Nigeria Must Address 15m Out-Of-School Children To Tackle Insecurity —Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says that Nigeria must address the challenge of 15 million out-of-school children in the country, to tackle dreadful insecurity facing the nation.

Obasanjo stated on Monday in Abuja at the 2022 Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) annual lecture with the theme “Beyond Boko Haram: Addressing Insurgency, Banditry, and Kidnapping across Nigeria”.

The annual lecture was instituted to uphold the ideals of the late Gen. Murtala Muhammed, who was assassinated in a coup de tat on Feb. 13, 1976.

MMF is a Non-Profit organisation, committed to the well-being of the underprivileged and reduction of poverty and conflicts.

Obasanjo, who is the Chairman, MMF Board of Trustees (BoT), gave his remarks via teleconference, and stressed that having such a large number of children out of school posed a security threat to the future.

He said that if the population of Nigeria today stood at 215 million and 15 million children were out-of-school, the country was already in more trouble of insecurity, if the menace was not immediately tackled.

“It didn’t matter how the country dealt with Boko Haram, banditry and kidnapping – either by stick or by carrot approach – those 15 million children that should be in school, but are not in school are the potential Boko Haram of 10-15 years from now.

“I believe it is not late to start and say to ourselves ‘we do not want the Boko Haram of 2030 or 2035.

“But if we don’t do anything about those 15 million out-of-school children, we are already in more trouble with Boko Haram of the future.

“We, the society, must be willing to give them education and employment or they extract it from the society unwillingly,” Obasanjo said.


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