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Friday, July 17, 2015

Jonathan actions, inactions in office will hunt South South for long - Obasanjo

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BENIN CITY – FORMER President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Friday said the immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan should be blamed for his actions and in-actions while in office and not those who helped him into office.

He asserted that the idea of people like him in 2010 was to ensure that a person from the minority zone is given the opportunity to rule the nation which led to the support he gave to Jonathan, adding however that the former President’s actions in office and his subsequent defeat at the polls will hunt the people of the South South for a long time.

The former President also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use education to sustain the progress made so far in the war against Boko Haram, just as he attributed the scourge in the North East to poverty and lack of education among the youths which he attributed to the alleged refusal of governors in the North East to pay their counterpart funds when his administration established the Universal Basic Education (UBE), which according to him would have given children in their area to opportunity to enjoy free and compulsory education.

Chief Obasanjo stated this while delivering a lecture entitled “Effective Education, a Panacea for Societal Development and Transformation”, at the 11th convocation ceremony of the Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin City.The former President who was told to defend himself on the allegation that he was part of the alleged failure of President Jonathan in office, since he backed him for the presidency in 2011, asserted that “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 will be alone.

“Yes as I have said, I believe that opportunity that afforded itself in 2010 for somebody from the minority to become the president of Nigeria, he should never lose the opportunity but what he did with it is entirely 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 that part of the country. But again those blaming me, was I the only person that supported him?

“I was not the only 18 million voters who voted for him. You that asked the question who did you vote for, is it not Jonathan? He queried (General laughter in the hall).

While expressing confidence that President Buhari will crush the Boko Haram menace, Chief Obasanjo hinted that it was the major reason the President was traveling to the United States next week, to seek the assistance of President Barack Obama to tackle the menace head on.

While attributing the problem to poverty, unemployment and lack of education, Obasanjo stressed the need to provide compulsory education in the North East and re-orientate the people of the area on the need tackle the Boko Haram insurgency whole heartedly.

His words: “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 morale education, if we are able to tackle boko haram with education in our schools, both in 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.

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