Nigerians have been urged to shun inducements, vote wisely and choose credible politicians in future elections if they truly want a great nation of their dream.
A member of House of Representatives, Professor Mojeed Alabi said this at the Osun Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ Nathaniel Abimbola Memorial lecture in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
Speaking on the topic: “Current Challenges of the Nigerian Political System: Suggestions for the Way Forward”, the Guest Speaker urged the youths, in particular, to take their future in their hands by refusing to vote for the highest bidder.
He advised them to vote out any bad politician who proves to be enemies of the masses.
Alabi insisted that, while corruption remains a dreaded malaise of Nigeria, the greater malady is the phenomenon of destructive mutual suspicion.
“Our greatest enemy is not corruption, corruption is just the symptom, but what has made corruption difficult to tackle is the phenomenon of the fear of regional domination and mutual suspicion within the major constituents of the federation, fired by ethnic chauvinism and political bigotry.
“We worship money and unduly deify our leaders. Let us not unnecessarily glorify them, particularly those who steal public found and leave beyond their income. Let’s begin to use our votes wisely. Any politician who get loans and rely on godfathers to get elected will surely defer to them and seek ways to return the loans to the detriment of the electorates,” he said.
Former Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, who proposed a Sovereign National Conference for Nigeria, allayed the fear that such will take the role of the National Assembly.
Professor Alabi, however, said that while the National Assembly could not ordinary fulfil the demands of the Sovereign National Conference, Nigeria must first agree to its necessity before moving forward on its composition
“My colleagues in the government have nothing to fear. Sovereign National Conference doesn’t connote or distract from the functioning of the National Assembly.
“The existing structures would still have roles to play. The only difference is that, unlike the previous conferences, the products of the Sovereign National Conference will not be subject to the approval of the National Assembly”.
He further stated that, “I am fortified by the experience of what happened across the globe. The United States of America has had it very terrible before the Philadelphia Convention of 1776, in India before 1947 – 1949 Conference, in Britain and France before their respective revolutions.
“What Nigerians need is a country where citizens can make a legal living without pandering to primordial sentiments and emotions. Hence, it is essential for Nigerians to jaw-jaw rather than war-war. We must do the needful before it is too late. While the leaders must convoke a national conference, citizens must do the right thing by refusing to collect money before voting. According to the holy Qur’an, God will not change the condition of the people, until they decidedly change what is in their hearts,” Prof Alabi said.
The Chairman of the occasion, the Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide also harped on youth serious mindedness.
He advised the youths to be ready to sacrifice everything in their possession for the greatness of the nation rather than take to “drugs, thuggery and unwholesome quest for easy wealth and quick money”.
A member of the Osun State House of Assembly, Leke Ogunsola represented the Speaker, Najeem Salaam at the lecture.
He enjoined journalists to emulate the glowing attributes of Nathaniel Abimbola, who died in an accident a year ago.
Ogunsola, who lead a team of other lawmakers to the occasion said Abimbola, a Correspondent of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation in State House of Assembly epitomised professionalism, diligence and dedication.
The President of the Customary Court of Appeal in Osun State, Justice Gloria Oladoke who was a guest at the occasion commended the Council Chairman, Biodun Olalere and the entire journalists in Osun State for honouring one of theirs with a memorial lecture, even as he prayed that youthful death be banished from among the members of the Council.
Nathaniel Abimbola, the Parliamentary reporter of OSBC passed on in a motor accident that occurred along Ife-Ibadan road on the March 24, 2017.
Other prominent guests at the event include the State Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Lani Baderinwa, Commissioner for Science, Innovation & Technology, Remi Omowaiye, the Olowu of Kuta, Oba Hammed Adekunle Oyelude among others.