17 April 2013

Nigeria: Kukah - Future of North Bleak Without Education

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Tuesday said the discovery of abundant mineral resources in the north would not solve its problems, warning that the region would continue to have re-occurrence of Boko Haram insurgency if people do not acquire the needed education to be able to participate in the affairs that affect their lives.

He also urged the political leadership to stop wasteful spending of public resources, warning that the United States and Europe are now developing new oil and gas technology to render Nigerian oil redundant.

Speaking at a workshop in Sokoto, Kukah stated that the people of the North must be prepared to face the challenges of modernity by acquiring education or face a bleak future.

He expressed concern that the North could not effectively participate in a way and manner that would benefit the majority of its people because the area seemed unprepared to cope with the changing world in almost all spheres of life.

Kukah decried that people were still being lured into believing that all they needed was to raise walls to protect their culture and religion to their detriment.

"There is the temptation for the North to think that the discovery of huge mineral deposits will solve their problems automatically without giving priority to education. People are still being lured into believing that all they need is to raise walls to protect their culture and faith.

"People must be prepared to face the challenges of modernity. And if the society does not consciously open up, it will continue to have repeats of miniature Boko Harams, men prepared to seduce their people to the wilderness using religion," he advised.

He emphasised that the political leadership must wake up to the fact that oil was now being discovered in almost every country, saying in the next three years, the US would no longer need Nigerian oil.

Kukah stressed the need for government to chart a pathway for the exploitation of mineral resources in the country, as a way out of the impending doom.

He advised government to focus on manpower development and training of the youths, women and other segments of the society.

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