Legal icon and founder of Afe Babalola University(ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, on Tuesday declared that the restructuring of the country was not negotiable.
Babalola spoke in Okemesi Ekiti at the unveiling of a statue and garden erected in his honour by a group, Afe Babalola Beneficiaries Worldwide.
He said addressing what he called the lopsided structure of the country was the solution the hydra-headed problems confronting the nation.
“I want to emphasise that the only change that can change the country for the better and pave way for the evolution of one nation is the change that changes the structure of Nigeria
“It is the duty of government to provide roads, electricity, airport, rail line and other infrastructure, but unfortunately all these are not there resulting in spiral unemployment, poverty and criminality
“Restructuring remains the change that will make politics less attractive, make each state developed and curb criminality
” It is the change that will make every component of Nigeria to develop their resources, provide employment, eradicate poverty and make individuals become true Nigerians.
“It is restructuring that will curb overconcentration of power at the centre and genuinely reduce corruption and promote harmony and unity,’’ he said.
On the increasing poverty level in Ekiti State, he urged Gov. Kayode Fayemi to look inwards and develop the tourism potentials of the state.
He expressed regrets at the abandoned Ekiti Parapo War Heroes Museum at Okemesi Ekiti, saying it was enough to transform the economy of the state if harnessed.
Laying a wreath at the museum in honour of fallen heroes, Babalola commended the war commanders that prosecuted the Kiriji War between 1877 and 1886, saying their efforts liberated Ekiti from the Ibadan troops.
“It is shameful that these heroes who fought for the unity and amalgamation of Ekiti are not being celebrated.
“ The tourism potentials in this town alone, I mean those relics we gathered from the war front, can turn the economy of this state around
“Today, the only thriving industry in Ekiti, in particular, is politics while other sectors are neglected.
“ The government must invest in these other meaningful sectors and turn around the economy of our dear state in line with the dream of its founding fathers,’’ he said.
News men report that the Oowa Ooye of Okemesi Ekiti, Oba Adedeji Gbadebo, and the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Ademola Ajakaye as well as the initiator of the project, Mr Morakinyo Ogunniyi, all lauded Babalola’s contributions to the development of the state. (NAN)