Gyang Bere, Jos
The member representing Langtang North and South Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Beni Lar has advised the Nigerian government to introduce free education policies to end the prevailing security challenges in the country.
She noted that her late father, Chief Solomon Lar, the first Civilian Governor of Plateau State and Pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) battle insecurity in Plateau in 1980 using free education and scholarship.
Hon. Lar, daughter of Late Chief Solomon Lar stated this while receiving a meritorious service award on behalf of her late father during the combined 28th-33rd convocation ceremony of the College of Education Gindiri, Plateau State.
“My late father believed in the emancipation of the total man, that means that a man needed to be emancipated starting from his mind, his body and his spirit. Baba believed that without having these three going together, it will be difficult to have a complete man who can adequately contribute to the advancement of the society.
“Baba believed in education and that was why he established over 100 primary schools and over 100 secondary schools within a period of four years across Plateau and Nasarawa. He established tertiary Institutions such as College of Education Akwanga, College of Education Gindiri, Plateau State Polytechnic and upgraded the school of relevant Technology and School of Preliminary Studies Keffi, the current Nasarawa State University Keffi.
“Baba introduced scholarship schemes that every student in Plateau State should go to school up to tertiary Institution for free. This was because most of the parents were peasant farmers, and he believed that all the children should go to school to tertiary Institutions for free, even I as the daughter of the Governor then, I still went to school through scholarship.
“Education is key, if we have a well-educated society we will not have the conflict between farmers and other people, we will not have herdsmen attack. During Baba time, he introduced nomadic education and his wife headed the nomadic education unit in the state, later this was developed into a Federal Government Agency, call Nomadic Commission.”
She lamented that such legacies of free education have been abandoned by the Government and appeal that the legacies of late Chief Solomon Lar should be revisited to address the current woes in the country.
“Unfortunately today, some of these legacies have been abandoned by the government, the Fulani and other tribes that lived in Nomadic areas and fishermen today, they are not getting the required education the needed that is why we see and increase in crime rate
“There is a lot of insecurity, banditry and kidnapping. I believe that the government should revisit the legacies of late Solomon Lar, which was first to ensure peace and security. During his time there was no incident of insecurity because everybody was well occupied, children were in schools, youths were in schools and everybody was into something and the police were adequately taking care of.
“There was the ability to arrest anyone that tries to do anything but unfortunately today we see a departure from the legacies of late Chief Solomon Lar, today the youths are idle, drop out of school rate is the highest in Nigeria and that is causing a problem for us especially we in the North.
“Government has to take it as a National emergency to revisit the legacies of late Solomon Lar, educate the nomad, make sure the nomadic commission is working everywhere, every nomadic Community should have access to school water and education because an educated mind is an enlightened mind and such a mind will not think of destroying any Society.”