The Obafemi Awolowo University on 6th July, 2017 received the governor of Ondo state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu into her premises amidst glitz and drums. The governor who is popularly known as Aketi is an alumnus of the university.
The event which brought his excellency to Ile-Ife is no other than the faculty of arts distinguished lecture with the theme being, ‘Beyond Recession: Reintegrating the Nigerian Federation’. Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu was ascribed the honour of delivering the lecture.
The occasion which took place at the Oduduwa hall of the Obafemi Awolowo university had many distinguished persons in attendance. The Ondo state students’ association were also present with some of their members. The great Ife students were largely in attendance. The chief host of the event was the Vice chancellor of the University Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede and the host being the dean of the faculty of arts, Professor Gbemisola Adeoti. The dramatic art students presented a beautiful dance drama in honour of his excellency.
In his introduction, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu described the view of Nigeria’s present economic state, “there is a sense in which the unsettling state of the world today describes the state of our country Nigeria. It is so pathetic, so embarrassing and so fearful that disaffections, doubts, gloom and anxiety have come to dominate discourses among global leaders at every opportunity and meets.” He also travelled down the path of history, comparing the Nigeria of yesterday to what we have today.
“Have we started to match to economic prosperity, as it was in the years preceding our independence and immediately afterwards? It will amount to self-deceit to believe so.”
He also didn’t fail to mention the role agriculture played in our then economy and how it could help grow our present economy.
“Why have the pyramids disappeared in the North? Where is the cotton for the textile industries? Where are the real cocoa farmers in the south west aside those who hold endless seminars and workshop on how to produce the crop?”
He proceeded to questioning the need for disintegration: “should we conduct our affairs according to our ethnic origin as some proponents of disintegration seem to suggest? How important is residency in a multi-ethnic, religious and cultural state?
In his concluding statement, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu emphasised the need for Nigerians to see themselves first as brothers and sisters with shared destiny beyond the artificial amalgamation of the colonialists, there will be no end to the agitations for self-determinations.
With the loud ovation that accompanied the end of his speech, it would not be wrong to infer that Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu did justice to the theme of the day.
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Compiled by: Grace Bamidele