Students under the umbrella of the Southern Kaduna Youth and Students Forum (SKYSFOM) have challenged Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i to reopen their schools in three weeks or face their wrath. In a statement, jointly signed by its President, Comrade Galadima Jesse and Secretary Comrade Ezekiel David, the students appealed to the governor to stop listening to ‘evil’ advices and make Kaduna Great Again, as promised.
They made the announcement on Tuesday in Kaduna through the text of a press briefing earlier billed for the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna State Secretariat, which was prevented by heavy presence of policemen stationed outside and inside the premises.
“As a result of this injustice and our readiness to salvage the future of our youths and State, we give the Kaduna State Government, 3 weeks for the purpose and sanctity of the month of Ramadan, to reopened the above mentioned schools to avoid facing the wrath of the students,” part of the statement read.
PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE TOTAL DISREGARD FOR EDUCATION AND THE FUTURE OF OUR YOUTH IN KADUNA STATE, ADDRESSED ON THE 12TH JUNE 2017 AT THE NUJ SECRETARIAT KADUNA
When we took over from our previous administration, as a responsible youth and students group of Southern Kaduna, we all had the vision of supporting education. Out of our burning desire for a geometric growth in education of young students in Southern Kaduna.
I personally led the delegation of SKYSFOM to the four education zonal offices in Southern Kaduna to assist our young students who were to sit for JAMB in 2016.That gave us the credit of being the first group to train students on CBT examinations free of charge in Kaduna state without any support from any government, its officials or any philanthropist.
This is just among many other education, social and philanthropic activities we do. It is still out of the confidence reposed on us by our members from maltreated institutions called our attention to the catastrophic hurricane devastating their schools in Southern part of Kaduna.
Gentlemen of the Press, this is the reason why we have called for this international press conference. We are pleading that you inform Kaduna state government and the entire world our plight, demands and suggestions. It is quiet disheartening that education which is supposed to be the pathway to making Kaduna state and any nation great is deliberately crippled and raped by its preachers in the state for reasons that is best known to maybe only one man, His Excellency, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai.
The college of education Gidan Waya/Kafanchan, College of Nursing, Kafanchan and the Kaduna State University, Kafanchan campus have suffered various degree of direct and technical closure, and some are still under closure. The one relocated to Kaduna town is done at the expense of the students comfort hence I dare to ask this question “What do you expect from the students who are already psychologically imbalance and uncomfortable, if not failure?” The continuous closure of this schools, is not only encouraging under-qualified graduates from every field, it is an affront on the future well-being of our members.
We are therefore calling on various professional bodies, College of Education Academics Staff Union (COEASU), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwifery (NANNM), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), other relevant bodies and well meaning individuals to rise and add their voices against this potential professional murder. We also want to add that if this case is not addressed we are afraid that by or before the end of this administration, Kaduna state may lose it value as the “Centre of Learning”, under the watch of the administration that pretend to make Kaduna state great again.
Ladies and gentlemen, what do you think awaits the society and Nigeria when in a year or two over 4000 quack teachers, 300 quack nurses and over 500 quack engineers are being graduated to the society. We therefore call on every living soul in Kaduna State to push for the reopening of our closed schools.
We are all aware that in the recent history of crises in Kaduna State or the herdsmen attacks in Southern Kaduna, none of the schools have ever been attacked or any of their students killed or injured.
If you could recall, when the 2011 post – elections escalated to its peak, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic was attacked, a lecturer and few students were killed and raped on campus by hoodlums. It took military intervention to calm the scene. After the calm the then state government under the leadership of H.E Sir Ibrahim Patrick Yakowa of his blessed memory never closed down the schools. Rather, he requested for the deployment of soldiers on campus so that students could still go about their studies peacefully with security guaranteed. Yet, it was said that Yakowa’s administration did not put premium on education like the present administration, we were convinced both during its campaign and during its inauguration. If some other negative motive is not intended for our students, we expect the same or even more formidable presence of the military in the closed schools.
Also, it is common knowledge that despite the series of recent attacks on University of Maiduguri campus, precisely on the 16th January, 2017, 13th May, 2017, 18th and 19th May 2017, that led to the death of an erudite scholar Professor Aliyu Mani and several others, the school was never closed till date.
On the 4th of May 2017, the leadership of NAKASS, NAZASS, NANS, and other leaders of students from the affected institutions were invited to the government house Kaduna for a meeting with the Secretary to the state government, commissioner of Education among other top Kaduna state government functionaries, upon the request of the student to know why their schools were technically closed according to the student leaders, the one cogent reason given to them was that the closure were for some security reasons but the officials of government present during the meeting assured them that government is on top of the situation. We considered that quiet impressive and a demonstration of concern and responsibility on the part of the state government. However, is the government so insensitive not to consider the risk involve for primary and secondary students who are on session? Than the adult and children who are more porous to danger should there be any? bearing in mind that these institutions are in the heart of Kafanchan. If the government is so concern about the security of our students, why then is Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic Samaru Kataf on session? Why is the Federal School of Statistics Manchok on session? Are they not part of troubled zone in Southern Kaduna? (Zangon Kataf and Kaura local government area) whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.
We commend the effort of the Nigerian army under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai for effectively combing the forest and communities of Southern Kaduna and getting rid of those bandits. In our opinion, if Kaduna state government through any of its officer still try to justify the closure of those institutions with security reasons we see it as the highest level of ingratitude on the part of the Kaduna state government and a discredit to the competence of Nigerian Army. Thus, we want to unequivocally say that the state government owe the Nigerian Army a public apology. On our part we give two Gbosa to the Nigerian Army. Every idle and un-engaged mind is a fertile breeding ground for any form of vices. The various institutions have been at home for as long as 10 months (KSCOE) Gidan Waya Kafanchan, four months, College of Nursing and Midwifery Kafanchan, without any proposed date of return known to the students by any formal or informal means. This has led the students to fall victims of various social vices affecting the society and in a long run the quality of leaders we may have for Kaduna state and Nigeria.
We wish to remind you that these student whose parents are widows, peasant farmers and pensioners have laboured hard to raise money for their children fees and the student paid for the services they did not or are not enjoying. What form of injustice is greater than this?
We want to kindly call on our governor never to allow himself to be tossed by the wind of evil doers to make him dance to their tune by making a decision against his initial wish of making Kaduna state great again. Otherwise the dream of making Kaduna state great again will remain an illusion if not worse than then.
As a result of this injustice and our readiness to salvage the future of our youths and State, we give the Kaduna State Government, 3 weeks for the purpose and sanctity of the month of Ramadan, to reopened the above mentioned schools to avoid facing the wrath of the students.
We call on all our members to maintaine their civilised calmness and not allow frustration pushed them into provocation, that would make them break the law, as we are handling the matter accordingly.
Finally, we wish to announce to the world, fellow activist and comrades that should at the end of this conference, you never hear our voice again, it means that the government have in their own way come after our lives or should we be imprisoned, let it be known here and now that we are already prisoners. However, we indulge every comrade and activist to keep on the right struggle to pursue a just cause as there is no service and sacrifice greater than service to humanity and the nation.
THANK YOU ALL.
GOD BLESS YOU!
GOD BLESS SKYSFOM!!
GOD BLESS KADUNA STATE!!!
Comrade Galadima Jesse
Comrade Ezekiel David