By Our Correspondent
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has advised that more attention should be paid to out-of -school children in the country as they constituted more threat in the future. Obasanjo gave the advice as Chairman while speaking virtually at the 2022 annual lecture of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation with the theme, ‘Beyond Boko Haram: Addressing insurgency, banditry and kidnapping across Nigeria’.
Obasanjo blamed insecurity in the country on access to weapons after the Nigerian civil war.
He stated that beyond the crisis caused by the controversial Sharia law, unemployment was also contributing to insurgency in the country. The former President also said that his fear about Boko Haram had materialised with the group’s links to international terrorists organisations.
Obasanjo said: “The Nigerian population today is about 215 million and 15 million children are not in school; it doesn’t matter how we deal with insecurity, either by stick or carrot approach. Those children are the potential Boko Haram 10 years from now.
“If we don’t do anything about those children, we are already nurturing the Boko Haram of tomorrow. We need to look back and reinvent. When you look at some of the things we are doing, then you wonder why we are not succeeding. This is because we are doing the same thing all the time.
“Things that we did the last time that didn’t pay us are the same we are repeating. The idea of treating symptoms rather than the disease will not get us anywhere. “The disease of Boko Haram and banditry are those things that people expect; they want a good life; they want to get a job; they want education; and they must be given for as long as they are denied these, they will be right to make a demand on society, which it must give to them willingly or unwillingly.”