By Ayobami Ife, Abeokuta
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday, disclosed that he had looked at the agitations by various groups particularly the youths and submittedd that the agitators were actually calling for a devolution of power from centre to the constituents(regions).
Obasanjo however added that devolution of power to regions was not too much of a thing for a people to demand.
The elder statesman made this known on Wednesday when he received leaders of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) in his Penthouse within Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The Elders who paid him a courtesy visit with a call to work for the growth and development of region, listed youth reorientation, agriculture, yoruba agitation and culture as among issues tabled before the ex – president.
Obasanjo explained to the group led by Chief Ajibade Oyekan that it had just dawned on him that what these agitators wanted was simply devolution of power.
He however warned that youth development and education without required skills to provide for empowerment and employment would not bring the desired results.
He also called for truthfulness, sincerity, unity, decency, diligence and bluntness on issues at all times on matters of the region and nation.
Obasanjo said, “This youth we are talking about have education, but, they have no skills. And, education without skills in this age and time is nothing. This skill is what we know as ise owo (handwork) and they are also talking about Internet Age. If we fail to give them these skills and we are blaming them, that will not be right.
“An individual is planning to bring 30 young persons today. They called them “Areas boys(girls). I was impressed, because these people are used by politicians and if we have individuals doing this, such person deserves support in whatever form to bring these people out from their situation.
“When I interviewed 12 persons on their understandings of what restructuring is all about, what I got was different from the 12 persons. Some said, they wanted 3, 4 regions and some said they want 12 states. But, in all I got to understand that all they were asking for is devolution of power and this is not too much to ask for.”
And in a statement by Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, he listed members of the Council that joined Oyekan on courtesy visit as Secretary-General YCE, Chief Dipo Oyewole, Ekerin Osunlabu (Chairman), YCE Ogun State, Otunba Akindele (National Treasurer), Elder Sontan, Princess Bamigboye (State Secretary) YCE Ogun State and Elder Dolapo Bakreen.
Other were Alhaji Bolatito, Dr. Dosunmu,
Alhaji Adegboyega (Oyo state) Chief Engr. Ogunlade (Oyo State), Chief E. O. Fadipo (YCE Lagos) and Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, who facilitated the visit.