Ogun @ 45 : Removing The Political Albatross - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Ogun @ 45 : Removing The Political Albatross

By: Kayode Odunaro 

On February 3, 2021 Ogun State clocked the age of 45 since its creation by the military administration of General Murtala Mohammed following Justice Iriekefe’s Commission recommendations. No doubt the state, christened the “Gateway State” of Nigeria because of its location as major and significant entrance to Nigeria from land and sea borders, has come a long way relatively in terms of development since its creation from the then Western Region. This should not be surprising as the area carved out as Ogun State is imbued with some unique peculiarities and advantages that is readily conducive positive socioeconomic developments. 

In the area of Western Education, Ogun State people can rightly pride themselves as being in the forefront and forerunners in acquiring western education. Rightly, this reflects in the state being pioneers in Nigerian history in most critical professions like accountancy, medicine and law among others. Generally, in Ogun State of modern era, the state is inhabited by a pool of enlightened and sophisticated people whose lifestyles and a weltanschauung are promotional to societal development in all sectors. 

So one is not surprise at such thing as seeing virtually all the biggest religious organizations in Nigeria headquartering in Ogun State, the state being host to possibly the highest number of private tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria and arguably the major industrial hub of Nigeria if not the West African sub region. Successive military and civilian governments, in the state to a varying extent under the circumstances that they found themselves have impacted on the socioeconomic and infrastructural development of the state. 

And trust me the state has produced many personalities of national and international acclaim in various field. Politically we can boast of individuals like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief MKO Abiola, General Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Senator Abraham Adesanya and many others whose political activities have both national and international import. In literary world, Professor Wole Soyinka is world renowned and acclaim as a Nobel Prize winner. In sporting world, we have a world champion in boxing in Anthony Joshua. In contemporary economic and business world, Ogun state can be counted among the firsts with such business moguls as late Chief MKO Abiola, Mike Adenuga, Oba Otudeko and Chief Kessington Adebutu among others whose businesses transcend national boundaries. One can go on and on with the strides made by indigenes of the state in various field of human endeavor but suffice to say that over the years two indigenes of the state in person of General Obasanjo and Chief Ernest Shonekan had govern Nigeria while Chief MKO Abiola was capriciously denied his hard-won mandate by the military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida. 

However, while Ogun State in the last 45 years can be applauded as having done relatively well for itself and in the service of the nation in the constellation of the states of Nigeria, the same cannot be agreed on in its internal political development. Nationally, the state and some of its prominent indigenes have been at the forefront of the fight for justice, fairness and equity in the running of the affairs of the nation. Its indigenes, prominent among who are Professor Soyinka, Dr. Beko Ransom-Kuti, Fela Ransom-Kuti, Senator Abraham Adesanya and Chief Segun Osoba among others, were at the forefront of the struggle against national military rule in its negation of justice, fairness, equity and good governance.  

The struggle ultimately berthed the current nascent democracy that we enjoy now. The national concession leading to the presidency of Chief Obasanjo in 1999 was premised on justice, fairness and equity with the two major contenders for the office of the President coming from the South West to assuage the loss of MKO Abiola’s mandate and eventual death as well as power shift to the South. In all sincerity it was a major political development for power to shift from the North to the South. Under the current republic, the shift has led to even the minority South- South, in the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan ascending the position of the executive president of Nigeria with the vista that any geopolitical zone of the country can ascend the position of President. 

Regrettably, what Ogun State people fought against at the national level is well and thriving at its backyard 45 years on since its creation. The reference here in terms of justice, fairness and equity is the situation where a section of the state has been denied, by contrivances, conspiracies and opportunism, of the opportunity to be at the helms of affairs of the state in the last 45 years of its history. Between Ogun State three senatorial district of Ogun West, East and Central that is coterminous with the people of Yewa-Awori, Ijebu-Remo and Egba respectively, only the Egbas and Ijebu-Remo have between them monopolized the governorship position in the 45 years’ history of Ogun State. To say the least, this is not only unjust and inequitable but also ultimately detrimental to a holistic development of the state. Predictably and arising out of this anomalous and precarious situation of a three legged table standing only on two legs, the development of Ogun West has generally lagged behind in all sectors in spite of the area producing the most revenue for the state. 

For all patriotic Ogun State indigenes that are desirous of a holistic development for the entity known as the “Gateway State”, concerted efforts must be orchestrated to end this political albatross after the constitutionally acceptable limit of the incumbent administration. Any other agenda going forward is not only selfish and greedy but tantamount to hypocritical condoning of injustice, unfairness and inequity in the political equation of Ogun State. It cannot be right in three-member family for only two brothers to eat meat continuously while throwing bones at their brother for sustenance. Holistically that family cannot develop to its full potentials and ultimately that family will turn to a laughing stock as the world watches the show of a politically ‘starved’ brother and two ‘gluttonous’ brothers. 

Sincerely speaking at socioeconomic developmental level, the relegation of Ogun West in the affairs of Ogun State at the highest level of government with the implicative underdevelopment of Ogun West in all sectors is not in the interest of Ogun East and Central. As a state we are one of the few states lagging behind in this area of political power sharing and balancing which 45 years down the line should have been corrected and the charge of marginalization consigned into historical oblivion as is the case of Niger Deltans now in Nigeria political development.   

Going forward one will urge all Ogun State indigenes to join a collective effort aimed at removing this political albatross ignominiously hanging on our neck and blighting our record of national struggle for justice, fairness and equity. While prominent indigenes from Ogun East and West had genuinely or sometimes self -interestedly champion the cause of power change to Ogun West in the past, such efforts remain in vain until the achieved. At this point we commend all past and present leadership of the state for their developmental strides in different sectors but the political albatross indicates that we are yet to explore the full potential of the state in terms of a variegated leadership that power rotation portends in a democracy. Congratulations to [email protected] The future is bright. 

 

Chief Kayode Odunaro 

Ona-Ola Compound, Ilaro-Yewa Ogun State. [email protected]  




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