Opinion

For the record: Press statement by Yewa G6 Ambassadors Club on the State of Affairs in Yewaland, Ogun State to mark the first year Anniversary of the Club.

The current Government of Ogun State under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun is now running the 2nd year of his 4 year term in office having spent about 17 months in charge of the affairs of the State.

It has therefore become necessary for us to do an appraisal of the government and call his attention to certain critical areas as it affects Yewaland and indeed the entire State. We are doing this at this point in time so that in planning the 2021 budget for our dear state, not only will our areas of concern be given the right attention, government can also leverage on this opportunity of early warning to make the necessary adjustments in its policies in order to meet the aspiration of our people.

We will like to note that the Ogun State House of Assembly recently approved  a loan of N250 billion for the state government and therefore believed that funding of critical projects should  no longer be a major challenge of the government.

Our expectations is that not less than 33% of the loan amounting to about N83.4 billion will be utilized to fund critical projects in Ogun West Senatorial District which represents a third of Ogun State and is the cash cow of the state.

COMMENDATION TO PRINCE DAPO ABIODUN AND HIS TEAM

 Yewa G6 Ambassadors will like to commend Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR for the new spirit he has brought into governance which reflects a more responsive approach to the wishes of the people of Ogun. In the last 17 months, we can say without any equivocation, that democracy as a government of the people, for the people and by the people is better reflected in his style of governance, a clear departure from the experience of Ogun State people in recent past.

We also appreciate the commitment of the Ogun State Government to human capital development through the priority attention being given to health, education and employment generation.  We salute the efforts of the government in these and other areas such as:

*The rehabilitation of the State Hospital, Ilaro which is now wearing a new look.

*The refurbishment of not less than 50  schools spread across various wards of Yewaland

*The rehabilitation/reconstruction of over 60 primary health care centers spread across wards in  Yewaland.

*Palliative work on some major roads in Yewaland especially the Oke-Afa bridge in Ipokia LG and Ilaro-Owode road in Yewa South.

* Rice plantation in Egua, Yewa North local government.

*We also commend the policy of the state government on local government administration which has brought some vibrancy to governance at this level and resulted in the implementation of some projects by LG administrations in Ogun West.

Having acknowledged these commendable achievements of the government, it is necessary to direct the attention of the government and remind our dear Governor of very critical areas that require his urgent intervention. These areas include:

THE STATE OF ROAD NETWORK IN YEWALAND

Distinguished members of the press, Yewaland is now almost completely cut off from the rest of Ogun State especially to the State capital, Abeokuta. It will be understatement to say Yewaland has been abandoned in the area of road infrastructure. From Ipokia, Ago-Sasa, Ifohintedo, Owode, Ado-Odo, Agbara, Igbesa, Ilaro, Imasai, Igan-Okoto, Ayetoro, Afon, Imeko, Ilara etc, no part of Yewaland is connected to each other or to the state capital with a motorable road and but for the resilience of our people, the economy of the area would have collapsed completely.

While we recognize that this poor condition of roads in Yewaland of Ogun State as a  result of age long government neglect which we cannot totally blame on the Dapo Abiodun administration, we are however seeing a continuation of the pattern of neglect and marginalization by the current administration.

After 14 months in office, we are yet to see any urgent efforts by the government to pay the needed attention to the starving and dying child that Yewaland represents in the affairs of Ogun State.

It is important to state that while the previous government of Ogun State led by Senator Ibikunle Amosun was constructing bridges all over Ogun State and paying 100% road contracts cost in advance, Yewaland was completely left out of the equation.

We therefore call on the government of Ogun State under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR to declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY ON THE ROADS IN YEWALAND, prioritize the roads listed below and give them urgent attention as a first step to prevent total cut-off of Yewaland from Ogun State and total collapse of the economy of the area:

The roads are: Quicken the pace of the very slow work ongoing at the Owode-Ilaro road. Pay 100% of the cost of the reconstruction of the Ilara-Oja Odan-Ilase road and bring back the contractor (or a new one) with a mandate to deliver the road within 24months. Pay 100% of the cost of reconstruction of the Atan-Lusada-Igbesa road and bring back the contractor (or engage a new one) with a mandate to deliver the road within 24 months.

