A renowned lawyer and founder of Afe Babalola University in Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, has said the politics in Nigeria is more of personal gain than public service.
Babalola who stated this while delivering a speech during the 11th convocation of ABUAD in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, regretted how politics is taking preeminence over education in the country.
The prominent legal icon who narrated how a first-class product he gave a scholarship for a master’s degree rejected an offer to go for a PhD, because of his political ambition, noted that the only successful industry in Nigeria today is politics.
According to him, the first-class graduate declined further study after earning a master’s degree because he had observed a secondary school classmate who had not attended a higher institution succeed financially in politics.
“I was the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos and a young man came out with first class in Chemistry and had the highest score that year. I called him and said, ‘I am going to give you a scholarship to do your master’s.
“He was very happy and he agreed; he passed his masters. I had forgotten all about him, then he came in and said, ‘Sir, thank you for the scholarship given to me’ and I said ‘Yes, proceed to your PhD’ and he said ‘No’ and I said ‘Why?’.
“He said, ‘My colleague who was in class with me in secondary school did not go to university; he is the chairman of the local government of my place. He is riding a car; he has a house.’ I was depressed.
“I said, ‘What do you want to do now?’ He said, ‘I want to go into politics.’ I wept inside me. That is what your country has made of Nigeria. The only business in this country today which is lucrative is politics,” Babalola said.
The renowned lawyer said that while he does not disapprove of any political ambitions, he believes that politics has become less ethical and more of personal gain than about serving the public good.
“I do not say you cannot be a politician but to be a politician is different from what we have now. Who thinks that politics is for making money? Politics is for service,” he added.
“I was a Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor before and I never had a kobo because I saw it as a service. People go now to make money from public money given to them”, he further lamented.