Nigeria Needs Dons To Solve Her Problems


The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has noted that the contributions of the academia cannot be over-emphasised in fast-tracking the development of Nigeria because there is no substitute for the experience they have garnered over the years.

The governor therefore urged dons to be create fora, through lectures and seminars, through which their submissions would assist government in formulating policy, stressing that the social, political, economic and security challenges Nigeria is facing now are areas requiring intellectual intervention.

Alhaji Ahmed made this submission while receiving the Board of the Nigerian Academy of Letters who paid him a courtesy visit after their 2012 Annual Lecture held at the University of Ilorin.

Reflecting on the topic of NAL’s lecture, Nigeria’s Road to Nationhood, which he said could not have been more crucial at this material time, the governor said Nigeria is at a critical point and it is desirable that Nigerians appreciate the concept of nationhood which involves “bringing together diverse people to create virtues and values for the betterment of all”.

The governor stressed that differences must be buried for the nation to endure and that Nigerians must appreciate that their being together is by providence. “It is not by mistake that God created us together as people of different backgrounds, it is by choice of providence. And so, we should see strength in our diversity. Americans see strength in their diversity, that is why they are what they are today,” he said.

Speaking further, Governor Ahmed, who is an alumnus of the University of Ilorin, urged Nigerians to be patriotic while tasking all to ensure that Nigeria continues to maintain its leadership position in Africa. “Our destiny is our hands. We have a cause to shape our future and destiny,” he remarked.

Speaking at the event, President of NAL, Prof. Ben Elugbe, introduced the Academy as the apex body of intellectuals in the field of humanities, especially arts, culture, literature, language, philosophy, religion, and history among others.

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He noted that though the initial plan was to hold the lecture elsewhere, the peace and harmony in Kwara State made the Board decide on bringing the Lecture to the University of Ilorin.

He thanked the governor for his efforts in ensuring peace in Kwara State and urged him to continue to serve the electorate with commitment.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has commended the Nigerian Academy of Letters on the legacy of integrity associated with them which many Nigerians are trying to emulate.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, Nigeria is blessed with the calibre of the members of the Academy who have distinguished themselves through quality service and left indelible marks in their various fields for the benefit of the society.

He said their presence in the university would serve as a good lesson for both staff and students as they represent the ideal, the recreation of which the country is looking forward to in the younger generation.

Earlier in his address, the President, Prof. Ben Elugbe, described Prof. Oloyede as an extremely humble person whose “modesty is overwhelming”. He said it was fascinating that within a short time, Prof. Oloyede had transformed the university from what it was when he came in 2008.

He disclosed how the Lecture was intended to be held in Kano, Zaria and Minna but the venues were shifted as a result of certain issues. He noted that his members were amazed with the reception they were given adding that it was the first time a university would put medical arrangements in its plan, which he said was helpful to them.

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