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Read what Tinubu has to say about AMOTEKUN as he makes first official statement

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has called for private discussion between the Governors of the South-west and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, over Amotekun.

He said the foundation of the country had not been put at risk with the South-west regional security outfit launched by the governors of the zone in a bit to confront the insecurity in their states.

The former Lagos governor, however, warned that, that fabric could be torn by what he called the “dangerous rhetoric of those who should know better.”

In his first intervention in the controversy surrounding Amotekun, Asiwaju Tinubu said: “Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion.

“Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate”.

Titled “The Public Discourse Over Amotekun,” the statement personally signed by him reads: “Amotekun. This issue has dominated recent discourse and media headlines. Distilled to its basics, it concerns how best state governments can assist with the safety and security of their residents. This is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. More subjective talking than objective thinking has been the fuel of this outburst.

“Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun. They are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.

“While colourful, the rhetoric has been disconcerting. How people have mishandled this matter demonstrates that we still have far to go in perfecting this democracy. Too much energy has been spent distorting this issue instead of seeking a resolution that supports local enhancement of security while keeping the constitution intact. If this becomes the standard for how we handle disagreements then we will obscure Nigeria’s path forward with our own rubbish.

“In this matter, I do not see malign intent in the differences of opinion between the SW Governors as authors of Amotekun and the Attorney-General as the primary law enforcement officer of the Federal Government. Shorn of the overly dramatic language, what lies before us is but a step in the evolution of our federalism. This is an opportunity to more clearly define that federalism; but one cannot attain this better, more functional definition through overblown, emotional language. Objectivity and calmness are required. To a significant degree, the enduring quality of our republic will be established by the sagacity with which we handle disagreements regarding the division of power between federal and state governments. Such disagreements are inevitable. This is not the first. Nor will it be the last. We must devote our energies more toward solving problems rather than amplifying them.

“Seeking to fulfil their mandates by helping protect their people, the governors of the Southwest collectively established a program to buttress existing security mechanisms. Seeking to protect the constitution as best he could, the Attorney-General offered his opinion on what he believed the governors have sought to do. No one can blame either party for seeking to fulfil what they genuinely see as their public duty.

“Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many. These cynics did so with the adversarial hope that, in haste, I might misspeak or misstep in a manner they could twist to their political advantage.

“Such people are possessed of a mercenary aspect that permits them to sacrifice almost anything, even jeopardize the very foundations of our political unity, if they might exact personal gain from the upheaval. In that they know no nobler purpose than their own appetites, we should feel sorry for them. However, we must not allow our sympathies for their barren condition to persuade us that there is worth in their destructive misconduct. They must be left to the consequences of their own devices.

“If truly I am a political leader as I am often described, then I have not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances. There are those who will use inflamed words to spark the passions of others. This may bring transient applause. But when the cheers fade, we shall only have further descended because their words were never inclined toward resolution and long-term improvement but toward short-term popularity and perpetual confrontation.

“I believe in this nation and its benign prospects. I dearly love its people, all of them. Over the years of our existence, they have suffered much. Yet they still hold forth with heroic patience and an extraordinary optimism born of strong faith. To these people I owe my best. I shall not treat them cheaply or bandy their emotions like some errant football. The welfare of this good and decent people is my overriding concern.

“Equally, I do not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue. Again, that is a game devised by those who care more about political cleverness than the quality of governance. I chose to talk when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.

“As I view it, this matter can be divided in three major parts: 1) Substantive merits of Amotekun, 2) Decision-making and consultative process and 3) Recommendations on the way forward.

AMOTEKUN, GOVERNORS AND SECURITY

“As the highest elected official in his state and thus the individual embodiment of the will of the people, a governor must view safety and security as a foremost priority, integral to his mandate. To turn a blind eye to these concerns would be a grave dereliction. That the SW Governors seek to work together to complement the extant security architecture is, in principle, a commendable undertaking. In embracing this concept, they have acted in consonance with spirit of their offices for the better interests of their people.

“As Governor of Lagos State, I confronted a burgeoning criminal menace. I could not sit idly in the face of the violence and property destruction that struck genuine fear in the hearts of the people. The police tried as best they could; but their coverage was thin. They simply did not have the personnel or material wherewithal to be everywhere at once. We formed Neighbourhood Watch to help fill the gap.

