Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the just-concluded general elections Peter Obi, and immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, have both agreed to become visiting lecturers at the Western Delta University (WDU), Oghara, Delta State.
They made the commitment at the 15th Founders’ Day lecture at the weekend.
Fayemi, who delivered a lecture on ‘Sub-National Governance: the Ekiti State Example’, promised to set up the School of Policy Implementation in the institution. He also promised to become the first lecturer once the school is completed.
Visitor to the University, Chief James Ibori, appealed to Obi, who he described as ‘an experienced leader who has greatly contributed to nation-building’ to join Fayemi as a lecturer upon the completion of the policy school. Obi agreed to help set it up and join as a visiting professor.
Fayemi, who cited personal examples of what transpired during his tenure as Ekiti State governor, urged political office holders to ensure balance when making appointments and avoid the pitfalls of selecting those who will end up as liabilities to the government.
He said: “One of the challenges that every governor will face is that of making key appointments. Every governor will have to strike the right balance between appointing core politicians who have been involved in the long and tortuous political struggle, and technocrats who will be required to undertake specific assignments for the smooth running of the government.
“The balance is that you cannot take all away from politics and you can also not give all to politics. However, a key lesson from my own experience is that whether one is a technocrat in government or a core politician, all political appointees must be strongly connected to their communities. Otherwise, they will become liabilities to the governor.”
Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, called on political office holders to go beyond the barriers of political partisanship, tribal affiliations and religious inclinations in their contributions to societal development.
He restated that he attended the event because of his love for education and its developmental impact on the nation, though Ibori and Fayemi belonged to different political parties.
Obi emphasised that political parties should present credible candidates based on character, competence, integrity and emulatable track records, adding that “and when they are given opportunity to serve, they must serve without recourse to any form of bigotry.”
The former governor wished the students well in their academic endeavours, urging them to remain committed to their educational pursuits.