A frontline legal practitioner and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) has once again empowered 200 indigents, comprising youths, widows and the aged in his hometown, Ikere-Ekiti, Ikere local government area of Ekiti State.
The beneficiaries made up of 100 youths were given N50,000 each, while the aged and widows were offered N30,000 each through the Wole Olanipekun Foundation at the second edition of the Youth Empowerment and Widows-Aged programme held at the weekend. The foundation had in April this year, empowered the same number of beneficiaries in the maiden edition of the programme.
Speaking, Olanipekun described the Covid-19 pandemic as the most ravaging global economic recession in decades, saying it has aggravated the poor economic situations of the unemployed youth, aged and widows in the country, hence the need for urgent support for people in the area.
The legal Icon advised Ikere community to stand united in the face of its many challenges, saying “we must remain as one. We must remain united and give Ikere-Ekiti a good name.
“My vision with this programme is to provide succour and ameliorate the sufferings of the poor masses. Targeting enterprising youth is part of the best ways to build a virile economy and each of the beneficiaries must be focused and use the money wisely.”
Represented by the General Manager of the Ikere based New cruiseFM 92.7, Mr Jide Ogunluyi, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria advised the government at all levels to urgently help the vulnerable Nigerians for the last year’s lockdown had further done colossal damage to their lives.
Olanipekun said: “According to the world bank, both the long and near terms outlook for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the damage it has dealt with prospects for growth of world economies are damning.
“The baseline forecast envisions 5.2 per cent contraction in global GDP in 2020, using market exchange rate weights- the deepest global recession in decades, despite the extraordinary efforts of government’s to counter the downturn with fiscal and monetary policies.”
Cataloguing areas where Olanipekun had contributed to the town’s development, the Ogoga of Ikere, Oba Adejimi Adu, represented Professor Babatola Olufemi, said the lawyer donated a sum of N12 million to the take-off of the Bamidele Olumilua University of Science and Technology, Ikere Ekiti.
Oba Adu added that the Legal Icon had also donated medical facilities, paid medical bills of the poor, empowering youth, aged, widows and established the NewsCruise FM, the first private radio station in the community, among other interventions.
The Chairman of the Wole Olanipekun Foundation, Mr Seyi Ogoji, charged the beneficiaries to keep to the founder’s vision, which was to provide succour and ameliorate the sufferings of the poor masses.
“This foundation is targeting enterprising youth and supporting those considered to be weak for help. You must go out and multiply and contribute to the economy of this town and our country. The objective is to make you grow as an employer of labour.
“We know you are vibrant and have the energy. I know that our youth are hardworking and productive, you are not lazy, especially Ikere youth. Begin to conceptualise competitive business ideas that can propel your visions.
“Wole Olanipekun is giving this grant free to our youth without conditions, the only condition we expect is you applying for the money well to build yourself, your town, state and country,” he said.