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Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

10.5m Nigerian children out of school, vulnerable to terrorism -Expert

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How one charity is working to prevent child sacrifice in Uganda•As suicide bomber targeting market kills self in Mubi

From Femi Oyelola Kaduna and Umar DankanoYola

Ten and a half million Nigerian children are out of school and vulnerable to terrorism, an expert has said.
This is just as a bomb explosion suspected to be from an Improvised Explosive Device, IED has been detonated killing the teenager carrying it and severely injuring two of his friends at a Scrap Materials Market in Mubi South Local Government of Adamawa State.
A lecturer at the University of Lagos, Dr OnaEkhomu, made the disclosure
in a lecture he delivered at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna State, saying that the report is a national challenge.
According to him, the high number of drop outs, high population, poverty and illiteracy fuels insurgency in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
He said the birth rate is too high in Africa, as people give birth to a lot of children and don’t have an ageing population.
“The North East alone, where we have the Boko Haram conflict, we have even more in that area; so what that means is that you have a breeding ground for security challenges; now and even in the future.”
The Don said Nigeria and other countries in the continent must look back and address the challenges in education, unemployment and in relating with the youth to galvanize them to positive thinking.
“We need to walk back from that and start addressing some of those questions of education, youth unemployment and also the messaging to the youth. Because, when you give a message of hope, then people will probably work without getting into criminal, defiant or even terrorism behavior. But if there is no hope, then people will feel they have nothing to lose.
“It is the role of government to give that message of hope and to ensure that citizens are not forgotten wherever they are. As we say, citizens’ lives matter.”
The lecturer described the Nigerian Armed Forces as the greatest in Africa, adding that, “they have the capability, resources and the leadership to keep the country safe and also help regional neighbors by keeping them safe too.
“We have seen the Boko Haram transform into a regional threat; and so we have to have the ability to push back and contain them.”
In his remarks, the Commandant of the college, AVM Lawal Shittu-Alao, challenged the students to come up with sound strategies to address the recurring security challenges in the country.
“For the officers, you have to start thinking outside the box. We want you at the end of this course, with all the lectures you received, to be able to come up with strategies on how to turn around the security challenges facing the country.
“Let us continue to ponder on strategies we will use to combat the security challenges facing the country.” the commandant stressed.
The paper presented to students of Course 40 of the college is entitled: ‘International and Regional Mechanism for counter terrorism and counter insurgency operation.’
On Mubi failed attack, the explosion occurred yesterday (Sunday) about 1pm when an innocent Almajiri teenager was sent on an errand by unknown person to deliver a concealed package to someone at the usual crowded Scrap Market. Unknowingly, before reaching the target the package exploded, and the carrier lost his life alone.
Confirming the incident, spokesman of the Adamawa State Police Command, S.P Othman Abubakar said the bomb explosion happened at a scrap materials gathering spot along Kabang Road in Mubi South Local Council on Sunday at 1pm.
Abubakar explained that, “An unidentified teenager who died on the spot is strongly suspected to have been given the IED by unknown person to deliver to the place; but upon arrival at the point, the IED exploded killing him and injuring two others.
“The two others were identified as Hassan Mohammed and Sani Manu who were seriously injured and have been evacuated by team of police men to the General Hospital Mubi for treatment,” Abubakar added.
He assured the public that the situation has been brought under control, calling on people to go about their normal legitimate businesses.
He also appealed to the public to be more vigilant, and to report any strange movement by unknown people around their abodes to the security agencies immediately.
It could be recalled that another twin bombs occurred on May 1st, at a second hand market in Mubi where many were killed and scores injured. Also in 2014,the commercial ancient town (Mubi) was over ran by Boko Haram insurgents and nicknamed it ‘ Madinatul Islam’ until it was recaptured by the military troops six months after.

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