By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The Executive Chairman of Benue State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Comrade Joseph Utse on Friday lamented that the worsening insecurity in the country is retarding educational development in all parts of the country.
He said there was compelling need to halt the slide to save the sector from going comatose in order not to denying children of the very poor access to education.
Comrade Utse who stated this shortly after being honoured with the award of Father of the Poor and Less Privileged by Our Mother of Perpetual Help Foundation in Makurdi said the development had become a source of concern for all those in the education sector because parents are also becoming scared of sending their children and wards to school.
He said it had become imperative for all men of goodwill to stand up for the truth and speak out by lending their voices to the agitation by Governor Samuel Ortom for Nigeria to outlaw open grazing and embrace ranching for peace to reign in the country.
He said the first step to addressing the security challenge was for Nigeria to adopt the Benue ranching model as a national policy.
Comrade Utse said, “when Governor Samuel Ortom gave us the Benue state Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of 2017 to ensure peace in our state he was castigated by people who lacked foresight.
“But today the same people who vilified him then are now clamouring for the country to embrace ranching to stem the herdsmen crisis and check the worsening insecurity which is retarding and adversely affecting educational development in the country with the north being the worst hit.
“So if we are serious about tackling this major challenge, the federal government should come down off its high horse, admit that it faltered, and adopt the Benue ranching law as a model for national policy. We can no longer pretend over the matter, the earlier the government acts the better for all.”
Presenting the award, Bartholomew-Mary Akighir said Comrade Utse was picked for the honour for his outstanding contribution to the development of education and assistance to the less privileged in society.