Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Scores of Yoruba leaders from different walks of life gathered in Ede, Osun State, and brainstormed on the insecurity challenges in the South West. They called on government at all levels, particularly the South West governors, to ensure urgent lasting solutions to the insecurity challenges in the land.
Among them were traditional rulers, academics, government officials, industrialists and business tycoons. They said the insecurity crises in different parts of the country which had also hit the South West with cases of kidnapping, robbery attacks and banditry called for concern by government at all levels.
They lamented that the insecurity challenges were fuelled by joblessness among the youth as well as poverty in the land. They also observed that parts of the basic panaceas to the problem were youth employment and poverty alleviation.
The urged governors and the Federal Government to go extra mile to not only create jobs but also embark on empowerment programmes capable of inspiring prosperity among the populace. They stressed that without such moves government fight against insecurity would remain a mirage.
They spoke at the merit award ceremony and N100 million appeal fund of Ede Unique Club. The focus was, “Imperatives of National Security: South-West in Focus.
Chief Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, represented by Chief Yinka Oguntimeyin, called on governors and the Federal Government not to relent in their efforts in tackling insecurity in the region until the battle was finally won.
Prof Banji Akintoye said abject poverty was mostly responsible for the various security challenges in the country: “It is painful that our South West governors do not know how to handle poverty. Rather than creating jobs, we are busy enrolling our children in schools with no job prospects.
“The economy is declining, many are losing their jobs, there is high level of corruption in the land and people are living in abject poverty. When the youths are empowered, the level of insecurity in the country would be drastically reduced.”
Prof Olutayo Adesina of the Department of History, University of Ibadan, said there was the need for government to develop human capacity to fight corruption. He stressed that government must continue to provide basic amenities for the people rather than embarking on projects that would not benefit them.
President of the club, Prof Kajogbola Alimi, enthused that the topic of the lecture was carefully chosen to discuss the security challenges in the South West and the country at large with a view to brainstorming on the way forward.
Former Chairman of Oodua Group, Adebayo Jimoh, urged government to also address the issue of food insecurity for poverty alleviation as well as poor governance, which he said, was a part of reasons for the insecurity crisis in the country. He advised government to adopt technology in fighting insecurity rather than relying on military hardware alone.