It’s true that it is not easy to convince those who hold on to power to conceed or share with others such as the people of Oyo North, particularly the Okeogun people, the Ogbomoso people that are scattered in the two Senatorial districts, Oyo North and Central, the Oyo people that are found in Oyo Central and Ibarapa people whose number is very small but very significant in Oyo South. From the configuration of Oyo South, I doubt if the Ibarapas can ever smell governorship seat. It’s equally important to appeal to and carry along such men of conscience and lovers of justice and fairness from Ibadan to see reason and agree that Oyo state also needs a political restructuring.
We need to start power rotation and zoning of political offices in Oyo state. For example, any town where Governor comes from doesn’t need SSG or COS again. The position of the governor is enough for a town and it’s more than all other positions or offices combined. It’s greediness, self centeredness, nepotistic and myopic that will make a governor pick his SSG or COS from the same town with him. If you must choose somebody closer and trustworthy to you, do you mean you have not cultivated friendship and associates outside your family compound or environs? Did you not attend secondary and acquire University education? Did you not work with the government or corporate Organisations? Are you telling me you did not come across people from other towns or villages that you have taken as friends and trusted enough to be SSG or COS? Are you an introvert or simply sadistic? Why for God sake will you seek to govern Oyo state when you cannot boast of close confidants, trusted allies, loyal friends and honest associates in all senatorial districts? Why do you wait until time of electioneering Campaign before you start gallivanting about to meet the people in all local government, when you know you have Political ambition? How can you be born in say Ibadan for example, grow up in Ibadan and think you are qualified to be the governor of Oyo State when you don’t know Okeogun, Ibarapa, Oyo or Ogbomoso? We need to promote those who are not far away from the grass root. We need to promote Politicians or the technocrats who have had dealings with people and value relationships. If we romanced and behaved very well to each other with fear of God, sense of justice and fairness, nobody will care about where the governor comes from. If there is equal access to the governor of Oyo state and there are equal opportunities why should I bother myself about where the governor comes from? If the Governor of Oyo state could call me egbon or aburo as if we are biologically related, why should I care where the governor comes from? If contracts are not awarded based on the town you come from or by virtue of your connection with the governor, why should I care where the governor comes from. Let me tell you, the desire to let the governor come from your area is borne out of the need to have access to power and opportunities. If a governor of Ibadan extraction will extend developmental agenda and execute projects that will impact meaningfully on the lives of Okeogun, why will I insist that the governor must come from Okeogun? If as an Ibarapa man, I’m as closer and more valued by the Ogbomoso man who is the Governor, why will I kill myself campaingning for an Ibarapa man to be the governor of Oyo State. There is no town that is bad in Oyo state but bad people, selfish leaders have been emerging from these towns. If there is a revolt from Ibarapa, Okeogun, Ogbomoso and Oyo against continuous political domination by Ibadans, it’s not against Ibadans as such but against bad Leadership of those Ibadan sons that have been ruling the state. Each time you succeeded in putting them to power, you abdicate your responsibility of giving them sincere and quality advice on justice and fairness to other towns. They carried themselves as if they are favouring Ibadan whereas we know that they are liars, they are more concerned with their pockets. I think each time you have them in power you need to constantly remind them not to “spoil your eyes”.
I appeal to Ibadan elders and socio-cultural Organisations in Ibadan to let us sit down and talk before there is an explosion. Oyo state is our mini Nigeria. We need to put our house in order first. Go to Ogun, Lagos, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo State, there is no where they are not practising power rotation and zoning of offices. In all these Yoruba states, there is no state where the people of the capital city hold on to power and monopolise the seat of Governorship like Ibadan. Are you saying, it’s only in Ibadan you can find competent material for Governorship? You must think outside the box, call the Aro and Odofin to as a matter of urgency call for a Political summit on power rotation and zoning of offices before you radicalise people of other areas. As at present, there is discontent, suspicion and this may lead to hatred, apathy and even violence in the nearest future unless the political structure is reconfigured to allow other towns outside Ibadan taste power. Why do we lack conscience, from Kolapo Ishola to Makinde, out of six governors, only Akala from Ogbomoso came outside Ibadan.
Are the other towns not entitled to the seat? That’s one of my grouse with the Oodua Republic Agitators. They kept mute about our own situation in Oyo State and they are complaining about domination by Hausa Fulanis. Come to Okeogun, what development can we boast there. An ibadan man killed the oysadep and frustrate our agenda to retain that title of being the food basket of Oyo State and the nation. Every successive administration impoverish our people of Okeogun. How many of our people from Okeogun get government contracts? Publish their names. If the federal government is far away, must the government of Oyo State also be far away from us? I’m simply not happy. It is so bad that when an Okeogun or Ibarapa man or Oyo man says he wanted to be a governor of Oyo state, the question his people will ask is *will Ibadan people allow?* Is that good for the unity and harmonious relationship of the same Oodua family?
Let us start power rotation now.
Let power shift to Oyo North Senatorial District in 2023.
Let us agree on zoning of offices. There is no sense in concentrating some ministries in the place where the Governor hails from, because even if the place that produced governor of the state does not get additional ministries or boards, ordinary messenger of the Governor may wield more powers. Ê jòwó! t’eniyan ba ti mu ōrí tan, ki n lo wa nibi ìrù
Let us restructure Oyo state now! Ibadan, Ibarapa, Ogbomoso, Okeogun and Oyo should be so recognised.
Let’s settle our internal marginalization
Long live Oyo State.
Long live Nigeria.
Waheed O. Lawal
1st Oct, 2020