BEING TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING CONDUCTED BY OGUN WEST REBIRTH ON SOME BURNING ISSUES OF URGENT IMPORTANCE.

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BEING TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING CONDUCTED BY OGUN WEST REBIRTH ON SOME BURNING ISSUES OF URGENT IMPORTANCE.

 

Gentlemen of the Press

Distinguished Members

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

 

 

You will recall that Members of Ogun West Rebirth in the last one year had been holding consultations with the various stakeholders’ within and outside Ogun West over issues of developmental concerns; we recently held an interactive session with youths from the Senatorial District to reflect on matters arising from the contemporary political, social and economic issues to the maximum benefits of our area. The event took place at Ilaro on Saturday 15th March and was well attended by delegates from all the local government areas that constitute the Senatorial district. Here are some of the issues raised and agreed to by the delegates at the session.

 

OGUN STATE POLITICAL CONSTITUENCIES

Delegates took a critical look at the ongoing political activities in the State vis a vis the participation of our People in the three leading political parties in Ogun state. Having conducted a thorough historical survey we came to the conclusion that our Senatorial District has not been fairly treated in the scheme of things especially in the area of distribution of political constituencies in the state and that this had been an age long injustice to the people of Yewa and Awori which constitutionally constitute one third fraction of the State.

Please permit us through this medium to comment briefly on what we perceive as gross imbalance in the existing political structure of Ogun State which incidentally has put our Senatorial District into a serious and precarious disadvantage position in electoral matters; Issue of State and Local Government constituencies. It becomes an issue since we became aware that no election is won without mathematical calculations based on the available electoral units viz a viz the population among other factors.

  The conflicts in the existing political structure in Ogun State today are products of deliberate creation of the past delineations of constituencies and local government under the military which erroneously allocated the electoral units that are totally incongruent with the actual Statistical data of the zones thus creating undue imbalance in the structure that make up Ogun State. Let us take a cursory look into the real situation in the State through the data provided below before we appeal to our sense of judgement

 OGUN STATE SENATORIAL ANALYSIS


 


SENATORIAL DISTRICTS


REGD VOTERS


STATE PERCENT


NATIONAL


POPULATION


STATE PERCENT


 


WARDS


 


POLLING UNITS


 STATE CONSTITUENCIES


LOCAL GOVERNMENT


 


 


OGUN WEST


 


 


460,706


 


 


31


 


 


1,109,884


 


 


30


 


 


59


 


 


918


 


 


7


 



5


 


 


OGUN CENTRAL


 


 


477,477


 


 


33


 


 


1,369,900


 


 


37


 


 


74


 


 


1,156


 


 


8


 


 


6


 


 


OGUN EAST


 


 


528,155


 


 


36


 


 


1,248,314


 


 


33


 


 


108


 


 


1,147


 


 


11


 


 


9


 


 


TOTAL


 


 


1,466,338


 


 


100


 


 


3,728,098


 


 


100


 


 


241


 


 


3221


 


 


26


 


 


20

 

Obviously, what you have seen above is totally unacceptable to the people of Ogun West. It is now crystals clear that our people with 30 % of the State population in a ratio of 30: 33: 37 cannot be referred to as minority in the State. Be that as it may, it is our candid opinion that the existing arrangement in the State should be revisited within the realms of what is equitably justifiable among the three Senatorial Districts especially in the arears of State constituencies, local governments, wards and polling units

 It therefore gladdens our heart that the ongoing National Conference where issues of National Unity, principle of governance and political structures are in the front burners of national discourse could be a good avenue to resolve our age long problem.


·         We therefore call on our delegates at the confab to ensure equitable political structures at State and Local government levels in such a way that no Senatorial district should be unduly favoured at the expense of fairness and equity.


·         That the Constitution be amended to include replication of the federal Character commission at the state and local government levels to ensure justice, equity and fairness with the creation of a State and Local Government Character Commission.


·        That the confab should evolve processes to facilitate the transfer and distribution of power among its major components rather than making it the exclusive right of one section at local, State and Federal levels. What the Nation needs is a participatory democracy where sharing of power and responsibilities is achieved by all the sections of the people rather than pursuit of power by some dominant sections alone.  


·        We are using this opportunity to call on the government at all levels to monitor events at Tongeji Island in order to prevent another Bakassi scenario in the oil rich island.

 We therefore have hope that the ongoing National Conference is providing the golden opportunity to correct the monumental fraud which has over the years relegated our Senatorial district to the background since the creation of Ogun State.

