By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, erstwhile Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus have collectively identified massive investment in the education of youths as a crucial formula for reversing the scourge of insecurity in the country.
The trio of Atiku, Saraki and Secondus, after critically reviewing the increasing scourge of insecurity, and poverty in the country, submitted that massive investment in the education of youths is the only formula for reversing the negative trend.
They all spoke in Abuja at the launching of an educational foundation, instituted by a former national chairman of PDP, Abubakar Kawu Baraje.
Atiku, who was represented by one of his associates, Muhammed Jamil, lauded the former acting National Chairman of PDP, Abubakar Kawu Baraje for setting up the educational foundation.
The PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 general election noted that the foundation is not only timely but also symbolised the urgency to salvage “our frail nation from the resultant negative impact of poor public investment in Human Capital Development” which he pointted iout was evident in “our abysmal ranking in the global Human Capital Development index. “
The former Vice President linked Nigeria’s poor investment in education to the country’s “large army of out of school children, legion of the unemployed, rampaging insecurity, rising poverty rate and persistent underdevelopment”
In his words, “This calls for all hands to be on deck to break the vicious circle of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty and insecurity that has imprisoned our youth and nation as a whole”.
He added, “This can be achieved if we continue to advocate for increased public and private investment in youth development and empowerment.
“It is a step that should be taken with all sense of urgency. “ he added.
The former Vice President lamented that “As at the second quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 13.9 million Nigerian youths are currently unemployed.
“It further shows that the highest unemployment rate was recorded for youths between 15 — 24 years at 40.8%; and followed by ages 25 — 34 years at 30.7%”, he said.
On his part, the immediate past Senate President, Dr Saraki observed that nation’s current security challenges arose from poor attention accorded to the education of youths, particularly in the area of moral and spiritual upliftment.
He thus charged government at all levels as well as traditional rulers to invest more in moral and spiritual education of the youths.
Also, in his own remarks, Prince Secondus lamented that the country’s distress situation at the moment was because leaders rarely invest in education.
According to Secondus, “The Country is in distress and we need to be putting down something that can reverse the trends
“This is a foundation that will groom new leadership for Nigeria and the World.
“Our leaders lack mentorship and that is the problem. And that is why they get into office and the next thing they do is stealing of public funds.” he added.
The Abubakar Kawu Baraje foundation, according to its founder is aimed at providing quality education at no cost to children of the less privileged in the society.
Among those at the ceremony was the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari.