Foremost historian, Prof Toyin Falola has advised Nigerian youths to use their population advantage to vote for credible politicians in this year’s general elections.He also warned the youth against being induced by money but to vote according to their conscience.
He said, “Our youths should not see politicians as their role models but they should stop them from looting the country. Do not imitate them, do not collect money from them. Poverty does not mean the absence of dignity and that dignity as I said people must cherish, sustain, maintain and reproduce.” Falola, the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in Humanities at the University of Texas, Austin, United States of America blamed politicians for jettisoning African value system and corrupting the youths.
The African culture enthusiast spoke yesterday at a one-day conference where he made a public presentation of his book “In Praise of Greatness: The Poetics of African Adulation” which took place at the Lead City University, Ibadan.
Present at the conference were literary giants and scholars including Professor Femi Osofisan who chaired the event, Pro-Chancellor, Lead City University, Prof Jide Owoeye, Executive Chairman, Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP), Prof Tunji Olaopa, Prof Adeyemo Aderemi, Prof Demola Da’Silva and Prof Michael Oladejo Afolayan who delivered the keynote address.
Falola lamented that politicians have failed to be role models because of their uncontrolled appetite for acquisition of wealth and the manner they allegedly retain themselves in power. He noted that it is saddened that there are no ideological based political parties among the two major contending national parties in Nigeria, describing both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the same.
On his part, Professor Femi Osofisan described Falola as a man of “prodigious productivity” who has used his energy and resources to encourage the youth. He said, “Falola is not the only scholar we have in the Diaspora but he is the only one bringing his energy back to encourage the youth.” While calling on Nigerians to cultivate the habit of celebrating living heroes, the literary critic lamented that the culture of Nigerians is to celebrate people only when they are dead.