July 2, 2022

Senator launching school project says terrorism not caused by illiteracy

Senator Istifanus Gyang (middle) cuts tape to launch new lecture halls he donated at ECWA Theological College, Zabolo

Terrorists carrying out deadly attacks in Nigeria’s north are products of extremist ideologies not lack of education, Senator Istifanus Gyang, the Deputy Chairman of the Nigerian Senate Committee on Defense has said.

The African largest economy still lags in educational funding, said Gyang to Journalists on 5 Dec. at the commissioning of a set of lecture halls he donated at the ECWA Theological College in Zabolo, a northwestern town in the Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Lecture hall donated by ID Gyang at ECWA Theological College Zabolo

“The country has always fallen short of global benchmarks for educational funding, he said, but terrorism is exclusively caused by “distorted values”, said the lawmaker.

“The kind of insecurity we face – terrorism is not the absence of education.

“Insecurity is not necessarily the absence of education. It is the distortion of values. It is when people are exposed to messages of hate, prejudice, abuse and to fanaticism, extremism and you find that people who perpetrate, who undertake and sponsor the killing of others are not necessarily illiterates,” Gyang said.

The Senator who said he has built more than a dozen conventional schools in his Plateau north constituency in two years said he donated three lecture halls with a library and staff offices to ECWA Theological College Zabolo to promote moral education and counter extreme beliefs attacking western education.

“The investment that we have done in the education sector in this constituency starting with this theological college is because of the type of education – one that teaches people the fear of God,” he said.

“It is the foundation because the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom,” said Gyang who stayed his resolve to prioritize human capital development throughout his tenure.

“Education empowers the mind, education enlightens people and education makes people to become resourceful and productive.

“When you become resourceful and productive, you become an asset to society and to humanity. There is no area of human endeavor that will not require expertise and experts and expertise is a product of different levels of education,” he said.

“To empower the human mind, and to ensure that people are prepared and equipped for life and destiny, that is why investment in education takes precedence.

“And it is the foundation for all other investments that we ought to be doing that is why we made it a priority,” Gyang added.

Theological trainees outstand’

Gyang’s donation will improve learning in the college which has trained many national political leaders in the country according to Rev. Dr. Stephen Ejise, the Vice President of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA).

“What [Gyang] has done will promote [leadership training which the Church] is doing here,” Ajishe told Journalists at the classroom launch. “Most of our highly placed politicians passed through theological education,” he said.

Prof. Cephas Tushima, the Education Director of ECWA gave a parallel narrative: “Most people who are a little older know that through seminary education, a lot of concrete leaders have been produced for this country.

Rev. Prof. Ashishi gives award of excellence to Senator Gyang on December 3

“If you look at the leadership of Nigeria, no regime has surpassed that of General Gowon who was a product of missionary training.

“If you look at the States in the north where Governor’s have performed well, they were from mission schools. This is because of the high moral standards in those schools. It is therefore imperative that mission should be actively involved in education,” said Tushima, who equally advocated compensation for missionary schools ‘seized’ by the Nigerian Government.

“Thos schools were taken over by government without paying adequate compensation. In fact, there was no compensation at all. Justice demands that government returns those schools or assesses their values and pays compensation accordingly,” he said.