The Senate, on Tuesday, attributed the major source of insecurity in the country to the problem of out-of-school children.
The observation followed a motion on the Children’s Day Celebration by Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan at plenary presided over by Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki in Abuja.
Moving the motion, Lawan, who noted that though Children’s Day is marked every May 27, said it is high time that leaders are concern with the children’s situation.
”I believe that the major source of insecurity today in this country is probably the neglected section of our society, particularly those that are not going to school.
”Many of them from the age of 16, 17 and even 18, who are out of school have been found to be involved in insurgency and all manners of criminality,” he said.
According to him, what we have before us remains the challenge of giving our children the treatment that they deserve and the challenge of ensuring that they are groomed to be leaders of tomorrow.
He said it is disheartening that ”today in the country, 14 million children are out of school.”
”About 44 per cent of our population are within 0 to 17 years and with the kind of treatment we give to the issues of our children, this population will continues be a burden and a source of insecurity to us.
”Therefore, the time has come for us to talk to ourselves and major stakeholders that we have to really be brave and courageous to address the problem of out-of-school children,” he said.
The lawmaker called on the Northern states where almajiri system had become a practice to brace up to the challenge of tackling the menace.
Lawan, who urged the lawmakers to step up effort at giving the needed support for the education sector, said government at all levels should begin to work towards ensuring a free and compulsory basic education for all children which the parliament passed in 2004.
Saraki, said it is a big concern that the country still has a large percentage of children who are out of school.
The senate president, who said that government, parents and everybody must be responsible to the children’s plights, noted that ”education is the greatest asset of any nation.”