Southwest Development Commission: The Imperative For Ọgbọ́n Ìmọ̀, Òye and Làákàyè By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, March 5, 2020

Southwest Development Commission: The Imperative For Ọgbọ́n Ìmọ̀, Òye and Làákàyè By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju

Those who birthed the modern Yoruba political construct had Ọgbọ́n, Ìmọ̀, Òye and Làákàyè. These days, knowledge is widespread but Òye, Ọgbọ́n and Làákàyè in Service on common good are rare. The Yoruba has lost the ability to be strategic. We play too much as they say on the street. We are boastful, predisposed to empty posturing and we bask too much on old glory. How did we come to this dreadful intersection? 

We got here by way of greed, lack of shame and loss of dignity. I don't want this to get too long. The story is that some Yoruba "leaders" are pushing for the establishment of South West Development Commission. To these people, if they are not part of something, it must never work. The Development Agenda For Western Nigeria (DAWN) exists. It is underfunded and under-resourced. Since it wasn't their idea, it must not work. I am so ashamed that we have leaders who do not think of the future of the Yoruba in 50 years. All they are concerned with, is NOW! How did we come about leaders who are unable to think and imagine possible ramifications of their actions and inactions? The Southwest Development Commission will be a federal establishment like the NDDC and NEDC. Some linear thinkers and feeding bottle enthusiasts are saying it will bring federal funding to the Southwest. It will. What will be missing is development. Deep down, it a crass opportunistic diversion to create a self-serving bureaucracy instead of real development. What development has the NDDC brought to the Niger Delta? 

The real truth behind this push is that many Yoruba leaders are unhappy that DAWN assembled Yoruba finest minds to bring Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn to you. They are angry they were not consulted. They hate DAWN and they want it killed. Àmọ̀tẹ́kùn was the last straw. They can't take it no more!

The plaque of inept and thoughtless leadership is national. That is why some Senators from other regions thought, since Development Commissions exist for the North East and the Niger Delta, development commission for the Southwest will widen our lead. Which lead? The Yoruba are floundering. Oyo State has Almajirai. Ondo and Ekiti State are leading other states in un-wed teenage mothers. The lead in education given to us by Chief Obafemi Awolowo has been erased. A look at WAEC results will convince you. The fault does not lie with these presumptuous Senators. The fault lies with the inept, hardly thinking, let alone strategic representatives and the political establishment of the southwest. The good in this was that, yesterday's discussion in the Senate about Southwest West Development Commission has brought the ingrained anti - yoruba inferiority complex and hatred of people like Senators Adamu Bulkachuwa from Bauchi and Peter Nwaoboshi from Delta to the fore.  

The Yoruba does not need a bureaucracy which like the NDDC and NEDC, will become part of a patronage network to extend their Tammany Hall politics. What the Yoruba need, is for them to address the issue of the paucity of capital to trigger sustainable development by establishing a Development Finance Bank modeled on Brazil's highly rated BNDES(the Brazilian bank for social and economic development). A bank modeled on Awolowo's Western Nigeria Development Corporation wish will be an initiative by the southwest governments with the private sector as the key drivers and majority shareholders (circa 75%) with initial start up capital of about a $1 billion dollars raised from the region, the diaspora and development agencies such as sovereign wealth funds, private equity, the world bank and mutual funds. This is what Western Nigeria needs and not some clapped out bureaucracy to extend a system of patronage. 

Where the National Assembly can  come in, is the need to build strategic alliances to remove scores of items from the exclusive legislative list. For example, in view of revolutionary new technologies developed in Denmark for the Hydroelectricity sector, Western legislators should fight to take Electricity out of the exclusive legislative list and into the residual list. With a Development bank in place accessing real long term capital and technical partners from across the globe and incorporating the diaspora, hydro-capacity can be developed for sustainable development right across the region. This is the time to have a strategic imperative and not wooly self-serving, crowd pleasing messing around.

These are Yoruba Senators. I cannot list their telephone numbers so I do not violate rules. Their phone numbers are in public Doman. Find your Senator's number and send  him or her text. Tell them to think and not divide the Yoruba. Southwest Development Commission is a rabbit hole.

Adelere Oriolowo (APC, West)
Ajibola Bashiru (APC, Central)
Francis Fadahunsi (PDP, East)

Abdulfatai Buhari (North, APC)
Kola Balaogun (South, PDP)
Teslim Folarin (Central, APC)

Ajayi Boroffice (North, APC)
Ayo Akinyelure (Central, PDP)
Nicholas Tofowomo (South, PDP)

Tolu Odebiyi (West, APC)
Ibikunle Amosun (Central, APC)
Lekan Mustapha (East, APC)

Opeyemi Bamidele (Central, APC)
Olubunmi Adetunmbi (North, APC)
Abiodun Olujimi (South, PDP)

Adebayo Osinowo (East, APC)
Solomon Areola (West, APC)
Oluremi Tinubu (Central, APC)

Bamidele Ademola-Olateju is a cerebral and versatile Columnist, Author, Creative Writer & Analyst

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