The Ogoga of Ikere Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu, on Sunday condemned the practice of some of his subjects, who were fond of placing fetish objects on economic projects embarked upon by others, to scare them away from the town.
The Oba spoke in Ikere Ekiti at the close of this year’s Awards Ceremony of the Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Scheme and the inauguration of the Wole Olanipekun Foundation set up to empower youths and the downtrodden.
This year, 143 students of secondary and tertiary institutions of Ekiti State extraction benefitted from the scholarship scheme, the 24th in the series.
The Oba warned that those who were in the habit of placing fetish objects on peoples’ projects might compel him to invoke the wrath of Ekiti ancestors on them if they did not desist.
He said that this was because their activities were capable of driving potential investors away and slowing down the economic development of the town
He also condemned the attempt by some unidentified persons to destroy the personal residence of Chief Olanipekun and his radio station, Cruse FM, during the #EndSARS protest, simply because the lawyer was President Muhammadu Buhari’s personal attorney.
Speaking at the event, Chief Olanipekun, a former President of Nigerian Bar Association, said that the #EndSARS protest, which nearly engulfed the entire nation, was a microcosm of the danger that would consume the nation if the country was not restructured.
He expressed regret that police stations were razed in Ikere Ekiti during the #EndSARS protest, an action that made the police to withdraw their services from the town.
Olanipekun called on individuals to partner with governments to resolve youth unemployment and the attendant restiveness.
He said that his Foundation planned to spend N15 million to empower 300 youths and another N9 million on the aged and widows in Ekiti State.
“Whatever might have been the outcome of the #EndSARS protest, the bitter takeaway there is that we must honestly, sincerely, dispassionately, unpretentiously take steps to reawaken Nigeria.
“We ought to rethink Nigeria; to rebuild Nigeria; to rehabilitate Nigeria; to rekindle Nigeria; to readjust Nigeria and to revitalise Nigeria.
“The bitterness among ethnic nationalities is so deep, and we need genuine reconciliation and restructuring of the polity. That small sore has become cancerous and we need a radical surgery to extract it,’’ he said.
Giving a breakdown of the categories of beneficiaries of this year’s scholarship scheme, Olanipekun said that 67 of them were in secondary schools, 73 were university undergraduates, three were Law School students and one was a PhD candidate.
Olanipekun added that the Foundation would kick off with the empowerment of 100 youths and 100 widows and the aged, who would get between N30,000 and N50,000 each, to begin small scale businesses.
“Under the Wole Olanipekun Foundation Youth Empowerment Programme, 100 youths will have a grant of N50,000 each in 2020.
“Another set of 100 youths will be entitled to same amount in 2021 and also in 2022, translating to 300 youth, while each of them will be entitled to non-interest yielding loans from the middle of 2021.
“For the widows and the aged people from 75 years of age, 100 of them will be empowered with N30,000 each under my foundation, as part of our poverty alleviation programme,’’ he said.