By Ikenna Osuoha
To tackle banditry, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger says his administration will invest in the education sector.
Bello told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that inclusion of Islamic studies in the school curriculum was strategic.
He also explained that religious and cultural sentiments were responsible for the inability of some parents to train their children in schools.
“We are discussing with some religious leaders who now said that their interest is for the child to memorise the Qur’an.
“In order to put them in school, we now include Islamic Studies in the school curriculum and we’re also ready to employ mallams as teachers,” he said.
Bello, who expressed dissatisfaction with children roaming the streets, said the development had made some of them susceptible to mischief.
“When these children are not sent to school but exposed to the harsh weather of the streets, they become a threat to security and all manner of violence,” he said.
Bello also emphasised the determination of his administration to tackle insecurity and banditry by investing massively in education.
He blamed the incidence of banditry in the state on incursions from neighbouring states as well as pecuniary motives.
The governor restated the commitment of his administration to ending banditry and insecurity in the state through community policing.
Bello further called for stronger collaboration between security agencies and indigenes to end insecurity and banditry in the state.
According to him, Niger is blessed by its population and land mass which must be utilised in transiting the state to demographic dividends.