* Award the contract for the reconstruction of the Papalanto-Ilaro road with a mandate to the contractor to deliver within 18 months. Speed up the work on the reconstruction of Lafenwa Ayetoro rounder road and extend the contract to cover up to Imeko with a mandate to the contractor to deliver at least 60% of the road within 24months. We hope that this ongoing project will not become another of the abandoned projects.

Our appeal is that full commencement of work on the above listed roads be started immediately to save the people of Yewaland from economic collapse, social stagnation and extreme pauperization.   We also call the attention of Mr Governor to other important roads that do not only link Yewaland to the state capital but link Yewaland to each other, all of which are in very bad condition.

These roads include:  Ita-Oshin- Joga Orile-Ibooro-Imasai-Ilaro road, Owode Yewa-Ado-Odo road,  Ayetoro-Igan Okoto-Imasai road,  Igan Okoto-Sawonjo-Igbogila road, Joga orile _ Abule Taiwo _ Igan Okoto road, Lusada-Agbara road,Agosasa -Ijofin – Tube-Ipokia road, Ipokia _ Maun _ Akere road, Tube _ Zigi road, Ado Odo _ Ikoga road, Imeko_ Iwoye _ Jabata road,The Agosasa bridge,The abandoned Ayetoro-Olodo road, Ayetoro – Erinpa – Sunwa  – Owode Ketu – Abotokio road and  Ayetoro – Saala Orile – Ijoun road.

It is a big shame and a clear indication of absolute neglect that in the 21st century, virtually all of these roads are no longer motorable and can only be plied on foot or through motorcycle or bicycle.

Only recently, Ogun State Executive Council approved for reconstruction/ rehabilitation of fifteen(15) roads in the state. Only two (2) of these reconstruction were considered for Ogun West while Ogun East and Ogun Central have eight and five respectively for reconstruction.

We beg to ask, what has Ogun West people done to deserve this kind of absurd treatment from successive governments? And the Ogun State slogan is “Building Our Future Together”. What kind of future are we building together with the ill treatment always meted out to Ogun West. Ogun West no doubt has the worst of roads network in the entire State.

OGUN STATE POLYTECHNIC/UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN IPOKIA

The story of how the former Governor of Ogun State hurriedly established the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia at the twilight of his administration is no longer news. At that time, the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia was operating from Abeokuta while buildings for the institution were being put together.

At  the inception of the Dapo Abiodun led government, an expert panel was put together to recommend the way forward for the institution vis a vis the Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology proposed for Abeokuta. Leaders of Yewaland then engaged with the panel set up by the government and proposed that the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia be made a University of Science and Technology in line with modern trends

We in Yewa G6 Ambassadors feel very saddened that more than ten (10) months after the panel submitted it’s report, the government of Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR has refused to take any step with regards to the Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia or accede to the request of Yewa leaders to establish a University of Science and Technology in Ipokia instead of a Polytechnic.

Today, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta which was disbanded by the previous administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been brought back to life while the site of Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia is now overgrown with weeds. A o reje, a o ri omira ni Ipokia.

We see this act of the government as perpetuation of the age long marginalization and disregard to the interest of Yewaland. We therefore call on government of Ogun State to immediately commence the process of the establishment of a University of Science and Technology in Ipokia. Failure to do this can only amount to a clear message that Yewa’s interest is not important to Governor Dapo Abiodun.

ACTIVITIES OF CUSTOM MEN IN YEWALAND

 Men of the Nigerian Custom Service posted to border locations in Yewaland have acquired the notorious reputation of maltreating and killing our people indiscriminately. Since the assumption of office by Prince Dapo Abiodun, not less than 5 incidences of such extra judicial killing has occurred.

While we acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Governor in commiserating with families of the victims, we appeal to him to do more by instituting a judicial panel of inquiry to look at all incidences of extra judicial killing and brutality by the NCS in Yewaland in the last 10 years. Our people are agitated and the government of Ogun State should not wait until they resort to self helps before taking concrete steps to pacify the people and prevent future occurrence.

