The Buhari administration has blamed increasing insecurity in the country on the inability of late General Murtala Muhammed’s regime to carry on with its policy on compulsory free education for citizens born after 1970.
Since Mr Buhari assumed office in 2015, insecurity has worsened through the corners of the country, eliciting widespread apathy and confusion. Terrorists, bandits, killer pastoralists, separatists and armed robbers have been on a rampage across the country, killing, maiming and extorting the masses.
On Tuesday, a senator of Mr Buhari’s ruling APC Smart Adeyemi said the country’s national security architecture had collapsed and called on the president to immediately seek help from other countries to prevent a civil war.
Murtala Mohammed, who overthrew Yakubu Gowon’s regime, was Nigeria’s military ruler from July 1975 until when he was assassinated on February 13, 1976.
Featuring on a Channels TV programme on Monday, information minister Lai Mohammed says the nation’s current woes could be traced to the failings of the past military junta.
“The fact is that in 1973, we were informed by the lead discussant and that the government of the day they had a retreat and said there must be a national pledge that what is that thing that we must do to ensure that we did not go through another civil war”, the minister said.
“The government of that day came out with a decision that what will prevent another civil war is to ensure that anybody born after January 1970 has free and compulsory primary education.”
Mr Mohammed added that the incumbent government is suffering the consequences of the failed compulsory free education for citizens.
He said Mr Buhari’s government is confronted with issues associated with having over 13.2 million out-of-school children, who could be easily recruited for terrorism and banditry.
“Regrettably that administration was overthrown two years later and all the lofty ideas and all the preparations that were needed to ensure that every child of school age acquired free and compulsory education were jettisoned.
“And we are paying the price today because if you have 13.2 million children of school-age out of school that is the market which Boko Haram, bandits, IPOB and other militants, that is the market where they recruit people.”
Mr Mohammed’s admission of 13.2 million out-of-school children further counters claims on how the Buhari-led government has succeeded in returning many of the out-of-school children to school.
Before now, the minister had blamed insecurity on the former ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party, which ruled the country for 16 years, absolving the Buhari-led All Progressive Party Congress of responsibility.