Politics Has Destroyed Ekiti – Afe Babalola
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Aare Afe Babalola, on Thursday bemoaned what he called the poor state of development in Ekiti State, where he hails from, and concluded that politics has eroded the values of the state.
But apart from politics, Babalola also blamed the misfortune of his state on the discovery of oil in 1956 at Olobiri, Bayelsa State, which, he said, diverted his people’s attention from agriculture, which, according to him, was their economic forte.
He said this on Thursday at maiden edition of Ekitipanupo Colloquium on Development, which held at Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.
The theme of the colloquium was, “Restoring Ekiti Enterprise Values and Defining the Pathway to Lasting Socio-Economic Development.”
Babalola said, “It is on record that apart from Gombe State, Ekiti State receives the least allocation from the monthly Federal Government allocation to states. It will interest you that Ekiti land was contributing 44 per cent of the total revenue of the old Western Region through the instrumentality of agricultural produce. But all that would appear to have disappeared, no thanks to the advent of oil which drew people away from their otherwise lucrative pastime of farming, which used to fetch them handsome income in the days of yore.”
Babalola said though politics, in itself, is a good thing, it had not been played properly in Nigeria.
He said it was regrettable that in the name of politics, successive leadership of Ekiti State always jettisoned uncompleted projects by their predecessors, while they embarked on their own, which they also did not usually complete before leaving office.
He attributed the trend to what he called the falling m0ral values of respect for the elders in Ekiti State.
He said, “Unfortunately, this is a country where newly elected political office-holders don’t see the need to build on the foundation laid by their predecessors because they find it difficult to distinguish between politics and governance. This, in many cases, has led people taking over the reins of government from their predecessors to always abandon the projects of their predecessors and start their own particularly when such predecessors are not from the same party with the new helmsman and almost in all of such cases to the disadvantage of the generality of the people.”