THE Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, has said what Nigeria needs to solve the imbalance, poverty and other myriads of problems confronting it as a nation is a new constitution.
Babalola said the new document, which he called “the constitution of the people”, would, among other things, encourage the emergence of transformational leaders, who would develop the country as against the present crop of leaders that he described as transactional.
The elder statesman spoke at ABUAD on Saturday while doling out N30m grant in equipment and cash to 115 youths from Ekiti State, Oyo State and Republic of Benin, who had completed training under the 2020 ABUAD; International Fund for Agricultural Development; Youth Employment in Agric-business and Sustainable Agriculture Grant Scheme.
Babalola said the inability to tame poverty had been responsible for the protests around the country, saying, “Unemployment creates poverty, poverty creates anger and anger creates violence.”
The ABUAD founder, who said farming was the path to getting Nigeria out of poverty, said the new constitution would address issues leading to insecurity.
He said, “There is a very simple solution to that. We need a new constitution where the different nations can develop at their own rate. West was doing well under the old constitution, East was doing well under the old constitution, North was doing well under the old constitution.
“But the present constitution puts leadership in a position that politics becomes the only lucrative business in Nigeria. We don’t want transactional leaders anymore; we want transformational leaders, who will be able to transform this place. The solution is a new constitution – the constitution of the people.”
Babalola, who said farming “is the greatest and the most important element of the economy of any country” advised the beneficiaries to dream of greatness.
“It is my wish that we go back to farming and the only way to do so is to train and engage youths. We are training them, equipping them and providing them fund to take off. We want to take people out of poverty by engaging agriculture where everybody can be sure that they can earn living,” the ABUAD founder said.
ABUAD Vice Chancellor, Prof. Smaranda Olarinde, said the training, equipping and empowerment of the 115 youths to become agripreneurs “will assist government in reducing unemployment and contribute to enhancing food security and reduction of poverty is society.”