Gov’t neglects Ijebuland, as monarchs express hope in OGD for better leadership
Traditional rulers across Ijebuland have decried the current state of neglect of their domain as they called on former Governor Gbenga Daniel to rescue the situation considering his good leadership attributes and performance while in government.
The monarchs made the call when they paid a courtesy call on the immediate past Governor who is also the Deputy Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Campaign Council, (South) at his Obalofin Court residence in Ijebu Ode on Thursday.
The meeting, convened as an avenue to rub minds and chart a way towards the overall development of Ijebuland, had in attendance about thirty traditional rulers who openly expressed their worry over the dwindling fortune and neglect of the entire Ijebuland.
Praising the giant strides recorded by Daniel’s administration during his 8 years as governor, the current situation in the entire Ijebuland, they submitted, is becoming unbearable as the area has lost a lot due to government deliberate neglect and lack of interest to address the challenges faced by the people which has brought stagnation in nearly all spheres of life- social, economic and infrastructural development. The monarchs expressed confidence that there is a ray of hope because they have strong belief in Daniel’s consistency, honesty, frankness and sincerity.
According to them, there is no alternative to development than good governance which could only be provided by those in power, hence the parley with the former Governor and Director General of Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation (APCO) considering his wide and highly influential political network nationwide to provide that leadership and direct the people on the right path.
One of the older traditional rulers on the entourage was vehement in his opinion as he roundly condemned the current State government accusing it of insincerity and deliberate attempt to undo all the developmental projects put in place by the immediate past administration which could have made Ijebuland the ‘Niger Delta’ of Ogun State and South West in terms of available mineral resources in the area. He also narrated how the present State government nearly ‘killed’ the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) which was established during the Daniel administration, with series of untruths, acrimony and insincerity. “There is nothing worst than having a lying government at the helm of affairs”, he submitted
The visit, they reiterated, was non political but borne out of their genuine desire to ensure that the industrious people of Ijebuland realise their dream of a land with their vast natural and human resources because history and future generations will not forgive them as representatives and leaders of their people if they failed to speak up at the appropriate time.
In response, Otunba Daniel thanked the visiting monarchs and praised their sense of commitment to the overall development of their domain, their concern about the present and future generation.
He stated that after stepping down as governor in 2011, he deliberately “withdrew from intervening in the affairs of government so that the new administration will have space to do whatever it can in its capacity, and to the best of its ability which we have all seen in their bridges, model schools and employment rate. Although, I have talked on certain occasions to redirect them but all have been in vain.
“Our administration came on board in 2003 with a Master plan for Ogun State. We were sincere about what to do and how we were going to do them and that was why we had already formulated policies that will enhance the general development of the diverse zones of the entire state in various sectors be it in education, sports, economy, infrastructure, health, agriculture, employment and Ijebuland was not an exception as the projects were evenly spread across the State unlike the present situation where the State’s Commonwealth were not evenly distributed.
“What Ijebuland and of course the whole of Ogun state, and indeed the whole of South west not to talk of Nigeria, lost in the abandonment of the Olokola project was monumental and could, with due respect, be clasiffied as ‘criminal’ because of its enormous potentials in the three main areas of Olokola Free Trade zone which would have brought about industrial revolution in refinery and fertilizer production; the OKLNG which will be run by the NNPC, Chevron, Mobil, Shell, British Gas with 5% input by the domain Local Government, Ogun Waterside which they would not even pay for and also the OK Deep Sea Port reputed to be one of the deepest in the Continent”
These and many other ones he said, were abandoned by the current administration for reasons they know best and this is where we are.
“I make bold to say that I didn’t borrow a dime to run government while in office and we developed the entire State across board and the records are there with our achievements which are still being discussed by many people on daily basis eight years after our administration”.
The only way forward, he stated was “to put in place a government that would be ready to activate all these abandoned projects and be sensitive to the yearnings of the people at both State and Federal levels.
“I have gone round the country on about three occasions and I have seen the agitation for change in the faces, actions and outburst of the people. We therefore need to educate the people to be deep in their choice of candidates that will eventually be in position of power. This is very key to realising the dream of prosperity and abundance especially in an area so blessed and has practically nothing to do with poverty if the resources are well harnessed”, he concluded.