Boko Haram crisis could last 15 more years – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned that the  Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East  could take 15 more years to eliminate if the government fails to focus on education.

He also warned the country about the risks of a population explosion.

According to him, Nigeria’s  population will  be 450 million in the next 30 years.

Obasanjo gave the warnings while addressing some youths and students at a youth programme  organised by the Youth Development Centre, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library,  in Abeokuta on Tuesday.

 He  urged the government to find a lasting solution to  the big rise in the  number of children  out of school in some parts of the country, saying   the development had contributed to the  Boko Haram insurgency.

Obasanjo  said, “There should be no Nigerian child that should be out of  school for any reason.

“You have already got your Boko Haram in the next 15 years if you don’t do anything about that. So, whatever you are talking about, unless you take care of inclusivity, you will not get there. Quality is important,  but  inclusivity is much better.”

He   urged Nigerian youths  not to  lose hope despite the challenges facing  the country.

Obasanjo,  who described himself  as “an incurable optimist about Nigeria”,  said  although the situation  in Nigeria was  bad, he could see the light at the end of  the tunnel.

Obasanjo recalled  how   he and the late Gen Murtala Muhammed  turned around the country’s fortunes after  the 1970  civil war.

He said,  “Having run the affairs of Nigeria as a military Head of  State   when some people felt there was virtually no hope,   we turned it around.”

Obasanjo added, “I have tremendous hope in Nigeria; I am an incurable optimist about Nigeria.

 “During the Murtala Muhammed government and my government  soldiers who  were working  in Lagos and who had to go to office in public transport   did not wear their uniforms,  they were ashamed. But within the space of six months, they were proudly wearing their uniforms.  So, it can be done.

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