Ribadu: North Susceptible to Insecurity Because of Sweeping Youth Illiteracy

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*Says Tinubu gave critical appointments to region to address its challenges

Chigozie  Amadi

The National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has said mass illiteracy was responsible for making youths in the north susceptible to being easily recruited to propagate insecurity in the region.

Ribadu spoke at Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, where he delivered the convocation lecture themed: “Navigating the Maze: Addressing Multi-Dimensional Insecurity Challenges in Northern Nigeria.”
He noted that educational disparities between the region and other parts of the Nigeria played a significant role in the dynamics of radicalisation witnessed in the region.

He explained that the educational gap in the region not only restricted economic opportunities but fueled grievances and heightened susceptibility to extremist ideologies.
“Groups such as Boko Haram and other extremists exploit these vulnerabilities by offering alternative narratives that promise belonging, purpose, and at times financial benefits for coercion,” he stated.

Ribadu said it was to help the North address some of these challenges that President Bola Tinubu decided to handover leadership of the areas to northerners.
“He appointed northerners to head security and Defence. He gave us both ministers of Agriculture and Education. Minister of health is from the North. It is for us to make the best of it,” he said.

To address this menace, the former EFCC boss said there was need to bridge the gap in school enrollment, which he said was critical to countering radicalisation and fostering a more stable and prosperous environment.
According to Ribadu, aside from illiteracy, proliferation of small arms, corruption and injustice were also responsible for insecurity.
He maintained that despite laws against unauthorised arms possession, the circulation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) was rampant, thus fueling violence.

On the issue of farmers/herders clashes, he explained that climatic factors and competition for scarce farming and grazing lands contributed to escalation of the crisis.
He admitted that the Nigerian security agencies were already overstretched due to limited number of security personnel in the country.
He, however, stated that under Tinubu, Nigerian security has improved, stressing that all abducted school children had been successfully rescued without the payment of any ransom.

He also said the administration has improved security in the Niger Delta region, which helped in boosting oil production in the region.
He warned criminals to have rethink as government would not fold it hands to allow any disgruntled element disturbing the peace of the nation.
“We are working. This set of leadership of the security sector is different. We are serious people and insha Allah, we will succeed,” he said.

On economy, Ribadu said the president responded in a timely and responsive manner by giving instructions to crash the dollar, which would lead to crash of the prices of essential products in the market.
He further explained that steps taken by the president would continue to improve the life of the average Nigerians.