As Nigerians prepare for the 2019 General election, the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday, called on Nigerian youths to wrestle power from the old generation of politicians, urging them to position themselves for political leadership.
Soyinka, who stated this at the second Convocation Lecture of the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, urged the youths to mobilise themselves to vote out old politicians who have failed this Nigeria.
Advising the youths, he said: “All I can tell you is this, don’t make the mistake of following those who failed you before; those who are pretending that they have nothing to do with the disaster that had overtaken Nigerian.
“They are very quick to smell failure, they are very quick to shout it; but then, they exculpate themselves, whereas they are the founding malfeasance of the Nigerian condition: that is what I am warning youths against.
“Mobilize yourselves, get your representatives and stop bothering geriatric like myself,” he said.
Speaking on the topic: “Tending the Tree of Commencement” explained that one of the challenges of the country is nurturing future leaders.
According to him, among the trees of commencement to be tendered is one of the Government Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe State, Leah Sharibu, who was kidnapped by the Boko Haram.
He said the girl was able to maintain her firmness like Nelson and Winnie Mandela who chose to remain in prison despite the offer by the government of South Africa.
The Nobel Laureate, however, stressed the need for the return of History in secondary schools, lamenting that most youths have forgotten their historical background.
The Chairman of the Convocation lecture, former Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Banjo, while speaking, said the country needs to pay attention to the training of teachers, saying, teaching is difficult today in this country, if the teachers are not well paid, they will be looking for something else to do.
“If you want education to be improved in Nigeria, there should be more funding, more money to provide a conducive environment.
More money for training of teachers.
“For instance, you cannot be in the army without having frequent training. The army does not joke with training. Every three or four years, they go for an update on their training.
There is a need for more money to train teachers and for them to remain in the service.
“You cannot get good service without money; if we improve the environment and the quality of teaching, we will continue to move forward.”