Oyo State Social Democratic Party (SDP) gubernatorial candidate, Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday identified poverty as the greatest challenge confronting the country and posited that “unless the menace is frontally tackled, the future looks bleak.”
The engineer-turned politician made this remark at the public presentation of a book titled: ‘Election Law Practice in Nigeria,’ published in his honour in Ibadan.
Makinde, who said the youth of the country which “forms the larger percentage of the population are the worst hit by the trend and when they are faced with grinding poverty, they are bound to engage is status changing act which does not augur well for the society.
“When the youths are faced with this kind of ugly situation, they are bound to lose hope in the future and result to violence and crime which is why we should all put on our thinking caps to arrest the situation and save our future.
“When people ask me to wait till another four years to actualize my dream, I tell them that the struggle to secure the future is an effort that should have started years back, we can’t wait for another four years to begin the process”, he said.
Dwelling on the book being launched, Makinde said it was a project worth giving support in view of the importance of law to the success of the country’s nascent democracy and the belief that “we could use law to secure the future we are talking about.”
The chairman of the occasion, who is former Federal Director of Budget/Special Adviser to the President on Budget Affairs between 1979 and 1983, Theophilus Akinyele, identified factors that had been and would continue to be responsible for election rigging in the country.
The factors according to him “are the weaknesses in the electoral law, weaknesses in the character of electoral officials and weaknesses in the conscience of politicians”, adding, “elections can be rigged and could be rigged in the past and may still be rigged in the future if the same obnoxious enabling environment prevails”.
In his own remark, the President-General of Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes Chief Adebayo Oyero, described Makinde as the pride of Ibadan land who has distinguished himself in his callings.