The Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola; Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; ex-governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba; popular poet, Odia Ofeimun; and a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) on Wednesday, suggested ways the country could attain greater heights. They spoke in Lagos at a colloquium titled, ‘A bright future for Nigeria and how to get there,’ organized in honor of the Executive Director of The News/PM News, Mr. Kunle Ajibade, who turned 60 on May 28.
The military junta of the late Sani Abacha in 1995 jailed Ajibade for life alongside some suspected coup plotters. He was released on July 18, 1998, after the demise of the despot. At the event, Aregbesola called for concerted efforts in building the country to achieve its potential, stressing that it was important to ensure that the country became a model in Africa.
Urging young and aspiring journalists to emulate Ajibade’s professional ideals, Soyinka stated, “Forget the fact that he is a jailbird; sometimes, that can be a badge of honor.” Also, Osoba, who chaired the event, said the media industry was proud of Ajibade’s contributions to the profession. Ofeimun stated that after two former generals and two civlian heads of state attempted to change the country after post-military politics, it seemed Nigeria was running towards mess and anarchy.
He said, “It is sponsored by the sheer incomprehension of those who claimed to have found a solution. Rather than moving forward, we are like a country merely poaching the dated pursuits of yesterday.” He added that the goals of Nigerians stood on the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s ‘People’s Republic’ seeking a united, strong and self-reliant nation, a great and dynamic economy, a just and egalitarian society, a land full of opportunities for all and a free and democratic society.