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EDUCATION AS THE PROBLEM AND PROSPECT OF NIGERIA

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By Amaechi Onuorah

Education according to Dictionary.com means the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

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With the above definition, the basic reason for education is to acquire knowledge, informations, ideas and develop the independent ability to process, reason and apply judgement on the end results intellectually to the betterment of self and society. Therefore, when a large population of a country are uneducated or under-educated, such population surrenders their thinking, reasoning and judgemental ability to the thinnest fraction of the society (elites, religious leaders and politicians) who willl weaponize such illiteracy against their citizens. And by doing so, the citizens becomes docile, unproductive and vulnerable to manipulation and deception.

As 2023 general election draws closer, the inglorious red-lines of illiteracy and under-education is becoming clearer as politicians speaks and the response from across the country. Politicians and their promoters on many occasions have bragged that voters who will decide the winner of the election are not on social media. This is indirect confirmation that the illiterates who will be told what to do on election day are not on social media to be informed, reason and understand independently that those thinking for them are actually responsible for economic and financial woes, including insecurity threatening their lives daily. They don’t know how much those politicians has stolen in the name of building roads, electricity, subsidy, etc, they don’t understand dollar exchange rate input on the economy and how it affects their spending power, they don’t understand what inflation means etc. These illiterates are not aware that it’s government’s responsibility to secure their lives and properties.

This is why trees kept voting for axe because the axe is made of wood.

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Bring education and awareness into this 2023 election. It’s obvious the APC and PDP candidates are banking heavily on the uneducated, uninformed and under-educated population especially up Northern Nigeria who has relinquished their brain-power and intelligence to their elites who thinks (for them) and tell them want to do which neccesarily isn’t in their interest. Those elites through the instrument of religion and region brainwash and lure them in ethno-regional and ethno-religious sentiments to ensure they respond to their deception. Though, it’s important to note that a significant number of northerners who has conquered ethno-regional and ethno-religious manipulation by virtue of education and exposure are not on that bandwagon of the manipulation of the elites, having seen properly who are their real enemies and threat to their socio-economic well-being.

On the other hand, the supporters and followers of Labour party candidate are mostly educated and exposed Nigerians who understands security, economics ,socio-economic development and growth. They know that Nigeria should be better than currently misruled… They know the economic dynamics and understand that the hardship currently ongoing in Nigeria was created by incompetent regime of the APC and therefore can’t re-enforce failure by voting APC or PDP again. They are on social media like every other individuals who are literate enough to understand that social media is a source of news, informations, new ideas, cross-fertilization of ideas and connection to people and outside world. These group of Nigerians see, read and watch video how western world conduct the affairs of their nation. They also see Nigerian politicians and their kids living comfortably in US and Europe, their kids graduating weekly from prestigious university abroad while they are at home because ASUU strike. Labour Party supporter wants a better life and Nigeria, and they see hope and possibility of having a functional Nigeria in Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed ticket.

So, from these analysis, you will understand the role, contribution of weaponized illiteracy and under-education to Nigeria political system which birthed this present level of unaccountability, impunity and corruption. And also understand why Northern elite who benefits most from that weaponized illiteracy will stop at nothing to sustain status quo. Painfully, to sustain that status quo, southern Nigeria becomes collateral casualty as well by association, hence a sick North means a sick Nigeria. Yes, because the day North decide to heal itself, Nigeria will re-invent and re-establish itself as the giant it was designed to be.

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To buttress why education is the solution to Nigeria and Nigerians problems… Imagine if this 2023 is strictly Southern Nigerian affair. With the education, literacy and exposure level of southern Nigeria, this election could have been over before it starts by now because a large population of southern region are well informed and aware of today’s reality. In fact, in an exclusive southern Nigeria arrangement, a personality like APC presidential candidate considering of the negative baggages attached to him can’t win any serious party’s ticket because he cannot fly amongst educated and intellectuals.

In conclusion, to have a functional Nigeria, compulsory education for all Nigerian child must be sacrosanct and Northern elites must come clean and help in this regard because the world has moved and the North is holding, strangulating and suffocating Nigeria and by extension southern Nigeria… More like since I’m not upgrading and moving, nobody will upgrade and move too. Southern Nigeria has its own imperfections like involvement cyber-crimes and drugs but Northern engravement in terrorism, banditry, illiteracy, out of school children, high poverty rate and diseases is a bigger issue and if not tackled… Nigeria will continue to crawl.

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