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I’ve given up on political elite, says Oluwole Rotimi


Former Military Governor of the defunct Western Region, Brig.-Gen. Oluwole Rotimi (rtd), yesterday expressed disappointment on the crop of the political elite, saying that he has given up hope on the present generation of political leaders in the country in view of their approach to governance.

Rotimi, who was Chairman at the 21st Benjamin Oluwakayode Osuntokun Lecture, held at the Emeritus Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital, Ibadan, expressed worries about the attitude of the citizens to information from those who should know.

The former governor, who noted that the problem of the country is not about education, said complacency and greed had challenged the essence of Nigeria.

“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 foreigners, believed that Kings 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 Kings College today or not. If you don’t know that there is something wrong with the country, you won’t know how to find a 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”, the retired military chief said.

Also, retired Maj.-Gen. Akintunde Akinkunmi drew parity between greed and corruption, saying that greed and corruption are intertwined and that the former (greed) gave birth to the latter.

Akinkunmi, who was Chief Medical Officer (Reserves), Royal Army Medical Corps, British Army, stated that greed emanated from discontentment.

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