Benue people; the quest for education
A survey of tertiary institutions in Nigeria will reveal that Benue youths are all over our institutions of higher learning across the country pursuing one certificate or the other. The dominance of Benue youths in some of the higher institutions outside Benue State has even become a thing of concerned to many, I am particularly aware of this development in Alhmadu Bello University Zaria and the University of Jos, in Jos to be precise, Benue youths have often dominated the Student Union Government on account of their population. Coming back home, the number of admission slots available for Benue youths are often grossly inadequate as compared to the number of applications. But up till now, we aware of some states where the youths have shunned education, particularly in the north where Benue State purportedly belong.
So why is the case of Benue youths different?
The saying that” if you think education is expensive, try ignorance” must have been the experience of Benue youths, considering the way they have embraced education in its entirety. A very good percentage of our youths pursuing certificates in schools of higher learning are surprisingly on self sponsorship, they engage in very useful ventures such as farming and other businesses during the holidays and some of the weekends to pay their bills in school. Benue youths believe in the fact that investing in their education has just no option. They have seen their compatriots arise from nothingness to greatness via education and as such want to prepare themselves for opportunities not to pass them by.
It is however very discouraging that the efforts of these youths is in most cases not supported. The government bursary allowance to Benue students in institutions of higher learning is often not paid promptly, as meager as it is, and the recent development in the Benue State University School of Medical Sciences is not a good one at all. These ugly rewards to the frantic efforts of Benue youths in the quest to be educated should be discouraged in its entire ramification.
Finally, a good atmosphere should be created for these youths to bring their experiences to bear in the development of the state, instead of allowing them settle in other states and develop such states to the detriment of our own state. Let’s give these wonderful youths a sense of belonging!