Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, bemoaned increasing number of the out-of-school children in Nigeria, describing them as potential Boko Haram recruits.
Obasanjo said this while addressing participants at the presidential youth mentorship retreat held at Youth Development Centre , Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He pointed out that with about 14 million out of school children roaming Nigerian streets, no one needs an oracle to know that those children would turn to Boko Haram recruits in the next ten years.
Obasanjo said the rate of the dropouts would expand insecurity in Nigeria.
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 tell 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 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 said 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.
He said, “If I was a Yoruba leader, I would not have succeeded as I succeeded for Nigeria, I might have succeeded for the Yorubas. Your brother from South East is right, I believed that every Nigerian is more respected in the committee of nations if Nigeria remains.
“Don’t let us deceive ourselves, will people still respect us because of our population, 200 million people, you cannot just waste them , even when I go out, people will say you Nigerians are not at the table and that is true, we are not at the table when we should be at the table.
“I have no regret for 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. I believed that the last thing is not in our fighting for the unity of this country is in subsequent leadership that we have.”
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