Founder and Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) Are Afe Babalola SAN has said Nigeria needs genuine patriots and not ethnic champions or religious warriors to actualise its greatness.
Babalola said this in Lagos during the public presentation of a book in honour of Nigerian columnists and their contributions to nation-building.
The book, THE PATRIOTS: Conversations with Nigerian Columnists and Public Intellectuals on Dividends of Democracy, Governance, Leadership and Nation-Building, authored by award-winning journalist and writer, O’Femi Kolawole, is published by POSTERITY MEDIA.
Speaking at the ceremony, Babalola, who was represented by a former Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Ekiti State, Barrister Gboyega Oyewole SAN, said to make Nigeria better, every citizen has a role to play.
He commended Kolawole for playing his role well by reaching out to the array of veteran and respected columnists featured in THE PATRIOTS like Mr. Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed, Owei Lakemfa, Ikechukwu Amaechi, Eniola Bello, and Ijeoma Nwogwugwu among others, adding that the book contains unique ideas and insights which can help in actualizing Nigeria’s greatness as a true giant of the Black race.
Speaking further, the veteran lawyer and columnist bemoaned the state of education in the country and lambasted the government for perennially failing to prioritize and devote significant resources to education.
He appealed to the federal government to pay all outstanding salaries to university teachers and fund education adequately.
Babalola also urged private businesses in the country to set up more Journalism endowments, fellowships, prizes and awards as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, adding that these must not be one-off initiatives but sustainable ones for the long term towards improving professionalism in Nigeria’s media industry.
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