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Agitation for State Creation in top gear

Agitations are on in various parts of the country by people who want states to be created in thier areas.

Information reaching Oloye News indicated that Yar Adua administration is prepared to embark on state creation exercise by the beginning of next year.

The exercise is to be carried out by the National Assembly.

Sources infomed us that the present administration intends to ‘balance’ the states between the north and the south and between the major ethnic groups in the country.

By this is meant that the north and the south will have equal number of states.

It is being speculated that the Igbos which presently have five states would be given three more while the Yorubas which presently have six would be given two more.

The Hausa Fulani are likely to have one or two more state created from among their midst.

The Ijebus in the present Ogun state are agitating for what is to be either Ijebu State with its capital at Ijebu Ode or Remo State with its capital at Sagamu.

The people of Ibadan are virtually certain of getting what they will name Ibadan or Oluyole State.

Oke ogun people are not relenting in their agitation to have a state created for them.

The Oyo people through their monarch, Alaafin, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, is anxious that what would remain after Ibadan State is created  should continue to bear ‘Oyo State’ with the ancient town as capital.

The calculation here is that the state should comprise of Oke ogun and Oyo areas with perhaps Ogbomoso in tow.

Ogbomoso wants to go with Oke ogun with capital in its stead. But the nearness of Ilorin and Osogbo, respectively capitals of Kwara and Osun States does not seem to favour its desire in this respect.

Indeed, the hint in some quarters that Ogbomoso might be taken to Kwara State in the possible re-drawing of state boundaries has been making the Ogbomoso people to highten thier quest to be with Oke ogun with a view to wielding influence there - the type of influence they may not be able to wield if they are with the present Kwarans.

But the people of Oke ogun are not too keen with this proposition. They felt that their experience since being grouped with Ogbomoso in the same senatorial zone has not been favourable to them.

“Only God knows what would be our lot if we are in the same state with Ogbomoso as capital” said an Oke ogun activist who begged not to be identified - in part because of his position within the ruling party, the PDP.

Presently, the move by schemers is to have:

*Ibadan and Ibarapa forming Ibadan/Oluyole State with Ibadan as capital

*Oke ogun/Oyo/Ogbomoso with Oyo as capital

*Oke ogun/Oyo/Ogbomoso with a town in Oke ogun as capital

*Oke ogun/Oyo with Oyo as capital

*Oke ogun/Oyo with a location in Oke ogun as capital

* Oke ogun/Oyo/Ogbomoso with Ogbomoso as capital

*Oke ogun and Kaiama cum Baruten LGs (from Kwara State) with a location in Oke ogun as capital

*Oke ogun/Ibarapa with capital in Oke ogun

*Ibadan/Oyo with Ibadan as capital

*Ogbomoso/Oke ogun with Ogbomoso as capital

*Ogbomoso/Oke ogun with a location in Oke ogun as capital

*Ogbomoso going with Kwara

*Ogbomoso going with Osun

*Oke ogun State with capital in a location in Oke ogun

The last proposition is what the people of Oke ogun are agitating for seriously. It is what they have been working for in the last 15 years ago or so.

Every sector interested in the state creation exercise have been working on strategies to make their dream a reality.

The people of Ibadan have carried their campaign to the presidency - a thing Oke ogun people did as far back as 1996.

During a visit to Olubadan last month by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the monarch, Oba Samuel Olulana Odugade made a case for Ibadan state. He anchored his case on the fact that virtually all former provincial headquarters in the country have become state capitals.

By this, the people referred to Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Calabar and Lagos. And, apart from this historical fact, the people of Ibadan believe they have a solid case becaues both in terems of population and land mass, they compare favourably with many areas that have become states in Nigeria today.

Incidentally, the same argument is being used by the people of Oke ogun whose present 10 local government councils, their population and their land mass place them ahead of as many as of about five states in Nigeria presently.

Indeed, Oke ogun, at the moment, constitutes about 65 per cent of Oyo State in terms of land mass.

