Former Justice of the International Court at the Hague, Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN) has described the introduction of the Social Security Scheme (SSS) by all governments at all levels as the only panacea to the current trend of insecurity in the country.
While linking Boko Haram insurgency to deprivation and lack of employment, Ajibola noted, “if national and State governments had introduced a welfare scheme like the SSS, we may not have to be contending with Boko Haram issue today.”
Ajibola, also a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice spoke in Ado-Ekiti yester
day when he led the delegation of Senior Citizens Care Foundation to observe the Social Security Scheme of Ekiti State government for the elderly.
The former AG, whose foundation gave Fayemi 2013 Senior Citizen Care Foundation Excellence Award, said that he would personally write to the coming national conference to include social security scheme in their agenda as one of the best solutions to the insecurity problem in Nigeria.
Members of the delegation included, the Executive Director of the Foundation Mr Jide Taiwo, Engineer Stanley Da-Sylva, Tony Awe, Ms Moyo Aganga, the Executive Adviser of the organisation, Mr. Gbolahan Gbadamosi and former Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Aremo Taiwo Alimi.
Ajibola who was also at Ikere Ekiti to supervise the payment of monthly stipend to the elderly, said he was impressed that a government in Nigeria would take seriously, the issue of the welfare of the people and praised Governor Kayode Fayemi for the initiative.
The jurist who turns 80 on March 22 said, “This is one of the happiest days in my life as I am clocking 80.
“Since the death of the former Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, I can see another leader that has passion for the welfare of the people.
“We thought all we have been hearing about this scheme was propaganda, but we are marvelled to see it happening in Ekiti. I congratulate Ekiti people for this.
“Britain has been doing it immediately after the World War II and they have not stopped it and that is one of the reasons, that nation is enjoying peace, I believe it is possible also here in Nigeria, in fact it is sine qua non to make both the elderly and unemployed youths happy in this country”.
According to him, “We have some States in Nigeria implementing some welfare programmes, but Ekiti model is exemplary, I am overwhelmed with what we saw and I will write the national confab to adopt the model.
“It is important that people must enjoy the benefit ought to be given them by any government. We should not encourage where we have a lot of poor people, those who are deprived, the benefit must be spread to everybody. Things must go round and it must be done every time.
“Very soon, we are likely to have social security that will cater for even the elders and the unemployed in Nigeria, it is important that government should care for everyone, including their education, health care services, and should be in right direction.
“We have seen it happening in Ekiti State, there is a gap to be filled and it is being filled at the moment. I am very happy because the government is giving them the immediate support that they should have in order to exist, in order to take care for their health and their familyâ€.
In his reaction, Fayemi said his government commenced the programme about three years ago because of his desire to cater for the vulnerable in the society.
He disclosed that three states have adopted Ekiti model of Social Security Scheme and expressed hope that it will soon be adopted at national level to fight poverty and insecurity