WE the people of Oke Ogun have waited in vain since the inception of regions and states creation to have one of our own son or daughter to be appointed as the chief executive officer of a region or a state, as military administrator or civilian governor. The best and the closest we have had is deputy governor of Oyo State despite the fact that we have always had pockets of individuals that could be considered.
It is a fact that with the prevailing situation where there is not enough resources to give every part of the Western Region at first and Oyo State now a fair share of development, coupled with the relative rarity of endowed sons and daughters of Oke Ogun to finance big enough developmental projects or attract their associates, the likes of Aliko Dangote and cement/sugar/salt, Mike Adenuga and Globacom/Oando, Femi Otedola and Forte Oil, Oba Otudeko and Honeywell etc.
The only hope of the desired development and relevance of this geographical enclave known as Oke Ogun in Oyo State made up of 10 of the 33 local government areas (LGAs) and 60 per cent of the total land mass of the state will have to be at saddle as the CEO of the State.
Yes. We have to be the Governor of the State, and it is about time this happened after such a long time. No good roads, no university, no polytechnic, no college of education, no school of survey, no institute of mineral resources, and there are at least 20 of such in Oyo State. No functional dam, no functional radio or television station at the State level, and none of these at the Federal level either!
Our recent ranting, grumbling, hue and cry has made the current State Government to make pretentious moves and statements at addressing these obviously glaring and unfair treatment. Promising to upgrade the Ibadan Polytechnic Campus in Saki to a degree-awarding status, a broken promise to date.
There is no doubt that Ibadan as a people are big in number, around which democracy (and power) revolves. They also have a sizeable number of well to do individuals who are well connected within Nigeria and outside the country to call the shots all the time, which is what has been and still happening in Oyo State except the once or twice that providence smiled at Ogbomoso. Military administrators and State governors have always come from Ibadan.
It is true that power is usually not easily given up by the man in power, one has to take it, this either by force or by negotiation. It is only God Almighty that gives power even to the weak and the disadvantaged. Oke Ogun as a group is big in population and the number of LGAs though not as big as Ibadan. We should get a better deal than we have so far.
Former Governor Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, currently contesting again for governorship in Oyo State under Accord Party is the most understanding and considerate presently to the above mentioned plights of Oke Ogun people. He is the only one that has openly declared such in his campaign and personal interactions. Ladoja is the only one of the all current aspirants to the coveted seat of the governor of Oyo State that has promised to assist and support Oke Ogun when the time comes for negotiation with the Ibadan majority and the other segments of Oyo State to be given the opportunity to also govern the State. And we believe him.
He has publicly declared that his government if successful, will focus on developing Oke Ogun area that is blessed with abundant arable land and spaces instead of further crowding the already crowded Ibadan and Ogbomoso.
Oke Ogun has a big river dammed in Atisbo LGA but not being used for anything for years now, be it irrigation farming, fishing or power generation. Ikere gorge dam in Iseyin LGA can be made to generate power, irrigate and supply drinking water to the whole of Oke Ogun, this has been abandoned since the early 70s. It now supplies raw water to Iju Water Works in Lagos.
Similarly, we have the Oge dam in Saki West LGA, adequate and envisaged to generate power and to support agriculture all-the-year-round and to supply drinking water but has been abandoned. We have several mineral resources in commercial quantities untapped and/or being currently pilfered unregulated: Amphibolites, marble, dolomite, kaolin, tantalite, granite, red clay, gemstone, sand and gravel. Our soil supports virtually all crops and plants. All begging to be developed.
Oke Ogun people are industrious, trustworthy, friendly and good. Democracy is about people, it is about lobbying and negotiations. We need a leader that is not proud but rather one that is ready to listen and to reason with the people. Not one that is greedy and heady. Governor Rashidi Ladoja of ACCORD Party is matured and sincere, he is accommodating and truthful. Let us, the OKE OGUN people line up him come April 11, 2015 governorship election.