We should not be intimidated by what Ibadan people are doing. They have every right to speak in favour of their town like everyone of us. And, in spite of what they have already, their Oliver Twist can ‘ask for more’.
But, if Okeogun can speak with one voice and develop a homogenous focus on the above subject-matter, it will turn out to be like the case of David and Goliath which, in the end, ended in favour of the tiny boy, David.
The case against Ibadan is that it is the capital of Oyo State and, as the capital, it is already developed with so many things and it will continue to develop because it is the Same capital.
Talking about the higher institutions, Ibadan has a Federal University (the first in Nigeria), a Federal polytechnic, 3 private universities (Lead, Dominican and Kola Daisi Universities), one theological SS Peter and Paul college that offers degree courses, specialised tertiary institutions like Federal College of Forestry, Federal College of Agriculture, Federal Cooperative College, Federal School of Statistics and Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Moor Plantation, Ibadan.
There are three private registered polytechnics in Ibadan City, Bolmor and Tower polytechnics and the other higher institutions in Ibadan are Oyo State College of Nursing and Midwifery, Eleyele, Ibadan and Oyo State College of Health Science, Technology, Eleyele, Ibadan and Oyo State Technical College.
But, Okeogun has almost nothing when we talk about higher schools. The people have been travelling many miles and kilometers seeking for education.
For many years, since 1960 independence, Okeogun has not even one higher institution. It was two or three years ago that Okeogun polytechnic became a full-fledged polytechnic. The polytechnic was an extension of Ibadan polytechnic for many years.
In addition to this, there is the Oyo State College of Health Technology in Okeho which is affiliated to the one in Ibadan.
Lastly, there is one registered polytechnic, the King’s Polytechnic, Saki which is yet to kick off.
So, in a nutshell, after many years of self-rule, the highest Okeogun can boast of when it comes to the presence of higher institution of learning is one and half higher institutions.
But, in spite of this challenges, Okeogun region can still boast of having more people who have graduated from different higher institutions than the other regions put together. Okeogun has produced more people in the academia who have risen to professorial and doctorate levels than any regions in Oyo State.
Now, consider all the above, couple with the fact that, out of the 33 Local Governments in Oyo State, Ibadan has 11 Local Governments and Okeogun has 10 Local Governments with a great land mass and population at home apart from many Okeogun indigenes who are living in Ibadan and other cities within the Oyo State, how can Ibadan still be asking for another Federal University to be added to the ones on ground? That, to us in Okeogun, will be the height of unfairness and inequality if the prayer of Ibadan people is granted and the institution is approved for them. The Yoruba people have a proverb to say when it comes to greed and selfishness either of an individual or a group of people. They will say: ‘enì kan kìí je kí ‘lè ó fè’ – meaning, ‘no one should have it all’!
And, to add more to this, Okeogun is the most marginalised out of the regions that make up Oyo State looking at it from all ramifications of development.
Again, if we take education to measure what has been happening, apart from what I have said about Ibadan in comparison to Okeogun, other regions in Oyo State have surpassed Okeogun region:
Ogbomoso region has the following schools of higher learning:
1. Ladoke Akintola University (state owned).
2. Oyo State School of Nursing and Midwifery (state owned).
2. Baptist Medical School and Hospital (private owned).
1. Ajayi Crowder University (private owned).
2. Atiba University (private owned)
3. Federal School of Survey.
4. Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (state owned).
1. Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic (State owned).
2. Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igbo-ora (state owned).
3. The College of Education, Lanlate (state owned).
From the foregoing, Okeogun deserves to be considered for this Federal University of Agriculture in the spirit of even distribution of development. With the University in Okeogun, a lot of things will change for better and the people who become happy for what the Lord has done through the government.
And, looking at it from another consideration, Agriculture has be the traditional occupation of the people of Okeogun region. The region is blessed with vast, arable and fertile farm land good for both Agrarian and livestock farming. Up till today, the large portions of Okeogun farmland does not require fertilisers. Farmers had been in business year in year out producing what they were eating and selling. If the university comes to such region, the people will maximise their farming potentials.
Okeogun is the food basket of many states like Lagos, Ogun, Osun and many other states in Nigeria. Our farmers are good in annual crops like maize, cassava, millet, cereals, beans, vegetables, pepper, tomatoes, traditional melons, water melons, cucumber, garlic, ginger, potatoes, etc. The cash crops that thrive well in Okeogun are Cashew, Shea-butter and, some soils are good for palm trees and cocoa. When the University becomes functional, our people would be taught how to add values to what they have been doing at subsistence level of farming for many decades now.
In addition, because of the savannah grassland with good flora and fauna, livestock agriculture also does well in Okeogun area. Animals and birds like ruminants, other animals and poultries are doing well and that will encourage many of young people who have been running after white-collar jobs to consider Agribusinesss as the young people other climes are doing.
In conclusion, Okeogun will provide a natural environment to support an agriculture school that will bring great development to the area and also expose the people to learn modern practices and technics of Agriculture.
All I have said so far are some of the reasons why Okeogun should be considered above Ibadan specifically kajola local government, Okeho or any other region of Oyo State as the site for the Federal University of Agriculture.