The main hall of the popular , was last week filled with people from different backgrounds. They included politicians, public servants, businessmen and women, market men and women, media practitioners, students, artisans, among others.
The environment was serene and people naturally felt at home, with the hope of finding lasting solution to the problem of poverty in their environment. They all gathered to be part of the launching of one of the popular books trending in the very recent time; Why The Poor Are Still With Us. The writer of the book, Senator Bode Ola took time to invite those that would not only stand to benefit from the best seller, but would also impact their experience in the lives of the masses in their remote environment.
The founder of the popular Nigerian citadel of learning, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) was the chairman of the occasion. He extolled the virtue of the author for “coming up with such a book at a time like this” to the readers.
Babalola called for the collaboration of all Nigerians in fighting corruption, which he explained is the bedrock of poverty in the land.
He also enjoined Nigerian leaders to ensure that the populace are given the right platform for the thriving of their businesses.
Publisher of the book, veteran journalist and Chief Executive Officer of Gaskiya Media, Mr. Dare Babarinsa said poverty is the greatest problem in Nigeria, describing it as the resultant effect of all the evil happenings in the land.
Babarinsa said: “Why poverty must be fought and quickly eradicated from the country is because it gives birth to all the criminal activities in any given environment. Boko Haram insurgency is mainly as a result of poverty. A hungry man would give out everything to get something and this is the result. A man with a good job with balance pay would think twice before joining any criminal group, but a hungry man would easily do the unthinkable.
“What is trending now is the slave trade going on in Libya. Africans, of course, Nigerians were being treated like common goat in the strange land all because of the high level of poverty in the country. Our youths would give everything they have just to jet out of the country for greener pasture. Many were brutally murdered, sold into slave trade, prostitution and other vices in Libya. This is as a result of the high level of poverty in the land.
“Some of our youths, who could not travel out of the country, had remained in the land, causing serious trouble. As the old saying goes; a hungry man is an angry man. They have unleashed their frustration of the poor masses through their kidnapping devices. They kidnap both old and young, male and female, boy and girl. This is the latest reality Nigerians are facing due to the high level of poverty in the land. Suffice me to mention other vices such as stealing, hooliganism, prostitution, begging, etc.”
Going down memory lane, the veteran journalist said Switzerland produces chocolate in a high number, adding that the Swiss first got their cocoa from Nigeria.
He called on the Nigerian populace, especially the youths, to transform their ideas into money making ventures, as he explained that with this, poverty would be reduced to the bearest minimum in the country.
“Nigeria ought to be great, destined to be great, and by the Grace of God, will be great. This can only be achieved if we all join hands together to form a better society. Our leaders should provide the enabling environment for the populace so that there will be ease of doing business. Our youths must embrace the notion of ‘hard work pay’, rather than looking for quick money, and we should all stop the worship of money.”
Babarinsa therefore recommended the book to all to read as to move out of poverty and move into prosperity and abundance.
According to him,“I published the book. I have read it through and through. Therefore, I can convincingly recommend it to you all. It is the antidote to poverty in our land”, he said.
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark, who was represented by one of the serving senators, Senator Mohammed commended the author for the “timely book”.
He recommended the book to the Nigerian populace and called for the joint efforts in eradicating poverty from the land.
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, who was represented by a member of House of Representative, representing Ekiti Federal Constituency 1, Hon. Ayodeji Oladimeji, called on Nigerian leaders to emulate him in ensuring that the masses under their governance are equal partakers of the good of their lands.
He called on Nigerians to buy the book and put into practice what is written in it.
Another senator, Abiodun Olujimi, while commenting on the book said rather than titling it ‘Why The Poor Are Still With Us’, it should be ‘Why Are We Still Poor’. This she explained that as far as she is concerned everybody is poor.
“A country where we can longer take care of each other. A country where we don’t mind seeing our neighbours suffering. A country where we place money over and against good neighbourliness. A country where we hail thieves and stone the hungry. What do you call such a country. It is the country of the poor. Everybody in this country is poor.
“I remember when we were still young, we could easily go into the house of our neighbours and they will take better care of us than even our parents. Their children too would come to our house and we will all share our little goodies. Then we were not very rich, neither were we very poor. We were just happy and contended with the little we had as we were always sharing with others. But nowadays, you are on your own. Nobody cares for his or her neighbor as long as he is comfortable, their neighbor is secondary. That is why those who are poor would never allow the rich to enjoy their booty. They will keep doing anything within their power, legal or illegal, to ensure that they are partakers of these booties. By so doing, the rich will live in terrible fear, while the poor will live in terrible crime. Therefore, we are all poor.”
Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who represented at the book launch, called for collaborative efforts in eradicating poverty from the country.
The Executive Officer of one of the largest housing estates in Abuja, CITEC, Mr. Oludare Bello enjoined Nigerians, especially the youths, to imbibe the culture of hardwork and saving for the future. He said by so doing, poverty would be reduced to the bearest minimum in the country.
The book reviewer, Professor Ibileye Gbenga, could not have had it better, as he did not only appreciated the ‘great’ work, but also the fact that the book touched all the areas of human living and also proffered solution to the problem of poverty.
Why thanking the dignitaries that graced the book launch, most especially the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, HRH Oba Rufus Adeyemi Adejugbe, the author of the book, Senator Bode Ola said the best gift to the poor is not just giving them stipends but leading them out of poverty by teaching them how to catch fish.
He therefore called on the good people of Nigeria to buy the book and put to use the advice written in it, as he noted that he wrote it from his personal experience.