Makura is more interested in the renovations of Primary schools ONLY excluding Secondary Schools in Nasarawa State.
This Too Shall Pass, Nothing More, Nothing Less!
[Ibrahim Kabiru Dallah, Is The National President Nasarawa State Youths Network (NASTYNET), Writes from Lafia, @ik_dallah On Twitter]
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