Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed, who is the Pro Chancellor of Baze University has bemoaned the high number of out-of-school children in northern Nigeria.
He said the number is so high that it is equal to the population of four African countries combined.
The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) data shows that about 10 million children are currently out of schools in Northern Nigeria. Its filed officer in Katsina, Shehu Mohammed had revealed this during the flag-off of 2015/2016 school enrollment drive campaign in Katsina.
Senator Ahmed stated this Thursday in Abuja at a family planning event organised by the a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at Baze University saying that what UNFPA is doing is what everyone should be doing.
“There is the population of four (4) African countries out of school in northern Nigeria predominantly girls and the issue of girl-child early marriage and all the social vices too uncomfortable to mention here should have been handled by our government,” he said.
Ahmed, who served as a Nigerian Senator between 2003 to 2007 said that it was unfortunate that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) were performing the bonafide responsibility of constituted governments in Nigeria.
According to him, Nigerian’s family planing problem that UNFPA is trying to solve is nearly out of control. “It has caused untold hardships including insecurity, yet constituted authority remain lukewarm and complicit about this. For that, I feel sorry for you considering the challenges ahead.”
He said “Gone are the days when somebody living on less than $1 a day has three wives, undefined source of income, 21 children, he is going to take a fourth wife and the Chief Imam is at the forefront of solemnizing that wedding and nobody is about to talk.”
“The first, second and third wives are malnourished, the children are sick, underfed, out of school and yet, the head of the family is thinking of a fourth wife and the leaders in the society are encouraging him.”
“I fail to see that if this thing is allowed to continue and even encouraged to continue, how such programmed will not be a drop of water in the ocean. What UNFPA is doing is good but it is a drop of water in the ocean. I feel frustrated deep down inside.”
“As we speak now, the machine is on and they are producing more and more children byte seconds and those who are supposed to speak are refusing to speak.”
“Rightly motivated international organizations are doing the much need thing but the real action is yet to start and it is supposed to start from the governments at all levels.”
He added that the government hold the Imams, and the traditional rulers accountable noting that whoever is not capable of keeping a family should not be allowed to add to the burden of the society.