“Our aim was not to replace existing structures but to complement and augment them. The mission of Neighbourhood Watch was to monitor the wards and neighbourhoods of the state. The group would gather information and intelligence to pass to the police and security authorities. The Neighbourhood Watch also provided an early warning system to keep citizens from harm’s way. The idea worked. Crime and violence reduced significantly. Even the overreaching Obasanjo government did not contend against Neighbourhood Watch.

“Judging from the public statements of the governors, Amotekun is meant to be structured along similar lines. As I understand it, Amotekun is to be another set of eyes and ears to assist the police. As such, it is but the second generation of Neighbourhood Watch expanded to a regional scale. Conceptually, there is nothing wrong with this. It does not appear to insult the constitution. However, my position regarding Amotekun is not blind or uncritical; there are several organisational and functional aspects of the proposal that could cause some problems if left unresolved.

“First, the stated mission is information gathering by civilians. Such tasks are always and everywhere best done in low-key fashion. Some aspects of Amotekun seem to undermine rather than enhance this function.

Second, equipping Amotekun with showy paraphernalia may cause the public to misconstrue the role of Amotekun, incorrectly believing its mandate is more expansive than it is. This possible disconnect could impede the good aims of the program.

“We also should consider that the Buhari administration has approved implementation of a policy of community policing wherein additional recruits from all 774 local government areas will be added to the force to help protect their own communities.

“As the Federal Government emphasizes grassroots policing it is uncertain how well Amotekun can complement the police force as the force moves toward greater decentralisation when Amotekun is organisationally leaning in the opposite way.

“We have been fighting for local and decentralised policing for a long time because we know that too much centralisation impedes performance. In regard to actual performance of its appointed tasks, Amotekun should have focused on grassroots local organisation at the state level without a regional command hierarchy. The regional approach may undermine efficiency. There is no compelling logic why the same personnel providing security & informational assistance in Ado-Ekiti should be under the same functional and operational leadership as those providing assistance in Lekki or Akure. This will not lead to optimal performance.

“The regional approach has only limited benefit with regard to the procurement and maintenance of vehicles and communications equipment because this wider approach allows for economies of scale. The regional approach also helps tackle the growing incidences of interstate criminal activity. Some things need to be corrected before Amotekun becomes operational. If not, it will not live up to expectations. Thus, the current formulation of Amotekun is in need of repair before it takes to the road only to quickly slip into a ditch.

CONSULTATIVE PROCESS BREAKS DOWN

“The governors state that they consulted regularly with the police and security agencies. This was the right thing to do. However, their failure to include the office of the Attorney-General in these discussions is the fount of the current public uproar. This was an unfortunate omission the governors should regret and seek to remedy. However, the conceptual merits and positive functional aspects of Amotekun should not be tainted by this procedural defect.

“While the Attorney-General is a conscientious public servant, he is also human. Not having been consulted, he was suddenly faced with an unexpected public announcement regarding a matter within his official ambit. He likely feared the failure to consult him meant that federal prerogatives were being encroached. To blame him for this conclusion would be to blame human nature itself. Though his negative reaction was understandable it was also unhelpful.

“The Attorney-General acted hastily in rendering a public statement that was more inaccurate than it should have been. Amotekun was never proposed as a “defence” agency; the Attorney-General erred in using this description.

“The use of uniforms and brightly coloured vehicles may not be the best ideas but they do not render Amotekun a defence agency or paramilitary group any more than a designated school van carrying uniformed students constitutes a paramilitary deployment.

“Believing the governors had crossed the line, the Attorney-General should have reached out to them. Before going public, he should have sought a private meeting so that he could have a better factual understanding of Amotekun. This would have enabled him to give the governors any specific constitutional or other objectives he might have. In this way, the two sides would have engaged in private consultations to reach agreement on the way forward. This cooperative process might have helped to correct some of the organisational lapses above identified. Such a diplomatic and wise step also would have prevented the current public acrimony now surrounding the issue.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESOLUTION

“This matter cannot be resolved on the pages of newspapers or by attributing negative motives to either side. The best way to resolve this is still for the two sides to enter private discussions. Either the governors should seek an official but private meeting with the Attorney-General, or the Attorney-General can initiate the contact. Since Amotekun is their initiative, the governors bear the greater onus in seeking the meeting.

“The meeting will initiate further discussion on how to resolve what appears to be a misunderstanding caused by an unfortunate lack of communication. Remedy the gap in communication and the misunderstanding will begin to disappear.

