Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that Nigeria will be consumed if the citizens make the wrong choice in the 2023 general elections.
Obasanjo also expressed hope that if the right choice was made in 2023, Nigeria might witness progress.
He spoke as the special guest of honour at the Wilson Badejo Foundation’s 15th annual lecture, with the theme, ‘Overcoming the twin challenges of poverty and insecurity in Nigeria’, held in Lagos on Wednesday.
Obasanjo said, “It is either we make the right choice in 2023, because if we make the right choice, we will get there.
“However, if we don’t make the right choice in 2023, things will consume us, and we pray against that one. We must make the right choice in 2023.
“Nigeria isn’t where it is supposed to be today. If anyone says it’s ok where we’re at the moment, then the person’s head needs to be examined.
“My friend, the late Ahmed Joda, used to tell me that God has given us everything a nation needs and there is no need for prayers because if God has given you everything and you squandered it, then something is wrong.
“I told him that even at that, we still need prayers as a nation.”
Strike: Abiodun appeals to ASUU, FG to resolve impasse
As the feud between the Federal Government and the academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continues, the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has appealed to both parties to find ways of resolving the crisis for the interest of students and the nation as a whole.
Abiodun, who made the appeal on Thursday, at the inauguration of the Governing-Councils of the state-owned tertiary institutions, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, decried the prolonged crisis, which according to him has done more harm to the education sector of the country.
“Let me add my voice for a quick resolution to the lingering crisis between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). We can all see the effects in the unresolved crisis not only in our education system, but all sectors of our economy. These students are out of school and we all know that an idle mind is an available workshop for the devil.
“This is no more a matter of who is right or who is wrong, it is a matter of what is good for the youths of our nation. I, therefore, appeal to both sides to find a meeting point and resolve this crisis for the good of our youths and our nation in general”, he pleaded.
He, however, urged the newly inaugurated council members of the tertiary institutions in Ogun to synergize with the management of their various institutions.
Abiodun further charged them to look into how to surpass what the administration inherited by placing the schools in vantage position to compete with similar institutions around the world.
“I want you to look at how do we ensure that Tai Solarin University of Education is no just the first university of education in Nigeria, but continue to be the best in Nigeria and one the top universities in the world.
“We must not be satisfied with the 24th ranking of the Olabisi Onabanjo University out of 157 in Nigeria as at 2022, but how to restore the glory of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta in the area of Mass Communication and related courses. We must ensure that the management of these institutions in the area of infrastructure, curriculum planning and other areas are in tandem with the development needs of our state”, the governor emphasised.
He further tasked the council members on the need to offer quality advice to the state government, entrench improved and newer courses of efficiency and effectiveness in running the affairs of their respective institutions.
The governor also asked them to use their connections and expertise to drive development through a robust Public Private Partnership initiative.
On steps taken to reposition the educational sector in the state, Abiodun said 24,000 pieces of furniture had been distributed to all public primary and secondary schools, while the running cost to public primary and secondary schools had been increased to 120 percent.
He added that his administration has approved the Ogun State Education Intervention Fund (OGSEIF) to the tune of N200m, as a Special Intervention Fund for the dducation sector, while 5,000 interns from the Ogun Teach Intervention Programme had been employed to fill vacancies in primary, secondary and technical colleges in the State.
Other interventions, according to the governor,. include repositioning and construction of Central Education Management Information System (EMIS) for data gathering, analysis and presentation, approval of autonomy for the State Agency for Mass Education; and approval for the composition of the Board of the Ogun State Library.
“In the area of education in particular, we have invested heavily in infrastructure, human capital development, curriculum development and so on, at all strata of our education sector. Our administration’s direct interventions can be seen the immediate approvals for the release of the promotion of primary and secondary school teachers for 2016 and 2017. We have also cleared 2018, 2019 and 2020 promotion exercises. Our Teaching Service is already compiling the list of our teaching and non-teaching staff eligible for 2021 and 2022 promotion exercises”, the governor noted.
Responding, the Chairman, the Governing-Council of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Professor Toyin Ashiru, thanked Governor Abiodun for giving them the opportunity to serve the state, promising that the governing boards of all the state owned schools would reinvigorate its internally generated revenue in order to reduce the financial burden off the state government.
While promising to justify the confidence reposed in them, Ashiru assured that the council members would work assiduously in ensuring that tertiary education is taken to an enviable position in the state.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Commissioner for Education Science, and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, said the inauguration of the governing council would ensure proper management of the institutions and act as an impetus to achieve the vision of the state government in the education sector.
NYSC Director of Press, Eddy Megwa conferred with NIPR Fellow
The NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Eddy Megwa, has been conferred Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
Also conferred with the Fellowship is the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Emeka Mgbemena, while the Special Assistant to the NYSC Director General, Mr Yunusa Tanimu, was conferred full membership of the noble institute.
The investiture, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, had public relations practitioners in attendance from different fields of endeavour.
Eminent personalities from the academia, military, public and private sectors, and corps members, among others, also graced the investiture.
In his charge to the new inductees and fellows, the National President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Mukhtar Sirajo, urged them to seek support and partnership to fight unprofessionalism in Public Relations practice in the country, reminding them that they are the conscience of the institute.
He also tasked them to bring up a new narrative of the Nigerian State with improved Public Relations practice.
The Public Relations Practitioners Institute, with a 22-member Governing Council made up of 17 elected, and five Federal Government nominated members, was established in 1963 and attained the status of a chartered institute on June 1st 1990, through Decree No 16, now an Act of the National Assembly.
The law empowers the NIPR to register members, regulate and monitor the practice of the PR profession, and monitor professional conduct through an established code of ethics and professional conduct.
The Director, an alumnus of the University of Ilorin, has 32 years of experience in the practice of Public Relations.
He was State Coordinator, NYSC Secretariat, Cross River State, and the immediate past State Coordinator, Lagos Secretariat.
Insecurity: Ebira communities ban festivals in Ondo
As part of the efforts to tackle crimes and criminals in their vicinity, the Ebira people living in Ondo State have announced the ban of all traditional festivals in their communities in the state.
The communities also urged the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to establish the Amotekun posts in various communities where the Ebira people reside across the state, and enlist their indigenes in the state security network agency to assist in the fight against the criminal elements.
Speaking in Akure, the state capital on behalf of the Ebira people from Kogi State living in Ondo State, one of the leaders of the communities, Abiodun Umoru, said his people are ready to join hands with the security agencies to fight insecurity in the state.
Umoru, who expressed displeasure over the mention of one Idris Ojo, who was an escapee from Kuje prison as one of those arrested for carrying out the massacre in Owo on June 5, 2022, a month after, said some steps had been taken to ensure that criminals were flushed out of Ebira community.
According to him, one of such steps was banning traditional festivals in Ebira communities in the state; saying anybody who wanted to hide under traditional festivals to perpetrate evil in the state would be handed over to the security agents.
He said, “We can no longer fold our arms while some of our kinsmen will be acting against our cherished cultural norms and values.
“We have warned and educated our women who sell food items at strategic locations on the major roads of the dangers of hobnobbing with suspected criminals by volunteering information to them.
“We use this medium to appreciate the present administration for its tireless efforts at reducing the rate of criminality across the state. We pledge not to relent in our commitment to continue to contribute our quota to the socio-economic and political development of the sunshine state.”