Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to operate an economic policy that will ensure that Nigerians can afford three square meals, saying the current economic policy has been very harsh.
He gave the advice in an interview with journalists, after the public lecture and award ceremony, organized by a non-governmental organization, Ceebee Gold Foundation International, held at Mataan Hotel and Suites, Olorunda-Aba, Ibadan, on Sunday evening.
The event was also personally graced by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I.
According to Adams, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is alarming and the government at all levels must do something about it. It must not continue like this.
“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 realized that government cannot do everything and this is why non-governmental organizations, 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.”
Adams, however, cautioned Yoruba people in Nigeria and in the Diaspora against losing their cultural identity 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 organization, 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 have 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.”
Director General of Ekiti State Board of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre, in his remarks, stated that “It is important to know that everybody can help, irrespective of his or her 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 neighbor of yours and empower him or her. We have varying capacities in rendering assistance.
“If you have the power to help one person do. If your own capacity is big enough to assist 100, 200, 300, 500, 1000 and so on, please do. By doing so, you are helping to wipe out poverty in the society.”
Osi Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Balogun, also said people should realize 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 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 organizations such as Ceebee Gold Foundation International for distribution to the underprivileged in the society.”
Keynote speaker on the occasion, Mr. Wahab Yusuf, of the Department of Public Administration, The Polytechnic Ibadan, gave a statistical analysis of poverty rate in Nigeria. He urged ‘the haves’ in the country to help the ‘have-nots’. He said everyone can render assistance to the underprivileged in society.