The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called on the Nigerian Army to use education to douse religious extremism in the country.
Abubakar made the appeal yesterday at International Conference Centre in Kasarawa, Sokoto State, during his opening remark at the second edition of Nigeria Army Education Submit taking place in the state.
The monarch pointed out that poor or inadequate religious knowledge by most adherents of the two major religions in Nigeria has been blamed for most of the problems facing the country, including the deteriorating security challenges in Nigeria.
He said most preachers and adherents of the two major religions in Nigeria lacked the basics and real knowledge of the religion they profess and preach, thereby misleading and breeding poor understanding among followers and raising an army of extremists most of whom constitute the bulk of the persons responsible for the security challenges in the country.
The Sultan called on the military to adopt functional education and military might in tackling the security challenges.
He said not just education, “but functional education that will change the emphasis on paper qualification to the impartation of real knowledge that will empower the students with the necessary skills to function well in the society.”
The religious leader also advised organisers of the summit to ensure the implementation of the outcome of the summit while also calling for more attention to be paid on research and development that would provide solutions to the challenges facing the country.
On his part, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, called on the military to focus not only on making the society safe but also on the safety of schools across the country.
Speaking also, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), commended the Nigerian army for rejuvenating programmes toward improving educational standards and public consciousness in the country’s interest.
Magashi, who was represented by the Director of Army Affairs, Mr Sunday Musa, said threats to the educational system in the country is detrimental to the country’s growth and development, adding that there should be combined efforts by all stakeholders to fight the menace.
He restated the federal government commitment to safeguarding the educational system in the country.
Earlier in his keynote address, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, said the summit was part of the army’s commitments toward reviewing Nigerian Army Education Corps (NAEC) performance with a view to strengthening it.