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Politicians priority is citizens’ welfare, not next election — Pa Omolayole

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Politicians priority is citizens' welfare, not next election — Pa Omolayole
Dr. Michael Omolayole

By Elizabeth Osayande

First indigenous Chairman of Lever Brothers, now Unilever Plc, Dr. Michael Omolayole, has urged Nigerian politicians to refrain from caring more about elections than the welfare of the people and general development of the country.

His statement came a week after Edo State gubernatorial election, which saw tens of thousands of security agents deployed to the state, an approach not taken to curtail the numerous cases of violence, kidnapping and banditry in some parts of the country.

The 92-year-old Omolayole, who shared these concerns in a short speech during the 36th Omolayole Management Lecture, OML, series hosted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, CIPM, in Lagos recently, lamented that the index of misery in Nigeria was very high.

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His words: “After contemplating all these tales of woes, while the population is exploding and economy resources are diminishing, it is easy to understand why despondency in all its ramifications, stares a vast majority of the citizens in the face.

“When one election is finished, the political class are busy preparing for the next do-or-die election. The people’s welfare, economic development, safety of life and property are, meanwhile, totally forgotten and neglected.”

Pa Omolayole, who was the pioneer president of the CIPM and the founder of the OML series, went on to call on civil societies to speak politely and consistently on these issues.

He also asked wealthy Nigerians to establish “Think Tanks” and credible opinion poll companies, to enable government and opposition politicians to know the mood of the nation.

Also present at the event was the GMD/CEO, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, who, as the guest speaker, lectured on the theme “Leading at the speed of technology: Implications for the corporate world.”

He was joined by CIPM President Mr. Wale Adediran; the Registrar and CEO, Busola Alofe; other attendees from AIESEC Alumni Nigeria; the Nigerian Institute of Management; the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, and the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, who received the flag to host the next edition of the lecture.

There were also a host of audience who participated online via the Zoom platform, as well as panellists, Ms. Bennedikter Molokwu and Mr. Fred Agbata Jr.

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