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Solution to Nigerian, African problems lies in sound education of citizens, says Afejuku

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Tony Afejuku

The Guardian columnist and university teacher, Prof. Tony Afejuku, yesterday stressed that the solution to the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria and Africa in general lies in the education of the citizenry for a prosperous future.

Regretting that the most populous black nation was still contending with teething developmental challenges 59 years after political independence, the don stated: “It wrenches me to say that I don’t see immediate viable options and possibilities to get this nation out of its current besieged state before next year.”

Afejuku made the submission in his lecture at the second combined convocation of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti entitled, “Anticipating the birthday boy: Options and possibilities for a besieged nation at 60.”

He averred that Nigeria’s trajectory has its roots in the 1914 amalgamation superintended over by Lord Lugard and his wife, Flora Shaw.

The university teacher is, however, hopeful that with education, the suffering people of Nigeria could pull down the barrier of distrust and embrace brotherhood “despite the besieged state of the nation.”

According to him, education would allow the citizens to ask the right questions for a better Nigeria.

The public intellectual and professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Benin reminded decision-makers that a citizen needed not to be in government to make the desired impact, noting: “We don’t all need to be in government to secure the future of ourselves, our country and our besieged nation.”

He submitted that not everybody in government was useful, adding: “But everybody needs knowledge, learning, and education to change themselves and their country.

“Clearly, the education needed by all is the protagonistic one that will enable all of us to take over leadership, the right leadership to prosper our country.”

The erudite scholar held that such education would devalue materialism and promote ideals of honesty, good neighbourliness, and tolerance, counselling those that would take over the leadership to shun primordial sentiments.

He said the country needed more tertiary institutions to achieve the goal.

The host Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, said the ceremony was to reflect the realities on the ground.


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