April 28, 2019

A Call For The development of Ogun West

Amosun, arms

Senator Ibikunle Amosun

By Omooba Segun Adewale

It is appropriate to join the good people of Ogun State to  congratulate the governor-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun, of the All Progressive Congress, APC, for a well-deserved victory.

Governor Amosun

Abiodun’s victory was well deserved considering the crises which occurred during the build to the electioneering campaign. The most prominent of the crises was the internal disagreement that led to the break-way of members of the APC in the state after Governor  Ibikunle Amosun, finds it difficult to get the entire party structure to back him on plans to hand over to his preferred candidate. Of course, the plans which did not go down well with the party at the national level necessitated the fielding of Dapo Abiodun as the APC’s governorship candidate. Prince Abiodun had to confront the stiff resistance of a sitting governor who had ordered his anointed political son to run for governor in another party, the Allied People’s Movement (APM).

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Also, his victory was well deserved, again, having contested alongside another strong contender from the west, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) – a third time contestant for the governorship post. Also from the east is Prince Buruji Kashamu, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, among other contestants.  Abiodun triumphed as he was declared winner by INEC with 241, 670 Votes to beat his closest rival, Abiodun Akinlade of the APM, who polled 222, 153 Votes and Gboyega Nasir Isiaka of ADC with 110,422 Votes. In deed it was a keenly contested election.

However, while  Abiodun’s declaration has put an end to the political war that preceeded the election in Ogun, there remains an unresolved crisis of marginalization which will linger on possible before the end of  Abiodun’s tenure or after. Since the agitation for the west should rule is likely to be an issue until the governor-elect finishes his tenure, the task ahead of him has to do with how he manages the situation from the beginning throughout the life span of his government. It is the responsibility of the governor-elect to take care of the suffering baby of Ogun State at least for the next four years. This appear to be the missing points in previous and the present government. The region’s neglect and bad state is a major reason why the clamour for an Ogun west for governor got more voices in the first instance.

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In Nigeria, we have many parochial leaders at the corridors of power. They prefer to pay lip service and shun equal development. In Ogun West, socio-economic development, human capital and infrastructure developmental activities which government ought to spearhead are nothing to write home about. Sadly, there is high rate of decadence in the educational sector whereas, over 50 percent of the state’s internally generated revenue comes from the west, yet the road infrastructure there is the worst in the state. Whereas, it is the same west that host the border to another neighbouring country where the Nigerian custom declares humongous revenue year-in-year-out, yet the people’s standard of living is very low. People die every day because of their engagement in smuggling activities in order to make ends meet. Yet, most school buildings are completely dilapidated. Many of the schools building roofs are uncovered but no repairs by the state government thereby leaving the students to no other choice but to gather under the trees for learning.

On road infrastructure, In Ado Odo-Ota, which hosts most industries existing in Ogun State, the roads there are bad. Heavy trucks and trailers stumbles and fall while plying the road every day; flinging away their contents.

The Agbara-Atan road is in a pitiful state. Companies within the Ota community are suffering from roads and good drainages that will allow waste generated flow to a designated channel. This, in itself causes health challenges to residents. And these are companies paying heavy taxes which sustains the government and its projects.

In Ilaro, all access road to the region’s political headquarters are death traps. Same in Ipokia Local Government where you can’t find any motorable road aside the express road from Sango linking the border at Idiroko, and perhaps, the fairly motorable road that leads to the local government secretariat. These are some of the places in the west that needs to wear new look just like we have in the Ogun Central and Ogun East.

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From the foregoing, it will not be out of place to outline some few strategic engagement plans his excellency needs to actualise in order to appeal to the people in this area.

First, the governor – elect began on a positive note with his “Igbega Ipinle Ogun, ajose wa ni” campaign mantra. This means that his excellency should proceed further by activating a deliberate plan towards achieving an all-inclusive government by bringing on-board competent people from Yewa-Awori irrespective of their political affiliation. Good enough, the governor already gave direction on the high possibility of building his government on a Public Private Structure Partnership.

The government of Prince Abiodun needs to deliberately balance the power equation in the state between the West, East and Central to avoid hostility as he proceed. When a government is free from hostility, chances are that its developmental projects and plans will be appreciated by all.

On the need for aggressive development and economic resuscitation of Ogun West, as his excellency may have noticed during his campaign tour, the entire Ogun west is seriously weeping for her own development. The region needs both human capital and infrastructural developmental projects to alleviate her current status to a befitting one.

The way to go is to; one, quickly enumerate and activate the developmental plans for the region and the state at large. Two, appoint competent persons into key government ministries and parastatals and, thirdly, utilize the region’s endowed agrarian and industrial opportunities well by synergising the PPP developmental approach for optimum results. If these can be adequately done, the creation of employment for the teeming youths in this region would have been massively addressed thus unemployment rate would go down.

Also politically, his excellency must engineer a mutual relationship with all the political personalities irrespective of their political affiliations in the area for a good working relationship in a region that has now increased her number of formidable governorship candidates.

Conclusively, Abiodun should be cautious of distractors who may want to distract him from achieving his lofty programmes by playing politics with his appointments and programmes.

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Finally, it won’t be out of place for his excellency to yield to the words of the Lord in the good book where in Habakkuk, the writer and the subject, in verse two of chapter two, instruct thus: “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readet it”.

God bless Ogun State. Igbega Ipinle Ogun, ajose wa ni.

  • Adewale is a brand expert & media consultant, former 2015 Ogun State PDP governorship aspirant and Accord House of Reps candidate for the 2019 elections.