By Mustapha Usman
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has said that Boko Haram crisis will be a child’s play in the next 20 years if strong economy is not provided, and demographic explosion not addressed in northern Nigeria.
The emir stated this at a 3-day International Conference on insurgency and the Boko Haram Phenomenon, held in Kano on Tuesday.
According to him, economic marginalisation and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria, were the major causes of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Mr Sanusi pointed out that, in the next 20 years, Nigerian youth population would skyrocket to 100 million.
He added that if the government fails to regulate the demographic growth of the country’s population, more crises worse than Boko Haram could erupt.
The emir, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad III, noted that fertility rate, investment in education, drug abuse and its causes must be looked into in order to have a peaceful society.
“In the next 20 years, Nigerian youth population would grow to almost 100 million of youth, men and women between the age of 20 and 40. What are they going to do? Is the civil service or banking industry going to employ them?
“Now, if we don’t build on economy and the demographic explosion not addressed, the Boko Haram insurgency would be a child’s play in the next 20 years.
“So, we need to have that conversation, the fertility rate, lack of investment in education, drug problem as well as a look at its causes. This would make a great impact in the effort to find a lasting solution in the northeast and the country as a whole,” he said.
The emir, therefore, advised the government to introduce regulation of religious preaching, saying that in order to fight religious extremism, the government has to introduce licensing to clerics who want to engage in preaching.
In his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje revealed that his administration had spent over N500 million in its effort to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
“We provided sophisticated equipment and gadgets. We also used highly intelligent system and effective information gathering to decimate Boko Haram in our state,” he said.
While delivering his address, the Keynote Speaker, Prof. Mukhtar Bunza, called on the federal government to urgently recruit, train and retrain security operatives.
Mr Bunza also called on the government to provide modern, more effective and sufficient armaments to replace the old weapons used by the security operatives, mostly the military.
The keynote speaker, who is the Kebbi State Commissioner for Higher Education, also called for intelligence sharing and synergy between the security agencies with modern equipment for better response and effectiveness.