The Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, has said Nigeria needs a new constitution to solve the imbalance, poverty, and other myriads of problems confronting it as a nation.
Babalola said the new document, which he called “the constitution of the people,” would, among other things, encourage 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 N30million 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 noted that the inability of government to tame poverty has been responsible for protests across the country. Adding that: “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 including on the part of farmers especially considering the killing of farmers and fear of going to the farms.
He said: “There is a very simple solution to that. We need a new constitution where the different nations can develop at their own pace. 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.”
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 in society”.