Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has declared a state of emergency on education in the state as part of events to mark Nigeria’s 55th Independence Day celebration.
The governor also on Thursday granted pardon to five prisoners awaiting execution as an exercise of his executive powers.
Six other prisoners serving various jail terms at the Kaduna Prison were also pardoned by Governor El-Rufai.
Commenting on the need for declaring state of emergency in the education sector of the state, he said that Kaduna State stands as one of the backward states in education.
According to him, “Education is freedom from want and disease! The provision of free basic education in decent schools and with skilled teachers is one of the priorities this government will accomplish in its four-year term.
“We have spent the past few months planning school repairs, the provision of school furniture and the training of teachers. Today, we move to declare a state of emergency in education. We ask for your support as we begin to implement extraordinary measures in the educational sector.
“Tomorrow by God’s Grace, the commissioner of education, science and technology will announce the raft of measures that will be taken to ensure that our schools’ infrastructure, tools and teacher quality are improved significantly within the next six weeks.
“We are determined that one legacy of the rebirth of our country will be the restoration of education as a tool to free our people from the fetters of ignorance.”
Speaking at the Independence anniversary parade held at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in the state capital, el-Rufai said he pardoned the prisoners based on recommendations from the State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy, and also based on their good behaviour, while others were released due to ill health.
He advised the pardoned prisoners to be of good behaviour as they re-integrate into the society, warning that government would not tolerate any form of crime and threats to security in the state.
The governor urged Nigerians to always support the present administration at both the state and federal levels, and to also pray for those who were staking their lives for the unity and progress of the country.
He also noted that the provision of free basic education and reviving the sector would be one of the priorities of his administration in its four-year term.
The 55th Independence Day celebration witnessed the presence of traditional rulers, religious leaders and heads of security agencies in the state.
It is worthy of note that for over four years, Kaduna has not marked Independence anniversaries due to the Boko Haram security challenge across the northern region.
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