As President Muhammadu Buhari takes oath of office for a second term on Wednesday, legal luminary and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Chief Afe Babalola, has said restructuring remains the way out of the country’s problems.
Babalola listed the problems to include dwindling naira value, lull in economy, insecurity, unemployment, hunger, laziness, rot in the education sector, neglect of agricultural sector, unpaid salaries and unavailability of funds to run government.
He said, “The President Buhari-led administration should first seek the restructuring of the constitution and revert to true federalism and all the aforementioned problems will evaporate.”
The ABUAD founder made the assertion in a statement titled, “Seek ye first restructuring and all other problems will evaporate,” in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday to commemorate Buhari’s inauguration for second term on Wednesday (today).
He said, “My message to Nigerians and particularly to the new President Buhari-led administration on this solemn occasion is to adopt the Biblical injunction to first seek the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other things will follow.
“The First Republic was the golden era characterised by prosperity. That was when the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a transformational leader, was the Premier of Western Region and led the way with the transformational agenda while other regions followed suit. Nigeria therefore grew in leaps and bounds.
“But for the coup of January 15, 1966, Western Region and indeed the whole country would have caught up with England and other countries in Europe. It was the constitution foisted on us by the military that derailed the development and became the harbinger of all the ills listed above.”
He added, “Our naira was stronger than the US dollar. At some point in the past it was 95k (less than N1) to $1, but now it is N365 to $1. Begging was an abomination, but now it is the order of the day. Go to any ceremony whether in the church, the mosque or any social gathering, they (beggars) are there in quantum plying their trade.
“Life was safe on the road, in the house and on the farm but now, insecurity is a recurring decimal in the country. Kidnapping and armed robbery only existed in the dictionary, but now they have become stark and worrisome realities. Cattle rearers were very friendly, only using sticks to control their animals, but now they are armed with sophisticated weapons like AK 47.
“Farming was then the mainstay of the economy, but now it has been abandoned. Food was in abundance, but now importation of food has taken over.
“Unemployment was unknown, but now most of the graduates churned out by the country’s tertiary institutions are largely unemployed as a result of which many of them have become ‘Okada’ riders.
“Our university degrees were respected all over the world, now they are derided and despised by many of the blue chip companies which prefer employing overseas-trained graduates.
“Political office holders at all levels earned only sitting allowances, but now, politics has become the only lucrative business in town.
“Local government councils were effective as they had enough funds to run their affairs, now the funds that trickle from the governors can barely pay salaries of local government workers,” the ABUAD founder said.