Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has cautioned those “beating the drums of war and violent revolution” in the country to have a rethink, given the grim implications.
She made the call while delivering the 21st convocation lecture of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Wednesday. The theme of the lecture is, “New faces, new voices: creating new leadership paradigms for transformation.”
The governor’s wife said, “Let them go to Somalia and experience what it means to be stateless for over twenty years. Let them go to Rwanda where an entire generation was wiped out and another lives in the shadow of that nightmare.
“Let them go to Sierra Leone and see an entire generation of children now adults maimed and traumatized beyond imagination.”
Also at the lecture was the Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka.
The Provost of the College, Prof. Francesca Aladejana, said the governor’s wife was invited to deliver the lecture based on her personal achievements in the area of women’s empowerment, philanthropy and promotion and protection of women’s rights across Africa.
Erelu Bisi Fayemi urged the country’s women to take advantage of their numbers as a critical voting mass to elect men and women who will create the enabling environment for the downtrodden to thrive.
She also called on women to intensify efforts at creating new identities for themselves that would put them in good stead to assert their rights of participation, engagement and protest as full citizens of the country.
According to her, the current leadership paradigms embedded in entitlement, corruption, lies, deceit, ill-informed policies and a total disregard for the basic principles of democracy were simply not working.
The lecturer said the country’s leaders in the 21st century needed to understand the meaning of social contract, which entails providing a clear direction, empowering people, giving them access to basic resources and protecting them from arm.
Erelu Bisi Fayemi said, “Nigeria does not belong to big businesses, political godfathers and all those who conspire to squander our commonwealth.
“Nigeria belongs to the ordinary citizens who wake up everyday wondering how they are going to create a better world for their children.
“We need a revolution that focuses on changing mindsets, attitudes and behaviours; a shift in our cultures of hopelessness and despondence to one of hope and achievement.
“Nigeria can be truly great if we can identify leaders who truly understand the social contract of service. Nigeria is the only country we have and we are not about to manufacture another one anytime soon.”
On her part, she pledged to launch a mentoring programme for young women in the six tertiary institutions in the state.
The First Lady also promised to work with other women leaders across the country to boost the personal empowerment, self esteem, entrepreneurial skills and other aspects of learning and growth of young women on campuses.
She stressed that the country’s leaders owed it as responsibility to mentor the future leaders, which she said was the only way to demonstrate a judicious use of the opportunity they had been given.
The governor’s wife said, “Legacies do not have to be huge and lofty, it can be something modest, such as being known for a good course. That is support for the less-privileged, giving scholarships and volunteering.
“A legacy is something you can be proud of and that your children can point to and benefit from.”
She advised young women on the need to behave decently in the society so as to make them succeed beyond their expectations.
Although the world had become a global village with different expectations and practices, she emphasized the need to learn and unlearn certain things whilst not deviating from values and norms peculiar to the country.
Last modified: January 16, 2013