The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has given reasons why academics must participate actively in politics.
Osinbajo stated that the active participation of academics and other professional bodies in politics would help in making Nigeria a better place for all.
He was quoted as saying this in a statement signed by his media aide, Laolu Akande, on Thursday when a team of 13 professors, under the aegis of the Progressive Intellectuals Advisory Group, came to endorse and support his presidential ambition at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.
Osinbajo added that it was important for academics to participate in the political process because they consisted of knowledgeable people who had done more work in their fields.
He said, “These days, you find all sorts of pretenders claiming expertise in everything under the sun without any real expertise. So, it is important that academics do not vacate that space to allow all sorts of people to begin to postulate on practically every issue.
“One of the most important things I recall, when I served first as Attorney General of Lagos State, was that it is so important for those of us who are in academics to participate because not only are we among the more knowledgeable groups, we have also done more work.”
The Vice President commended the professors for taking the bold step to endorse his ambition adding that more intellectual groups would “take the responsibility that is really theirs”.
He stated that the group’s endorsement was worth celebrating because it had given him joy.
“The path that you (the group) have chosen is a very crucial one because in the future, more intellectual groups will take the responsibility that is really theirs. And I think that for those of us who are from the academic community, it is a privilege that we have – being the intellectual crème de la crème of our society, and this comes with responsibility.”
“If there is any sort of endorsement that has given me particular joy, it is this one; because if one is endorsed by professional colleagues, people who live their lives by critical analysis and evaluation; it is worth celebrating.
“These matters are not to be taken lightly. For a professor to say that he supports a political cause, it is a weighty matter indeed, because you are aware that a lot of reflections go into it.
“But when you have 13 professors all over the country saying that they are aligned to one cause; I am greatly humbled. It is one of those things that doesn’t happen often,” Osinbajo stated.
Present at the Villa were the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria, Prof. Shehu Adamu, the Vice-Chancellor of the Al-Kalam University, Katsina Prof Nasiru Musa Yauri, and the Head of Political Science Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Chukwuemeka Jaja Nwanegbo.
Others present were Prof. Yahya T. Baba, Usman Danfodiyo University in Sokoto; Prof. Mashood Omotosho, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Associate Prof. Philips Okolo, Director of the Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Niger Delta University; Prof. Shola Omotola, Federal University Oye Ekiti; Prof. Sheikh Danjuma Abubakar, IBB University, Lapai; Associate Prof. Abdullahi Jibrin, Federal University Lafia; Associate Prof. Atelhe George, University of Calabar; Prof. Saleh Mohammed, Federal University Kashere, Gombe State; Prof. Haruna Lawal Modibbo Adama, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola; and Prof. Ike-Elechi Ogba, Ebonyi State University.