The present crops of political leaders should be held responsible for Nigeria’s problems, a former Governor of defunct Western Region, Brig.-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (retd.), has said.
He regretted that one of the major problems retarding growth and development in Nigeria is the attitude of the present generation of political leaders.
Listing greed and complacency as hallmark of the present generation of political leaders, the former governor said he had given up hope on the present generation of political leaders due to their selfish approach to governance.
Rotimi spoke yesterday at the 2020 edition of Benjamin Oluwakoyode Osuntokun Memorial Lecture at Emeritus Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Dignitaries at the event included Emeritus Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe; his wife, Sade; Prof. Ayo Banjo; first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Folake Solanke; Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Olubunmi Olaopa; former Vice-Chancellor, UI, Prof. Ayodele Falase and Chief Bisi Ilaka, Chief of Staff to Governor Seyi Makinde.
The ex-governor, who was the chairman of the occasion, decried the current state of the nation.
He noted that Nigeria had dived deep into pariah statehood, exhibiting traits of hopelessness.
Rotimi also said the problems of the country are not about lack of effective education and other enablers but complacency and greed.
These, he stressed, had threatened the essence of Nigeria’s nationhood.
“Nigeria is not short of people who will diagnose the causes of our problems. It is in finding solutions that we are lost.
“It is sad that rather than stick to the message, people would rather take on the messenger. When certain messages are passed to Nigerians, we criticise the messenger; we don’t give thought to the message.
“For me, there is no hope in the present generation of political leaders. There is a Yoruba proverb, which says that a dog that would get missing would not heed the call of the hunter. A word is sufficient for the wise.
“In this country, I want to join others in re-emphasising that we need to reintroduce the teaching of history and civic education. During our time, our teachers, who were mostly white, believed that King’s College was created for leadership after exit.
“Therefore, civic education became one of the main subjects that were taught. They also introduced literature and taught us about Cold War. That was the pattern of our education.
“I don’t know whether civic education is still being taught at King’s College today or not. If you don’t know that there is something wrong with the country, you won’t know how to find the solution. A governor cannot go away with N10 million as pension, but this is happening. You professors are going to be shocked about the pension that you are going to get after retirement.
“When our children are aware of the connection between greed and corruption, it will influence their attitude. It is not grandstanding that will solve our problem. We must start solving our problems from the family,” he said.