2024: Solve socio-economic problems in citizens’ interest, Ekiti elders tell FG

By John Odunjo

The Ekiti Council of Elders have urged the Federal Government to, in the year 2024, step up efforts to address the challenges of the country in the interest of the citizens.

The council listed the challenges to include the economic miseries ravaging the polity, continuing insecurity involving murder, arson, kidnaping and other acts of plunder.

The elders’ Council expressed sadness over the death last week of former Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, describing it as a personal loss of a man they called a “frontline patriot and champion of Yoruba national interests”.

These were contained in the New Year message of the elders signed by the Council’s President, Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi; General Secretary, Elder Niyi Ajibulu; and Public Relations Officer, Dr Bayo Orire.

The message reads:

“The Ekiti Council of Elders (ECE) felicitates with our compatriots across Nigeria, with particular reference to the Southwest, this festive and happy season. Even in the midst of the daunting socio-economic miseries ravaging the polity, Christmas remains a re-kindler of the hope of salvation, while the New Year renews and re-invigorates our aspirations for remarkable improvements in our lives.

“As we begin a new year, the ECE also wishes to share with fellow citizens its thoughts on some of the current national developments and events of concern and interest.

“Most importantly and with a deep sense of personal loss, the Council wishes to commiserate with the family, government and people of our sister State, Ondo, over the demise of its Chief Executive, His Excellency, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, aka “Aketi”.

“The Council is especially saddened because the late AKETI was a frontline patriot and champion of Yoruba national interests. It is our hope that his exemplary devotion to national causes would have inspired countless others. Olodumare shall console and strengthen his family as well as bring enduring stability to the conduct of public affairs in Ondo State.

“Inevitably, the Council also notes with concern the continuing economic hardship plaguing the majority of Nigerians. But the Council acknowledges the palliative measures as well as the structural reforms being undertaken by the federal and state governments to stabilize and re-vitalise the economy to enhance the wellbeing of the people.

“The Council is especially happy with the news of the resuscitation of the Port Harcourt petro-chemical refinery. We are equally satisfied with the ongoing efforts to uncover and prosecute the criminal cabal seemingly sworn to the destruction of Nigeria through stealing and other acts of pillaging its wealth by executive fiat. The Almighty shall bring these efforts to positive fruition for the masses of Nigerians.

“Closer to home, the Council wishes to thank His Excellency, Governor Biodun Abayomi Oyebanjo, aka BAO, for extending palliatives to Ekiti elders. On behalf of all beneficiaries, we wish BAO’s administration unbroken success and unalloyed blessings in the service of Ekiti.

“In the same vein, the Council takes due cognisance of the commencement of an outer ring road to improve the transportation network of the Ado-Ekiti metropolis. The Council appreciates the good intentions of this administration in embarking on this large-scale project. However, we would advise the Ekiti government to widely sensitize the people to the considerations that informed the vision behind the critical project.

“The large infrastructural undertaking has long-term physical, environmental, economic, social and other ramifications for an ever-soaring trajectory of development for Ekiti State. Sharing the vision, purpose and benefits of the project with the people will therefore effectively disabuse the minds of critics who may like to dismiss it as highfalutin and pandering to elitist interests. Seamlessly, such citizen engagement will earn the project a sense of public ownership, which is pivotal to its success

“Finally, the Council cannot but register its grave concern over the continuing insecurity involving murder, arson, kidnaping and other acts of plunder all over the country. The recent mass murder and destruction in parts of Plateau State are a very sore case in point. It is very disturbing that the spokespersons of the victims are openly insinuating Federal Government’s complicity in what they believe to be part of a long term agenda of ethnic cleansing of certain sections of the country.

“The Council therefore calls upon the Federal Government and its security agencies to forthwith take decisive actions that will promptly put a stop to this festering dangerous mind set,” Oluwasanmi, Ajibulu and Orire said in the statement.

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