By Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
A prolific writer and poet, Odia Ofeimun, has said Nigeria will continue to lack behind other nations until men of impeccable character are the helm of affairs.
Ofeimun who gave the warning in Ibadan while speaking at the seminar with the theme, “Building a Great Nation: Reformed Public Institutions as Imperative”, organised by the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) to mark the 60th birthday of a former federal Permanent Secretary, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, said the country needs
the likes of the celebrant to be great again.
Present at the event include the Chairman, Board of ISGPP, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, the Oragun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, Prof. Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, Dr. Tayo Aduloju and Dr. Festus Adedayo, among many others.
He said Nigeria was once known as a great country because of the kind of people who were in charge then, stating that the past leaders possessed vibrant and sound minds devoid of any corrupt tendencies.
According to him, “We can still be a great country again, but we need people of impeccable character, such people like Prof. Tunji Olaopa, who are ready to go extra miles in bringing good tidings to the country. If there are many people like Prof. Olaopa at the helm of affairs in Nigeria, we would take over the whole of Africa.”
The former Private Secretary to the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, lamented that rather than think of working to move the country forward, the current crop of leaders would rather concern themselves with frivolities and personal interest.
“Nowadays, average Nigerian don’t think of what he can offer his immediate environment, but during our youthful days, we all believed in building our society first, then the society will in turn build us, and that is really what happened to most of us.
“Then our society was so supportive, I have known that I will be a writer, and since then started working towards achieving that dream, and I was so lucky to have also belong to the generation where they are so supportive, we always think of what to do for our immediate environment first, then later things will start working out fine”, he said.