Legal luminary and Philanthropist, Chief Wole Olanipekun has decried the spate at which elected public office holders neglect the development of youths in the Country, adding that he would never aspire for any political office.
Speaking at the annual Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Award to indigent and brilliant students yesterday, the former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) noted that free education at all levels would rid the Country of the malaise of corruption.
"Education brings light, freedom and loosens chains and it breeds good citizens. In my humble view, the first thing any government should do to nip corruption in the bud is to give citizens free education at all levels and also strive to provide employment opportunities for the youths"
Olanipekun noted that successive public office holders and politicians has only paid lip service to issues of youth development, hence the high rate of crime in the Country. He added that the provision of basic amenities and free education is not a privilege but a right in civilised climes.
"I advise all our Chief Executives at the State and Federal levels to go and study, digest and apply the provisions of Chapter Three of the Constitution dealing with fundamental objectives and directive of State Policy. Those inalienable provisions are the sacred ingredients of the contract between our respective governments and Nigerians; and let nobody think that he or she is doing us any special favour by providing just a fragment of the basic imperatives of the constitution, which citizens of all civilized and democratic climes take for granted.”
He advised politicians that rather than pay lip service and sloganeer the fight against corruption, they should do more by offering free education for the youths from primary school to university level and also make them gainfully employed after leaving School.
"Educated Citizenry is a potent way to fight corruption as no educated citizen will encourage any politician particularly those who are gainfully employed to go and loot the treasury and plough the dividends of the loot either to himself or his community"
He stated that the youths are despondent and could be used as canon fodders because of their desperate state
"They have no hope in today, and government at all levels are not making efforts to provide assurances for them for tomorrow; the few who have acquired university and higher degrees are jobless; PhD holders apply for jobs which attract less than #50,000 salary per month, yet they don't succeed in their bids; majority of our elders above the magical age of 70 have no shelter or roofs over their heads. Our governments and rulers must quickly come to terms with the miserable conditions permeating the entire Nigerian landscape,and appreciate the basic fact that government and governance are basically about providing happiness and basic amenities that make life worth the living for the citizenry, rather than they thinking that Nigerians are lucky to have them as their leaders."
Olanipekun congratulated the beneficiaries of the scheme and admonished they to replicate the gesture by aspiring to greater heights
"You should remember your humble beginning in order to appreciate God and render your own humble assistance to humanity in this kind of gesture they are enjoying now."
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