Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that there is the need for better security and education for Africa in order to promote development even as he said that poverty remains the bedrock of terrorism or crime.
Jonathan spoke yesterday at the Geneva Press Club in Switzerland during a publicised world press conference on “Security, Education and Development in Africa”.
Jonathan , who said his intention was to share some of his thoughts for a better security and education for Africa, added that he did his best to promote education when he was in office as the president.
He said, “If you peruse the official UNESCO literacy rates by country, what you will find is that all of the top 10 most literate nations in the world are at peace, while almost all of the top 10 least literate nations in the world are in a state of either outright war or general insecurity.
“Lower education levels are linked to poverty and poverty is one of the chief causative factors of crime whether it is terrorism or militancy or felonies.
“With this at the back of my mind, I began the practice of giving education the highest sectoral allocation beginning with my very first budget as President in 2011.”
Presenting his stewardship while in office as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces in respect of fighting insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the country, Jonathan said it was no coincidence that the zone, which is the battlefield between government troops and insurgents is also suffering from high illiteracy rate and underdevelopment.
He added that his policy while in office was to fight insecurity in the immediate term using counter-insurgency strategies, the military and for the long term he fought it using education as a tool.
He said, “As I have always believed, if we do not spend billions educating our youths today, we will spend it fighting insecurity tomorrow. And you do not have to spend on education just because of insecurity. It is also the prudent thing to do.
“Nigeria, or any African nation for that matter, can never become wealthy by selling more minerals or raw materials such as oil. Our wealth as a nation is between the ears of our people.”