Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has stated that he remains worried about the 13 million children who are out of school in the country.
Obasanjo made the disclosure in Abeokuta, Ogun State, when he received a visit from the National Youths Council of Nigeria, NYCN, led by its National President, Niyi Oladele, at his Presidential library.
The former President also expressed worry over the growing number of youths who are yet to find themselves in positions of national leadership, unlike what was obtainable during his time.
Obasanjo recalled that when he was just 24 and on a mission in Congo, he had started showing leadership qualities. He lamented that youths of today have not been able to fit themselves into leadership positions.
He, however, urged the youth not to allow anybody tell them they “are too young to lead,” saying those frustrating the youth are not better endowed than them.
He said: “Whatever I have done, I have done it because I was educated and the love I have for Nigeria. If I didn’t have education, I would not have been able to do what I have done and today, it pains me that more than 13 million Nigerian children who should be in school are out of school.
“We don’t need additional teachers; you will only increase what those teachers get maybe by 40 percent or something.
“We can even do two streams if we prepare for that and start two years from now and those children would have become product that would be able to make contributions and make their own life better and as well making the life of their families too better.
“I am so much concerned about the youths, the truth is, over 60 percent of our populations are youths and under 30 years of age.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that you are too young, I started making contribution to the world when I was serving in Congo in 1960; I was only 24 years old. By the time I went to the war front, I was still under 35 years of age, by the time I became the Head of State, I was under 40 years of age.”
The NYCN delegation had visited the ex president to seek the latter’s help in finding a lasting solution to the persistent insurgency, banditry, kidnappings and herdsmen attacks across the country.
During the visit, the council also conferred an award of the ‘Father of the Nation’ on Obasanjo and gave him a gift of N1 million as donation to his Presidential library.