Foremost educationist and legal icon, Afe Babalola, recently expressed his view that politics has emerged as the primary lucrative venture in Nigeria. This assertion was made during the 11th convocation ceremony of Afe Babalola University, held on Saturday, October 21.
During his address, Babalola shared an anecdote involving a young man with exceptional academic achievements in Chemistry. The young man was offered a scholarship for his master’s degree, which he completed successfully. However, when it came to pursuing a Ph.D., he declined the opportunity. Upon questioning him about his decision, the young man revealed that a colleague from secondary school who had not pursued higher education was now serving as the chairman of their local government, owning a car and a house. This revelation deeply affected Babalola, highlighting the prevailing trend in Nigeria where politics has become the sole profitable sector.
While Babalola does not discourage individuals from pursuing political ambitions, he does express concern that politics has deviated from its intended purpose of public service and has become more focused on personal gain. He laments the fact that some politicians view politics solely as an avenue for financial enrichment, rather than a means of serving the greater good. Drawing from his experiences as both a Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor, Babalola emphasizes that he never received any personal financial benefit, as he regarded those positions as opportunities for dedicated service.
In conclusion, Afe Babalola’s observations shed light on the current state of politics in Nigeria. While acknowledging the attractiveness of politics as a lucrative field, he raises ethical concerns about its transformation into a personal profit-driven enterprise rather than a platform for selfless public service.