THE Pro chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to engage more Nigerians on issues affecting the country, advising further that the President should personally speak to Nigerians, as Nigerians are tired of hearing from his aides.
Chief Olanipekun made this disclosure while speaking with journalists on Thursday, during the commissioning ceremony of an ultra modern vice chancellor’s lodge, donated to the university on behalf of himself and his wife, Princess Lara, which was commissioned by Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
The event was attended by notable dignitaries like the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, Chief Abide Amoo, the secretary to Oyo State government, Olalekan Alli, Bishop of Lagos Anglican Communion, Most Revrened E. Adebola Ademowo (retd), representatives of the proprietors, The Most Reverend Micheal Olu Akinyemi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, among others.
Olanipekun also admonished the President to allow change in the way governance is run in the country.
According to him, “Let us start with this principle, do as I do and not do as I say. And in that wise also, we need to plead with Mr President, he needs to engage Nigerians more.
“I don’t want to be hearing what the President says through the aides every time; I want to hear the President myself. And my children and grand children want to hear what the President is telling them. That was how people like us grew up. I listened to and heard the likes of Awolowo speak with my ears live, I heard Akintola and others, not the tales from Femi Adeshina or Shehu Garba.
“The President must engage and feel the pulse of the people and again, there is too much distance and too much gap between the government and the governed, which is not good for this country.”
On the debate on the proposed sale of national assets by the Federal Government, Chief Olanipekun queried the inability of the Federal Government to engage more Nigerian experts before jumping into conclusion.
He said, “Why is FG not talking about building institutions more than individuals. What we have in Nigeria today is powerful individuals not powerful institutions. And the powerful individuals, if care is not taken, are already becoming lions and when lions roar, they will ‘lionise’ and you know what will happen. They will devour. And I hope those individuals who are richer than Nigeria don’t devour us. A time will come when Nigeria will start borrowing from them to survive.