By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
A legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has blamed the upsurge of cultism and crime in the country on youth unemployment, urging well-meaning patriots to place high premium on youth empowerment to complement government’s efforts.
The eminent lawyer condemned the killings of six persons during a cult clash in Ikere-Ekiti,Ikere Local government of Ekiti State last week.
This came as the Ogoga of Ikere -Ekiti, Oba Adejimi Adu, appealed to parents to guard their children against arson attacks, political thuggery and cultism, threatening to invoke the spirit against crime perpetrators in the town.
Six persons were shot dead in the town last week Sunday during a bloody clash between two rival cult groups, which threw the state into deep mourning and panic.
The Senior Lawyer, who spoke in Ikere- Ekiti on Saturday when Wole Olanipekun Foundation distributed N50,000 each to 200 aged and youth in the town, said the measure was conceived to reduce crime rate via promotion of small scale businesses.
The Legal Icon, said : “How can our youth and our future be killing in the name of cultism? We need to help the government to engage our unemployed youth. This shouldn’t be left to government alone. The killing has portrayed us in bad light. We shouldn’t be in the news for negative reasons.
“I was saddened when I heard that six of our youth were killed. Though,not all of them were indigenes, but we need to look inwards and protect our town from being turned into a killing field”.
Olanipekun added that the foundation intended to empower 600 persons with N50,000 each between 2020-2022, saying those who received cheques represented the 2020 batch.
“We were supposed to hold this last year, but because of that lockdown imposed nationwide and globally to combat Covid 19 pandemic. The 2021 batch will be done in July while the 2022 will be held early next year.
“We know that things are very bad economically. Our economy, according to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria , Godwin Emefiele is in a bad shape. He didn’t pretend about it. Poverty is high. But with this kind of entrepreneurial encouragement and gift to our aged, our youth can be more productive”, he added.
Angered by increasing crime rate in the town, Oba Adu warned that; “We will invoke the spirit against cultists, because we won’t allow them to spoil the reputation of this town. We will place a curse on them, but before we do that, they must change and if they refuse to change, they will face the consequences.
“How can people be doing cultism? What is it for? What are they trying to gain? What is their mission? My people should prevent them from making Ikere- Ekiti a safe haven for bad boys. We won’t allow it”, he said.
The monarch, who bemoaned that it was only Ikere that police stations were razed in Ekiti during the EndSARS protest, said: ” It is a failure of the parents for the children to go into thuggery. Don’t allow anyone to use you for thuggery. Let us try and guard our children”, he advised.
Applauding Olanipekun for his benevolence, Oba Adu added that the Lawyer had been dishing out empowerments and scholarships to the indigenes for 25 years, urging the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously for the purpose not to be defeated.
Also lauding the good gestures of the donor, the Speaker,Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, described Olanipekun as a philanthropist and illustrious son of the town, who has been a role model and architect of modernity in the community.