Popular Ogun Lawyer Habeeb Whyte Writes Open Letter To Gov. Dapo Abiodun - NEWS EXTRA ONLINE


Saturday, 7 December 2019

Popular Ogun Lawyer Habeeb Whyte Writes Open Letter To Gov. Dapo Abiodun

I remain Habeeb Whyte and I am still obliged with the responsibility that life placed on me to always suggest a path towards all round empowerment attempt as regards the youth constituency in general.

 I am writing this to you as a concerned youth of Ogun state, and not as someone who wants to gain cheap attention from your Excellency.

 I only write when unusual is becoming usual. My primary concern is not the rightness or wrongness of claims and counter claims of the political leaders of Ogun State on youth development but how their decisions affect our destiny as a Constituency. I am more bothered by the fact, as I have repeatedly mentioned, that when our age mates in sister developing States will be handed a working State with well-defined State goals, State development plans and constructive State integration policies and guidelines, that are already in operation with timelines of progress reports, we will be handed over an Ogun State where the Youth development and involvement in successive governance is buried completely. 

Sir, I have never joined discussions on the older generations handing over to younger generations because the issues are much more than that. Handing over of leadership is not a choice. Its an established natural law that nothing can change the ageing process. States in Nigeria with enlightened political leaders are conscious of the inevitability of death that is why they train younger ones to take over governance. Ours are grossly ignorant of this fact of life thats why they chose to be part of the problems of Ogun State rather than being part of the solutions. It is trite that intelligence is proved not by ease of learning but by understanding what we learn. Many a times, government give little or no attention to the development of her youths. The Youths are the drivers of any States growth both politically, economically and socially. The Ogun State youths are not an exception to this golden rule of successive leadership. 

Sir, you did promise during the electioneering campaign that the youths are going to benefit immensely from your administration. You made it clear that they would be an integral part of your administration. You sounded it that they would never be forgotten. These promises of yours showed you actually understood the pivotal role of an average Ogun Youth in the development of Ogun State. I know you know that the youths of this State at a point were neglected by her own government. The neglect back then started from the repeatedly little budgetary allocation that successive governments give to youth empowerment. There is no doubt that most of us are inclined to believe those whom we do not know, because they have never deceived us. 
Sir, you brought joy to most youths when you launched the Ogun Portal project. There is no gainsaying that the portal as at now, is the first of its kind in the State. It was a good reflection that there is a government that is ready to build on human capital through her youths. I advocated that the Ogun Portal system would help the government to get accurate data and help the government to plan adequately for the youths. It is on record that several thousands of youths registered on the portal in less than 24hours of its creation. It shows how hungry the youths are for employment and empowerment. However the recent budget that came from your administration which had just two percent for youth cannot in anyway meet the demand of Ogun State youths. Even agriculture that can be argued to be a route for youth empowerment had just five percent. This cannot cater effectively for ten percent of those that registered on Ogun Portal not to talk of other youths that do not have access to the portal. The two percent extended to youth empowerment is ridiculous. As much as we are aware that everything in the world may be endured except continued poverty. We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears. You gave us much hope on youth empowerment than what is reflected in your budget. Sir, your budget on our dear State is estimated to the tune of N449.974billion and it had just N7.896 billion for youth empowerment. 

Yes, it is not in doubt that from your budget Sir, the youth have no place in your governance when it comes to proper empowerment that is needed to drive the development you intend achieving on other sectors of the State. It can be argued logically that the minute appearance of political thoughts that youths are only needed to win elections but are not needed to build the State. I know some persons might have argued convincingly that you have done the right thing, I respectfully say sir that you have not done the right thing. The youths of this State by actions whether conducts or omission brought you into power. The reason was because the last administration never gave youth empowerment a priority. Theirs was not even as low as yours. It brought us pain. You cannot abandon young people grossly and be building infrastructures and maintaining social welfarism. It has been established that every society has the capacity to develop and all societies strive for development. I have argued sometimes that the definitions and interpretations of development are influenced by history, discipline, ideological orientation and training of the youths. They are the nation builders. We cannot build a good State through the main drivers  the youths, with a budget that is as low as yours. Sir, two percent of hundred percent is too low. It does not show that the Ogun Youths are important nor needed by your administration to drive the real governance you promised during the electioneering campaigns. This is painful. We overtime hoped this administration would get it right especially in the initiation of ideas that would boost the youth constituency and that was the purpose behind the support it enjoyed in the electioneering processes. This administration had got it wrong from the first body language character that you displayed through the Ogun State 2020 budget. 

No doubt you have made us relevant through the appointment of youths like SF Ojo Emmanuel, Lekan Olude and and Dr. Angel Kuye in critical position of governance. This is empowerment in all sense. However, we cannot determine whether or not it forms part of the two percent empowerment basis of your administration. It is better you invest in Ogun youths or else, be ready to lose the vibrant youths of this State to other States. You can check the record, most of the youths that are driving development and policies in other States of the federation are mostly from Ogun State. The records are there and glaring. I need to bring this to your notice because I know facts might be hidden from you or the words of succor from your subordinates might make you feel all is well. I must say, all is not well. If you ignore the proper empowerment of your youths simply because you feel it is better to build bridges, road and boost social welfarism, it is an indication that you would lose legitimacy sooner or later from the constituency that championed your electioneering cause.

Sir, I need to let you know that the numerical strength of the youth folk is an unlimited avenue to which the socio-economic development of any nation can strive and national development improved. Hence, if the youths are side-lined in the articulation of any nation building programme, it will be impossible to reach goals the government intends to achieve. The growing commitment to the involvement of the youth in development process is a clear recognition of their potentials as change agents within the civil society. Do not forget, that there was a particular government in this State that really empowered the youths of this State greatly. The leader of that government enjoys the support and the love of the youths after nine years of leaving office. You can enjoy such legitimacy for life if you change your stance on youth empowerment. It is possible. Remember, Ogun  Youths must have a voice and must be given a greater say to contribute in the way they are governed and allowed to play greater role in leadership and governance so that at all times, they would be properly equipped to assume the mantle of leadership which inevitably must come someday. If you dont empower the youths properly, you cannot get the best from them. Everything changes continually. What is history indeed but a record of change. And if there had been no changes in the past, there would have been little of history to write. 

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