By Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani
As long as ignorance becomes the norm, insecurity, instability, lawlessness, and all sorts of violence will continue to erode, escalate, and nibble in every nook and cranny of Nigeria. According to statistics, the country has spent 6 trillion Naira on defence over the last ten years, with no end in sight.
If a small fraction of this enormous sum of money had been spent on training the young people in the forest, the result would have been positive, with greater output and revenue for the country. Likewise, if herders were taught to raise cattle like Brazilians, Americans, and the rest of the industrialised world, the result would have been productive enough to cover the country’s domestic demands while increasing our foreign reserve.
Multiple flaws in the country’s administrative system and social values appear to be the source of these archaic sorts of violence. The federal government seems to have lost effective control over the North-West, particularly in relation to bandits and cattle rustlers, who have become more militarised and destructive in their operations, which have destroyed a significant portion of the economy and resulted in the deaths of an untold number of people with impunity. Lack of knowledge and cultural orientation are the causes of many forms of violence and insecurity. Education is the key to showcasing the human psyche’s behaviour pattern.
In fact, the vicious cycle of violence perpetrated by these hoodlums, murderers, and godless animals stands condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians. However, this shouldn’t allow us to forget that they are Nigerians who deserve a better life with the expectation of contributing their quarter to the country’s development. Unfortunately, they are brainwashed to take up arms against the state. Positive outcomes would have been much more likely if they had received adequate education.
These pastoralists are within our communities. It baffles me that ballot boxes reach them during elections, but they are hardly seen where Western and Islamic education is being taught. Perhaps they are considered second class citizens, but their ignorance has affected everyone in Nigeria. Only when they are well-informed educationally they can rationalise reasonably and be softhearted people who find it hard to deny any boon, whether it be for a friend or stranger or just general feelings towards humanity.
Lastly, I would like to appeal to the government to consider educating these folks to reintegrate them into society. Thus, the hostility they have towards the Nigerian populace would indeed vanish, and innovations would emerge that could be of immense benefit to not only our country but the ‘world’ in general.
Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani writes from Galadima Mahmud Street, kasuwar-Kaji Azare, Bauchi state.