The Aare Onakakanfo (generalisimo) of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Director General, Ekiti State Council of Arts and Culture, Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre, are among the dignitaries who called for an all-encompassing approach to solving the socioeconomic challenges facing the people.
The dignitaries made the calls in their separate remarks at a lecture and award ceremony, organised by a non-governmental organisation, Ceebee Gold Foundation International, which held at Mataan Hotel and Suites, Olorunda-Aba, Ibadan, on Sunday.
Leading the call, the Aare Onakakanfo said spirited individuals must collaborate with government at all levels by providing help and support to the less privilege around them or support Non-Governmental Organisations established for the same purpose, if poverty must be tackled at the grassroots.
He however challenged the government at both the federal and state levels to come up with and operate economic policies that would make it easier for the mass majority to be able to afford three square meals with better living condition.
He described the current economic situations in the country as harsh as a result of high unemployment rate, noting that the government at all levels must do something about it urgently for the situation to abate.
He said, “Many Nigerians live below one dollar per day. They cannot afford three square meals each day. The Federal Government and state government must rise to the situation.
“We realised that government cannot do everything and this is why non-governmental organisations, like Ceebee Gold Foundation, Gani Adams Foundation and others have been complementing the efforts of government by helping the underprivileged in the society.
“But government at all levels must fulfill their own parts. Jobs should be created. Infrastructural decadence should be fixed. Roads should be fixed.”
Speaking on his passion and love for the Yoruba culture and the way to continually promote it, Adams, cautioned Yorubas within and outside the country against relegating or down playing their cultural identities wherever they are in the globe for a secured future for the Yoruba race.
“The Yoruba sons and daughters should be proud of their culture. Your culture is your identity. They should not relegate their identity into the background. If you relegate your identity, your own children will feel inferior to identify with Yoruba identity.
“So, let us promote our culture. I have been putting all into the promotion of Yoruba culture, and I will continue to do so. If you lose your culture, you have lost your identity.
“It is a commendable thing to help the underprivileged. I have a foundation, Gani Adams Foundation that has been helping the underprivileged. Now, another non-governmental organisation, Ceebee Gold Foundation International, has come and has joined in helping to reduce poverty in Yorubaland and entire Nigeria.
“I want to urge all and sundry that has been helping the underprivileged not to be discouraged. Please, continue in the good work. For those that have not been helping the underprivileged, kindly join in helping people, there are great rewards in it.”
The Olubadan, Oba Adetunji commended Ceebee Gold Foundation for deeming it fit to locate its proposed vocational training centre in Ibadan despite the founder not been an indigene of the state.
He prayed good success on the initiative while appealing to well-meaning individuals to give the NGO the needed support in the interest of the less privileged in the society.
While speaking, the DG Ekiti State Council of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre, said, “It is important to know that everybody can help, irrespective of financial status. Some people want to help, but they don’t know how to start. Some may be thinking that they do not have enough to help the underprivileged in the society.
“But the truth is that you can start from your immediate community. You can adopt a neighbour of yours and empower him or her. We have varying capacities in rendering assistance.
“If you have power to help one person do it. If your own capacity is big enough to assist 100, 200, 300, 500, 1000 and so on, please do it. By doing so, you are helping to wipe out poverty in the society.”
The Osi Aare OnaKakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Balogun, also said people should realise that they “don’t have to be a very rich person before you help. It is not compulsory that you should give money. You can give what you have such as the clothes, shoes, wristwatches, and so on, that you don’t need again.
“Some people have 1,000 wristwatches and hundreds of shoes. You can give some of them to non-governmental organisations such as Ceebee Gold Foundation International for distribution to the underprivileged in the society.”
Delivering the public lecture entitled “Using Non-Governmental Organisation as an Instrument for Community Development: A Ceebee Gold Foundation Approach”, the guest lecturer, Mr. Wahab Yusuf, of the Department of Public Administration, The Polytechnic Ibadan, gave statistical analysis of poverty rate in Nigeria.
He urged ‘the haves’ in the country to help the ‘have-nots’, noting that “everyone can render assistance to the underprivileged in the society.
High point of the event was the presentation of awards and titles to the Olubadan and the Aare Onakakanfo amongst other deserving individuals who have contributed to the support of the less privileged in the society.