OUR SPECIAL REQUEST FROM THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE

You will notice that one of the crucial areas of agitation in all the attempts at constitutional amendments apart from State creation is Resource Control.

By share providence, most of our Communities in Ogun West are the real Gateway to Nigeria and of strategic economic importance to the revenue generation to  the Federation Accounts. If the reasons for 13percent derivation from the Federation Accounts to the oil producing States are on the basis of their economic contribution to the Federated account, then we also have a better ground to put our request straight for derivation to Nigeria Border States based on generation of revenues on customs and import duties through our border areas

 We therefore recommend the establishment of the Nigeria Border Development Commission in the same manner and purposes for the creation of the Niger Delta Development Commission. The new Commission when created shall replace the Border Community Development Agency without affecting the operations and administrative bureaucracy of the Nigeria Border Commission.

 We should benefit in the provision of necessary infrastructures especially in area of road networks, provisions of infrastructures and special intervention in the educational development of the border regions.  

2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS AND THE NEED FOR POWER SHIFT

Governance in Ogun State since inception has been a commendable one. This is one State in the federation that has known the greatest peace with ever growing resources. We take the front seat in virtually all the facets of nation’s developmental roles. What seems important here is that Ogun State having been naturally endowed with enormous human resources including foremost democrats, and nationalists should be a shining example of democracy in its truest form where equity and justice should at all times be pursued by its political managers fairly, fully and impartially.

At creation, Ogun State like a table stands on four legs. This of course is the framework for proper understanding of the dynamics of Ogun State politics since its creation in 1976. The situation in Ogun state till date is that the table is still standing on three legs while the fourth leg has to be provided for the table to have proper balancing. Just as we cannot pretend to claim that things are alright with the three legged table, we should equally not pretend to believe that Ogun State is balanced politically.

Incidentally, the Yewa-Awori people of Ogun State represent the fourth leg of the table which every citizen of the State must on moral ground fix into the table for equity, fairness and justice. Our clamour for power shift to the Yewa-Awori section of the State is a constitutional right of the people who had waited for 38years to occupy the Chief Executive seat in the governance of the State where we have equal stake like our fellow brethren from the remaining two Senatorial districts of the State.

 As democrats, we have always cherished the Ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. We need not go into the long tales of how it had been in the Gateway State; rather it is our intention here to relate the morality of our political action as it subsists to the principles of equity, fairness and justice to which the preambles of 1999 constitution is very explicit.

 We therefore want to proceed with the assumption that Ogun State politics is that of matured understanding of the history that created it. i.e from Abeokuta and Ijebu provinces to Egba, Egbado, Ijebu and Remo Divisions and now the three Senatorial districts of Ogun West, Ogun East and Ogun Central. In all these three out of the four divisions had been Governor while two out of the three Senatorial districts had produced Governors leaving only Yewa division and Ogun West senatorial districts yet to do so since the creation of the State.

If you ask what is our aim? we can answer in three words equity, fairness and justice for these are universal principles of democracy to which governance in Ogun State should be no exception and so any Political party that refuse to show proper understanding or identify with this universal principle lacks political consciousness at this auspicious time and therefore should be rejected at the poll by our people.

We therefore wish to appeal to all Political parties in the State to consider picking their Governorship candidate from the Senatorial district as the best strategy to win the 2015 general elections as we shall be fully ready to mobilise support by our people towards delivering bulk votes from the area for such Party.

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF INFRASTURE IN OGUN STATE.

 The late Bashorun MKO Abiola  openly acknowledged the fact that Yewa Division of Ogun State had been marginalized in the scheme of things in Ogun State. In his foreword to “Legacy”, A biography of Navy Captain Oladeinde Joseph, he said “ It is an open secret that since its inception, Ogun State has been a political compromise. Management of its affairs has always been that of a clever game of sectional balancing of the Egbas and the Ijebus with some opportunistic overtures towards the Egbados and the Remo People”.

We have always asked ourselves this question whether the marginalisation of the West is perceived or real while, the usual answer we found convenient based on our estimations is YES. We have also reflected on the fact that while it is true that we do not have minority group among the three main blocs of Ogun State, what we have is imbalance state structures that affect and create the minority problems in some areas of the State notably Yewa-Awori area of Ogun State despite the fact that the 1999 Constitution as you are aware delineated Ogun State into three equal Senatorial Districts with almost equal population distribution.