APPOINTMENT OF A NEW HEAD OF SERVICE FOR OGUN STATE

Recently, the former Head of Service of Ogun State, TPL Amope Ajibola Choko retired from service and was replaced by current Head of service Alhaja Selimot Olapeju Ottun. While we acknowledge that it is the prerogative of the Governor to appoint whoever he desires as the Head of Service, we want to observe that the practice of abandoning seniority in appointing the head of service is not healthy for service discipline and good work ethos.

When TPL Amope Ajibola Choko who was then the most senior Permanent Secretary in Ogun State was appointed as Head of Service, we thought the practice of politicizing the appointment was being stopped by the new government of Prince Dapo Abiodun. Unfortunately, the government seem to be abandoning this desirable practice. We therefore call on the Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun to rise above ethnic and political considerations in the appointment of carrier officers into such positions of authority like the head of service.

HEAD OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN OGUN STATE

We in Yewa G6 Ambassadors club have observed some maneuvering in the appointment of headship of higher institutions in Ogun state which are designed to perpetuate the age long marginalization of Ogun West in the scheme of things in Ogun State. Yewa G6 Ambassadors is aware of the many highly qualified sons and daughters of Ogun West who are working in State owned higher institutions of learning.

Some of them we are aware have applied to head some of these institutions. Our investigation has also shown that these academics from Ogun West stand well above their peers from the other Senatorial districts in terms of proven performance, competence, expedients and seniority.

We will therefore like to passionately appeal to Mr Governor not to be swayed by some sentiments based argument that is meant to change the goal post at the middle of the match. These institutions belong to all of us in Ogun State and some of our own have been tested as head of some of these institutions in acting capacity and have performed very well.

We in G6 Ambassadors club believe that much as they have performed very, well, they should be given the substantive position irrespective of where they may have come from.

CONCLUSION

We cannot conclude this press release without some words on the recent EndSars protest across our country. Yewa G6 Ambassadors strongly believe that the youths and indeed Nigerians have very valid reasons to protest because of the economic hardship being faced by them which is being made worse daily by government policies.

The right to peacefully protest is guaranteed by the 1999 constitution as amended and should therefore not be tampered with by any government. However, it is necessary to state clearly that such protests must remain peaceful in every respect and must respect the rights of other Nigerians to conduct their own affairs without hindrance.

We advise that once the protesters discovered that the protest is being hijacked by hoodlum and rented thugs, then there will be the need for the protesters to re strategise and devise other means to agitate for their demands.

However, we condemn in strong terms the gruesome killing of the protesting youths in Lekki toll gate by men believed to be soldiers of the Nigerian army. We call on the federal and Lagos state governments and indeed the Nigeria army authority to institute a powerful enquiry into what led to the killing of these peaceful protesters and bring to justice those found to be culpable.

The Ogun State Government so far demonstrated responsiveness, maturity and restraint in dealing with the protest  in Ogun State and Yewa G6 Club will like to commend the government in this respect.

Yewa G6 Ambassador Club is a socio-cultural, non-political organization of indigenes of Yewaland in Abeokuta North, Ado-Odo/Ota, Imeko-Afon, Ipokia, Yewa North and Yewa South local government areas of Ogun State who are professionals in public and private sectors of our economy. The club was formed as a rallying point to generate ideas and engage with the government for the development of Yewaland in the 6 local government areas mentioned above.

We are appealing to the Ogun State Government under the leadership of Prince Dapo Abiodun to please for the sake of God give serious attention to these requests and intervene immediately to mitigate the serious hardships being faced daily by our people.

The people are exhausted from waiting endlessly for government and are loosing faith in this democratic experience and something urgently needs to be done. We believe in the capacity of Prince Dapo Abiodun to reset the experience of our people with government since the inception of the current democracy and more especially in the last dispensation. This is an SOS call to change our story for the better in Yewaland so that development can spread evenly across and our dear Ogun State can be a strong and united entity.

Thank you and God bless.

Long live Yewa G6 Ambassadors club

Long live Yewa land

Long live Ogun state

Long live Nigeria

Signed; Amb. Abiodun Fabuyi(President)

Amb. Boye Adesina(Chairman, Publicity Committee

 

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