Speaking at a youth programme organised by the Youth Development Centre (an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library) in Abeokuta, the former President expressed fear about Nigeria’s population explosion which will be 450 million in the next 30 years. He stated that the increased number of children out of school, contributed to insurgency witnessed in the north-east region.
“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 said.
Obasanjo also recounted how he and the late Gen Murtala Muhammed turned around the country’s fortunes after the1970 civil war, while telling Nigerian youths not to lose hope despite the challenges facing the country.
“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.
“Don’t lose hope. The current situation is bad. I don’t need to tell you that, but I can see the light beyond the tunnel. There is light beyond the tunnel.”