This was contained in a communique issued by the Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA) after its annual national conference held at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, from Friday, August 20, to Sunday, August 22, 2021.
In the communique signed by the National President, Abdulfattah Olanlege and the National Public Relations Officer, Shamsideen Adenopo, UNIFEMGA expressed regret that successive governments had, since independence in 1960, pursued the goal of structural changes without much success.
The association also expressed worry about what it called the different shades of insecurity across the country, just as it said the renewed agitation for self-determination in the country was “of great concern to UNIFEMGA and all well-meaning Nigerians.”
It identified political instability, lack of focused and visionary leadership, economic mismanagement, poor communication and corruption as some of the major factors that account for what it described as the relative decline of the country’s economic fortunes.
The association said: “A lot of the debates around national issues are driven more by ignorance than knowledge. Consequently, debates are embroiled in emotive outburst rather than evidence-based, civilised conversation.
“The knowledge base existing in our various educational institutions has not translated into solutions for the problems of our society.
“Islam is a religion that calls upon all its adherents to adopt modern ideas and technologies that can improve life, as long as they are within the limits set out by Allah.
“In the 21st century, knowledge is the greatest capital which Nigeria as a country must ensure is all encompassing in the choice of leaders at all levels and on all issues. Also, the followers need to organise themselves to hold the leaders accountable at all levels.
The issue of insecurity, stagnating economy and bad governance, especially decay of institutions, endemic corruption and inability to manage diversity will be a thing of the past if the country is able to reach national consensus and communicate effectively with the citizens.
“For this or any movement for that matter to endure, we must anchor it on a set of core values that promote sacrifice, courage, prudence, probity, respect for knowledge and competence, openness, accommodation of one another, dignity of labour and sanctity of human life. No meaningful change can ever take place and sustained in human society if it is not driven by a set of core values.”
The conference lecture entitled “Calls for Secession, Constitutional Reform and Resource Control: The myths, the Facts, the Realities’ was delivered by Dr Usman Bugaje, the Convener, Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP).
Deputy Managing Director, Business Development and International Business, Courteville Business Solutions Plc, Alhaji Adewale Sonaike, chaired the occasion where the special guest of honour, the Osun State governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abdullahi Binuyo.
Other dignitaries at the event include the OAU Vice Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede; the immediate past Minister of Communications, Alhaji Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, and the representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
The conference witnessed the presentation of N6.9 million in scholarships and grants to 113 students as part of the association’s humanitarian gesture towards students of the OAU.
From the inception of the programme in 2010 to date, the association has disbursed about N40 million to over 700 students of the institution.