Last, I again stress to well-intentioned Nigerians to shun those who employ heated language to inflame emotions. It does us no good to rush toward exaggerated statements that suggest calamity of the highest order. Don’t allow yourselves to be fodder for those who seek to divide us.

“The fabric of the Republic has not been put at stake by Amotekun. However, that fabric could be torn by the dangerous rhetoric of those who should know better. Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion. Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.

“We are one nation, 200 million strong with 36 states and a great complex of federal authority residing in dozens of federal ministries and agencies. If everyone is allowed their democratic expression, there are bound to be disagreements. This is inherent in the federal structure. Nations that have practiced federalism much longer than us still frequently debate over where the line between state and federal power is to be drawn. They have hundreds of court cases each year on this very issue. Yet they do not attack each other as we do. We must all learn to be more restrained and judicious in our reactions when such disagreements arise.

“Before leaping from our seats to lift our voice to the high rafters in profound indignation, we first would be wise to properly discern the situation. We must ascertain whether it merely is a tempest in a teapot or whether our house and all its teapots are swirling in a real tempest. Despite the ominous headlines and heated talk, an objective analysis points more clearly to the former than the latter. The resolution of this matter is not beyond us if only we allow ourselves to be the democrats that our better conscience and the very documents of our national existence call us to be.

“In trying to help resolve this matter, I have initiated communication with the Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, with a view to meeting the South West governors to explore amicable solutions to the avoidable controversy. I am sure that, at the end of it all, peace, security, and progress shall reign in our nation. Thank you.”

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BUSINESS

Tourist resorts in Lagos you should visit during holidays and their investment opportunities

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One of the biggest sectors all over the world is tourism. This sector generates a lot of money yearly. The good thing about tourist resorts is that the fortune spreads among people living nearby. Asides from this, businesses thrive best here.

In Nigeria, Lagos which is known as the center of excellence is believed to have so many tourist resorts which are largely in the highland.

In this article, I would highlight the tourist resorts in Lagos and why you should consider buying a property around these places.

1. LA CAMPAGNE TROPICANA BEACH RESORT

La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort is popular because it is the most visited beach.

Tropicana is located at Ibeju-Lekki along the Free trade zone road. The resort has features like a Mangrove forest, freshwater, sandy beach, etc. Tropicana provides comfort and a new experience within Nigeria, that’s why people visit the place often.

2. LA MANGA LUXURY BEACH VILLA

La Manga beach resort is located in Ilashe, an Island in Lagos State, Nigeria. La Manga is a resort with a landscape that provides great scenery and calmness. It’s a beach resort couples can visit. The view of the sea provides an ambiance that is attractive enough for anyone to want to be there.

3. THE OMU RESORT

The Omu Resort is more of a recreational facility or an amusement park coupled with wildlife. You can do these at Omu Resort: swimming, fishing, hunting, horse riding, canoeing, etc.

The Omu resort is always a place people go to for relaxation.

4. INAGBE GRAND RESORT

The Image Grand resort, developed by a real estate company is located about 15 minutes from Victoria Island, Lagos by boat ride. Image Grand resort is a holiday resort many people like to be in. There’s even a rumor that the resort has a charm to re-spark your passion for love. can do this on this beach.

5. EKO TOURIST BEACH RESORT

The Eko tourist beach resort is located  in Ibeju-Lekki, and is widely known as Akodo Beach. It is no doubt one of the finest beach resorts in Nigeria, Lagos State. The Eko resort beach is just a 5 minute drive from the Lekki free trade zone.

I added Eko tourist beach as one of the best resorts in Lagos because of its amusement parks, swimming beach, coconut groves, and many other activities.

6. KAMP IKARE BEACH RESORT

Kamp Ikare resort in Lagos is a private beach resort close to the Ikare Village in Badagry, Lagos. Kamp Ikare beach is a beautiful place recommended for couples and is said to provide different services.

WHY YOU NEED TO BUY A PROPERTY CLOSE TO THESE RESORTS

1. It’s a good business venture

These places bustle with activities and like I said at the beginning, the fortune spreads across those that also live closer. Doing business here is a great decision as making money in multiples is not a problem here.

You could consider buying a property here for business these ember months and see how lucrative it is. Buying properties near tourist destinations can be used for business ventures. Tourists love to stay for a day or two in rental houses where they can relax, feel at home, and can easily go from one destination to another. You could consider a short let apartment in this case.

2. There are greater prospects in these areas

Already, the resort centers have created much value in these areas. Asides from this, the value of the property increases faster because it is located in a region on the rise.

