Former President of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that the Niger Delta region will suffer for the actions and inactions of his successor, Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan, who lost to President Mohammadu Buhari hails from Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta.
Obasanjo spoke yesterday while responding to questions shortly after he delivered the convocation lecture of the Benson Idahosa University in Benin City.
He explained that he couldn’t have helped Jonathan do his job as Nigeria’s President after helping him secured the presidency.
According to him, “To become Head of State was because of my performance in the war front. If General Gowon had not sent me the war front, he would not know whether I could perform or could not perform. He sent me to the war front and because I performed, we both shared the credit but if I had failed, he would not have shared the condemnation with me. I would have been alone.
“I believe that the opportunity that availed itself in 2010 was for somebody from the minority to become the President of Nigeria. We should never lose such opportunity. What he did with it is entire up to him. What he did or did not do with it will reflect for a long time in that part of the country. There is no particular person who got there without the people.”
Meanwhile, the former President has said that educating the masses is the right tool to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency.
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.
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.
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 said education remained the most powerful tool against the indoctrination of Boko Haram group.
Obasanjo urged the government to be more truthful and appealing, as well as promote literacy in the North East.
He said Boko Haram thrived in the North East because it is backwardness in education.
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