Illiterate Nomads Fuelling Crisis – FG


By Gloria Emmanuel       The Executive Secretary of National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE), Professor Rashid Aderinoye, has said that the illiterate nomads in the country are the people fuelling the incessant crisis in Nasarawa, Taraba and Benue States.
He attributed this to high level of ignorance and illiteracy among the Fulani Herdsmen.
The Commissioner also revealed that about four million school-age children of nomads have no access to education in Nigeria, describing the ugly development as a “time bomb”.
Prof  Aderinoye disclosed this at the weekend in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists shortly after a meeting with the Minister and Deputy Chairman of National Planning Commission, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman.
According to him, “There is high level of ignorance, illiteracy and marginalisation among the nomads and some of these crises could be sign of protest that they need attention, but are not able to do it in a constructive way”.
Aderinoye, noted that the population of the nomads including pastoralists, migrant fishermen and migrant farmers is about 17 million with majority of the population who are unable to read and write.
Specifically, the Executive Secretary of NCNE, said out of about 4 million school-age children of nomads that are supposed to be in school, only about 500,000 of them are in schools across the country.
He said the advocacy visit to the Minister of National Planning Commission was to see how to build strong partnership as part of the ongoing effort to re-position nomadic education in Nigeria.
Prof  Aderinoye said funding has been one of the tremendous challenges of the Commission in executing its mandate but added that, “since one hand cannot clap” there was the need to build synergy with relevant government agencies as well as attract foreign assistance from development agencies.
He disclosed that the Commission is currently constructing about 40 new primary schools at different locations across the country with the support received from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), in addition to training of teachers and production of educational materials.
Stressing the importance of nomadic education, Aderinoye said: “To check the issue of insecurity and conflict, you need education of these people. We need to educate them to know how to live peacefully with their neighbours, the migrant farmers must live peacefully with their communities. The Nomads with their cattle need to know that they don’t need to invade people’s farms and the migrant fishermen also; because those are the areas covered by the Commission-the pastoralists, the migrant fishermen and the migrant farmers.
“Look at what is happening in Nasarawa, Taraba, Benue States, even the North East, all these are the problem of lack of orientation, education and awareness and until this is addressed we are not going anywhere,” warned.
Earlier, the Honourable Minister and Deputy Chairman of National Planning Commission, Dr.
Abubakar Sulaiman, assured that everything would be done within the mandate of NPC to support the development of Nomadic Education in the country.
Expressing concerns about the prevalent conflicts between the Fulani Herdsmen and rural farmers, Sulaiman urged the Nomadic Education Commission Executive Secretary to ensure that Peace Studies is included in the Nomadic Education curriculum.

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