A leading legal practitioner in Nigeria and President of the Caleb and Greg Foundation, CAGG, Olusegun Bamgbose, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari should have nothing doing in the State House if he can’t tackle poverty.
He called on the President to declare war on poverty and joblessness among youths in the country.
In a statement released on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, the senior lawyer said, “Extreme poverty in Nigeria is alarming and assuming a new and dangerous trend. Most recently the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq asserted that 90 million Nigerians are living in extreme poverty.
“This is actually not shocking but a sad one. If these Nigerians were a country, it will be more populous that Germany. It’s really not good news because almost six people in Nigeria fall into poverty trap every minute.
“We, therefore, call on Buhari’s government to declare total war against extreme poverty and go further to declare State of emergency on joblessness in the country. Wars can’t be fought without weapons.
“The weapons should be pragmatic and purposeful programs that will clearly minimize poverty in Nigeria.
“The World Poverty Clock has clearly indicated that if nothing seriously and sustainable is done to curtail poverty, Nigeria might be home to 120 million people living in extreme poverty come 2030.
“This is dreadful. I want to say here with all sense of responsibility that this is certainly not the best of time for President Buhari to be out of the country for more than five days.
“The economic status of Nigeria being the poverty capital of the world must change.
“Something urgent and cogent must be practically done to nip in the bud this perennial problem of poverty, hardship and joblessness.
“The introduction of N-Power is quite good but more is expected from the government to reduce meaningfully the poverty trend in Nigeria.
“Poverty and joblessness breed crime and violence. Our youths are finding crime attractive because the jobs are not there.
“No country in the world has ever succeeded in curbing the wave of crime without first tackling poverty headlong.
“Mahatma Gandhi once said that poverty is the worst form of violence. It’s not in doubt that poverty is a nightmare.
“The government must search for extraordinary ways through which poverty will be minimized if not eradicated.
“It won’t be out of place to come up with a committee with a mandate to come up with blueprints on how jobs can be created and poverty minimized.
“If this government can’t find a way to minimize poverty then the government has failed in its responsibility .
“President Buhari has nothing doing in State House if he can’t tackle poverty. On our part as Foundation, we shall launch LEAP Community in 2020.
“Let’s Eradicate Abject Poverty, LEAP. It’s our expectation that about 25 million Nigerians will be part of the community.
“Our main aim is to join forces with the government and stakeholders to eradicate poverty in Nigeria not later that 2030. We however expect President Buhari to take the lead in fighting poverty.
“Our universities turn out graduates every year but joblessness stare at them. Crime and prostitution are now on the increase as a result of poverty and joblessness. The time to act decisively is now. “