The agitation by the people of the Okeogun to produce the next governor of Oyo State is gaining momentum.
Yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the indigenes of the zone which is made of 10 out of the 33 local government areas in the state, spoke through the Oke Ogun Development Consultative Forum, ODCF.
At the world press conference, addressed by its president who was once a Director at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Olusegun Ajuwon, the forum said that “the time has come for the people to of Okeogun to ask for and to get this coveted position of the Executive Governor of our dear State.”
According to Ajuwon, who was a personal physician to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, “there are reasons to justify this clamour for the gubernatorial power shift to Oke Ogun. We are a people located strategically in 10 out of the 33 Local Government Areas of the State. However, because of the physical distance from the capital of the State and the federal government, we have been practically forgotten and neglected. The roads linking us to the state capital are all very bad and have remained so forever, I dare say. We do not have a single federal institution except for the Nigeria Police and a few other uniformed law enforcement agencies whose presence is to collect taxes and other revenues without any compensation in the form of derivation as other sections of the country that are earning resources for government through Oil and Gas. This is despite the equally huge returns from Customs’ Duties and Taxes daily accruing from Oke-Ogun that harbours extensive stretch of the nation’s international borders.
“We are also lacking in federal schools, hospitals or establishments. The absence of government presence has come with great deprivation for us as a people even though we are the food basket of the State. It is therefore fair and equitable for us to be given the chance to produce the next Chief Executive of Oyo State.
“We Oke-Ogun people are loyal, we are hardworking, we have integrity and we are friendly, peace-loving, godly and we are bold. We have demonstrated these virtues in Oyo State, in the country and even outside the shores of Nigeria. From the time of Western region through the period of Western State, old Oyo State to the present, no citizen from Oke Ogun has been a governor. We have been patient but we are convinced that it is now our turn to lead. We have very many qualified candidates of good standing, experienced with track records of excellent performance in public and private sector.
“We, however, acknowledge that we certainly cannot win the Governorship by ourselves in Oke Ogun. As the incumbent Executive Governor of the State, our dear friend and brother, His Excellency Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi has conselled, we need the support of the other areas in the State. We are therefore soliciting for the understanding and support of our dear compatriots in Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho, and Ibarapa. We urge you all to join hands with us in this our quest and push, after all democracy is a game of numbers. We need as many friends as we can get to accomplish this goal.
“It is noteworthy that the South of Nigeria had at one time or the other clamoured to produce the Chief Executive (The President) of the federal government of Nigeria rather than have the North perpetually occupy the position. In spite of the numerical strength of the North, the quest for national understanding, fairness and equity have prevailed and in the 18 years of the present democratic dispensation, the South had produced two of the four Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This is what the Press Conference of today is all about. Oke ogun as a distinct segment of Oyo State is hereby announcing formally that for the governorship of Oyo State, it is our turn, come 2019. Gomina Ipinle Oyo, Oke Ogun Lokan. I would have added the phrase pure and simple to the slogan Governorship of Oyo State come 2019, it is our turn in Oke Ogun, but I am fully aware that there is hardly any such phrase in politics. I know nothing of such comes easy and producing a governor will never be easy. But we have resolved to so do, so help us God.
Power has to be won. Getting or winning such power rests on certain important factors: Who the candidate is, what does the candidate intend to do, most often what he intends to do differently, how does the candidate intend to do such things within the allotted duration? Answers to these pertinent questions must be clearly stated before the election. This is what is called the campaign in order to win over majority of the people that constitutes the electorate.
“Democracy, though, classically defined as a government of the people, by the people and for the people, has other practical definitions. The spirit behind democracy as a form of government distinct from autocracy is that all the people that are old enough to vote can freely do so to elect their representatives and the leadership of the government should be open to all the segments of people to be governed or ruled over, be it political parties, the sections, the geographic areas, professions or even religious affiliations. Giving a sense of equity and fairness to all citizens.
“It is therefore not strange that the leadership in any democracy is expectedly open to competition by these component units and segments within the population. And there are agitations whenever any section feels short-changed.”