The Yoruba Unity Forum, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to deal with the pervasive poverty in the country and find solution to unemployment among young people saying there are too much of the two ills in the country.
The Forum made the call in an open letter signed by its chairman, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Gbonigi and read to newsmen by the deputy chairman, Retired Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, at a press conference held at late Chief Obafemi Awolowo residence in Ikenne, Ogun state, Thursday.
According to the deputy chairman of the Forum, the letter had become necessary following the refusal of the President to meet with the group.
Reading the letter further, YUF pointed out that though Nigeria is bedevilled with several socio-political problems, poverty and unemployment together with nepotism top the list under President Buhari.
It added that a critical look at all the political appointments since Buhari took office, showed that 69.5% of them were from the North, with about two-third of the appointments coming from the President’s North-West geo-political zone.
On the economy, the Forum expressed concern over the rapid decline in the country’s foreign reserves while revenue available to all tiers of government has also taken a serious plunge due to the fall in oil production and falling international prices.
“We are concerned about the escalating cost of staple foods and the continuous deterioration of the level of power supply”, the letter added.
Proffering solutions to the economic challenges, however, the Forum suggested “belt-tightning” policies calling for reduction in the number of aides across all tiers of government and making government officials to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods.
YUF further stressed the need for mechanised agricultural development with emphasis on youth empowerment through guaranteed loans to cultivate leased portions of land.
Other solutions proffered by the forum are the promotion of local manufacturing through establishment of industrial parks as well as involvement of youths in infrastructural development to promote youth employment.
Meanwhile, the forum called for a more credible fight against corruption and the implementation of the recommendations of the Sovereign National Conference (SNC) held in 2014.
“The 2014 National Conference, consisting of 492 delegates across Nigeria, met for over three months and arrived by consensus on over 600 resolutions, aimed at a substantial restructuring of the Nigerian nation, to achieve more justice and a greater sense of belonging to all ethnic nationalities.
“It is therefore painful to read that you have consigned the recommendation of this conference to the archives. We strongly urge you to have a rethink on the matter. It will be anti-thetic to democracy to consign to the archives, the products of the minds of a large cross-section of enlightened Nigerians, cutting across all shades of opinion, even if you personally disagree with them. To ignore the recommendations of the conference will be to waste the enormous resources spent on it and turn it into an abandoned project, to join the plethora of abandoned projects littering the nation”. The letter stated.