Prof Lai Olurode of the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos (UNILAG), on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to work on upholding academic research findings.
Olurode made the call during a Valedictory lecture held in his honour by UNILAG, as he bowed out of the service of the university.
The title of the lecture was “Knowledge Sector, Public Interest and Power Structure”.
He said it had been observed that right from the outset, civilian amd military governments had been uncomfortable with even freigned discussions on politics.
He frowned at the situation in which the the knowledge sector stands untolerated by those who control power.
According to him, those in power believe that knowledge is subservient to power, rendering the academics completely helpless.
” What is currently obtainable is that power is by far better remunerated than producers of knowledge and public interest is poorly served.
” Research findings are hardly respected in government circles. Unless recruited to serve specific interest, academics have limited roles in influencing public policy.
” Government must begin to reckon with academic research findings to ensure formidable policies are made through such,” he said.
Olurode noted that going forward, the academics need to seek elective or appointive positions to be able to push their findings to the front burner.
” They can also sidetrack the state and get involved in community development through non governmental organisations to deploy their academic training in the service of conmunities through running community talk shows on public issues.
” The academics should be more creative rather than feel completely despondent or unpatronised as other skilled professionals,” he said.
Earlier, Prof Fraca Attoh, Head of Sociology Department, UNILAG, said “Prof Olurode represents a man of integrity, very hardworking individual and not pretentious.
“He tells the truth, he believes so much in honesty and justice, those are the virtues that distinguish him.”
Also, Oba Abdulazeez Olatunbosun, Akire of Ikire-Ile in Osun State, described Olurode as a responsible and reliable fellow with good sence of judgement.
He said the professor makes peace with his environment as he understands the reality of life that honesty, justice, equity, fairplay are essential ingredients of life.
“Professor Olurode is a personification of goodness, an uncompromising fellow who calls a spade a spade.
” His love for his hometown is ennormous, he promotes the busines of his people,” he said.
Professor of Jurisprudence and international law, Akeem Olaniyan, the head of the muslim community in UNILAG, said he had learnt a lot from Olurode.
” Prof Olurode, being the immediate past head of the muslim community here in UNILAG, I have learnt from him firmness and the principles needed to lead the society.
” He was very firm and I learnt from him, how to discipline the students,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Olurode was given a plaque of recognition in honour of his contributions to the growth of the university.