Obasanjo: It’s Not Too Much to Ask for Devolution of Power
James Sowole in Abeokuta
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, while playing host to the leaders of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), said some of the ongoing agitations in the country were demands precipitated by the need for devolution of power.
Obasanjo, who pledged to work for the growth and development of the Southwest region, explained that it was just getting to his understanding that what some the agitators wanted was simply devolution of powers in disguise.
“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, 4 regions and some said they wanted 12 states. But, in all, I got to understand that all they were asking for was devolution of powers and this is not too much to ask for,” he said.
In a statement released by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo called for truthfulness, sincerity, unity, decency, diligence and bluntness on issues at all times.
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.
Obasanjo, while reacting to the remarks of the new chairman of the Council, said youth development, with education, but without required skills to provide for empowerment and employment would not bring the desired results.
“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 ise owo (handwork) and they are also talking about 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, such person deserves support in whatever form to bring these people out from their situation,” he said.
The new YCE leader, had listed youth reorientation, agriculture, Yoruba agitation and culture as among issues asked to be tabled before the statesman.
Other members of the council on the visit 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.
There were also 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.