Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has identified sustained quality training and education of all Nigerian children as critical, if the nation is to end the cycle of insecurity, banditry, terrorism, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities.
Obasanjo who identified this imperative during his remarks at the commissioning of the Professor Abayomi Oluwatosin Jiboku Building and Entrepreneurship Centre in Lariken International College, Ibadan, on Friday, stressed that there was no substitute to quality education as a lasting solution to the nation’s challenges.
Speaking, Obasanjo warned that the nation will continue to suffer the consequences if it does not due give attention to getting the best out of Nigerians through the provision of a conducive environment for quality education.
“If we are going to get out of insecurity, banditry, Boko Haram, kidnapping and other criminalities, we will have a long gestation period of training and educating all Nigerian children.
“Education is the beginning of the life well-lived. God has given each and every one of us the innate ability. It is when those innate abilities are developed that you can be of best in our own self-service, in the service of our nuclear and extended family, in the service of our community and in the service of our nation and the world.
“And there is no substitute for education. If you don’t give it, then those you should have given it to don’t have it and if they don’t have it, then you don’t get the best out of them; and whatever you get out of them, if you start to complain, you will have yourself to blame. Quality education is important,” Obasanjo said.
Aside from the imperativeness of quality education, Obasanjo also said the Nigerian society also faced problems due to the kind of values now cherished.
In particular, he bemoaned that the amount of money, cars, houses possessed by individuals had become the most cherished value in today’s world.
He decried that the hitherto cherished values of truthfulness, integrity, truth, industry, honour and hard work had become downplayed for money-making.
Obasanjo said, “One of the ways we have problems in our society today is what values we cherish. Money making is the value now pervasive.
“In Yoruba land, money-making is not one of the values that we take to. Omoluabi, truthfulness, integrity, truth, industry and hard work were our values. Where have they gone? Why have we put them aside and all we are striving for is money? Where is honour in our values?
“Nowadays, anyone who has money can buy anything but not with me. If you have money, you cannot buy my conscience and support for anything. In any case, if you have all the money in the world, of what purpose will it be?
“How do you describe success? I define success as you making a place better than you met it. It is not the amount of money you have, not the number of houses built, not the number of cars you have. It is how much you have contributed to making a place better than you find it.”
While lauding Lariken International College for its high standards, Obasanjo stressed the need for an educational system cum curriculum where both the hand and mind of students are trained.
Giving his remarks, Director, Lariken International College, Mr Idowu Jiboku noted that schools must embrace the fact that education has gone beyond memorization of facts and figures only, but must include the teaching of life skills that promote innovative and entrepreneurial reasoning.
He prayed that the nation’s education system will return to the days of yore where schools are a combined home of knowledge, letters and skills.
For the nation to record progress, he noted the need for Nigerians to render selfless contributions in their own spheres of influence.
In his own remarks, Oyo state Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye called on residents to support the state government in its efforts to bring about growth in the education sector.
Present at the event were former Vice-Chancellor of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Professor Saburi Adesanya; representative of the Dean, Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Tunji Oyelade; and Mrs Hope Jiboku.
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