By Chris Eriyamremu
Commendably, the Bill (HB. 1734), being sponsored by Hon. Preye I.G. Oseke, member, representing Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency, Bayelsa State, at the House of Representatives, Abuja, seeking to amend the National Commission for Nomadic Education Act, which has passed second reading will promote national unity, peace-building, harmonious coexistence, and end to farmers-herders menace in Nigeria.
Oseke, while, addressing the Speaker, and Honourable Colleagues, said: ” the Bill for an Act to amend the National Commission for Nomadic Education Act, Cap N20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, is to redefine the concept of nomadic education to cover all categories of nomads including migrant fishermen, itinerant farmers, pastoralists and other person or group of persons that frequently move from one place to the other in the country and to redefine the learning methods to include modern emerging learning approaches and the use of relevant teaching aids amongst nomads in tandem with modern realities and for related matters (HB. 1734).”
The Bill read; ” LEAD DEBATE IN SUPPORT OF A BILL FOR AN ACT TO AMEND THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR NOMADIC EDUCATION ACT, CAP N20, LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2004 TO REDEFINE THE CONCEPT OF NOMADIC EDUCATION TO COVER ALL CATEGORIES OF NOMADS INCLUDING MIGRANT FISHERMEN, ITINERANT FARMERS, ETC AND FOR RELATED MATTERS”.
The lawmaker, recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria realized that a special educational provision was necessary and made for the nomads, to enable them have access to formal and non-formal education, which led to the establishment in 1989, the National Commission for Nomadic Education to among other things, formulate policy and issue guidelines in matters relating to nomadic education in Nigeria and widen access to basic and quality education for nomads, thereby boosting their literacy and equipping them with skills and competence to enhance their well-being and participation in nation-building process.
Oseke, also realized that despite, the existence of National Commission for Nomadic Education, the implementation had not yielded the desired results, therefore, it became imperative and urgent to amend the Act and bring it in tandem with current trends, as the country is faced with ethnic division, religious intolerance, and incessant farmers and herders disputes.
In the New Bill, the lawmaker, seeks to Amend the long title of the Principal Act to widen the scope of the objectives of the Commission; Amend the Act so as to create national and zonal offices; Amend the Act so as to give States with nomadic population representation on the Governing Board of the Commission; and Amend the Act so as to empower the Commission to utilize modern teaching and learning methods and for other related matters.
From the above, the Niger Delta lawmaker, Honourable Preye Oseke, has proven and reiterated his belief in the unity of Nigeria, peaceful and harmonious co-existence among Nigerians, who are at liberty to move and live peacefully in any part of the country.
Emphasizing on the merits of the new Bill, the lawmaker, said: ” this bill, is borne out of a desire to facilitate the realization of the objectives of the Nomadic Education Programme (NEP) of the Federal Government, which the National Commission for Nomadic Education is saddled with its implementation. The absence of a proper formal or informal education for the nomadic population in Nigeria poses a grave threat to the well-being of the nation.”
He continued ” This is manifest in the cases of farmers-herders clashes reported to have occurred in several parts of the country. If this is to be abated, then the nomads (herders) must be given proper civic education. This is what the National Commission for Nomadic Education is poised to achieve, through the implementation of the Nomadic Education Programme.”.
In this new Bill, the lawmaker, has proffered a sustainable solution to current menace of farmers-herders conflicts and also preventing such in the future.
The Nomadic Education Programme seeks to among other things includes; – Exposing the nomadic child to elementary forms of modern education; Enable the nomadic child to take part in the development of his immediate environment in particular and the country in general; Make the nomadic child self-reliant to improve his living conditions; Help him/her modernize his/her techniques of herdsmanship, animal management, fishing or farming as the case may be.
Also, the Nomadic Education Programme is to Assist the nomadic child develop rapidly and fully, both physically and intellectually, to cope with the demands of the contemporary society; and Develop the initiative of the nomadic child and stimulate his/her scientific and analytical modes of thinking.
The importance and benefits of the New Bill, are enormous, being sponsored by Honourable Oseke.
The National Assembly ( Senate and House of Representatives) should give utmost priority to passage of the Bill, and expectedly, the President will also promptly sign it into law, and ensure adequate implementation of the laudable aims and objectives as contained in the amendment Bill.
The Honourable members of House of Representatives, should be commended for supporting the amendment Bill, which had passed second reading, and according to Honourable Oseke, it will bring these nomadic education objectives into realities and thus impact positively on the society.
This Bill, which is aimed at peace-building will promote political relationships, ethnic unity, religious tolerance, and harmonious coexistence among Nigerians, and particularly the farmers and herders.
The bill, could also help to resolve perceived injustice in nonviolent ways and to transform the structural conditions that generate deadly conflict.
The sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Preye I.G.Oseke, member, representing Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency, Bayelsa State, at the House of Representatives, Abuja, has done well and contributing to national unity and socioeconomic development of the country.
Chris Eriyamremu, Peace Mediator, Strategy/Leadership Consultant, writes from Warri, Delta State.