3. Good rental opportunity

One of the benefits of owning a property close to resort centers is the opportunity to rent it out during holidays and peak seasons. You would agree with me that it’s an excellent way of paying off your dream house.

4. It’s an investment in the quality of life

Living close to resort centers improves your quality of life, which is an investment in itself.

5. Location

Your quality of life, the caliber of people you meet, etc. largely depend on the location you are. I can’t stress this enough. Location is the utmost determinant of what you become and your property potential in the property market sooner or later.

6. Networking opportunities

Being surrounded by affluent people offers ongoing networking opportunities. Who you know is more important than what you know.

7. Close to local amenities

Owning a property close to resort centers allows you to have quick and easy access to hospitals, restaurants, shopping malls, sporting facilities, etc.

8. Perfect for a family home

It’s a great investment for your children, especially for annual family get-togethers. People are choosing to buy homes that offer beyond shelter. A home close to the resort center is a perfect location.

9. Higher market value

If you are buying the property to invest, it’s a good return on your investment. In the long term, you can either choose to retire from it or sell it. Both ways, there’s no regret.

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OPINIONS

Baba K. O. Latunji: The Final Bow

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By Gani Adeniran

K. O. Latunji. By his transition to the great beyond on Friday, September 16th 2022 at 92 years, Ibadan again lost one of its finest community leaders, a great coordinator of friendships and all good things, a highly cerebral lawyer and a defender of all that is noble and virtuous, Baba Karimu Oladele Latunji, popularly known as K. O. LATUNJI.

The likes of Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN, Chief Bode Akindele (Parakoyi Ibadan) and Chief Adebayo Adetunji (Baba Onisiga), being of the same age-bracket, had earlier pre-deceased Baba Latunji in the glorious payment of the debt that we all owe. They and the others still alive were the first set of Ibadan educated elites who excelled in their various chosen careers and championed the course of Ibadanland to the best of their abilities.

My earliest recollection of Baba Latunji was about 1972 through my age-mate and friend, Kola Afolabi, who was at Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro while I was at Ilesa Grammar School. Kola usually dropped his name as if he was his biological father! Baba Latunji was his idol. Later I got to know that Kola’s mother and Chief Latunji were of the same paternal parentage. Chief Latunji hailed from Itabale Olugbode (with concurrent ties with Oranyan) both in the present Ibadan North East Local Government. My late mother being from Iyalode compound at Itabale Olugbode was also familiar with Chief Latunji being one of the earliest lawyers of the time. In 1973, my mother had won a shop at the Shopping Complex built by Ibadan City Council at Agodi Gate through competitive bidding. Chief K. O. Latunji also had his office in the area.

My mother had apparently ran foul of some of terms of tenancy agreement and she was going to be dispossessed of the shop. The person holding onto the shop for her while she was in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (where she was an itinerant trader) was playing a fast one and had sought Chief Latunji’s retainership without my mother’s consent. On a particular day in 1976, upon my return from Ilesa, I led my mother to Chief Latunji’s chamber and, lo and behold, we met that particular man in the lawyer’s office!

As the man and Baba were speaking in English and I couldn’t understand much of their conversation, my mother, sensing injustice, got impatient and left furiously! The rest is history now. I later became very close to Chief Latunji and he honoured me with his presence in all the social gatherings that I duly invited him. He would attend usually in the company of Basorun Kola Daisi. Baba has a good sense of history and I readily remember his various interventions on critical issues involving Ibadan, be it in the appointment of commissioners, chief judges, justices, including the location of important facilities, and dates of settlement of misunderstanding. He once told me of his influence in the resolution of the impasse between a military Governor and late Labanji Bolaji, a very highly respected and incorruptible journalist in the Sketch newspaper.

Being trained in the best tradition of the English Bar, justice, equity and fairness were his watchwords. About two years ago, a friend of mine had approached me about a land that belonged to Baba which he bought through a third party and a ranking lawyer but he never perfected the deal. He himself now wanted to sell the land. I led my friend to Baba Latunji who remembered the allocation very well. Chief asked him to go back to the lawyer who sold the land to him in order to perfect the deal and collect the relevant documents.

