Muhammad Babandede, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Sure 4U Rescue and Resettlement Initiative, has urged the Federal Government to tackle the challenge of out-of-school children.
Babandede, a former Comptroller-General Nigeria of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), who made the call at the unveiling of the NGO in Abuja on Tuesday, said this would help in eliminating the current security challenges in the country.
He said he established the NGO in order to “give back to society. ”
“After my 36 years of sevice to the country, I still believe I can give something to the society.
“A lot of crisis come because of vulnerability of out-of-school children. A lot of people are in a very dire situation not by their making, but society made them so.
“Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children. This is not because of the making of government but because of the crisis Nigeria is facing in banditry and uprising from different sectors,” he said.
Babandede further said that stakeholders could not continue to close their eyes on the number of children on the streets.
“The Almajiri is a shameful system in the north. We cannot allow children to roam the streets begging for food with dirty plates.
“These are the people who have no mercy on us because they have no parental love,” he said.
Babandede further said that Nigeria was facing a “dangerous security situation” as a result of out-of-school children.
“We are threatened by criminality, banditry, Boko Haram, kidnappings. These threats come from negligence mostly.
“Resources in the country are not evenly distributed and when resources are not adequately distributed, the chances of people to look for money by all means is possible,” he said
Babandede, who noted that law enforcement agencies could not fight crime alone, solicited the support of civil society organisations.
“We need to soften their hearts by the use of persuasion and training to help the children before they become criminals.
“This organisation was formed to ensure that we remove them from the risk of being recruited by criminals and to enroll them in schools,” he said.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Awwal Gambo, on his part, said advocacy was needed to bring up children that one could afford to train.
“The whole world is in crisis. While countries like Canada are looking for youths to run their system, we are having the crisis of population growth.
“In essence, we have the population but no jobs for them,” he said.
He called on political leaders to create the environment for the youths to be self-employed.
“If the youths are employed, they won’t rush into the urban communities to flood it,” he said.
Gambo also said that the navy would support Sure 4U in combating human trafficking.
“We will ensure that we support any cause that will take care of the youths so that they can be better citizens,” he added.
Earlier, the Capacity Building Officer of the NGO, Ms Annan Temiloluwa, said that the vision of Sure 4U was to create a safe and caring world for vulnerable children and migrants.
She said that other objectives included working in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in discouraging trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.