A former Governor of Sokoto State and member of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, raised concern on Sunday over the banditry in the North-West and North-East, saying it has constituted a serious threat to food security in Nigeria.

According to him, instead of talking about cabinet ministerial appointments, subsidy, and the economy, the government of President Bola Tinubu should consider food security as his priority.The elder statesman also warned that if stringent measures were not taken to curb insecurity, the North would face severe educational backwardness in the next 50 years.

Bafarawa, who stated these in an interview with The PUNCH, said that many primary and secondary schools in Northern Nigeria have been shut down because of the activities of bandits, saying, “This is a serious disaster.”

Our correspondent reported that while the announcement by the government of the removal of subsidy on petrol culminated in a hike in the price of food and consumables, discussions about the ministerial appointment by the President have dominated discussion in recent times.

But Bafarawa advised that the government should set its priorities correctly.

He said, “Instead of talking about cabinet, subsidy, and the economy, the government should consider food security because with the rate we are going, in the next three months, we are definitely going to have problems in Nigeria, especially in the North-West.

“The bandits have refused to allow farmers to cultivate their crops. This is a very dangerous situation, not only because the bandits are killing people but also because the food scarcity is going to be too serious in the next few months, especially in the North West and North East. So, we want the government to wake up and do something about it.

“Also, with the way education is going, in the next 50 years, we are going to be very backward in education because most of the primary schools in the North have been closed because of banditry. There are no primary schools, no secondary schools and this is a serious disaster. So, we cannot sit down and watch; something must be done right before it gets worse.

“The government should fight security, especially food insecurity, in the country because it’s a serious matter. Whatever the government is going to do, let the issue of food security be top priority.”

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