The exclusion of the best brains in Nigeria politics through high-cost nomination forms will place Nigeria’s future in the hands of looters.
This was the thrust of the June 12 message of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan, by its chairman, Professor Ayoola Akinwole.
According to him, “it is a strategy of handing over the country to those individuals who have looted the country in the past. If this practice goes unchallenged, Nigerians are in for not just another regime of poor governance but that of extreme corruption and looting.”
The ASUU boss stated that it will take a Nigerian Professor who earns N416, 000 per month but saves 20 per cent of his salary over 100 years to be able to purchase the presidential nomination form of the ruling party and over 40 years to buy the form of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Professor Akinwole stated that the 23 years of the return of democracy have been characterised by “leadership of empty promises and dashed hopes.”
“Given the prevailing level of corruption and loss of hope in the future, political leaders in Nigeria have shown lack of willingness and capacity to protect lives and properties and they have successfully failed in promoting productive activities that can boost the Nigerian economy.”
He advised that nothing would change except the country allows equitable distribution of wealth and access to quality education, health and security.
“Until we improve our economic situation, democracy will not prosper. The only antidote to this is to have a large percentage of the middle class sufficient to support democracy. Build public institutions instead of giving money to people. No amount of money freely given will ever eradicate poverty in Nigeria,” the statement added.
ASUU urged the ruling elites “to shun corruption, greed and primitive accumulation as well as desist from fanning embers and cinders of disunity and violence.
Professor Akinwole advised governments at all levels to provide basic social infrastructure as well as provide employment opportunities in order to reduce poverty and crime.