By Omeiza Ajayi
Acclaimed patriarch of the World’s brainiest family, Nigerian-born Prof. Chris Imafidon has urged the federal government to invest more in human development, saying the usual resort to profiling and punishing cultists and internet fraudsters, otherwise called ‘yahoo boys’ in the local parlance was not the way to go. Instead, Imafidon said governments at all levels must seek newer and practical ways of redirecting the creative energies of such digital wizards to more ennobling ventures.
Speaking in Abuja at a conference titled “The Nigerian Child; The Genius” organized by Arete Copious Services Limited in alliance with Africa House London, Rotary and Diamond Clubs Asokoro, Imafidon said; “What Nigeria needs is not social mobility; it is survival. Why do you build a house as if you were living in a prison and vote so much money for security, so much money for guns? And they said they are trying to protect themselves? From who? Or do you use half of that money to educate people that would have been armed robbers and then give yourself security? We can not have so much money for security. I have never heard of Chinese importing armed robbers to Nigeria, they are our biological children. Some are cultists, but were they born cultists? The Americans have Rugby, a very ‘physical’ sport. They created it for their youths to be able to deploy their energy in sports. A university in America made $1.5 billion dollars in a year from Rugby competition. Give me the so-called ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys. You do not need to take them for any deliverance. These are the people that create viruses and anti-viruses. They create life-saving apps.
“So, you don’t need security Mr. Governor. I don’t care where you govern. You don’t need a private jet because you are a governor of seven local government areas. I have a privilege being an adviser to a woman, who is the Head of State of 52 nations; she doesn’t have a private jet”. So, What you need is a little bit of education, if you have education you will know that you are the Father in-Chief of every child in that state, you will see every child as your own biological child and you will be interested in those children achieving their dreams. So, get your so called budget for security and secure your life by giving education to all”, he stated.
Imafidon said since Nigeria cannot afford ignorance, she must do everything to ensure that her citizens afford quality education.
The event had a member of the United Kingdom Parliament, Nigerian-born Helen Grant and others advising parents and educationists on the effective ways to raise geniuses even within the scope of limited resources.
A clinical psychologist, Dr. Alex Agara however urged parents not to over indulge their children, saying it is important for parents and teachers to understand their wards.
While questioning possibility of raising geniuses in a poor environment, another speaker, Dr. Alero Utobo, said; “I have served three Ministers of Education but each time a new minister comes in, the hope is high but the hope is always dashed. So, who will rescue Nigeria’s education?”
She said the quality of education a child receives should not depend on his or her parent’s financial status, explaining that to raise geniuses, government should invest more in education, especially at the elementary level.
In her opening remarks, organizer of the event, Catherine Enaowo, urged stakeholders in the education sector to not lose hope but do everything possible to bring about the needed reforms in the sector.