Obasanjo Commends Abiodun's Giant Strides In Education, Agriculture - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, June 3, 2021

Obasanjo Commends Abiodun's Giant Strides In Education, Agriculture

... Elder Statesman Laments Nigeria Now Flowing With Bitterness, Sadness 

... Urges Nigerians To Change The Narrative 

From Ayobami Ife,  Abeokuta

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended  Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State  on his giant strides in the areas of education and agriculture, noting that the State would be better for it. 

Abiodun had in the last two years,  employed a number of teachers,  constructed blocks of classrooms through  "Yellow Roof Revolution," given out  rewards to teachers for Outstanding Performance, improved schools' security, cancelled all forms of levies in public primary and secondary schools, procured 25,000 tables and chairs for distribution to and use by pupils and students of state-owned primary and secondary schools and  increased the Running Cost, Feeding Allowance for better administration of schools.

Abiodun also promoted teachers,  resuscitated Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta and Tai Solarin College of Education,  Omu - Ijebu, approved Bursary Payment, setting up of Governor Abiodun of two hundred milllion Naira (N200,000,000) as State Education Trust Fund, meant for the development of infrstaructure in state-owned tertiary institutions and  the repositioning and construction of the Central Education Management Information System, EMIS for data gathering, analysis and presentation.

In the area of agriculture,  the governor  created over 26,540 jobs through the linkage of farmers and youths to agriculture opportunities through intervention programmes, introduced the Ogun Broiler Project that began with 54 pilot youth beneficiaries who made a cumulative profit of 450,000 Naira in three (3) cycles among other agric interventions of his administration.

In apparent acknowledgement of the efforts of Abiodun  to move the Gateway State  forward,  Obasanjo while making his remarks at the Youth Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during public presentation of the book titled ' The Man General President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR,' noted that the governor has done well and should be appreciated.

The governor was represented at the occasion  by the Commission for Education,  Science  and Technology,  Prof. Abayomi  Arigbabu,  who joined other dignitaries to unveil the 10 - chapter - and - 175 - page book about the elder statesman. 

The book was authored by Femmy Carrena and reviewed by Michael Abiola Omolewa, who was represented by a renowned broadcaster,  Ndidi Amaka.

It was written in honour of Obasanjo  and to celebrate his 84th birthday which came up March 5th this year. 

He appealed to the Commissioner of Education to make the books available  to public schools in the state. 

He commended the author for writing the book and the Chief Executive of Sifax Group Ltd,  Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi, for facilitating the writing of book and its donation to the OOPL and all federal tertiary institutions nationwide. 

"We appreciate the governor(Dapo Abiodun) for what he is doing in Ogun State generally and particularly in the areas of education and if I may just add, agriculture," Obasanjo said. 

The ex - President, however, lamented  that Nigeria is not where God has created her to occupy in the comity of nations, saying rather than being a land flowing with milk and honey, it has regrettably become a "land flowing with bitterness and sadness." 

He urged Nigerians to work towards changing the narrative, saying geniuses abound in every region and geopolitical zone of the country to turn things around for better. 

Citing Dr.  Ngozi Okonjo  - Iweala,  Dr.  Akinwunmi  Adesina,  Amina and Dakinbo, he said many Nigerians  are running international organisations fantastically well abroad, calling on Nigerians to interrogate why citizens bloom outside the country but failed to perform at home. 

Obasanjo noted  that God created Nigeria to lead the black race, lamenting that the country has not fit into that role because of leadership failure. 

"The task before us now is to think of what to contribute to make Nigeria what God created it to be, a land flowing with milk and honey. Right now,  it is land flowing with bitterness and sadness. That is not what God meant for this country. We must change it. And we must change the narrative. 

"We must talk to ourselves in a civilized language in which we talk to ourselves. I told some people who came to look for in the morning today if you look around,  there is no section of this country where you will not get genius, north, south, east,  west and anywhere. 

"So, for what reason should we look down on ourselves? Or for what reason should we look down on others that you are not a human being?  
He restated his calls on Nigerian government  to act fast to rescue over 14million out of school children in the country,  warning that the nation may be laying the foundation for another batch of Boko Haram in future if those children were left on their own without education and support. 

" I'm very happy that we have a lot of people in our own community and in fact outside our own community who believe in the values of education. If of course we will get this country to where God has created it to be, because where we are now is not where God has created Nigeria to be, then education must be one of the main pillars to getting Nigeria to where it should be. 

"And over 14 million Nigerian children that are now out of school,  we must find a way of getting  back into school. Otherwise,  we are preparing the Boko Haram of tomorrow and there is nothing that will prevent that. If we don't  do it now,  we will lose the opportunity and the consequence is in the future. Some of us might have gone but some of those who will be around will bear the brunt of a problem. 

"Let me thank you for for making this occasion possible for what I have come to understand about you. My prayer is that when the situation in Nigeria is brought to where it should be and that I hope will be very soon,  we will have more like you and you also will double your effort to  take Nigeria to where God has created it to be economically, but of course that is multi predicated on good governance and good political base. 

"I won't say much except that Aremu  has challenged another Aremu, that there is work for us to do. I do accept  that challenge and I want to say this,  if by now God has given me much energy as he has kindly given me,  obviously,  it must be for a purpose. And I believe  that purpose must be to serve humanity and serve God because you can't serve God without serving humanity.

" I assure you I will do that, I will not relent in my efforts to continue to serve humanity, particularly Nigeria and Nigerians. My own belief is that God has created races in the world and at one time and the other, he has decided that every race must be led by a particular  nation in the world. 

" As at today,  the white race is being led by the Americans. I don't  know how long that will be. The yellow race is being led by the Chinese and whatever we say or do,  China will lead the world before the middle of this century. There is nothing we can do about that. I believe that God has created Nigeria to lead the black race. 

"That we are not doing it is not because God has not given us all that we needed to do it.  It is because we have failed in leadership to do it. And that has to be corrected. The fact is that it is the fault of all of us. We should speak up,  we should speak up. And you should say what you should say and say it when you should say it. 

"Why do Nigerians bloom outside Nigeria? As at today,  we have four Nigerians, about five, directly running international organisations and running them well. And one or two  are at the number two levels. We have Akinwunmi Adesina running the African Development Bank,  we have Benedict running Afroexim Bank,  we have Bakindo running the OPEC,  we have my sister, Ngozi running WTO, we have Amina who is risen to number two position at the UN. 

" These are things that should give hope and encouragement but the point is that if these people are here in Nigeria,  if you hear about them at all,  we would have shackled them and make it impossible for them to perform as they are performing  outside. And each of these that I have mentioned,  they are doing fantastically well. We now have even at the AU,  Bankole who has just taken over as Commissioner  for political and security. So,  why are they doing well there and here they are not doing well?  We should be interrogating this. And then what should we do?  What should we do is to put our house in order. And we can put our house in order." he said. 

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