Jonathan’s Presidency’ll Continue To Affect South-South – Obasanjo
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.
He however said against criticism that he worked assiduously in making Jonathan President and therefore should share in the perceived failure of the administration noting that while there was nothing wrong in his support for Jonathan in becoming president, what such a person does with power is another cup of tea entirely.
He spoke yesterday in Benin City, Edo state capital, during the 11th Convocation lecture of the Benson Idahosa University (BIU) where he said education remained the most potent solution to the scourge of boko haram.
He said “I have also said that you can help anybody to get a job but you cannot help him to do it. Let us get it clear, there is nobody who has got into any position who has not been helped by one person or more than one person. To become Nigeria’s head of state, it was first of all my performance in the war front. Now if General Gowon had not sent me to the war front, you won’t know whether I can perform or cannot perform. Now, he sent me to the war front, I thank him for it and because I performed we shared the credit. If I had failed, Gowon would not have shared the credit, he would not have shared the condemnation with me, I would have been alone.
“ Yes as I have said, I believe that opportunity that afforded itself in 2010 to somebody from the minority to on his own steam, become the president of Nigeria. He should never have lost the opportunity but what he did with it was entirely up to him and don’t forget, what he did or did not do with it, will reflect for a long time on that part of the country and don’t take that lightly. What he did or did not do with it will reflect for a long time on the part of the country but nobody will be there who will not be helped but we voted for him, I was only one of the 18 million voters who voted for him”
Speaking on the topic; ‘Effective Educational System: A panacea for Societal Development and Transformation,’ Obasanjo also condemned the negative effect of social media on students, pupils and even parents and teachers who he said are fast losing the moral grip on their wards.
He said for the war on boko haram to be won irrespective of the military onslaught, there was need for education to be used as a tool just as he carpeted religious leaders who had abandoned preaching tolerance and peace for violence and extremism
“Education is a moral enterprise which we need to re-engage, The issue of boko haram, President Buhari should also tackle it from the angle of moral education. If we are able to tackle boko haram with education in our schools, the social media that they use, we will dilute their messages and positively win their hearts and others who have been swayed by the jihadists messages. To succeed with counter messages, we need to be more appealing, and truthful and as intense as those of boko haram if not more. The capacity of all teachers would be strengthened to deliver such messages; morning and afternoon assemblies of our primary and secondary schools should have a strong dose of such messages, our airwaves and social media should also be saturated with such positive messages even if we defeat Boko Haram on the battle front, we need education to sustain the victory.
“ Let me give you an insight, in 2010 there was a survey of education in Nigeria and among the six geo political zones; in the south west, it was 79 per cent that are educated, in the south east, it is about 78 per cent in the north east, where boko haram dominates, it is 19 per cent and that is one of the reasons people believe that boko haram was a menace waiting to happen and it doesn’t matter what we do, we have to reverse that trend maybe the situation has even gone worse in the last five years because people have moved out of school. Some schools have been destroyed and we cannot fold our arms and say it is up to the north east, it is up to all of us in Nigeria, we have to do what should be done to bring parity in the area of education across the length and breadth of the country.”