Ekiti @25: Afe Babalola Decries Poor Development Indices, Says Pulling out of Old Ondo Was Big Mistake


Legal icon, Aare Afe Babalola has decried the alleged poor development indices in Ekiti State 25 years after its creation. 

The founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti(ABUAD) in his message to mark the 25th Anniversary  of the nation’s fountain of knowledge, entitled: ” Ekiti State, A Tolder At 25″ argued that 25 years down  the line, the state was unable to achieve the dreams of its founding fathers.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)  posited that with the alleged backwardness of the State in the areas of infrastructures, it creation and pulling out of the old Ondo State almost became a big mistake.

” I am beginning to doubt if those of us (dead and alive) who fought for the creation of Ekiti State were right in opting out of the bigger Ondo State.

Today, there are many villages in Ekiti without electricity for years,

The roads are worse than ever before, The Airport which we thought would support Ikogosi Warm Spring remains a dream.

Industries that would have produced employment are non-existent.

“Regretfully and up till now, Ekiti has not achieved the anticipated lofty objectives of the founding fathers. Twenty-five years after its creation, Ekiti state remains a land-locked, motorway-locked, airport-locked, rail-way locked, industry-locked and power-locked, a development which adversely affect economic development in the State.

“Today, Ekiti state has the worst road network in the country while the only industry in Ekiti even before Ekiti State was created, the O’odua Textile Industry established during the Chief Obafemi Awolowo regime, has folded up. To compound matters, the state lacks the necessary infrastructure to attract investors to the state.” Babalola lamented.

Expressing  further regrets,the Aare Bamofin of Yorubaland said “like their peers in other states of the federation, Local Governments in Ekiti State do not have the necessary funds to assist farmers with farm equipment like tractors, Bulldozers, pay loaders, low loaders and riggers which they used to rent out to farmers at subsidized rates as it was before the creation of the state.

“Unfortunately, the National Assembly, successive Governors and Ministers to who I have personally written petitions have ignored them.

Today, Ekiti State remains an ailing state in the hand of a dying mother nation.

“Our highly qualified professionals are migrating to other states where they locate their businesses and pay their taxes.

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Adding, “It is a notorious fact 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 was contributing as much as 52% 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.

“All said and particularly from the gruesome picture painted above, there is nothing for Ekiti State to celebrate at 25.

“However, for me, there is nothing to celebrate by engaging in any social gathering. As one of the active founders of our state, I confirm that our hope was that the state would be nurtured to become the showpiece among the comity of states in Nigeria.”

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