Although, everybody knows that state creation under civillian administration is not usually as easy as under the military, they are not leaving things to chance. They are trying to prepare for the exercise which they are sure would kick off at the National Assembly within the first quarter of next year.


Farmers lament fall of income

For Nigerians, especially people in Oyo State not to experience acute food shortage next year, government needs to take a prompt action now.

The action is in form of coming to the aid of farmers who are experiencing difficulties in selling their products as a result of glut.

The glut led to the collapse of prices in  rural markets. Ironically, prices of food are not  intensely cheaper in the cities either.

Government, in the recent past, had encouraged people to go into large cultivation of products especially cassava.

They did, but government failed to buy the products when harvest time came.

A cassava processing factory at Osogbo which served as an venue for farmers built at a cost of N70 million closed down because of policy inconsistency as reflected in the refusal of flour mills to buy cassava in large quantity as anticipated and as directed by government.

According to the chief executive of the company, Mrs Nike Tinubu, they had to close shop because of lack of patronage from sources that had given them high hopes.

Such soucres were governments and flour mills.

The Obasanjo administration launched what was called Presidential Initiative on Cassava through which Nigeria was expected to generate a whopping N5 billion annually.

Nigerians responded positively to this initiative by going back to the land.

But failure on the part of government to sustain the initiative led to the a shrinking market for farmers.

At the moment, farmers in Oke ogun are lamenting the glut in farm products as it has occasion a  drastic fall in prices.

According to a number of farmers who spoke to Oloye News, they are being forced to sell harvests from their farms far below the costs they incurred in the process of cultivating the products.

Mr Goke Otunla of Igbojaye in Itesiwaju local governmentnof Oyo State stated that a load of yam known as ‘ofa’ (120 tubers) which used to go for between five and eight thousands (depneding on size, now goes for about two to three thousand naira, again depending on size, the bargaining power of the buyer and desperation of the seller.

The case of cassava is even worse.

A Pick-Up van load of the tubers which used to sell for between four and six thousand naira now goes for about two thousand naira.

“If you cnosider the cost of transportation, the cost of labour for cultivating and harvesting it, you’ll see that the selling price is nothing to write home about.”

the situtation is not any different at Igbeti where a big basket of cassava flour is sold for between N500 and N800. You need some reasonable quantity of cassava tubers to get a basket of dried flour.

A bid sack of maize as well as guinea corn is sold for about four thousand naira. A sizeable farmland is needed to get enough quantity to fill such a bag after drying.

Government’s policies of spurring people into action and not backing them up later was alleged to be at the root of this problem.


Oyo State plans LG election for Dec 15

*AC, LP says no *Other parties say they are readyOyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC has announced Saturday December 15, 2007 as the date on which elections into various elective offices at the local government councils in the state would be held.

The announcement was made last week by the Commission's chairman, Mr Olaleye Olasunkanmi.

However, the Action Congress (AC) in Oyo State has dissociated itself from the proposed election on the ground that elections to that level of government had been conducted on May 24, 2007.

The elected Chairmen were on May 25, 2007 sworn in by the then governor.

However, immediately Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala (Ladoja’s former Deputy) assumed office on May 29, 2007, he dissolved the councils.

It would be recalled that the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja conducted election into the 33 local government councils in the state a few days to his leaving office. The matter became controversial as Adebayo Alao-Akala administration that succeeded him not only refused to recognize the elections, but cancelled it and appointed caretaker committees to take charge in the 33 councils.

The executive members elected into offices at the May 24 elections went to court to nullify Akala's decision. The case is still in court till now.

But the OYSIEC boss, Mr Olaleye Olasunkanmi said on Friday that he was not aware that any election had taken place during the Ladoja administration. He also denied knowledge of any court proceedings which challenged the nullification of the supposed election.

However, Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Yinka Olona, on Monday, said.

The party stated that "the tenure of our sworn-in candidates was illegally truncated by the present administration. They were replaced by illegal care-taker committees. This illegality is now being contested in the law court.

