Chief Julius Adetunji Ajibose, is Baale of Adebu Ajibose town in Oke-aro, Ogun state. In this interview with Patrick Aigbokhan, the monarch x-rays some of the unpleasant situations bedeviling the growth of Nigeria, while also suggesting ways out of the dilemma. Excerpts:
Sir, how can you view the present situation of the country as it affects the entire citizenry?
The present situation, as we can see, is affecting everybody. A lot of people in the country are lamenting of hunger, and they don’t know what to do about it. There is no much money in circulation, and commodities seem to be appearing scarce. Everybody seems to be managing the little that is available at hand. But we pray that by the grace of God things will turn out in good shape as soon as possible.
So, what do you think could be responsible for this situation sir?
Well, this is an issue that has lingered for a long time now. It is not new. But unfortunately, the government did not take cognizance of it. It is the work of those in the government who are disvaluing the Nigerian currency; those who are looting several amounts of money from the government’s purses and stashing it away to foreign countries. And those countries where they are taking our monies to are making use of the funds for the development of their own economy.
Look at our revenues coming from all the government agencies, most of the officials there are not sincere to the nation on the generation of these incomes.
If we are sincere in this country, we have enough revenue that can sustain us for a very long time.
Why should we have oil in our country, yet the citizens are purchasing it at a high price, why should that be? We are repairing our resources for the benefit of the citizens, yet the supposed beneficiaries are the ones damaging those facilities.
Now, on the part of your local territory here as a monarch, how have you been able to impact your community?
The situation has not been easy from the part of our local government chairmen. So, they have not been able to perform well in their community at the local government level. And for us as monarchs, whenever we complain to them, seeking their interventions in execution of developmental projects, they will say there is no money. So, as I am, with my financial level, where do I get money to execute such community projects?
Now, in our community, we need a community health centre, we need market, but these needs are yet to be met. As it is now, we have only one public school in this Oke-aro. We are supposed to have more schools, at least, so that pupils don’t have to travel a long distance to get to their schools. If there is lack of funds for transportation, any pupil who lives a far distance from the school might get stranded at some points or the other.
The youths in your community are a major and productive category of the society, sir, what words of admonition do you have for them?
Well, we have peaceful youths in our communities here who are no trouble makers. They are the leaders of tomorrow, and my advice to them is that they should be focused. It is not all youths that have good parents who want their children to be useful in life. So, I will like to advice our youths that whatever hand work their parents offer them money to learn, they should please oblige and be grateful, instead of choosing to roam about or turning a commercial bicycle driver.
Most youths today just resolve to becoming commercial motorcycle operators, whereas it is a job that has no future value, because it drains strength within a short period.
But if a youth learns an artisan job, he will make something good out of it and the job will last him for a long time. And even the children of that person can even inherit that trade.