IF we have a genuine leadership, we will not be in this mess today. Shekarau, please, take that to the man you are representing.”
These were the words of Professor Wole Soyinka to Professor Ibrahim Shekarau, Minister of Education, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan at the 2014 Convocation and 66th Foundation Day Ceremony of the University of Ibadan, held at the International Conference Centre of the institution on Monday. He was while giving the vote of thanks on behalf of awardees on the occasion, of which he was one.
Soyinka, who was honoured with an Award of Doctor of Letters, while speaking on the issue of insecurity in Nigeria, stressed that presently, Nigerians were sitting under particular cloud characterised by embarrassment, shame and a feeling of dereliction, adding that “we are sitting here under a cloud with junks of impotence, a déjà vu; the one a white man described as a calamity without notice.”
While speaking on the issue of insurgency in the country and Islamic Boko Harram sect, he said: “Where are the Chibok girls? What crime did they commit and what crime are we connected to that we allowed them to humiliate us? adding “it begins from the failure of the president and the vice president to respond to the United States’ knowledge nearly a century ago.
“We have a kind of leadership that is saying insurgents, please, talk to us, what is it you need? We will supply it. Come to the table, you have been offended, we will make amends. Please, forgive and forget.”
According to him, there was only one sanctuary that is hopeful for all of us in education and that is the temple of learning.
He advised that President Goodluck Jonathan come back to its root, education, which he said was enlightenment, saying “we have given enough to football and soccer.
In his keynote address, President Jonathan, represented by the Minister of Education, Professor Ibrahim Shekarau, stated that his administration was proudly committed to provision of access to quality education at all levels in country.
“We have sustained and improved effective teaching, learning and research, so as to procure rapid development of our country.
“We shall continue to give the necessary support to ensure that or university achieve the objectives by which they are established,” he said.
“This government has advised the university to deliver its own obligations and justify the huge investment in the university, “he said.
Speaking on the state of the nation, the president said: “The Federal Government is on top of the situation on the state of the nation, let me assure Nigerians that the activities of the Boko Haram will soon be a thing of the past. We appreciate organisations and international communities for their support and cooperation thus far.”