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2019: Emir of Kano sues for peaceful polls

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Emir of Kano Sanus Lamido

Emir of Kano, Dr. Muhammad Sanusi

KATSINA – Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Emir of Kano, Dr. Muhammad Sanusi has on Sunday called on all concerned to ensure and encourage political leaders to sign peace pacts against use of youth for violence in order to peaceful conduct of the elections.

 

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This, the Emir said if done among the politicians will help the nation’s democracy to mature.

 

Sanusi who was in Katsina on Sunday stated this while delivering an address titled “Youth, Security and National Development in Nigeria” an annual lecture organized by the Katsina Vocational Training Center and late M. D Yusuf Research and Documentation centre to commemorate the International Youth day in the state.

 

According to him, “We call on all those concerned as a matter of urgency to encourage political leaders to sign peace pacts before the 2019 General Elections that would ensure peaceful elections and discourage the use of youth to perpetrate violence. This would help our democracy to mature,” he said.

 

The Emir who was worried about the future of the youths especially in the north, also the development of the region said, “the North is still lagging behind in Nigeria while the youths needed for the development of the region must be well taken care of.

 

“Many of the security challenges Nigeria is facing are as a result of none involvement of the youth in the productive sector of the economy. The insurgents in the North East and the Niger Delta regions, recruit youth who cannot be productive to society because of their ideology or lack of education. Most of those who join in the insurgency are economically disadvantaged. This threat to national security cannot also be overcome unless these issues of ideology and lack of access to quality education are addressed.

 

“Nigeria with its thirty-six states as a federation has diverse socio-cultural legacies. The challenges faced in these states are also different because of the demographic, cultural and religious diversities. The responses of the youths to their social conditions in these states have adverse effects on the overall national development of Nigeria as well as our national security.

 

“Since independence, Nigeria has been over taken by other countries that were behind it in the 1960s especially the Asian countries; South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia not to talk of the other tigers: such as Taiwan and Singapore.

 

“Although these countries are more homogeneous than Nigeria, they took a development path that was more realistic while Nigeria remained trapped in the natural resource quagmire. Hence many youth have remained unemployed because the rate of economic growth is lower than the rate of population growth.

 

“Poverty rate is much higher in the North than in the South from most, if not all available statistical information. The ten poorest states with more than 50% of their population as destitute are: Borno, Kano, Taraba, Gombe, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi, Bauchi and Zamfara which has the highest of population as destitute 74.1%. The national percentage is 34% but no state in the South has 30% the highest percentage in the South is Ebonyi State 26.6%. The best state in the North is Kwara State with 7% and it ranked tenth in the country. The best is Lagos State with 1.3%. Therefore the bulk of the poorest people (destitute) in Nigeria are concentrated in Northern Nigeria.

 

“Corruption and bad governance are prevalent in some states of Nigeria. This invariably affects the quality of education, science and vocational education and other aspirations of the youth. But why is poverty not evenly distributed? The simple reason is that the people in the southern states give high priority to education at private and community levels. Whereas in most of the North the people depend on the state to fund education for example there are less than 500,000 pupils in public primary schools in Lagos State and almost 3 million in Kano State with an estimated 1m roaming the streets as beggars. This means that most parents in Lagos State sponsor their children. There are historical reasons for this attitude. Apart from the fact that education has been a state responsibility in the North since the Sokoto Caliphate when Sultan Bello established the first University Center, western education came through the Christian missionaries hence the Muslims became skeptical and did not accept it. But times have changed and we need to change our attitude as well. So what are the solutions? The society and state have roles to play to overcome these challenges.

 

“As leaders in our domain we cannot entirely blame the State for our present predicament it is also our responsibility to find solution and to mobilize our people.

 

“Hence when we assumed the Emirship we embarked on reforms of our family structure, education and economic wellbeing based on Islamic precepts because we are a predominantly Muslim society. In collaboration with Bayero University we established the Social Reform Committee headed by Professor Muhammad Sani Zahradeen the Grand Imam of Kano. Three sub committees were formed on Islamic Family Law, Education and Zakat and Endowment.

