Posted by News Express | 18 November 2014 | 3,531 times
Nobel Laureate, Emeritus Professor Wole Soyinka, yesterday, said if Nigeria had a genuine leadership, it would not be in the mess it has found itself, adding that the country should raise a monument for the missing Chibok girls.
He said this at the 66th foundation day anniversary and 2014 convocation ceremonies which held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
The erudite scholar scored the Federal Government low in its efforts at bringing back the girls who were abducted on April14, President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, however, insisted that his administration was on top of the situation.
Prof. Soyinka, who was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree of letters along with others, said the activities of the insurgents had cast a shadow of intimidation on Nigerians.
Others who were awarded with the honorary doctorate degrees included Chief Wole Olanipekun(SAN), who got Doctor of Law (LL.D); Emeritus Theophilus Ogunlesi was honoured with Doctor of Science (D.Sc), and Emeritus Tekena Tamuno was awarded Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) and a business tycoon was honoured with Doctor of Science.
Soyinka, who spoke on behalf of other awardees said: “Yes, it is a festive occasion. But, we are here and we know we are sitting under a cloud, it’s a very heavy cloud. It is a cloud of embarrassment, of shame, a feeling of dereliction or solemn irresponsibility towards children.
“We are sitting here under a cloud of impotence, of a calamity that was not without notice. You all know why we are all here. It is in the course of learning and till death we will not stop learning. It is all about learning and that is what life is all about. We never stop learning.”
Describing the abduction of the Chibok girls as “a hovering indictment on all of us as a nation,” he said, “this cloud is made up of a sense of humiliation.
"We sent our children out on an errand and they did not come back. The errand on which we sent them is what we are celebrating today. This is what creates this festive atmosphere. Though it is a festive mood, but our young protagonists went on that errand, we gathered them together in preparation for this day and they never came back. It is something we can never allow our souls to forget.
“Let us remain faithful to our temple of knowledge by safeguarding its moralities. It is the morality that engages us in the protection of the future.
“The temple of knowledge is dedicated to a very simple expression, the pursuit of truth. It doesn’t matter whether we are herbalists, Buddhists, Hindus or Christians. There is only one sanctuary that is open to all of us and it is the temple of learning.
“It is a festive occasion and I am not ready to cast a pall on it. I wish I could be among you celebrating over and over again.”
•Adapted from Vanguard. Photo curtesy of ARISE TV shows some of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
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