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Sanwo-Olu ties societies’ development to politics

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Chairman, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Alumni Association, Titi Omo-Ettu (left); Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe; and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), UNILAG Faculty of Engineering, Oyenuga Eribake, during the presentation of an award to the governor at the third Alumni Lecture in Lagos…yesterday.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has linked the development of societies to politics and political activities.

Speaking yesterday at the University of Lagos, Faculty of Engineering third Alumni Lecture entitled ‘Professionals in Politics: Panacea for Sustainable National Development’, Sanwo-Olu said all the advanced countries deployed political leadership to take the decisions that set them on the path of development.

His words, “This did not happen overnight. But it is very important for us to prepare ourselves for politics. As professionals working outside the sphere of partisan politics, it is not enough to go into politics armed only with your professional skills.”

Nigerians, he added, must acknowledge the power of politics to shape lives and societies for good or ill.

He added that it was arguably the most potent tool for charting the course of a society.

“We owe, to a great extent, our happiness or unhappiness to the way politics is played on our behalf. We must educate ourselves about the way politics is played in our society – from the smallest level all the way to the top. We must stay engaged at all times, and resist the strong temptation to stay aloof or give in to despair when things don’t happen the way we would like them to.

“Politics in Nigeria definitely needs more professionals, more ‘outsiders’, not less. Politics thrives best in the face of diversity, different professionals bringing different skill-sets and perspectives to the table.

“If we complain that it is politics that has robbed Nigeria of many opportunities in its history, then we must also be willing to concede that it is politics that will redeem us and set things right,” he said.

The governor appealed to Nigerians not to shy away from embracing politics because they were all political creatures, regardless of whether or not they ever get involved in partisan politics.

“In any case, the act of voting in elections, which we all partake in from time to time, is a very political act. I believe that we must reclaim the word ‘politics’ from negativity. It is often given a negative colouration that it does not deserve, and that is misleading.

“As many people as want to go into partisan politics must be encouraged to do so. We must stop seeing people as ‘sell-outs’ when they choose to fly the kite of partisan politics.

“Many centuries ago, Plato said that one of the penalties for declining to take part in politics is that people end up being governed by those inferior to them.”


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