Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said free and compulsory education will help in tackling the security challenges in the West African region.
Jonathan, who is the chairman of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise, said this on Tuesday in Lagos at the end of a two-day workshop organised by the council.
He said the Council had made some recommendations that would help the West African region to move forward during the retreat which began on Monday.
He said, â€œWe have made some reasonable recommendations, especially when we were discussing education. As a former Head of State, I was also smiling because we recommended that there should be free and compulsory education up to the level of secondary education in the West Africa sub-region so that we will have an enlightened public.
â€œWe believe that most of the security challenges that we are having are because we have a lot of young people that know almost nothing and they could be easily recruited by mischievous characters to cause havoc.
â€œWhen we talk about strengthening education, it is something that every nation must do to reduce crime. We believe if the young people are educated; it will reduce the numbers that can be easily recruited by those who have criminal motives to create havoc in the society. We are not saying education will stop the crisis immediately, no.â€
The former president added that the council deliberated on and adopted Strategic Action Plans to proactively respond to the identified socio-political, governance and security challenges confronting the region.
He said, â€œCouncil members expressed concerns about the narrowing of the civic space for dialogue on national issues in some member states, including non-inclusive electoral and political participation, and consequently called on political leaders and stakeholders to institutionalise participatory and people-oriented governance processes in the overall interest of peace, security, and stability.