Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The presidential candidate of KOWA Party in the 2015 election, Prof. (Mrs.) Remi Sonaiya, yesterday, said it is expedient for President
Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly to cut the cost of governance for Nigerians to bear with the fallouts of the economic policies of the current administration.
This is just as she lamented the condition of Nigerian youths who daily emigrate out of the country as a result of bad governance and what she called ineptitude of politicians which has led to increased poverty in the land.
Sonaiya, while speaking yesterday at the 7th L. L. Ali Annual/3rd Memorial Lecture, organised by the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Oyo State branch, which held at the Institution’s plaza in Ibadan, called for a new class of leadership that will engender strong constitution and electoral laws to reflect the wishes of the common people as well as an enlightened citizenry.
The academician-turned-politician who was the chairman on the occasion, equally challenged Nigerians not to be cowed by the instruments of cohesion in the form of security agencies from speaking truth to those in power, adding that the movement has started in countries like Senegal, Kenya and some other African countries that are currently experiencing development.
She maintained that the present administration of President Tinubu was wrong to have asked the poor citizens to be patient with the government on the harsh effects of the petroleum subsidy removal while the political class could not make same sacrifice.
According to her, “When somebody says ‘I recognise the pains that you are going through, I am calling on you to be patient’ and so on and so forth, but unfortunately that person is not ready to sacrifice their own comfort, not ready to cut off some of their own excess.
“We still hear about them wanting to buy bulletproof vehicles, there was this scandal in the National Assembly that money would be posted into members’ accounts for them to enjoy their holidays, do they think Nigerians are fools?
“If all of us are together in making sacrifices for a better Nigeria, people will see that and appreciate, when we see leaders leading in the right direction, we will recognize that but we do not trust these ones because they are not leading in the right directions.
“Nigerians should speak out wherever they find themselves, wherever there is a platform that allows them to air their views, they should demand social justice and better governance. We are now demanding a reduction in the cost of governance which will entail reduction in the emoluments and salaries of Mr. President and others at the top, all the big cars are not right for the current realities.”
Sonaiya described late Surveyor L.L. Ali, as an engaging father of all while she was a young girl as a friend of the Ali family, calling on young ones to emulate the spirit of honesty that he embodied while alive.
The National President of NIS, who was also the Special Guest of Honour at the event, Surveyor (Dr.) Matthew Ibitoye, in his remarks, called on Surveyors in Oyo State to keep up the task of shaping the environment, ensure proper utilization of land resources and contribute to sustainable development in the country.
He also enjoined them to reflect on the rapid technological advancements that are reshaping the landscape of surveying and geospatial sciences and embrace skill enhancement and adapt to demands of the dynamic profession.
The Guest Lecturer, Prof. Ayobami Hammed, of the Department of Counseling and Human Development Studies, University of Ibadan, who was represented by Prof. Adebayo Oluwole, spoke on the theme of the 2023 lecture titled, “Dynamics of Underdevelopment in Africa: Exit of Professionals To Advanced Nations”, said studies showed that 50 per cent of Nigerians surveyed would have cancelled their migration plans if Nigeria had met their specific conditions which include peaceful environment, better economic conditions, access to competitive and fairly-paid job opportunities and effective leadership.
He went further to classify causes of migration into economic migration, social migration, political migration and environmental migration, the major cause which he placed on the doorsteps of politicians.
He painted a gloomy picture of the present situation in the country, stating that even the recently agitated Niger Republic is now peaceful with diplomatic efforts at evading a war, while Nigeria is currently under the temperature of war as the majority of citizens are under severe economic hardship.
“The streets are desolate, people are hungry and angry in Nigeria, even the Niger Republic that the whole world was thinking was agitated with the fear of a looming war is now calm as diplomatic efforts are in place to settle the political impasse there.
“I support Prof. Sonaiya to say politicians have made the land inhabitable for the youths, so young Nigerians have no choice than to emigrate, it is a pity we have trusted wrong, incompetent people to lead us,” he lamented.
The annual L.L Ali was instituted by the Oyo State NIS to honour the late iconic Surveyor and the occasion always provide the opportunity to discuss national issues that affect the people of Nigeria.
Present at the event include eminent Nigerians, traditional rulers, friends of the surveying profession and the children of the late Pa Lasisi Lasupo Ali, among whom are Shina Abiodun.