Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has called on the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, should desist from awarding “preferential scores” to students in Northern Nigeria.
He stated this on Monday as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme.
According to the Governor, students in the North should not be given lower cut-off marks but the same cut-off marks as their counterparts from other parts of the country for them to be competitive nationally and internationally.
El-Rufai also noted that the current closure of schools in the State is the major goal of bandits and terrorists oppressing the State but he vowed that they won’t win.
He said: “The north has always been behind in education, we’ve continuously been the disadvantaged region right from independence even though we’re given preferences, JAMB scores and all that. That has not helped, in fact, it has made our people lazy.
“Against this differential JAMB and FG (Federal Government) scores, I think people should be encouraged to work hard and compete and we are prepared to make our children in Kaduna State to be competitive, not only in the state but globally.
“The schools are closed now because, on the advice of security agencies, they need a couple of months to undertake massive security operations. They are doing that. We are confident that from the next two weeks, we would start the gradual reopening of schools.
“We have moved many of our students in rural areas that we are not sure we can protect to urban schools, thereby increasing the congestion in urban schools that we can protect.
“The continuous closure of schools is exactly what bandits and Boko Haram want and we are not going to let them win but we must put the safety of our children and teachers first,” the governor noted, adding that the gradual reopening of schools would commence soon.
Furthermore, the Governor said that the state has attracted over $3 billion foreign and local investments in the last two years despite the menace of banditry.
According to him, the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies are overwhelmed, hence, the need to train hundreds of vigilantes who will bear arms and confront the marauders who operate from the forests of Kaduna.
“This banditry is essentially a rural phenomenon but it has moved to the urban areas,” the governor lamented
He maintained that when the menace of banditry started in the state about three years ago, “it was essentially a rural phenomenon and that has not affected our ability to attract investments in the state”.
“In the last two years, we’ve attracted more than $2 billion, close to $3 billion of foreign and domestic investments into the state.
“We’ve also engaged in massive infrastructure across the State, everywhere,” El-Rufai explained.
525 killed, 1,723 kidnapped in six months
Kaduna has perhaps been the worst hit by the nefarious activities of bandits and kidnappers in recent times in spite of the heavy presence of military formations and institutions present in the State.
The Military has no fewer than six military formations in the city. The military formations include Jaji Military Cantonment; 1 Mech. Division Headquarters, Nigerian Army, Kaduna; New Barracks, otherwise known as ‘Kotoko’ Barracks; Old Site of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna; Kalanpazi Barracks (Artillery Regiment) and the Nigerian Air Force Base.