A former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has said the nation requires a core statesman to unite rather than further divide it.

Saraki, represented by a former House of Representatives’ member, Honourable Golu Timothy, identified this imperative at the maiden edition of the Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin Students’ Legislative Summit held at the University of Ibadan, on Wednesday.

According to Saraki, the nation was presently divided as a result of the kind of leadership produced over the years.

Noting that the character and actions of political leaders is crucial to nation-building, Saraki stressed that only a core statesman would unite the nation.

Saraki said: “It should be emphasized that the kind of leadership Nigeria has produced over the years has contributed to the current divided nature of the country. It will only take a core statesman to unite the country rather than divide it.”

Addressing the theme of the summit: “Roles of Quality Legislation in Nation Building,” Saraki stressed that laws are crucial for governance, promotion of economic growth and development, ensuring public safety and security, and supporting social welfare and well-being.

The event saw various speakers task the youths on not shying away from assuming leadership positions and contributing to nation-building.

Referencing General Yakubu Gowon who became Head of State at a young age, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde tasked youths to be keen on taking leadership roles and playing a major role in building the country.

Declaring support for young people attaining leadership positions, Makinde said he won’t be supporting anybody above 52 years to be his successor as governor.

Lauding the intent of the summit which targeted student leaders, Makinde said the nation must evolve a culture that allows the emergence young leaders.

Makinde said: “We should dream big. People have ruled this country at a very tender age. So, for us, don’t think at 29 or 30, you are too young to rule and I am glad because this is almost like catching them early.

“You have the students here and in about three years, some of you will be out there to move on. If I were you, I won’t have to start looking for work but start doing my own thing at a very early age of 24 or 25. With the kind of energy you still have, you can pull down the kingdom of Satan.”

Chairman, South West Conference of Speakers, Honourable Aribasoye Adeoye, in his remarks, said the Speakers of the region were resolute in demanding for multilevel policing.

Noting that the zone evolved Amotekun to curb its security challenge, he said the Speakers believed that to tackle the present security challenges, multilevel policing was imperative.

Noting that strong legislation was crucial for societal development, Adeoye said the legislative heads demanded that security be moved from the exclusive to concurrent legislative list.

Also speaking, Director General, DAWN Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye cautioned youths against following the trend to leave the country, popularly called Japa.

Oyeleye enjoined youths to stay back, contribute their quota to engendering societal development, and be positive that the country will surmount its present challenges.

The honouree, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin; the Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr Ayodele Olawande; Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Professor Olanike Adeyemo; among other speakers charged youths to see themselves as agents to bring about the change that the nation needs.

Speaker, Student Representative Council (SRC), University of Ibadan, Honourable Omotunde Olamide, who gave the opening remarks, tasked the government to increase budgetary funding for education rather than increasing tuition fees.

He bemoaned geometric increases in tuition fees saying public universities were going the way of being as expensive as private universities.

Omotunde called on government at state and federal levels to prioritize education, while calling for innovative legislation in favour of education.