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PENGASSAN asks Northern govs to tackle almajiri question

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

PETROLEUM and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has condemned the crisis in Jos, Plateau State and called on governors in the North to tackle the issues of the almajiris and street urchins who are under Islamic scholars and incorporate them into formal education as a way of reducing sectarian crisis in the region

The umbrella body for senior staff in the nation’s petroleum industry,  urged the Federal Government, especially Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, to ensure that there was enough political will to find a lasting solution to sectarian crisis in the country.

Speaking in Lagos, PENGASSAN President, Mr Babatunde Ogun, said some of the crises in the country “such as the Niger Delta and sectarian crises in the North and reprisal killing in the South were the reason why the United States added Nigeria to the terror list.”

He blamed the nation’s elite for sponsoring inter religious  and inter ethic crises in the country, saying most of the weapons used by the people that foment the trouble are giving to them by the elite.

According to him, “government should get to the root of the matter and sanction those behind the crisis. It is not enough to deal with the miscreants who are burning the houses and killing innocent Nigerians alone but government should go a step further to ensure that those who supplied arms and ammunition to them are also punished.

“Unless the government invokes the political will to deal with the sponsors of the crisis, there might never be an end to such in the country,” he said.

Ogun said  government should go back to the basis by examining reports and recommendations of past reports of  inquiries set up by past governments on  sectarian crisis, especially the last Jos crisis

He called on the government to do something about the high unemployment situation in the country, saying most of the youths that were used to perpetrate the mindless killings in Jos were jobless either as a result of the poor infrastructural facilities situation or lack of jobs.

He said: “Some of these rampaging youths are artisans, who use electricity for their works, and those who have finished their secondary and higher education but yet to get job.”


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