He said it would be unprofessional for him to give out copies of the document. Moreover, Baba said that the lawyer was the son of his long-standing friend and fellow lawyer (now deceased). Sensing that my friend didn’t want to go back to the lawyer to collect the document, Chief Latunji told him that he could send for the lawyer right now and he would come. My friend said that he preferred that Baba should conclude the deal for him. Baba then told my friend pointblank that he would still charge his professional fees from the ranking lawyer anytime he turned up. Baba would not have the devious way of my friend who wanted to cut corners and play one lawyer against another lawyer! As we left Baba’s house, my friend confessed that it was the fear of possible payment of additional fees that made him to seek Baba’s help in the matter.

Generally, Baba was very jovial and accommodating; he would listen patiently to you before offering a response. Just before he turned 90, he started to will his legal obligations to younger lawyers including the chamber where my daughter-in-law worked. I must not fail to add that Baba enjoyed a good social life. During one of my daughters’ wedding, I had him served with some juice and mineral drinks. He beckoned on me and asked, “what are these?” and added jovially “if you don’t have red wine, just pack them”. I supplied his taste immediately and sought forgiveness from God later. 

About six years ago on his prompting, I brought Baba Latunji to my mother’s house at Agodi Gate after a social reception at Ibadan Civic Centre. Baba couldn’t climb the staircase while my mother couldn’t come down, both due to old age. They both exchanged pleasantries from the distance and Baba sent a token to my mother. Baba Latunji still recognised a number of buildings in the area, including Baba Abondejo House, Adelakun House, Oloko House, Popoola House and Omitade House even though he had not visited the vicinity for over forty years. The last time my mother and Baba Latunji met was at the International Conference Centre, UI in 2019 during my daughter’s wedding.

I saw Baba last twice this year. First, I met with him on March 30th in company of my senior brother after the 8th Day Fidau prayer for my mother to give him a copy of the brochure, and on July 19th after my retirement from the University of Ibadan to give him a copy of my book. He was already weak, armed with the proverbial boarding pass and awaiting the take-off to the hereafter! May Allah illuminate his grave, forgive his sins and grant him Aljanah firdaus. Ire o! 

Adeniran writes from Ajangboju-Akobo, Ibadan

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OPINIONS

University education as mere meal ticket…

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By Bola Bolawole <> turnpot@gmail.com <>

0807 552 5533

Last week, the news went viral of a graduate of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo state who, on account of his failure to secure a job six years after graduation, returned his certificate to the school and demanded a refund of the money he paid as school fees. It is a well-known journalism parlance that when a dog bites a man, it is no news but when a man bites a dog, bedlam! So, this bad news got copious mention in both social and traditional media. Not long afterwards, the alumni association of the university in question were reported to have come to the “rescue” of the troubled jobless man with a donation of N500,000. Let us take a look at how one of the news mediums reported the story. Titled “Nigerian graduate, who returned certificate to alma mater, receives N500,000 support”, it reads: A graduate of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Osunleke Alaba, who recently returned his certificate to the institution requesting refund of his fees during his studentship, has received N500,000 start-up fund support from the alumni association. Mr Alaba, who graduated from the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, had complained about the “worthlessness” of his certificate following his failure to secure a job many years after his graduation. In a video that went viral, Mr Alaba caused a scene at the reception of one of the school’s administrative buildings, claiming his parents are already tired of his perpetual dependence on them. He said if he received his fees charged him throughout his five-year programme, he could spend it to develop his innate artistic talent.

“I returned the certificate because it had no impact on my existence. I asked for a refund of the fees paid in school so I could use it to build my talent and live a meaningful life. I am an entertainer and even won the MTN talent hunt award during my service year in 2016”. The father of two further said despite his efforts to improve the living condition of his family, he has continued to get advice for him to engage in ritual activities to be rich “but I can never do that. My dad is 90 years old but I continue to borrow money from him rather than give him. All I seek now is help in any form for me to pursue my entertainment career. I don’t want my career wasted.”

Less than a week after the video clip of his weird request went viral on social media, the university’s alumni association came to his aid. In a fresh post on his Facebook page, Mr. Alaba said the alumni association presented him with a cheque of N500,000. He said; “I hereby seize this medium to express my deep appreciation to the Global Body of LAUTECH Alumni as outstandingly led by the President, Hon. Onilede Solomon, popularly known as LIMO; the Board of Trustees, and the Oyo State Chapter of the Association for their presentation of the #500,000 cheque to me today. May Almighty God continue to be with you and all members of the association for their show of love and support! I thank you once again.”

