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    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    Dasukigate: I Will Speak At The Appropriate Time -Jonathan

    Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said he would, at the “appropriate time”, open up on the arms money scandal, involving at least $2.1 billion.
    Investigators say the money, meant for purchase of arms for the fight against Boko Haram, was squandered by the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, allegedly on the instructions of Mr. Jonathan.
    At a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Mr. Jonathan emphasised the importance of education in fighting terrorism.
    He later tweeted about his readiness to speak on the alleged arms funds mismanagement.
    “My voice will certainly be heard at the appropriate time regarding the alleged arms funds mismanagement,” the former leader said.
    “I would not want to interfere with the proceeding by the judicial system that my administration worked tirelessly to strengthen.
    My post presidential focus is advancing democracy and good governance in Africa.”

    Mr. Jonathan later added that the Buhari administration, which is investigating the scandal, is currently fighting Boko Haram with weapons his government purchased.
    “The current administration continues to fight them with the weapons we acquired and collectively I am confident we will eradicate them,” he tweeted.
    Earlier at the press conference, Mr. Jonathan said 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.
    According to him, there are obviously other dimensions to the issue of insecurity in Nigeria and particularly terrorism, the dearth of access to formal education over years created the ideal breeding ground for terror to thrive in parts of the country.

    He added, “Education is one of those issues. If former African leaders can form themselves into an advisory group to gently impress on incumbent leaders the necessity of meeting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended allocation of 26% of a nations annual budget on education, I am certain that Africa will make geometric progress in meeting her Millennium Development Goals and improving on every index of the Human Development Index.
    “Data has shown that as spending on education increases, health and well being increases and incidences of maternal and infant mortality reduce.”

    Mr. Jonathan explained that while in office he began the practice of giving education the highest sectoral allocation beginning with his first budget as President in 2011.
    “My policy was to fight insecurity in the immediate term using counter insurgency strategies and the military and for the long term I fought it using education as a tool,” Mr. Jonathan 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 becomewealthy by selling more minerals or raw materials such as oil. Our wealth as a nation is between the ears of our people.”

    The former president said it was no coincidence that the Northeast epicenter of terrorism in Nigeria is also the region with the highest rate of illiteracy and the least developed part of Nigeria.
    Explaining that in Nigeria though the federal government does not have a responsibility for primary and secondary education, he could not in good conscience stomach a situation where 52.4% of males in the Northeastern region of Nigeria have no formal Western education.
    According to him, the figure is even worse when you take into account the states most affected by the insurgency.
    He said, “83.3% of male population in Yobe state has no formal Western education. In Borno state it is 63.6%.
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