The Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Prof. Abubakar Njodi, has said it may take the North East 500 years to “recover from the destruction” of its education system by Boko Haram, and catch up with the southern part of the country.
Njodi, a Professor of Physical and Health Education, who made the disclosure yesterday stated that even before the advent of Boko Haram, studies had indicated that the region was about 150 years behind other parts of the country, particularly the South.
While receiving a delegation of the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PINE), which came to condole with him and the university community over the January 16, 2017 bomb attack that claimed the lives of three staff members, including a professor, he stressed that “education in the North is endangered.
“I have said it at different fora that prior to Boko Haram, there were some studies, some real, some speculative, that showed the North, currently comprising 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; was 100 years behind the South. What it means here is that, at that time if the South should stop going to school, it would take the North 100 years to catch up,” Njodi added.
He further disclosed that: “When the northern part of the country was carved into North East, North West and North Central, the North East was 150 years behind,” adding that at that time, if the South stopped going to school, it would have taken the North East 150 years to catch up.”
He therefore pointed out that with “the situation that Boko Haram has put us now, if those studies are anything to go by, the North East may require about 500 to 1, 000 years to catch up with the other five geo-political zones in the country,” as the state of the educational sector there requires the support of all stakeholders, just as the future looks very “bleak and gloomy” for the next generation.