‘Don’t Follow Those Who Failed You’, Wole Soyinka Warns Nigerian Youths

The renowned Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has warned Nigerian youths to beware of leaders who are quick at criticizing failure, but are part of the foundation of Nigeria’s problem.

Soyinka said this on Thursday at Ilara-Mokin, Ondo state where he delivered the 2nd Convocation lecture of Elizade University, Ilara-mokin Titled:

“Tending the tree of commencement”.

At the crowded make-shift fully decorated hall, the literary icon urged the youths to be more dedicated and remain active in politics.

Soyinka charged the youth to have representatives in power during the next political dispensation.

This according to him was by participating actively election process and to represent themselves in governance.

The eminent Scholar lamented that old politicians ruling the country presently have failed the country in all ramifications.
He hailed Leah Shuiab, one of the female secondary school students kidnapped in Dapchi, Yobe State for her firmness like Nelson and Winnie Mandela who chose to remain in prison despite the offer by the government of South Africa.
Speaking with nigeriancablenewsonline.com at the event, Soyinka said:

“All I can just tell you is this; don’t make the mistake of following those who failed you before; those who are pretending that they have nothing to do with the disaster that has overtaken Nigeria.

“They are very quick to smell failure, they are very quick to shout it; but then, they exculpate themselves, whereas they are the founding malfeasance of the Nigerian condition: that is what I am warning youths against. Mobilize, get your representatives and stop bothering geriatrics like myself.”

He expressed displeasure on the scrapping of history in secondary schools in the country, stressing that the development aided many people to forget their historical backgrounds.

Chairman of the occasion, who is a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Banjo, said there was a need for the country to pay attention to the training of teachers.

According to him, teachers should be well paid to encourage them for better service delivery.

He said” If you want education to be improved in Nigeria, there should be more funding, more money to provide conducive environment. More money for training of teachers.

For instance, you cannot be in the army without having frequent training. Army do not joke with training. Every three or four years, they go for update of their training.

Prof Banjo urged Elizade University students to use Soyinka’s lecture for intellectual development.


Also present at the event are scores of academics, religious leaders and traditional rulers.

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