A renowned legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN) on Sunday expressed concern over the rising spate of poverty and unemployment level in the country.
Olanipekun said the hydra-headed issues of high poverty and unemployment rate among Nigerians had remained a major contributor to the rising insecurity across the country.
The Senior Lawyer, who spoke in Ikere Ekiti when Wole Olanipekun Foundation distributed N50,000 each to 200 aged and youths, said the killings of six persons during a recent cult clash in the town was caused as a result of youth unemployment.
While calling on the government across all levels to halt the ugly trends through life- changing policies and programmes, he urged public-spirited individuals to place priority on youth empowerment to complement government’s efforts.
“How can our youth and our future be killing in the name of cultism? We need to help the government to engage our unemployed youth. This shouldn’t be left to government alone. The killing has portrayed us in bad light. We shouldn’t be in the news for negative reasons.
“I was saddened when I heard that six of our youth were killed. Though, not all of them were indigenes, but we need to look inwards and protect our town from being turned into a killing field”.
Olanipekun added that the foundation intended to empower 600 persons with N50,000 each between 2020-2022, saying those who received cheques represented the 2020 batch.
“We were supposed to hold this last year, but because of that lockdown imposed nationwide and globally to combat Covid 19 pandemic. The 2021 batch will be done in July while the 2022 will be held early next year.
“We know that things are very bad economically. Our economy, according to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , Godwin Emefiele is in a bad shape. He didn’t pretend about it. Poverty is high. But with this kind of entrepreneurial encouragement and gift to our aged, our youth can be more productive”, he added.
In his remarks, Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu appealed to parents to rein in their children against cultism, political thuggery and hooliganism, threatening to curse crime perpetrators in the town.
“We will invoke the spirit against cultists, because we won’t allow them to spoil the reputation of this town. We will place a curse on them, but before we do that, they must change and if they refuse to change, they will face the consequences.
“How can people be doing cultism? What is it for? What are they trying to gain? What is their mission? My people should prevent them from making Ikere Ekiti a safe haven for bad boys. We won’t allow it”, he said.
He commended Olanipekun for his ‘rare display of benevolence’ in giving to the needy and less-privileged, added that he had been dishing out empowerments in various forms to the indigenes for 25 years.