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Ekiti Must Regain Lost Values To Gain Growth and Development - By Ojo Ademilua, Irohinoodua

Ekiti people spoke with one voice today: Our state needs urgent rebirth. This was the verdict after a day-long colloquium organized by Ekitipanupo, the foremost indigenous intellectual institution, Irohinoodua reports.
Hundreds of Ekiti professionals gathered at the event which held at the Anchor Event Centre in Lagos today with each speaker offering the way out of the current social and economic malaise that has been the lot of the state in recent times.
The theme of the colloquium was “Restoring Ekiti Enterprise Values and Defining the Pathway to Lasting Socio-Economic Development” The gathering which drew Ekiti from every land and clime came up with a committee charged with the responsibility of creating a new pathway for sustainable livelihood in the state. Participants were full of praises for Okan Seye Adetunmbi who pioneered Ekitipanupo with other Ekiti professionals. The forum expressed regret that enterprise has declined in Ekiti and what now flourish is youths that have taken politics as a lifelong profession without any enthusiasm for enterpreneur means of livelihood.

Speaking at the event,  Prof Banji Akintoye, a native of Ado-Ekiti, an Awoist and former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the second Republic bemoaned the state of affairs in Ekiti saying it merely reflects the moral and cultural meltdown of the troubled Nigerian state. He said the revival of Ekiti should be seen within the context of the debate on the structure of the Nigerian state and the need to deconstruct the overbearing attitude of Nigeria to consolidate true federalism. Prof Mobolaji Aluko, the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke said Ekiti should work towards self sufficiency. “We are a young nation of hope, a community with rolling hills, rich forests and huge deposits of solid minerals” he said adding that Ekiti which is about 2.8 million people has a population more than 90 sovereign countries in the United Nations, (UN). He said Ekiti people are defined with ‘courage, ability to confront fear, prudence and wisdom.” He however said that courage is a virtue but when taken too far it becomes a vice.

A former Senator representing Ekiti North Local Government Area, Bunmi Adetunmbi said Ekiti has many challenges that should be overcome before the state can rise on its feet. He said one of the major problems with Ekiti is poverty. 50 percent of the population are poor, he said adding that an unhappy population will not lead to productivity. He identified some of the problems as low level of economic activity, saying that in a recent survey, while there were 11,000 Small Scale Industries in Lagos and 2000 in Ondo, there are only a meager 1,030 SMS in Ekiti. He said the Internally Generate Revenue of Ekiti State if share among the civil service workforce will only result in about N4,435 per civil servant while in Lagos it will amount to N489,000.  This is compounded by the fact that Ekiti state has one of the lowest windfall from the Federal Government.

Radical Lagos lawyer said Ekiti has been seeing business fortunes leaving the state in large numbers due to the hostile political environment. He said the state’s biggest youth industry is thugs. “The thugs in Ekiti are now more violent than the thugs in Lagos. Rural communities have been taken over by thugs.” He praised the regime of ousted Dr Kayode Fayemi for lifting the state to number 11 on the West African School Certificate Performance index linking the trend to the abolition of miracle centres which he feared might have been revived.

Falana said EKitipanup can only make meaningful impact if the group and other similar institutions take the bold step of ensuring that credible people emerge as the state’s next generation of leaders

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