Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said that educating the masses is the right tool to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency, adding that the deadly sect thrives in the North East because it is backward in education.
According to him, even if Nigeria wins the war against Boko haram insurgency on the military front, it still needs proper education of the masses to sustain the victory.
Former President Obasanjo spoke in Benin City, Edo State, while delivering the 11th convocation lecture of the Benson Idahosa University.
Speaking on the lecture, titled ‘Effective Educational System: A Panacea for Societal Development and Transformation’, Obasanjo, accordng to The Nation, said education remained the most powerful tool against the indoctrination of Boko Haram group.
He said Nigeria must give education the priority it deserves or the dream to have a great Nigeria would remain a pipe dream.
The former President noted that the Nigerian government needs to combine the power of education and military in its fight against Boko Haram.
Obasanjo urged the government to be more truthful and appealing, as well as promote literacy in the North East.
According to him, “Do the needful to exterminate the scourge and social economic development of the area concern and talk with the group that is ready to talk.
“Boko Haram thrives on indoctrination. Spreading hate messages to propagate its messages through popular media. If we are able to counter Boko Haram hate messages with education in our schools and the social media to dilute such messages and prevent people from being swayed by Boko Haram. The Nigeria airwaves and social media should also be accentuated with positive messages.”
“We have to reverse the trend of educational backwardness of the North East because Boko Haram was a menace waiting to happen. Empowering the youth with skills and taking them off the yoke of unemployment and the promises of Boko Haram.”
Obasanjo, who also blamed poor educational system for the massive youth unemployment in the country, said moulding of character was completely ignored by Nigerian tutors, noting that Nigeria depends on the power of education to resolve the massive youth unemployment, corruption, insecurity, infrastructural decay, as well as the poor state of the economy.
Obasanjo was later honored with the Change Nigeria award of the university.
Chancellor of the institution, Arch Bishop Margret Idahosa, praised President Obasanjo for honoring the school’s invitation, and described the former president as a close family member.
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