Leaders have debased once cherished values that gave society its dignity- Prof. Sobowale


By Bisi Adewumi

A former Lagos State Commissioner of Education in Tinubu’s administration, who was also a Special Adviser on Education to the Late Gov. Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Prof. Idowu Sobowale, OON, has said that leaders have debased once cherished values that gave society its dignity, resulting in total loss of control over the alienated youths and the succeeding generations of Nigerians, saying that our morals and social values have been replaced by “alien and undesirable values of greed, selfishness, cruelty, inordinate ambition…. elaborated and elevated to the position of personal deities that many of us worship”.

Prof. Sobowale who was the guest lecturer at the “18th Annual Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Lecture” of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Lagos State Branch, held on Thursday at D’Podium Event Centre, Aromire, Ikeja, titled: 2023 General Elections: Whither Nigeria? stated that the culture of impunity and zero consequences for

actions against the state that has descended on the land over the time has gradually become our second nature.

According to him, “The behaviour of our leaders and others in positions of authority has entrenched indiscipline in our society to the extent that lawlessness has become our pass time. Those who are paid to maintain law and other are the chief law breakers in the land”.

He lamented the gross replacement of our social values with lack of respect, disobedience, dishonesty, indolence, absence of fair play and empathy.

Prof. Sobowale explained that the result has been the great decadence we have witnessed in our sociopolitical and economic behaviors overtime. ” This has translated to the massive corruption, great indiscipline that has characterized the lives of many, to the extent Nigeria being described as corruption capital of the world”.

“To change our image and rebrand, the only way we can move forward as a nation is to change our attitudes. To do these calls for an all-round effort by all citizens who sincerely believe that a change is desirable”.

To create a new image, he advocated that the necessary change must be initiated from the top. ” Those aspiring to lead the country should set themselves apart from the rest of the populace by willing to make unusual sacrifices at whatever cost to their comfort, acquisitive instinct or whatever pressure will be brought to bear on them even by members of their families. They must be willing to sacrifice even their lives to attain the goal of equity, fairness, justice and even development for the country”.

He believed that if we had a person with such attributes at the helm of affairs in each state and the Federal Capital Territory, things will begin to take a better shape. The highly principled and uncompromising person at the top, disciple of rules and regulation would permeate down the ladder. He argued that, “with such a person, compromise and submission to pressure, no matter from which quarters would not hold sway”.

Sobowale encouraged that, though Nigeria situation may be seemingly bad, but it’s not irredeemable. “We just need discipline, commitment, dedication, sacrifice, patriotism and the biblical love of ‘our neighbour’ on the part of the leaders and the led”.

” The leadership must set the ball rolling by concrete example that followership can emulate and follow”, he suggested.

Earlier, the Chairman of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Lagos State Branch, Surv. Olukolade Kasim, in his welcome address spoke on the importance of the choice of the topic as, “in less than a month we should be going to the polls to elect those who would steer our affairs at various levels”.