The Buhari administration has blamed the country’s growing insecurity on the late General Murtala Muhammed’s regime’s failure to implement its policy of compulsory free education for people born after 1970.
Since Mr. Buhari took office in 2015, insecurity has escalated across the region, causing widespread apathy and uncertainty. Terrorists, bandits, killer pastoralists, separatists, and armed robbers have been terrorising the region, murdering, maiming, and extorting the populace.
On Tuesday, Senator Smart Adeyemi of Mr Buhari’s ruling APC said the country’s national security architecture had collapsed and urged the president to seek urgent assistance from other countries to avoid civil war.
Murtala Mohammed, who deposed Yakubu Gowon’s regime, ruled Nigeria as its military dictator from July 1975 until his assassination on February 13, 1976.
“The truth is that in 1973, we were told by the lead discussant and that the government of the day had a retreat and said that there must be a national commitment that what is that thing that we must do to ensure that we do not go through another civil war,” the minister explained.
“At the time, the government decided that the only way to avoid another civil war was to ensure that anyone born after January 1970 received free and compulsory primary education.”
Mr Mohammed went on to say that the current government is struggling as a result of the failed compulsory free education programme for people.
He said that Mr. Buhari’s administration is dealing with issues related to the country’s 13.2 million out-of-school children, who could be easily recruited for terrorism and banditry.
“Unfortunately, the administration was overthrown two years later, and all of the lofty ideas and preparations that were needed to ensure that every child of school age received free and compulsory education were abandoned.
“And we are paying the price today because if you have 13.2 million school-age children out of school, that is the market where Boko Haram, bandits, IPOB, and other insurgents recruit people.”
Mr. Mohammed’s admission of 13.2 million out-of-school children contradicts reports that the Buhari-led government has successfully returned many of the out-of-school children to school.
Previously, the minister blamed instability on the country’s former governing party, the Peoples Democratic Party, which governed for 16 years, absolving the Buhari-led All Progressives Party Congress of liability.