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A Pariah Senatorial District of Ogun State by Ajibola Olaniyi

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By Ajibola Olaniyi

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The pre-colonial historical allusion to present Ogun State will reveal an enclave of sophisticated people in an agrarian land space, where bravery and dignity of labour were held supreme over all other things.

The people are as dynamic as they are diverse, with unique socio-cultural emblem.

Although, the people agreed to have migrated from Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba race, except the Ijebus who have another history different from that, they speak different dialects of the Yoruba language, which is a general and popular means of communication in the Yoruba region of the present South West Geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Aside the Adubi war, and the skirmishes between the Egba and the Dahomey, in the middle 19th century,  coupled with the protracted Ekiti Parapo war of 1877 to 1893, in which different groups of the people pitched their tents with the two warring parties of Ibadan and Ekiti Parapo, there was no any major recorded fracas among the people that made up the state in history.

It was the serenity of the land, and the hospitality of the people that made the defeated Owu people to migrate to the present Abeokuta around 1822, after their  ignominious defeat in the hands of Ife in 1821, in what came to be known as Owu-Ife war of 1821 in history, ditto for the Ijayes.

The enclave became an entity as a State within the Nigeria federation  by the early announcement made by the then Military Head of State, Late General Muritala Ramat Mohammed on February 3, 1976, alongside other six states, to increase the number of states from 12 to 19 in Nigeria, it was created from the defunct Western Region.

Although, Abeokuta, one of the towns in the state was founded much later after towns like Ijebu-Ode Ilaro, and Ota have been established, in the early 19th century, the town was made the capital of the state, and development set in to make it match the standard of a state capital at the expense of other big towns around the state.

Serious political activities kick-started in the state in the build up to the return of democracy in 1979, the Action Group, which later metamorphosed to Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN) was the dominant party in the state, like any other states in the Yoruba land.

Different groups in the states were categorized in three senatorial districts, while the Yewas and the Aworis are in the Ogun West senatorial district, the Egbas, and the Owus dominated the Ogun-Central senatorial district, the Ijebus and the Remos  are the majority in the Ogun-East senatorial district.

The second Republic, which came to being in 1979 saw the man from the Ogun-East senatorial district as the Governor of the state, in the person of Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, an Ijebu man, on the platform ofUPN.

The military interregnum, which put an end to the civilian government in Nigeria in 1983, brought the regime to an abrupt end until the deceptive and frustrating transition programme of self-styled Nigerian Military president, General Ibrahim Babangida came on board.

Chief Olusegun Osoba, who is of Egba extraction from Ogun-Central senatorial  district emerged  as an Executive Governor of the state during  the aborted Third Republic of the early 90s under the umbrellaof Social Democratic Party(SDP).

At the dawn of Fourth Republic in 1999, it was the same Chief Olusegun Osoba that became the governor of the state on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD), while Senator Olugbenga Kaka from Ogun East deputised him.

The political tsunami that swept the zone in 2003, no thanks to General Olusegun Obasanjo, sacked the AD led government in the state, and the Peoples Democratic Party standard bearer in the 2003 gubernatorial election in the state, Otunba  Gbenga Daniel emerged as  the governor of the state.

Daniel  hailed from Sagamu, a commercial town of Remo, in Ogun East senatorial district, he remained the governor in the state till May 29, 2011, to complete his 8 years of two terms.

The irreconcilable political imbroglio among the ranks and files of the PDP in the state, which responsible for the dwindled political influence of the party and its support base , coupled with unpalatable performance of its faithful in different level of governments made the people to vote out the ruling party  to elect a former senator representing Ogun-Central senatorial district in the Senate between 2003 and 2007, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011 for two terms of four years.

By the emergence of Amosun as the governor of the state , the two senatorial districts of Ogun-Central and Ogun-East have governed the state twice, while the third district, Ogun-West played a second fiddle once, during the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

The Amosun led administration followed the primordial power sharing, which keeps  the third senatorial district  at bay,  while the incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun came from Ogun Central, his deputies in the first and second terms came from Ogun East.

Ogun West senatorial district was compensated with a speakership position, the position that is no more than a stooge under the whim and caprice of the de-facto governor, who is a megalomaniac in principle and ideology.

In a recent interview with an opinion leader from  Yewa North , Elder Sukanmi Tella, he said, it is  no more a news that the senatorial district has been marginalized beyond  imagination in the state.

Tella  disclosed that political and opinion leaders from the area are working assiduously to liberate the people from further subjugation and marginalization.

‘’It has become expedient for us in Ogun-West senatorial district toshowcase our mettle and take mantle of leadership in Ogun-State.

‘’We cannot continue to be at the receiving end of power sharing in the state, the state belongs to all of us, no group of people is inferior to other, in as much as many of us do not have the political ambition
of piloting the affairs of the state in the capacity of a governor we must support anybody that comes  out from the senatorial district to contest for governorship position   irrespective of his or
her party affiliation,’’ he posited.

It is indeed a paradox, that the senatorial district that generates the highest revenue for the state is being treated as a pariah district with so much disdain.

What could have been the thinking of the political leaders in the state, where is their sense of reasoning and moral inclination that qualify them as leaders who supposed to lead with justice, fairness, and equity.

What justification do they have to keep a district out of the scheme of things in the state since its creation, does it mean there are no competent person from the district to pilot the affairs of the state?

Obviously,  Ogun- West senatorial district has produced many cerebral individuals that are making waves in different professions all over the world.

There are shrewd politicians from the district that know their onus and possess the requisite political acumen and sagacity to turn the fortune of the state around, but remain underdog as a result of conspiracy by some privileged ones from other districts.

Suffice it to say that, the basis for political arithmetic of rotational presidency in Nigeria, which has dominated the indices of power distribution in the country is the diversity of the composition of its people, in other to give every zone a sense of belongings.

In as much as I do not believe that tribe or faith should be the determinant of pattern of governance, because it does not guarantee desirable leadership, equity and justice stabilizes diverse society and bring about peace and harmony, where everybody feels important.

It is on the basis of this that I call on the good people of  Ogun State, political and opinion leaders alike to rise to the occasion and insist on equity, justice and fairness in the state.

The great Zik once posited that, there can never be peace without justice, it is indisputably correct that justice and equity are inalienable to human, the absence of which polarizes the society beyond reconciliation and repair.

God Bless Nigeria

God Bless The Gate Way State.

Niyi Ajibola

Niyi Ajibola

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