The National Working Committee (NWC) of the apex northern socio-cultural organization, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), yesterday in Kaduna called on the Federal Government to immediately put a stop to the insecurity in the country. ACF said the North is worried about the increasing incidents of kidnaping, killings and farmers/herders’ clash, urging the Federal Government to deploy all available resources to end the menace. The meeting, presided over by the ACF Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie and attended by members of the NWC from the 19 Northern States and FCT, also called on the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to extend the validity of the Unified Matriculation Tertiary Examination (UMTE) result to five years, saying it would cushion the hardship of the yearly ritual.
A communiqué after the meeting made available to newsmen yesterday and signed by Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, ACF National Publicity Secretary, said:
“The meeting noted with grave concern the level of insecurity in the country, particularly the killings, kidnapping and clashes between farmers and herders which have portrayed the North in very bad light.
“It, therefore, urged the Federal Government to deploy all available resources to stop this menace. It also called on leaders at all levels and the people to note that the task of securing the nation, lives and property cannot be left to government alone.
The led should also support the governments in the very difficult task of securing the nation.” Speaking on the Taraba crisis, ACF said:
“We urge the Federal Government to take decisive action against any persons or groups found to have been involved in the killings of persons at the Mambila Plateau. With the Mambilla multi-billion dollar hydro power project, the government cannot afford the present crisis to continue.”
ACF told the people of Mambilla that no development can take place in an atmosphere of unnecessary conflicts and killings. “The people should, therefore, come together and dialogue for the purpose of bringing about peaceful coexistence that is sine qua non for socio-economic development.
“Towards that end, the meeting called on the Taraba State Government to take urgent steps leading to the restoration of peace and harmonious coexistence among the various ethnic groups in the state,” it said. On JAMB, ACF stated that: “We noted with serious concern the manner in which Nigerian students seeking admissions into tertiary institutions are subjected to a yearly examination by the JAMB in order to get admission.
“Furthermore, the JAMB cut-off scores or passing the SSCE WAEC/NECO do not guarantee a candidate an admission into any tertiary institutions as only about a quarter of the candidates sitting for JAMB are admitted each year, while the rest become disenchanted.
“This yearly process of taking JAMB examination place serious financial and logistical burdens on the students and their parents. It is against this backdrop that ACF called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to take a second look at the JAMB Act of 1989 and reconsider the possibility of reviewing the Act in favour of extending the validity of JAMB results beyond one year to about five years in order to reduce the financial and other hardships being experienced by students and parents.
“It is also pertinent to note that the entire processes leading to admissions into tertiary institutions should be reviewed in order to address the current challenges posed by increased number of applicants, students population, inadequate infrastructure and dwindling teaching facilities.”