Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty, HRM, Adeyeye Adewusi in his goodwill message intoned that Nigeria’s foundation was wrong.
He emphasized the inclusion of Nigerian youths in the system to help salvage the country.
“Our dear country Nigeria is the binding force for each and every one of us here today. We don’t have any other place. The nation belongs to all of us. We are here talking.
“In our dear country that has brought all of us together here, the youngest serving governor is only 46 years old. And we all know the demography of this country.
“The demography of this country is above 50 all the way to the age of dependency is less than 30 per cent. But between the age of 18 and under 40, we have them in numbers of more than 70 per cent. And we are talking about security here.
“Who are the active participants whenever we have a breakdown of law and order? It is the average age of 18 and 39, and that is the truth. Are they ghosts? Are they invisible? The answer is no. They are human beings.
“But every time we are talking the talk, the Number 2 man, Number 3 man, Number 4 man, they are all saying the same thing the way His Eminence said it. And the participants are not faceless; they are not ghosts. It is very idiotic and stupid for us to be doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. We will continue to get the same results.
“Let us be very truthful and honest to ourselves in this country, we all know the problems. How well are we carrying along with these people in that age bracket? Who is representing that age bracket in this hall? The answer is no one. We are not engaging them at all. But whenever we want to go for political posts and appointments, we go back to them. We know the good, the bad, and the ugly in their category.
“As traditional rulers, they are the most active in our system. Let us tell ourselves the truth, they are hungry and they are angry. I repeat: they are hungry and they are very angry. All of us that are here, I will be very happy if anybody can raise up their hand and say ‘I can go to my constituency, my local government area, and I can stay there in peace for one week.’ Who can do it here? Including our gatekeepers, who can do it here? Including the Senate President, including the Speaker.
“But you left the traditional rulers; you left district heads, the baales to continue to stay there. And you are saying all will be well in this country. We are the ones facing these youths; we know their problems and we have been talking every time. You sit in beautiful offices and you all think all will be well? Let us be very truthful in this country. Look at this beautiful building; as beautiful as this building is, if the foundation is wrong, the entire building will collapse because the foundation has a problem.
“In this gathering, the Senate President mentioned the key factor – the collapse of local government. It has collapsed. Let us be very truthful to ourselves, it has collapsed completely. That is the only arm of government that is the foundation of this country; you don’t have any other foundation. We are only building on a castle that has completely broken down. That is the foundation that will gather the most active age bracket for you in this country. You say we have 774 local governments and several wards. Where do we have the wards being put together?
“It is under the local government’s constituency. They are underfunded; you don’t even reference them for anything; you don’t even care about their administration. Where did we get it wrong in this country? We all have faults – all of us here. If we keep talking, we will not get any results. It is getting worse.
“They are getting more emboldened. They are not very bold and they are ready to face anybody because they are hungry and they are angry. Let us change our strategy. Let us change our style. You leave this age bracket. If there will be problems, you give them guns to start to move around. You will never see anybody above our age in our comfort zone here that is really ready to face the music.
“It is very important for all of us to know that we are not all safe; we are not safe at all. Let us engage a lot of youth organisations that are very relevant; that understand the local government administration and governance within every district and locality of this country. It is very important for us to continue to engage them in every programme we do in this country. You have neglected that category completely. In the hall we are right now, you have neglected them because they are not represented here; they are not at all. So, what are we going to come out here to talk about? And that is our foundation. It is our foundation.
“We should be very serious in this country. We should talk very seriously. This issue of security is not the problem of the service chiefs; it is not the problem of the lawmakers; it is not the problem of the executive arm of government; it is a problem of all of us.
“How many of this active population that is under you that you are taking care of? What is the essence of you being a politician that you cannot even move around freely? You cannot! Do you think only Abuja is Nigeria? Or Lagos? Thirty-six states of this country, people are there and you left them. You abandoned them. And you are making laws and administering. What are you administering? I do not know.
“So, let us talk to ourselves very seriously. The people that are not ghosts; these people that are agitating left and right, we need to engage them. We need to actually engage them and separate the corn from the chaff. We know the good and the bad amongst them.
“We can easily separate them by engaging them. Draw them closer. If we engage the people that are active, it will be a lot easier for us. On this note, I want to thank the organisers and I want to tell is that enough of talking the talk, let us walk the talk”, he said.