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Odubote, Falola make case for credible 2019 polls

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Professor Toyin Falola. PHOTO: UT College of Liberal Arts

A professor of African Studies and the current Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, Toyin Falola, has urged Nigerians to take next year’s election seriously, stressing the need to ensure the emergence of credible leadership and representatives to move the country forward.

Also, a former federal lawmaker, Mr. Lanre Odubote, said the general election is very crucial to the country’s image in the comity of nations, saying the way Nigerians handle both the leadership and the followership would determine a lot for the future of the country.

In a key note address titled: ‘Humanities, Humanism, And Secularism: A Knowledge Agenda For Pan-Nigerianism’ during the 2018 annual lecture organised by Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma, Falola said the emergence of credible leadership at all levels that would be committed to responsible public service and good governance should be the focus of the electorate.

He said the country needs leaders guided by the principle that people matter and which would be less interested in the rewards of office, adding: “Those seeking public office must first and foremost have the people’s interest at heart. It is absurd for anyone to hold public office if they do not care about people.

“Nigerians must be reinvented to create something original and authentic for the changing contours of the 21st century knowledge economy. We must consider the tremendous shifts in the global economy in recent decades, driven by the increasing impacts of globalization, the growing forces of technological change and social media, and a significant restructuring of global economies.”

The don also said it was right time for Nigeria to accept gender equality in its polity, saying the recognition of women’s contributions to socio-cultural, political, and economic development; and their empowerment at all levels are key to any nation’s growth and development.

He remarked that there was need to creating, reorganization, and presentation of diverse knowledge at all level of the educational system; empowering and recapitalizing the poor, especially rural African women, in a way that expands informal economies and makes people less dependent on charity.

Meanwhile, Odubote, who represented Epe Federal constituency and declared interest to contest again on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said it is important for the electorate to watch out for credible candidates with integrity and the determination to serve.

“The direct primary system adopted by the ruling party would enable the process of electing credible representatives start from the party level, which would metamorphosed into the general election,” he declared.

While expressing confidence of reclaiming his mandate in 2019, Odubote also task the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the coming exercise was credible and that people choice were represented.

On what constitutes the crucial elements of the exercise, Odubote said: “One, the ruling party has done well on anti-graft war and this would bring about a lot of sanity in the next election as many politicians are very cautious now. We are also hoping to have the best representatives elected in the exercise.”


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