"The AC has therefore considered any conduct of another local government election as a ‘contempt’ when a final pronouncement by the law court has not been made."

The position of the party to seek justice through the court and constitutional means was, according to the executives, in line with "the spirit of a total respect for the rule of law as being propagated by the present Federal Government"


Peaceful existence, a condition for progress

The need for peace and harmonious living as conditions for development in a community has again been stressed.

Speaking on the occasion of his tenth year anniversary as Iba  of Kisi recently, Oba  (Alhaji) Moshood Oyekola Aweda Lawal Arowoduye II said that rancour and violence do not build. “Rather they destroy. ... It is in the light of this that I am enjoing everyone to embrace peace and demonstrate, at all times, a sense of love and oneness towards one another”.

The Iba who thanked the Almighty God for sparing his life thus far also expressed his appreciation to the people of Kisi, headquarters of Irepo local government, Oyo State “for standing by me all these years.”

Also speaking on the occasion which held on September 1st, the chairman of lrepo local government, Honourable Abdullateef Suleman Adediran said that the people of the local government were proud of the monarch.

The chairman who is popularly known as Santana, asserted that the reign of Oba Arowoduye has brought peace and unprecedented development to Kis.s

He enjoined the people to support the oba, the local government and Oyo state government at all times “so that we can continue to reap the dividend of demoncracy and peacefulco-existence”.

One of the major highlights of the day’s event was the conferment of chieftaincy titles on some people who have contributed to the development of the community.

Among them were Alhaji Audu Mosudi Adigun Fowewe and his wife, Alhaja Rakia Larai Audu Fowewe, Chief E.A. Adediji Asanimoro, Alhaji Sakirudeen Agoro Kesington and his wife, Alhaja Serifat Fowewe Agoro-Kesington,.

Others were Alhaja Silifat Adeboyin Moshood Abiola Peller, Alhaji Mustapha Shittu, Chief Jide Agboola, Chief Yomi Durodola and Chief (Mrs) Titi Durodola.


Youths, Elders honour Dada in Sepeteri

It was encomium galore for the former Minister of State in the defunct Obasanjo administration, Otunba Bamidele Folorunso Dada in his country home of Sepeteri, Saki East Local Government, Oyo State.

Dada was Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in last four years of Obasanjo administration.

The encomium featured at a get-together organised by Sepeteri Achievers Club  ‘to formally welcome the former minister home after a meritorious service’.

According to the president of the Club, Mr Phillip Adesokan, Otunba Dada had been “an illustrious son of Sepeteri, an illustrious son of Oke ogun who served the world and his nation creditably. We believe that he deserves to be formally welcomed home. this is why we are welcoming him back”.

Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Saki East Local Government, Engineer Muda Dayo Ogunsola said that Dada is a great inspiration to all those who want to make a mark both in their own personal life as well as in that of their community.

Apart from talking about positive virtues of the former international technocrat, Ogunsola praised Dada for bringing unprecedented federal presence to the rural community of Sepeteri and for identifying for development efforts of the people at that level.

Betraying how impressed he and others were impressed by Dada’s way of life, the local government boss revealed that his council will, in due course, also organise its own ‘welcome party’ at which the former expert at the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) “would be properly honoured”.

Chairman of the occasion which held on Saturday, October 6, 2007, Professor Adebowale Adelabu said that no honour would be too much for a man “who is an embodiment of humility, wisdom, courage and patriotism”. Adelabu is the Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja.

Impressed by the encomiums he received, the man who retired after 44 years as an international civil servant expressed appreciation “for this show of love and an acknowledgement of the modest contributions God has assisted me to make “ He also praised the people for appreciating the contributions of the federal government, especially under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president. While assuring the people of his continued readiness to be of service, Dada enjoined youths to always have high but positive aspirations.

“Youths are the bedrock of any society. The future depend on the youths”.

