Ben Dunno, Warri
The military authorities operating in the Niger Delta region has attributed lack of primary education among teeming able bodied youths, especially along the creeks and remote upland settlements as reason for the increasing cases of insecurity currently prevalent in the country.
The General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Jamil Sarham, said this in a goodwill message delivered at the official commissioning ceremony of the refurbished and renovated Army Children School, Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Araa of Delta state.
Maj.-Gen. Sarham, who was a former Commanding Officer at the Effurun barracks and later the Sector Commander, noted that findings in the cause of his peace keeping efforts in the area over the years has shown that most cases of insecurity were being masterminded by illiterates.
According to him, “Having played a major role in many peace keeping initiatives in this region and other parts of the country, it has been discovered that most of the cases of insecurity recorded were avoidable if those at the forefront of these crises had been educated”.
He applauded the initiative of Col. Alhasssan Grema, the Commander Sector 1, ‘Operation Delta Safe’, at the Effurun barracks for his commitment to the successful completion of the project, adding that such feat could only be achieved through discipline and rare selfless service to humanity.
While stating that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, has identified education as a critical component in solving security challenges, he noted that this was responsible to the various educational programs embarked upon during the just concluded ‘Operation Crocodile Smiles III’ in the region.
He canvassed for more private and public sectors initiatives in upgrading the educational standards of the educational standards in the country and also urged parents to pay priority attention to the education of their wards at all levels in order to bring out the best in them.
He continued, “We need to pay adequate attention to the education of our children being the leaders of tomorrow”.
“Army has identified that education plays a very critical role in solving the insecurity in the country and we are paying adequate attention to educational development to ensure conducive environment.
“During our outing during the Operation Crocodile Smile 3, we moved into communities, identified indigent citizens and donated educational materials.
“We also took part in medical outreach to ensure we have a healthy society,” he enthused.
Commanding Officer, Sector 1, OPDS, Warri, Col. Alhassan Grema, who initiated the renovation of the Army Children Primary School, said he was inspired by his daughter who bemoaned the decrepit situation of the school when she visited.
A representative of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. David Tonwe, expressed joy at the activities of the army in the area of security and education.
He opined that the army has already set a pace for the state and other stakeholders, pleading with the school management to maintain the facilities as well as report to the ministry of education when anything goes wrong.
Head teacher of the school, Mrs Diana Ekpan, described Col Grema as a Godsend, just as she appreciated the army and other contributors for the initiative.
Highlights of the event was a cultural performance Urhobo and Hausa by pupils of the school and presentation of plaques.