Hundreds of indigenes of Oke-Ogun geo-political zone of Oyo State on Saturday insisted that it was the turn of the zone to produce the next Governor of the state.
The indigenes, among whom were professionals, community leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, politicians, youth and women who gathered at Okeho Town Hall, Okeho, headquarters of Kajola Local Government Area for 2018 Democracy Day organised by Oke Ogun Development Consultative Forum (ODCF) warned that any attempt to placate the zone with Deputy Governor’s slot would be resisted by the people of the zone in 2019.
Among those who spoke at the summit include the Aseyin of Iseyin Oba Abdulganiy Adekunle Ologunebi; Onjo of Okeho Oba Mustapha Osuolale; Aare of Ago Are; Onigboho of Igboho and Chief Gideon Afolabi. Others are former TESCOM Chairman in the state, Chief Abu Gbadamosi; Chief Gbade Adejumo and Head, Editorial Board of Guardian Newspapers, Mr. Debo Adesina.
The Oke Ogun indigenes while re-echoing their agitation for power shift, that power has to be shifted from Ibadan, the state capital to Oke Ogun, however declared that they will only support any of the leading political parties that presents one of the illustrious sons of the area as its governorship candidate in the 2019 elections.
National President of ODCF, Dr. Zaccheaus Ajuwon while addressing journalists shortly after the summit informed that, what is paramount in the minds of the indigenes of the area was to produce the next governor of the state in 2019.
Ajuwon while describing it as unfair the second, third or or forth positions indigenes of the area have been occupying, posited that it is funny to hear that the zone which has 10 local governments out of the 33 local government areas in the state has not been given the opportunity to produce the Governor of the state since 1999.
He said, “What is paramount to us now is to get the governorship ticket in 2019. So what is paramount in our heart is governorship ticket. Senatorial or House of Representative tickets are secondary”.
“Our people are resolute and have taken a decision to stand and vote as a bloc for one of our own come 2019. We are determined, ready and motivated to vote to wrest gubernatorial power peacefully in 2019.This stand had worked for two Ibadan indigenes. First, it was Alhaji Lamidi Adesina (The Great Lam) in 1999 and the incumbent, our friend, Governor Abiola Ajimobi who had publicly stated his assurance to support an Oke Ogun person for the governorship in 2019 in order to ‘reciprocate the love’ that the people of Oke Ogun showed to him in the 2011 and 2015 gubernatorial elections.
“There is no doubt that democracy is a game of numbers, we in Oke Ogun may be only one third of the voting population of Oyo state but this is definitely significant since Ibadan with about half of this voting public is not all Ibadan indigenes. There are in Ibadan, indigenes of Oke Ogun, their friends, associates and there are non indigenes of Oyo state in this area as well”.
“Oke Ogun has ten (30 percent) out of the 33 LGAs in the state. This position is second only to Ibadan which has 11 (33 percent) of the LGAs. With the exception of the period when Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, an indigene of Ogbomosho areas with only five LGAs, was governor, indigenes of Ibadan have ruled Oyo since the inception of the state.
“Oke Ogun has not been treated fairly in terms of human and infrastructural development. Neither the Federal nor the state governments has reckoned with Oke Ogun as a zone that requires development.
“No institutions of higher learning, hospitals or industries in the area. Tertiary educational and health institutions that ought to be sited in Oke Ogun have been diverted to other zones of the state without justification. No good road network, no regular power supply from the national grid, no state or federal housing schemes. These tales of woe of a people neglected and forgotten has got to stop”.