Alaafin tasks intellectuals to take active roles in Politics
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has urged intellectuals to be pro-active in finding solutions to the‘ socio-economic and political problems in the country .
Oba Adeyemi said that scholars should not concede leadership to indolent politicians and self-appointed opinion leaders who have nothing to offer.
His words: “Scholars should lead other stakeholders and segment of society to provide intellectual response to restructuring the Nigerian Federation. The African academia and intelligentsia should not conceded leadership in this enterprise to indolent politicians and self- appointed opinion leaders whose stock in trade is soapbox grandstanding and parliamentary rhetoric.
The Alaafin spoke at a conference on “African Knowledge and Alternative Futures” held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in honour of Professor Toyin Falola of the University of Texas, Austin, United States of America. Falola, a professor of African History, clocked 65 on January 1.
He emphasised the importance of education for Nigeria and other African countries to overcome myriad of socio-economic and political challenges retarding their progress. He said: “Our claim to bring back education will be meaningful if we acquire knowledge, internalise its values and appropriate wisdom therefrom for finding solutions to the twin problems of under-development and state collapse.”
The permanent Chairman of Oyo State Council of Obas stressed that the Nigerian case calls for the intellectual input of the Yoruba to redefine the nature and pattern of relationship among the diverse and seemingly disparate ethnic groups or nations in Nigeria.
The monarch paid tribute to the first Premier of the old Western Nigeria, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who transformed the region. He mentioned that Awo built the first television station in Nigeria and the first dualised road from Mokola to the Secretariat, Ibadan.
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola regrets that Nigeria depends solely on rent. “We are rent seekers; we are joking on development; people must work to produce surplus for government and government must provide enabling environment for the people through infrastructural development. It is a self-sustaining circle that must not be broken.
He attributed the economic recession in the country to a drop in oil price in the world. According to him when the rent goes up (oil price) our GDP rises, when it goes down the GDP also come down. Government capacity to sustain itself is in jeopardy if people fail in their own responsibility by contributing to the economy.
The governor said: “Nigeria must not only exist but it must be strong and must be able to lead the continent to achieve its manifest, and historic destiny.”
Oba Adeyemi decried the killing by herdsmen in various parts of the country and urged security agencies to end the menace. He said: “The taking of human lives, especially of unarmed innocent people, who are not in state of war, is unjustifiable, cruel and should not be tolerated in any civilised society.
“As a people, we need to tread carefully on the killings by the herdsmen across the country. As bad and reprehensible they as they are, they are not as deadly as the Nigerian Civil War we fought between 1967 and 1970.
“The cardinal duty of the government is the protection of lives and properties. Every life is sacred and government should keep it so. Those who engaged in the barbarous act should be apprehended and face the full wrath of the law.
“If there is no peace, the country cannot make progress, peace must be protected throughout the country.
“All of us must reflect on this issue and not just pretend as if it doesn’t matter.”