Among the dignitaries on the occasion were the paramount ruler of Sepeteri, Oba Kareem Oyesiji Akanji Alatise III, as well as Onisanbo of Ogbooro, Oloje of Oje-Owode and Alamodu of Ago Amodu.

Others were Pastor S. Oyerinde, Engineer Lere Adeniran, Dr S.O. Bankole, Rev. Bola Oyetunji, Chief Kehinde Adeniji. Mr Okiki Abiola and Mr S.O. Olabode among others. Of course market women, artisans, farmers etc were also there.


Prof John Yakubu is dead

A leading light among young scholars from Oke ogun, Professor John Ademola Yakubu has bade the world goodbye.

Yakubu, a native of Ijio was a one-time Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State.

Information reaching Oloye News shown that the scholar died last Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at about 47 year of age.

A widely travelled scholar, Ademola Yakubu rose rapidly within the academically circle as a result of his brilliance, academic prowess and hardwork.

He started his academic career at Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy, Ile Ife. He transferred his service to the University of Ibadan after his stint as Oyo State number one law officer under a military dispensation.

He has, for about two years been battling kidney problem. The afliction was treated both locally and abroad, Australia in particular where he had a successful transplant.

But he suddenly took ill again penultimate wee. The illness eventually claimed his life.

Author of several learned papers and profound books on law, John Ademola Yakubu was a very easy going but a highly endowed individual.

The academic community which stood by him in his period of ill health, his associates and friends both within and outside the acaedemia, the Ijio community and Oke ogun people will miss him direly.

The Council of Oke ogun Indigenes (COIN) had just contemplated making him secretary of an important committee it has just set up in the course of emancipating the area when news of his death was announced.

The process of his burial begins on November 1, 2007 when the University of Ibadan would hold a special session for him as well as a wake keeping.

His remain would be buried in his hometown, Ijio on Saturday, November 3rd.

Oyo fixes N280,000 Jerusalem  Pilgrims

Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Christian Wing, has announced that forms are now available for those who want to go on holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the remaining part of this year.

According to the chairman of the Wing, Reverend Edward Kehinde Alabi, intending pilgrims can start to come and obtain the application form.

A form is N2,500 while the pilgrimage fee is N280,000. Oyo State contingent would be the fourth batch to go this year. November has been earmarked at time of departure for the two-week holy sojourn to Israel and  Egypt. Syria and Egypt are visited if security situation allows.


Another chance to America thru Visa Lottery

Another opportunity has opened for Nigerians who want to emigrate to the United States of America with a view to becoming citizens of that country.

The opportunity is in form of the Diversity Visa Lottery which the north American country started about seven years ago. But the internet version is now about five years old.

This year edition of the programme opened on October 3, 2007 and will draw to a close on December 2, 2007.

Meaning that those who are interested must register between now and the deadline.

You can do so by visiting www.dvlotterystate.gov where you are to fill the visa form online.

Unlike what used to be the situation when the progragram first opened, paper applicantions are no longer accepted.

Dubbed DV-2009, the US State Department will notify winners between May and July 2008.

Applicants are expected to supply thier names, names of their spouses and children (if any), biographical information, educational information as well as scanned passport photographs in a particular specification . the specification would be foound on the application form.

If a member of a family wins, members of that family mentioned in the form automatically qualify as well.

It must be noted however that winning at the Visa is just the beginning of a fairly long and expensive processes.

A winner would be expected to attend Visa interview at the US Consulate in Lagos with a number of documents.

Among these documents are educational credentials, medical certificates, documents from relations/friends in the US who is ready to accomodate the applicant in early days of his/her sojourn in America.

There will also be payment of Visa fee of about 750  US dollars per applicant who is an adult. (That of the children is not as high).


By Adebisi Adesola mni

Text of a Paper presented to the Strategic Meeting of Oke-Ogun Forum By Chief Adebisi Adesola, mni.

I am humbled to be asked to contribute ideas into the strategies to realize the mission and vision of all indigenes of Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State - a quest for liberty, freedom and self-determination.

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