Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday predicted that out-of-school children might soon be recruited by Boko Haram if the government failed to return them to classrooms.
Obasanjo stated this while addressing participants at the presidential youth mentorship retreat held at the Youth Development Centre, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The former President lamented the increase in the rate of out-of-school children, attributing security challenges to lack of proper education.
He noted that about 14 million children who ought to be in school are on the streets, saying that the situation is capable of worsening the nation’s security situation.
He said, “A situation today where we have 14 million children that should be in school that are not in school, does anybody need to be an oracle to say that 10 years or 15 years from now, those will be where you will recruit pure Boko Haram.
“So, if you deal with Boko Haram by stick today, in a few years’ time, the situation will be worst because we are talking about security, it will be worst.
“So, if we are talking of insecurity, where should we begin? If we are talking of poverty, where should we begin? It is education.
“Somebody asked ‘if everybody is educated, who will be a servant?’ and I said if everybody is educated, then we will get a better servant than you should have gotten from those that are not educated.”
The former President maintained that the unity of Nigeria is paramount, stressing that he would fight for the unity of Nigeria throughout his life.
“I have no regret fighting for the unity of Nigeria and if it comes up tomorrow that it should be done and I have ability to do it, I will do what I have to do,” he added.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]