Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has said the Southern part of the country must produce the next president.
He said this while delivering the 45th convocation lecture of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Saturday, December 11, 2021.
Akeredolu, who is an alumnus of the university, delivered the convocation lecture with the theme, “When is a Nation? Exploring the Social-Political Crises in Post Independence Nigeria.”
Akeredolu said “All persons must own the process of development in the country. No section must feel marginalized. In 2023, power must shift to the South.”
He added that Nigeria cannot survive the way things were going and that the nation is losing its identity.
He, however, said that the nation has the capacity to overcome its challenges, saying lack of trust and credibility deficiency is the bane of Nigeria’s development.
“No nation survives on hand-outs from other climes. Loss of identity is too big a pride to pay for the new social order. Any society which suffers such misfortune can only develop to the extent to which the logic of domination and dependence permits. All the adventure in constitutional administration of the colonial territory failed to take into account the peculiarities of the people who had been forced to live together under one central administration for the first time. I pray we are not doomed,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented at the convocation by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said OAU has achieved many feats.
During the convocation, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Babatunde Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, was conferment with Honorary Doctor of Letters while Founder of Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State and Chairman, Elizade Group of Companies, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, was conferred with Honorary Doctor of Business Administration.
Other dignitaries at the event include the Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Etsu Nupe and Chancellor of the university, Alhaji Yahata Abubakar, and the Pro-Chancellor, Owelle Oscar Udoji.
Eyitope Ogunbodede, the vice chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, while speaking noted the unit is in short of personnel and urged Federal Government to ensure recruitment of staff.
The VC said the last time OAU recruited staff was 2018 and that many departments were finding it difficult to cope with the shortages.
The VC said OAU remains committed to academic excellence despite the challenges and expressed gratitude to donors who have contributed to the progress of the university in various ways.