They said without jobs for the teeming population of youths in the country, government’s fight against insecurity would be a mirage.
The Yoruba leaders made the observations at the Annual Distinguished Lecture/ 5th Merit Award Ceremony and N100 million Appeal Fund of Ede Unique Club in Ede, Osun.
The lecture had as theme:” Imperatives Of National Security : South-West in Focus.”
Prof. Banji Akintoye, who was one of the keynote speakers at the event, said massive poverty in the country was largely responsible for various security challenges in the country.
Akintoye, an Emeritus Professor of History, said it was not possible for people to be living in abject poverty and expect improved security in the country.
He said due to high level of poverty in the country, many youths, especially from the South West, were risking their lives through the Sahara desert for a greener pasture in the developed countries.
Akintoye, who noted that the South West was not spared from high level of unemployment and insecurity, berated South West governors for not doing enough to create jobs for the youths.
He said: ” There is no doubt that there is massive poverty in the South West and in the country at large.
“And it is painful that our South West governors do not know how to handle poverty.
“Rather than creating job opportunities, we are enrolling our children in schools with no job prospects.
“Poverty is becoming unbearable in the region and as a result, many youths in the South West are engaging in drug abuse and other illegal activities.
“The economy is declining, many are losing their jobs, there is high level of corruption in the land and people are living in abject poverty.
“There is no doubt that there is urgent need for economic revival in the South West and in the country at large.”
In his address, Chief Gani Adams, the Aare OnaKankanfo of Yorubaland, said South West governors must not relent in their efforts to tacklie insecurity in the region.
Adams, who was represented by Chief Yinka Oguntimeyin, a legal practitioner, said insecurity was destroying cultural and ecotourism business in the country.
He appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the fight against insecurity in the country.
In his remarks Prof. Kajogbola Alimi, the President of the club, said the topic of the lecture was carefully chosen to discuss the security challenges in the South West and the country at large.
Alimi said security was a serious matter that should not be left in the hands of government alone because of its importance.
He said it was hight time government and other relevant stakeholders looked inwards to provide solutions to the security challenges in the region and the country at large.
Also speaking, Alhaji Adebayo Jimoh, the Chairman of the occasion, said government must tackle food insecurity and poor governance, which he said were part of reasons for insecurity in the country.
Jimoh,a former Chairman of Oodua Group, also said there was the need for government to embrace technology in fighting security challenges in the country rather than relying on military hardware alone.(NAN)