Put concretely, successive administrations in Ogun State have largely marginalised Ogun West Senatorial District in the governance of the State. Distributions of State infrastructures have been largely concentrated in the other Senatorial Districts of the State with little or no attention to West Senatorial district.

We are not having it better under the present Administration and for avoidance of doubt, the under listed facts speak volumes and are begging for the special attention of His Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun so that his administration doesn’t leave us poorer than he met us


·         Our Senatorial district is severely short changed in major appointments under the present administration, obviously the worst scenario since the creation of the State in 1976. With just three Commissioners in the cabinet, 4 Special Advisers and few appointments in the Board, the principle of Equity, Fairness, and Justice which are the three keywords in the fundamental objectives and directive principles of State policy and which of course are important features of our constitutional framework and the oath of office His Excellency took on May 29 2011 had been grossly abused by the administration.


·          Ilaro, the Divisional headquarter of Yewa Division and Ogun West Senatorial District is no where considered in the ongoing Urban renewal projects of the government as evident in the Major towns of Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode and Sagamu, its contemporaries.


·         Even when the transition Committee on Education reported that there is lopsidedness in location of Tertiary Institutions in Ogun State, the administration did not deem it fit to implement the committee’s recommendation at least to address the issue of lopsidedness in location of State owned Institutions of higher learning.


·         The road construction project under the administration speaks volume of the neglect of Ogun West people’s welfare. One can imagine that the administration left out the Papalanto – Ilaro axis where Dangote cement trucks had been killing people frequently on almost daily basis to attend to other less important roads in different parts of Abeokuta. Whereas, the administration is aware that the Papalanto-Ilaro road constitute great danger to lives and properties rather, His Excellency approved additional overhead bridges at Sapon and Iyanna mortuary just to aid free flow of traffic without considering the plight of the people from Ogun West.


·          Despite the fact that Agbara-Igbesa area of Ogun State accounts for bulk percentage of the internal revenue generation of the State, the area up till now is no where considered in the road construction projects of the State at least for economic reasons ditto the Ilaro –Owode-Ikoga road which link Ogun State to Badagry is also not in the priority list of the government.


·         In all the employments the administration has given so far since inception, we have discovered that our quota has not been filled equitably.


 


 If truly government is an honourable service to humanity, deliberate attempts must be made by this Administration to facilitate development and manage State resources equitably among the different sections of the State in a transparent and efficient manner. It is in the light of these facts that we appeal to the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to evolve processes that will facilitate equitable distribution of projects and resources of the State among the major components in its quest to rebuild Ogun State rather than making it the exclusive right of one section of the State.  This is part of the rots in the System needing urgent repair. We however want to register our appreciation for the construction of Ilo Awela, Ilara-Ijoun,Oja odan roads while urging His Excellency to ensure that all the projects are completed within the 4years life span of this administration.

 

DANGOTE CEMENT SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO YEWA COMMUNITIES.

We acknowledge the economic growth brought by the operations of Companies and industries across located in our territory especially in the area of development of trade and commerce in  Ogun West axis of Ogun state. However, our joy is short-lived each time we remember how the trucks kill our people along the Ibese-Ilaro-Papalanto road, Agbara-Losada and Owode-Idiroko roads. We have been making repeated calls on the Government to consider dualisation of these roads as a major step to save the lives of motorists in that axis and reduce death rate on the roads. We continue to make this request to the Government to do the needful as our losses on these roads are too grief to bear. We also call on Federal Road Safety, Ogun State command, to consider having regular patrol on these busy roads a top priority in addition to situating a unit command office in Ilaro.  

Much as we wish to express our appreciation to the management of the Dangote Cement company for the little it have been able to do to assist the host communities, we urge them to be more alive to their corporate social responsibilities considering the health and other hazards implication of the production and haulages of their products. The people of Ogun west are naturally peace loving and very accommodating people who does not believe in unnecessary agitations and confrontations before we are given what is practically due to us as our rights and privileges, these virtues have made us the economic base and food basket region of the State and the Nation.

We therefore call on Authorities of Dangote Cement and other industries in Ogun West to significantly affect the lives of our youths in the area of employment generation and provision of social infrastructures for the benefit of the People in the immediate Communities and the State in general.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen we have come to equity with our clean hands, we urge the good people of Ogun State to give our Senatorial District sense of belonging in Ogun project. We are equal partners and we should be treated as such in the scheme of things and for posterity to judge us right in our actions towards the wholesome development of the State.

 

Thank you

Signed

 

Ajiroba Dapo Oke

Chairman,  Ogun West Rebirth

 

 

 

 

 


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