A university don, Prof Stanley Udedi, has alerted the authorities that the daily burgeoning Nigeria’s out-of-school children who are presently about 14.5million are potentially handy recruits for the Boko Haram, ISWAP and the so-called unknown gunmen.
Udedi who spoke as one of the guest lecturers at the awards ceremony, National Convention and launching of the N75million Youth Empowerment Scheme of the Mass Movement for Good Governance (MMG) in Awka, Anambra State, further disclosed that the school period the recruits lost would now be converted into the period of their arms training in the wild.
Considering their background, Prof Udedi, who is from the Faculty of Biosciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, noted that no lecturers, professors or civil servants could be seen in these infamous groups as members.
He said: “That their members were those who are unemployed, the jobless and street kids who have no money to feed their family. They can’t even get married, so because of that they were easily harvested by these groups and were even told they would go to heaven and that they would do this and that at the end of the day.”
The don therefore asked those in leadership positions in the country, “People in leadership, what is your role? You are responsible for all that is happening.
Then, on the side of the people, because they have been so impoverished they take anything from the government. When governors pay salary they clap for him, as if that was with their personal inheritance.
This is allocation and money that you collected from the state for executing budgeted and specified services/ purposes.” “Corruption,” he lamented, “has greatly eroded and undermined good governance in Nigeria over the years. It has affected the quality and quantity of infrastructure and even emasculated the citizens of their rights and voice.
“Little wonder we have moved from the rank of being the sixth happiest people in the world to the 155th position because of massive erosion of the quality of life of citizens over the years.
“It’s widely acknowledged that over the past five years that corruption has dealt a heavy blow on virtually every Nigerian, including the perpetrators.
The issue of insecurity was caused by corruption. On the issue of non-accountability of our office holders, Prof Udedi blamed the NGOs, whom he said has a role to play to ensure that all budget are tracked to get the executors on their toes.
“Budget tracking is their duty as they were trained specially by UNICEF to monitor and track budgets. To ensure the provisions were carried out as stated. I once followed one NGO in protest against the water bill that was coming to the State Assembly.
“We told them ‘No’ on that. It now necessitated the Assembly setting up a Committee that worked on the law and after discovering that the people said they don’t need the water law.
So why are we pushing for a water law when the people have said they don’t need it. You as Government never gave the people water.”