Special Advisers to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has admonished Ekiti State technocrats to work together in unity and rescue the state from its current parlous state.
Ojudu spoke at the weekend with a group of senior journalists in Lagos, as part of his ongoing move to build a formidable front capable of liberating Ekiti State from its current state off mis-governance.
According to him, “poverty is now so endemic in a state once flourishing with milk and honey, a development that has kept many of the indigenes at bay as a result of lingering misrepresentation by current leadership.”
He stressed that the situation called for a strong joint collaboration among every well-meaning Ekiti sons and daughters in order to be able to effectively change the current retarding mentality of the citizenry, engendered by the prevailing reign of impunity that the government of the day represents.
The Presidential aide bemoaned the negative impacts of the current government on the general wellbeing of the people and pleaded for a quick fix that would pave the way for genuine development.
Noting that Ekiti is an agrarian state that could survive adequately on agriculture, Ojudu opined that investment in that sector by a visionary leader would make the needed impact in restoring the waning glory of the state and liberate the people sufficiently from the prevailing penury.
“I have always said that there are three fundamental things I would focus on; and they are agriculture, agriculture and agriculture.
“Ekiti is blessed with a vast land that is very fertile. Moving around Ekiti, all you will see is a very large uncultivated land. All we need to do is to tap into this wasting resource. Research has indicated that Lagos daily expenditure on food is about N5 billion. If Ekiti can take up 20 percent of Lagos’ daily food consumption through mechanized farming, there will be jobs for our youths and poverty, squalor and hunger would be a thing of the past.
“When I was growing up, we could only find a few disabled people, majority of them not from Ekiti, dotting our major cities, begging for alms. Today, the case is different. Our youths no longer have work to do and they now roam the streets begging to survive.
“The reason for this is not far to seek. A culture of begging has been imported into our system. And this is always the case when you have a rudderless leader whose interest is to hold down the people to be able to hold on to power. The present government has legitimised poverty in Ekiti by successfully killing the upper and the middle classes. The governor is now humiliating the helpless people with the present predicament,” he stressed.
As a panacea to the current situation, Ojudu proposed a replacement of the present government with a pro-people government that would put the interest of the teeming masses in the state at the forefront and urgently restore dignity to the state.
“The people cannot see us beyond who is our leader. We have been turned to a laughing stock before our other country men and women as a result of the attitude of the person they see as our leader. Our children no longer feel proud to say they are from Ekiti. Many of you no longer go home the way you used to do before. Down there in Ekiti, nothing is working. Businesses are going down because of low patronage. Poverty is walking on its four legs, unhindered. The hotels are closing down as a result of low patronage.
“I can confidently tell you that there is no company that is employing up to thirty (30) employees in Ekiti. People are starving. And that is why a governor can ask people to come from as far as Omuo to Ado Ekiti, a journey of not less than an hour, to come and pick a sachet of rice and five hundred naira (N500).”