By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Lecture Delivered by Banji Alabi Esq on the occasion of Owo Local Government Area “Students Day”. 12th December, 2020.
Titled: “The Role Of Students In Building A Better Nation.”
Distinguished ladies & gentlemen, All protocols duly Observed.
I cannot start this lecture without giving thanks to The Almighty God, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, by Whose special grace, mercy and unlimited compassion we are all assembled here despite the ups and downs of this outgoing year. To Him Alone be all thanks, praises, laud and adoration.
I will also not forget to specifically appreciate a great son of Ogho and God’s gift to Ondo State, His Excellency, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN whose giant strides in management of Ondo State is only comparable to that of another legendary son of Ogho Kingdom, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin of ever-blessed memory.
The indelible footprints of Arakunrin will remain etched in the annals of Ondo State and history will certainly be kind to him. It is a great honor to be here as the guest speaker at this August occasion.
The Holy Bible says that “can two live together unless they agree”?
Nigeria is a country made up of people that are totally different in language, custom, religion and life expectancies
Only true federalism and resource control can guarantee peace in Nigeria.
If you read the Aburi conference report – the meeting that took place some 55 years ago – all the complaints of 55 years ago are still with us till today – nothing has changed.
We need regional government and a weak Centre.
In 1896 there was no Nigeria as a country when the Yorubas began the railway construction and Operation in the Iddo area of Lagos serving between Lagos and Abeokuta a distance of 96 kilometres.
In 1901 there was no Nigeria when the Yorubas set up the railway that serviced between Lagos – Ibadan route without borrowing a dime.
In 1906, before Nigeria was created, the Yorubas commenced the Apapa wharf and concluded it 1913, which is now generating over N6 trillion every year
The Lagos international airport was built in 1947 by the Yorubas, it is generating over USD 140 every year
In 1897 the first power generating Plant was commissioned in Lagos that powered the Yoruba nation.
In 1959 the FIRSTGRADE TV station in Africa was established in Ibadan.
In 1959 the first 60,000 seating capacity sport stadium was established at Ibadan, the first of its kind in Africa and Asia.
Also in 1959 the tallest skyscraper building in Africa, a 25-storey building was constructed in Ibadan
The longest 6 lanes expressway construction named Elizabeth Way was commissioned at Ibadan,
The best teaching hospital in Africa-the UCH, Ibadan was established before the birth of the entity known as Nigeria today.
The very first sets of billionaires in Africa were all Yorubas before the birth of Nigeria
We know the ingredients for creating wealth, jobs and opportunities in Yoruba land, therefore, a Yoruba man must be our next president, for Nigeria to achieve her full potentials.
The ingredients to create wealth is known to us in Yoruba land, they are not a secret. So let’s embrace reforms that attract the establishment of industries that can employ five thousand people at a time to every local government in the Yorùbá land.
The consequences of extreme poverty in Northern NIGERIA has turned travelling on our roads in the South West into a big nightmare. Our very freedom, our ways of life are now under attack in frequent deadly armed robbery and kidnapping attack by people escaping from the poverty in the north, they are now known as Fulani herdsmen killing and maiming all over NIGERIA
The gruesome murder of one of our first class Obas – our amiable, kind and handsome Oba Isreal Adeusi – the Late Olufon of Ifon has filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten Yoruba nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Yoruba Nation is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of Our Yoruba Nation .
And as I said earlier, war and conflict is more likely to arise where we have bad governance, and we have high inequality, such as in the Northern Nigeria, and we have discrimination against minority groups and ethnic groups, and we have low educational levels. So these things are all related.
And finally, development is threatened, it is therefore, imperative that all states in the South West, South South and South East must contribute to the development of the North West and North East and ensure that the feudal lords are overthrown, so that help can reach the ordinary people.
It is literally a matter of life and death for this deprived people, and now the whole county. NIGERIA must act. We cannot leave these people behind. And so, today, we commit ourselves to new Sustainable Development Goals, including our goal of ending extreme poverty in Northern NIGERIA and in Nigeria as a whole but we must insist on regional governments, true federalism and resource control if the Yoruba nation will ever reach its full potentials as the unitary system continues to drag us back
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen-
Apart from the administration of the late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin in the Second Republic, which established many industries that are now moribund due to neglect by successive administrations, no administration, whether military or civilian, has ever made such transformational changes in the state’s economy like our own Akakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu Aketi SAN.
One remarkable gain of the Aketi government that requires sustainability is industrialization.
Industrialization is a potent strategy for the expansion and development of any economy.
Governor Akeredolu appreciates this fact. And that is why the massive industrialisation of the state is one of the important goals of his government.
Today, there is the Ondo-Linyi Industrial Hub in Ore. At present, the hub is hosting no fewer than six industries. In the hub as follows (1) Truck assembly plant, (2) Cassava -to-ethanol plant, (3) Textile mill, (4) Paper mill and (5) The first MDF factory in West Africa.
The industrial hub is still a work in progress. More industries are still coming. (6) Exploration & Development of Bitumen – The state is blessed with abundant bitumen. The natural resource had remained untapped since the year 1904 when it was discovered in the belly of the southern part of the state. But it is a good piece of news that the story has now changed. An indigenous company, the South West Bitumen Exploration Limited (SWB), has commenced modular exploitation of the bitumen deposits. This is one of the notable feats that have been achieved by the Akeredolu government.
(7) UPCOMING- ONDO SEAPORT- In Ilaje, the state has the natural gift of the longest and deepest coastline in West Africa. The country and, of course, the Sunshine state have not made utmost use of this God’s gift.
The Ondo seaport is expected to come into existence soon. Everything necessary to be done to have the dream realised has been done.
The Akeredolu government is laying a solid foundation for a self-reliant and prosperous Ondo state. There are other benefits the government has brought to the people in the areas of infrastructural development, education revitalization, health rejuvenation,road construction and adequate security provision via AMOTEKUN , among others. We can take pride in what we’ve accomplished.
What can we glean from the above statistical information? Nothing works in a plural, multilingual and multicultural state like Nigeria better than true federalism where every region can tap into its race, both human and material to move at its own pace and where healthy and people-oriented competition is grounded.
Distinguished Ladies & Gentlemen Students are the leaders of tomorrow. As potential leaders, it is the duty to insist on having a system that works , a system that recognizes and rewards performance , where they are co-drivers in the business of moving the society forward.
Today the world pay tribute to the America Judiciary for their role in the ongoing presidential election fallouts. I join the world to say Kudos to the America judiciary and I rejoice with the great American people .
Is there any lesson for Nigeria? YES.
Nigeria parades some of the first class and some of the best judges in the world. I have tremendous respect for all our judges. But Our System must be strengthen to respect the wishes and the Will of the people: The nation and indeed all Nigerian students must no longer tolerate or allow any system to usurp and subvert the right of the people to elect their leaders.
Judgement must be based purely on principles, the law of equity, natural justice, national ambition, right of the people to elect their leaders, pride in our possibilities, transparency, and national interest .
But for the constraint of time, this is a topic that is inexhaustible and I believe that as we disperse from this venue, we will continue to be part of the conversation that will culminate in the realization of the Nigeria of our dreams. I appreciate you for your rapt attention in listening to me. God bless us all
Signed: Banji Alabi Esq.
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