By G9ija

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday played host to leaders of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), who paid him a courtesy call with a pledge to work for the growth and development of the region.

The elders, led by Chief Ajibade Oyekan met the former President at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Penthouse residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo called for truthfulness, sincerity, unity, decency, diligence, and bluntness on issues at all times.

Obasanjo while reacting to the remarks of the new Chairman of the Council, said youth development, with education, but without the required skills to provide for empowerment and employment would not bring the desired results.

According to him, “this youth we are talking about have education, but, they have no skills. And, education without skills in this age and time is nothing. This skill is what we know as its own (handwork) and they are also talking about the internet age. If we fail to give them these skills and we are blaming them, that will not be right.

“An individual is planning to bring 30 young persons today. They called them “Areas boys(girls). I was impressed because these people are used by politicians and if we have individuals doing this, a such person deserves support in whatever form to bring these people out from their situation.”

On the agitation by some people of the region, the former President explained that it was just getting to his understanding that what these agitators wanted was simply devolution of powers.

“When I interviewed 12 persons on their understandings of what restructuring is all about, what I got was different from the 12 persons. Some said, they wanted 3, or 4 regions and some said they want 12 states. But, in all, I got to understand that all they were asking for is devolution of powers and this is not too much to ask for.

The new YCE leader had listed youth reorientation, agriculture, Yoruba agitation, and culture as among the issues asked to be tabled before the statesman.

Members of the Council that joined Oyekan were Secretary-General YCE, Chief Dipo Oyewole, Ekerin Osunlabu (Chairman), YCE Ogun State, Otunba Akindele (National Treasurer), Elder Sontan, Princess Bamigboye (State Secretary) YCE Ogun State and Elder Dolapo Bakreen.

Other were Alhaji Bolatito, Dr. Dosunmu, Alhaji Adegboyega (Oyo state) Chief Engr. Ogunlade (Oyo State), Chief E. O. Fadipo (YCE Lagos), and Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, who facilitated the visit.