The Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has said devolution of power is the fastest way to surmount myriads of challenges facing the country.
Babalola spoke Sunday on ABUAD farm during the award of N30 million grant to 115 youths in this year’s Youth Employment in Agri-Business and Sustainable Agriculture (YEASA) in partnership with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The legal icon said a brand new people-oriented constitution that will address devolution of power remains the panacea for the recurring challenges of unemployment, insecurity and poverty.
He said there was a need for the geo-political zones in the country to be given absolute power to develop at their space, adding that the current 1999 Constitution is not sufficient to address Nigeria’s socio-economic problems.
“There is a very simple solution to the growing insecurity in the country and that is a new constitution. We need a new constitution where the different nations that were formed together can develop at their own pace. West was doing well during the old constitution likewise the East and even the North but the one in operation is defective,” Babalola said.
The legal icon stressed that the nation’s major problem is leadership failure.
He accused political office holders of only showing interest in matters that benefit them at the detriment of the larger society.
“We don’t want transactional leaders anymore. What we want are servant-leaders and transformational leaders. As you can see, I am transforming this place. In the early years, in 1960, people were not earning salaries but allowances, and they were doing well.
“But now, you see people selling their property to contest elections because of the money they will get in the office. That is not the ideal thing. The solution is a new people-oriented constitution. We need people who will serve without earning salaries,” he added.
ABUAD founder decried the rising level of poverty and unemployment, saying this prompted him to empower youths to bridge the unemployment gap and make them self-reliant through agriculture.
“We introduce this programme to help end poverty in our society. That is why we are training you and giving you grants to start your business. We want to make you self-employed and remove poverty from around us. Nigeria today is a poor country and I have said I will continue to do everything in my own way to eradicate poverty in the country.
“Tell your friends out there to embrace this training and be able to transform their lives through agriculture. There is a need for our youths to engage their hands in productive things, especially in agribusiness,” he said.
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