By Evelyn Omotoye
The need for visionary leadership that will channel quick restructuring in addressing the myriads of challenges confronting Nigeria has again been stressed.
Key players in Nigeria governance and polity led by the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) made recourse for this at the weekend during a colloquium organised to mark Chief Olu Falae’s 80th birthday.
The discussants including former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, a renowned writer, Prof. Kole Omotoso and Pa Ayo Adebanjo who spoke on the topic “Nigeria: Work in Progress”, maintained that much work still needed to be done to keep the nation on the path of progress till it gets to its place pride.
For Governor Akeredolu who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, Nigeria is a work in progress under the leadership of President Buhari, expressing hope in the future of the nation.
Akeredolu described Chief Falae as a visionay leader with integrity who has represented Ondo State well in different capacities and has purchased for the state a good name, saying “we must continue to build on the solid foundation you have laid for us in the state”.
His counterpart in Sokoto State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal congratulated the elder stateman for attaining the age of 80, describing Falae as a humble and committed patriot who has contributed immensely to the development of democracy.
He however noted that “our differences are manifesting so dangerously that there is the urgent need for various leaders to come together with the followers to ensure that the unity of the country is not threatened”.
Tambuwal therefore submitted to the views of the Social Democratic Party SDP national leader and several other visionay leaders in taking deep reflection on governance, saying he aligned with restructuring in deepening the nation’s democracy.
In his goodwill message, a SDP presidential candidate in the forthcoming 2019 elections and former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana showered encomium on the octogenarian, calling him “a distinguished Nigerian, a man of excellence and core values and a fantastic planner whose lifestyle is beneficial to us”
Also speaking, another presidential candidate and former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko while felicitating with Chief Falae described him as a godfather of progressive politics in Nigeria and huge inspiration to the nation whose vision of restructuring he said he aligns with.
According to Mimiko, the restructuring advocacy should be embraced and treated as a matter of urgency to save the nation’s democracy saying “Nigeria needs to reset and if we don’t, it is at our penury and that is why we are advocating for a visionary leadership that will bring this to bare.
Responding, the celebrant, Chief Olu Falae expressed concern over the state of the nation saying “Nigeria has continued to produce brilliant successful people, how come then that the country producing them is as poor as it is today?
“Some of us had concluded long ago that the political architecture in the country is wrong and that is why we need to diagnose what the problem is to ensure that we are on the right track of progress”, adding that restructuring will no doubt address the numerous challenges facing the nation.
Other notable eminent personalities across the country including Dr. John Nwobodo, The Deji of Akure kingdom, HRM Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, other socio cultural group leaders, different political groups leaders, top government functionaries among other well wishers were in attendance at the colloquium.