Recently, a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso sponsored more than 200 people to India to pursue their postgraduate degrees. The gesture of the red-cap-wearer is not the first of its kind, most especially in Kano. Kwankwaso has over the years sponsored many youth from Kano to foreign countries to obtain various certificates, from Diploma to PhD. This is surely commendable.
Politics aside, whether Kwankwaso is a member of All Progressives Congress, Peoples Democratic Party, Kowa Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance or any of our other plenty parties, his effort is highly praiseworthy. Even if it is politics, how many politicians in the North have carried out such humanitarian service? With the exemption of the late Premier of the northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, who made sure the illiterate northern youth became educated, hardly is their any other person who could outrank Kwankwaso in this exemplary feat.
Some governors would embarked on it, but fail in the long run. For example, some months back, the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal cancelled the sponsorship of Sokoto State students in a foreign countries. Therefore, such lack of sustainability is a major issue impeding on the development of education in northern Nigeria.
It is no longer news that the North has over the years faced many challenges in the sector of education. Humongous amount of money are being spent every year by the government to develop the sector but still the schools and the system of education in the region is still deplorable. According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2017, despite expending about N12 trillion on education in the North in the last 10 years, there is still a wide gap when compared with the viability of the system in the South.
Similarly, the statistics have shown that the North-central, North-west and the North-east contribute to the large chunk of people in the country that can neither read nor write. This is quite appalling. It is noteworthy also that the North has the highest number of out-of-school children. Obviously, this could be why the Almajiri phenomena and the girl-child education are among the severe headaches ailing the region.
In view of the foregoing, supporting education in this very geographical region has become a necessity. In fact, educationists have attributed the underdevelopment in the region to lack of qualitative education. Presently, the North is wallowing under the threats of kidnappings, herdsmen and farmers’ clashes and other forms of insecurity issues. All these can be attributed to lack or low level of education. A well-educated person would not go about carrying weapons to fight because of a politician.
Kwankwaso may not be the only person in the North to have sponsored youth in their education, but his courage and determination to keep doing it even when he is no longer in office calls for praises.
Actually, there are other philanthropists and in the country, particularly in the North who have contributed immensely to the sector. Aliko Dangote has built student hostels in some institutions; Ibrahim Aliyu, the Chairman of Urban Shelter Limited has supported education within and outside the country. The efforts of these people and their likes need to be commended.
Other politicians in the North should as a matter of urgency rise above board to aid this vanguard of developing the region through education. Our governors, state and National Assembly members and other political office holders should assist in developing our dear region. We appreciate the efforts of Kwankwaso and his likes but we need more.