“Reforming the Family is crucial in preserving the sanctity of the family and protecting the rights of women, children and orphans. It would reduce the rate of divorce and broken families. We all know the devastating consequences of broken homes whereby children are abandoned and they become liabilities to the society. The Law has been drafted after an in depth study, research and discussions with various stakeholders generating lively discussions and debates. Most of the disagreements and misperception have been resolved. And it is worthy of note that recently the President of the Republic of Niger invited us to explain the law to the stakeholders of his country since both Northern Nigeria and Niger Republic are faced with the same challenges. Discussions are going on how to implement the law in Niger Republic and in Kano State the State House of Assembly would also enact it to become a law.

 

“Our education sub committee has also identified the key areas that need attention. Kano State has the highest number of pupils in public primary schools and like most other states the conditions of the schools are deplorable.

 

“Most importantly we have to address the attitude of our people towards education. Kano Emirate under the leadership of Sarkin Kano Alhaji Abdullahi (1926-1953) established the Kano Judicial School and later the School for Arabic Studies the first schools that integrated Western and Islamic education. The schools produced some of the best minds in Nigeria including Islamic scholars (for example Shaykh Abubakar Gumi and Prof Shehu Galadanci), Diplomats (Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero and Ciroman Kano Alhaji Aminu Sanusi) Jurists (Justice AB Wali JSC) and many university professors (Prof Yadudu and Prof Rasheed). The strategy of integration is important because it absorbs Qur’anic Schools students or Almajirai some of whom have been subjected to inhuman condition of begging.

 

“As many people as possible must be given access to education if we are to achieve our human development goals and reduce the security challenges we are facing. One of the easiest ways is to absorb the millions Qur’anic school pupils into the formal system. It would also address the issue of ideology and reorientation and this was one of the reasons why we suggested that mosques should be used as classrooms in areas lacking the facilities. This would make people know that the Boko Haram ideology is actually anti-Islam.

 

“The sub committee on Zakat and Endowment was mandated to suggest ways of improving Zakat collection, encouraging endowment and establishing foundations to cater for the extra needs of the community and reduce poverty. We have also made efforts in bringing foreign investments in agriculture to empower our farmers through BabbanGona so that more of farmers can pay the Zakat. This is a high impact, financially sustainable and highly scalable social enterprise, which is partly owned by farmers. It developed the agricultural franchise model with partners that include Nestle, BMGF, DfID, AGRA, Skoll and Rockefeller Foundation. It franchises thousands of mini farmer cooperatives in Kaduna, Kano and Katsina States and it intends to expand to Jigawa, Bauchi and Plateau States and to cover at least one million farmers by 2025.This initiative absorbs high number of youths thus contributing to both sustainable development and social stability in this part of Nigeria. This embraces our National Security.

 

“The Nigerian State on its part needs to invest more in agriculture as the highest employer of labor to absorb the youth. It needs to learn from the Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China that developed using their agriculture as a springboard and those that did not adopt that strategy lagged behind. The strategies adopted by these countries are relevant to Northern Nigeria since we depend on agriculture with a growing population of large number of youth who are unemployed because the economy is not growing.

 

“The formula adopted by these countries are summarized by experts in three parts viz Create conditions for small farmers to thrive; Use the proceeds from agricultural surpluses to build a manufacturing base that is tooled from the start to produce exports; Nurture both these sectors (small farming and export-oriented manufacturing) with financial institutions closely controlled by the government.

 

“We feel strongly, that organizations that possess unifying qualities, like yours have important advocacy roles to play by making informed suggestions to policy makers based on scientific studies because of the soft power you possess. We urgently need to get our people out of poverty. We are ready at any time to partner with you in any endeavor that would help our people,” Dr. Sanusi said.

 

On drug abuse among the youths, The Emir said, “there be Support for law enforcement agents in their fights against drug barons. And also insist on the application of relevant pharmaceutical regulations on the sale drugs to curb drug abuse and misuse in our communities.

 

“Encourage state and local governments to invest in quality technical and vocational education to guarantee the future of our youth. This would make our large youth population a national asset,” Emir Sanusi however stated.

 

 

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