The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has expressed dismay over the current state of road infrastructure in the southwestern part of the country, accusing the federal government of neglecting the region in its plan.
They also added that the huge debt profile of the country is disturbing adding that the southwest is not benefitting from the loans and it’s like the federal government is accumulating debts for future generations.
Addressing Journalists at the end of the Executive Council meeting of the group which held at YCE Secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo state, the group Secretary-General, Dr Kunle Olajide tasked the government at all levels to begin to act, stating the infrastructural development will attract investors, which will, in turn, provide jobs for the unemployed youths and ultimately put an end to insecurity.
“The council expresses their dissatisfaction generally with the state of the nation. Security, infrastructure, the economy and the employment status of our young graduates who are roaming the street.
“The YCE now appeals to both the federal and state government, in this direction to ensure that they make the states and the country investment-friendly so investors can come from outside this country and in fact from within the country to establish industries and create jobs for unemployed youths, to a large extent that will reduce the level of insecurity.
“The state of infrastructure in Yoruba land (south-west) is deplorable, there is virtually no road that is motorable. Take, for instance, Ife-Ibadan-Ilesha road, Ibadan-Abeokuta road, even Ibadan-Oyo road that was constructed a few years ago, a large portion of it has become impassible.
“There is no maintenance and the YCE begins to wonder the role FERMA which is an establishment of the government and its in existence, there are staffs being paid and its from taxpayers money. The deplorable state of the road is leading to a lot of road accidents and human lives are lost almost on a daily basis so the YCE is very much concerned with this. It is in fact affecting the state of the economy of the southwest.
“The economy is at the slowest helm now. All Nigerians are aware of the devaluation of Naira about a year ago and that has in fact worsened the state of the economy of this country. There can be no peace where there is unemployment, hunger and poverty, if you are advocating for peace, you must be deceiving yourself.
“The government must rise up to its responsibility in this direction and ensure that jobs are provided for fresh graduates, employment opportunities are opened and investors are invited in. That goes again to further emphasize the state of insecurity.
“The state of insecurity is very high, kidnapping with ransom, abduction and so on and so forth. The YCE urges the state and federal government authorities, the security agencies, Inspector General of Police, State Commissioners of Police to ensure that they step up activities to proactively identify potential criminals and get them apprehended and then the government must make the state and country investment-friendly so that jobs can be created.
“The YCE is alarmed by the increasing rate of loans taken by the Federal government, we are not worried that loans are taken, provided that they are judiciously expended on matters that can boost our economy and that will make repayment easy, but these debts are accumulating and we are not seeing evidence of wise disbursement in the southwest, our infrastructure is horrible, the power situation is nothing to write home about, there is the high level of unemployment.
“So we begin to ask what are the loans for, we can not be accumulating debts for our grandchildren in the future”, he said.
Speaking on the 2023 Presidential election, Olajide noted that the YCE is not focused on tribe but competent character and track record of excellence for whoever will eventually become the next President.
He said, “At our level here we have gone beyond tribalism or parochial interest, we are much more interested in the good of this nation and the situation has degenerated. Even when you are talking in terms of federal appointments.
“We want a true and true Nigerian to be the next President but he must have competence, character, capacity and track record of performance wherever he must have acted or service before, that is what we want to emphasize”.
Addressing the issue of the detained Yoruba nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho), YCE President, Justice Ademola Bakre explained that the YCE has nothing against Igboho adding that the federal government is wrong in its action.
He said, “YCE has nothing against Igboho’s agitation for the Yoruba Nation, it’s his fundamental human right. If the federal feels Igboho has done anything wrong, he is supposed to be taken to court for trial, it is unjust to keep him in custody.
“The federal government is wrong and it is improper to run this country that way. Igboho could have done anything wrong, he is supposed to be charged to court.
“The federal government or the federal cabinet is not a court and when people commit the offence, they are to be tried in court, not by the federal cabinet, it is, therefore, inconsistent to justice in this country if they have nothing against him.
“The federal authority should in fact be part of that trial in the Benin Republic, we have an envoy there, whatever offence Igboho has committed must go through the rule of law”.