With the number of impoverished and out of school children increasing alarmingly, the former minister of communications, Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu has called on the federal and state governments to improve the standard of education in the country to foster peace and unity.
The ex minister made the call on Wednesday during the international peace, unity and Nations building conference with theme “Building a better and stronger Africa and Nigeria through peaceful co-existence, unity and intellectual engagement” organised by Standtall Africa Initiative in collaboration with Kebiru Gombe Centre for Religious Diversity Ethics and peace studies in Abuja.
He said, “Whenever I go to mosque on Fridays, I see bunch of beggars, and they are Muslims and I asked myself why has it been possible for state government where these people come from to provide a education to make it accessible and skills for all of these people, so they can make contributions to national growth and development.
“I believe that this is a challenge because not all beggars are disabled. It is the lack of good leadership and human growth that is responsible for it.
He revealed that a lot of people are scared to discuss these issues because “We, as Nigerians must face the challenge to get minimal people on board. There must not be too many consumers without people not enabled to make contributions to national growth.”
According to him, “If we failed to educate the children of the poor, they would make it impossible for our own children to sleep with their two eyes closed and that is the reality we are facing today.”
He also charged all traditional rulers and Religious leaders to take it as a challenge and ensure that skills acquisition gets to the people, even the beggars on the street because once they are mental stable, they can earn a living for themselves.
In his welcome Address, the chairman of the conference, Sheikh Abdullahi Baba Lau, explained that Nigeria has been threatened by some elements of anti-government who are determined to take away from the good people of Nigeria, the basis and core of our nationhood which are peace and unity.
“We have always stood together with our government to win the battle which is clear testimony that we can defeat any ugly situation we are faced if we remain together as one strong nation,” he added.
On his part, the country representative of STAi, Dr. Ogah Emmanuel said that the essence of the event is to see how they can complement the efforts of government who is doing so much to see that peace is restored across Nigeria and also bring stakeholders, religious leaders, opinion leaders and the people in the industry to rub minds and share thoughts on the way forward for peace.