Bauchi — Former Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America, Alhaji Suleman Dahiru Deba, has said that Boko (Western Education) is not Haram (sin), pointing out that the actual Haram is what Northern elites are doing to their people.
Ambassador Deba, who spoke at an event to mark the 80th anniversary of the Bauchi Teachers College, at the weekend, lamented that Northern elites have failed the region by not using education and their position for the development and progress of the people. "We have the lingering sectarian crises in Plateau, Bauchi, and Southern Kaduna and the Boko Haram phenomenon as well. Boko is never Haram, but what the 'Yan Boko are doing is certainly Haram", he said.
Deba, who is also a product of the college, stated that what Nigerians are witnessing is a rebellion against injustice and misuse of education by the leaders to pauperize and traumatize the people. He warned that unless Nigerians wake up to the reality of the situation, they would not be safe either in their homes or outside their homes. "When all of us were in primary school, we never sat on the floor or under the tree to learn and we were not more than 30 in a class. Why should we allow our children and our grandchildren in a class of 100 - 150 to sit on the floor or under the tree to learn", he said.
Deba, who also discredited the argument for paucity of funds, noted that there are enough funds to build and equip schools and colleges if the leaders had the political will do so.
He further stressed the need for leaders to declare a state of emergency in the education sector and ensure that 26 per cent budgetary allocation goes to education as recommended by UNESCO. He also advised state governments to reduce cost of governance by doing away with all unnecessary and unproductive political appointments.
"These political jobbers add no value to governance as 70 to 80 per cent of budgets go to payment of their salaries and allowances, leaving virtually nothing for capital projects," he said.