January 16, (THEWILL) – The Senatorial Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), for Ekiti Central Senatorial District, Chief David Olusesan Arowolo, has blamed the general economic crisis in the state and across the country on the neglect of the agricultural sector.
Arowolo disclosed this during an interactive parley with the Ekiti State chapter of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN).
The interactive parley, which was held at the Nigeria Labour House, Ado Ekiti, the state capital, had in attendance members of the Ekiti State CFAN.
Going down memory lane, Chief Arowolo lamented the parlous state that the agriculture sector, particularly, cocoa and cocoa farmers have degenerated into.
He said that the old Western Region came into prominence as a result of huge investments in agriculture, especially, cocoa, enumerating the feat the region attained then including the Cocoa House, the first television in Africa, among others.
He said that cocoa and cocoa farmers are in the present state because we have forgotten our foundation and neglected the agricultural sector.
Insisting that the old Western Region never relied on oil, but grew and developed using proceeds from cocoa, Arowolo lamented that Malaysia came to the old Western Region, Okitipupa in particular, to collect palm seedlings and is today the largest producer of palm oil in the world.
He said, “Today, out of over 193 countries of the world, Malaysia is the leading producer of oil and oil products.
“We have since abandoned agriculture, and cocoa, which gave us prominence and jettisoned our major cash crop.”
Speaking further, he lamented that those in positions of authority today have deviated from the core values that Ekiti is known for.
He averred that Ekiti is not known for lies, neither is Ekiti known for any negative attitudes, but now unfortunately, the majority of those who are in positions of authority only feathered their own nests at the expense of the people.
He lamented that the love that binds Ekiti together as a people in the past has been lost.
He further told the farmers that he is contesting for the Senate, which he said requires the requisite connection, to be able to impact positively on the lives of the people, including cocoa farmers.
He promised to ensure that if given an opportunity to go to the Senate, he will use his connection to take cocoa back to its enviable height and ensure that consumers of cocoa as raw material come here to establish companies to create job for teeming Ekiti Central youths and improve the economic and financial prosperity of the people.
He pledged to boost the cocoa world in Ekiti, and ensure that cocoa farmers are put on their proper pedestal.