A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Afe Babalola, has advised the government and people of Ekiti not to allow politics destroy the values and resources of the state.
He said this in Lagos yesterday, during the maiden colloquium on the development of Ekiti, organised by Ekitipanupo, a think-thank group.
Babalola decried situations where newly elected political office holders do not see the need to build on the foundation laid by their predecessors because they find it difficult to distinguish between politics and governance.
This, he said, has made political office holders to abandon projects initiated by their predecessors, particularly when they are from different political parties.
“I urge Ekiti people not to allow politics to destroy the state to avoid the bastardisation, desecration and destruction of the age-long value and ethos of respect for elders which the Ekiti people are known for. This has been the practice in the past and the untoward practice has to stop and the time to start is now. We, as a people, must show good examples for others to follow. This would address the current trend whereby people abuse their elders with impunity.”
He also said despite the collective efforts of Ekiti leaders to see state created, regretfully, the state has not achieved the aim of the founders and it is far from being developed in all spheres of life.
“Twenty years after its creation, Ekiti remains a land-locked state. There are no motorable roads, no industries and no infrastructure while the airport designated for the state was politically asphyxiated, the fact that N680 million had already been budgeted for its takeoff notwithstanding. To put in point-blank, there is poverty in the land because with the present constitution, the state and local government laws, there is very little coming to the states and there is not much the state governors and council chairmen could do without money.
“It is on record that apart from Gombe State, Ekiti State receives the least allocation from the monthly Federal Government allocation to states. It will interest you that Ekitiland was contributing 44 percent of the total revenue of the old Western Region through the instrumentality of agricultural produce. But all that have disappeared, no thanks to the advent of oil which drew people away from their otherwise lucrative pastime of farming which used to fetch them handsome income in the days of yore.”