The story is as pathetic as it is sad and unfortunate but not, in my view, in the pedestrian sense that many may view it; that is, that this man could not get a paid job after six years of graduation; that he still relied on his aged father for sustenance; and that he has a wife and two children to cater for. I prefer to view it from the other side of the coin: That a man passed through the university without the university passing through him; for that is the import of his declaring his years in the university as a colossal waste. If he is right, then, not only his own time was wasted but also the time of the teachers that taught him. The space he occupied, which could have gone to a worthier student, was also wasted. University education – and the university environment itself – is not only about learning to bag a certificate, it is also about character formation; about developing and forging long-lasting relationships; and about developing an independent and analytical mindset. It is a veritable ground that fertilizes one’s imagination and creates the capacity not just to face challenges in the larger society but also to explode with ideas, with creativity and innovativeness as the new graduate conquers the world, as it were. But for our man here, university education is about acquiring a certificate and the certificate is nothing but a meal ticket. Pure and simple!

I asked Goggle for the main purpose of university education and it says it “exposes students to new research and technology… Studying at university encourages creative and independent thought… University life exposes students to other cultures and backgrounds” I asked again for the benefits of university education and Goggle listed 10; namely: increased access to job opportunities; preparation for a specialized career; increased marketability; increased earning potential; economic stability; networking opportunities; a pathway to advancement; personal growth and improved self-esteem; higher job satisfaction; and positive return on investment. It would appear our man here froze at the very first benefit, which is, securing a paid employment; once that was not forthcoming, he did not bother himself to explore the other vistas that his university education could have opened up unto him. And the reasons for this may not be far to fetch.

The quality of education on offer today: Most of the curriculum is archaic; emphasis is on rote learning with little or no meaningful practicality. Teachers teach to pass or fail students; not necessarily to impart the knowledge in them that will prepare them for the challenges that await them in the larger society. Students study or cut corners to pass examinations and obtain a meal ticket. Everyone leaves the university expecting to land a white collar job and begin the upward mobility to join the privileged class. Craze for materialism is in vogue: Less work, big pay! The get-rich-quick syndrome is everywhere prevalent. Many are still nostalgic about what university education used to offer here: Instant job opportunities; job recruitments were done right on university campuses; multiple job opportunities were usually there for graduating students to pick and choose from; car loans a few months into a job, etc. I witnessed employers visiting our campus at Ife in my first and second year but it fizzled out before my final year!

I must, therefore, admit that successive administrations have mismanaged not just university education but the country as a whole. These days, only the children of the privileged get jobs. Even teaching jobs, which used to be despised, have become like gold. You must know somebody who knows somebody before you can stand a chance of landing a teaching job even in the remotest rural areas these days. But thank God for social media and globalization. Our children and youths who are not voting with their feet in search of any pasture at all abroad are increasingly learning to hook on to the global economy for survival. Many of them live here but work for companies abroad, earning cool foreign exchange. Those who may have problems are those who are not technology savvy. Can someone please tell Osunleke Alaba that it is not all our youths making cool money here that are into cultism and Yahoo-Yahoo! Many are doing genuine business and I encourage Alaba to do likewise.

For someone who read Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, it amazes me that he could go without a job for years and yet could not fathom what he could do with his hands on the farm. We have plenty of arable land: How, for God’s sake, could he not find something to do in an agrarian society like Nigeria? He said he is into entertainment and that he even won an award but did it not occur to him that no one entertains or gets entertained on empty stomach? No job; no means of livelihood; dependent on an aged father; yet, he got married and has fathered two children! What is this man’s definition of responsible behaviour?

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike for seven months: We have read stories of undergraduates who have taken advantage to learn new trades and move into new endeavours. We have read stories of two who have even written applications that have turned them into multi-millionaires. When school resumes, the likelihood is that many students already making waves in their new endeavours may choose not to return to school. So, Alaba’s problem is not in his stars or in his alma mater but in himself as a person. The alumni people that rushed to gift him some money did not think the matter through before acting hastily. It is like they were too eager to hug the limelight and benefit from the publicity elicited by Alaba’s showmanship. But, pray, how will N500,000 cure the disease of someone seemingly lacking in ideas and bereft of purpose?

*Former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Chairman of its Editorial Board and Deputy Editor-in-chief, BOLAWOLE was also the Managing Director/ Editor-in-chief of the Westerner newsmagazine. He writes the “ON THE LORD’S DAY” column in the Sunday Tribune and “TREASURES” column in the New Telegraph newspapers. He is also a public affairs analyst on radio and television.

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