HON. KOLADE AKINJO: THE YEAR 2022 – Annus Mirabilis.
“….time will indeed tell our story in glowing terms”.
Permit me to begin by welcoming you all officially to the year 2023. Glad we made it. I pray that all our sincere wishes and prayers for our individual lives, for a better constituency, and for our dear nation come to pass in Jesus’ name (Amen).
If you look around, there’s no need to wait to be told that high-wired politics is here again. As many writings and diatribes are already creeping into the internet to score some political points ahead of the next general elections, let me say something for free, “the notion of sowing and reaping is more than a casual metaphor. It is a universal law that is as efficacious as the laws of gravity, relativity, or thermodynamics. As it’s the case with an individual or family, a nation sleeps on whatever bed it has laid. As a nation, we have slept far too long on the bed of socio-economic deprivation and brazen disempowerment of our people in our political focus. This testament isn’t something hidden and so are the consequences thereto.
By all things true and just, these are not the best of times for us politically as an oil-producing local government area in Ondo state – especially with the doldrums and the backwardness the incumbent government has unleashed on our hapless nation within the last six (6)years, and more particularly with the recent nomination and confirmation of Engr. Charles Ogunmola, an indigene of Owo as the NDDC Executive Director of Projects (EDP) by the Nigerian Senate as against the provisions of Section 12(1) of the NDDC (Establishment, etc) Act, 2000 which provides that an appointment for such a position should be for a person who is an indigene of an oil producing areas. Of course, it’s a known fact that Owo is an agrarian setting with rich agricultural history, Ife/Benin artistic traditions, and nothing about crude oil production like Ilaje local government areas of Ondo State – but only being fortunate after Pa. Michael Adekunle Ajasin to be the country home of the incumbent Governor of the state: the one without respect for our happiness and heritage.
On various media platforms, we witnessed the rejection of the said nominee by Prof. Robert Boroffice, Sen. Ayo Akinyelure, and Sen. Nicholas Tofowomo, the three(3) Senators representing Ondo state before and during the screening of the NDDC nominees and also the vocal expressions of our House of Reps member in Ilaje/Ese-odo federal constituency, Hon. Kolade Victor Akinjo against the said nomination but so unfortunate that those who placed ambition ahead of performance within the APC in our area maintained taciturnity without respect for the collective pains and agony of our people back at home. That’s not fair at all.
As the saying goes, it is in the time of unimagined tempest and pestilence that a true lover of the people is made revealed. As it currently stands, not many of our people even in the APC would have ever imagined the kind of disillusionment gotten from those who got them hoodwinked with the “Aketidatiwa mantra” in the 2020 gubernatorial election of the state. Those who made several grandiloquent promises like building a seaport, and constructing roads from Araromi to Lagos but couldn’t act or even make an indigene of our oil-rich region the NDDC Executive Director of Project to actualize such dream and make party members be-happy. An EDP is equivalent to the Managing Director of NDDC, which of course, is more than two (2) Governors combined. Interestingly, everything went south because we were unlucky in the south. Even our son playing the Deputy Governor’s role at his beck and call completely fell short on deliverables so soon after. Is it not better to say “Àkétì d’àwon tiwa”? – meaning: “Aketi betrayed our very own people”. To say the least, what played out recently amongst us is a portraiture of those in charge of our politics. Our so-called leaders. Politicians never see themselves as the servants of the people who pay for all the perks they enjoy ceaselessly and endlessly. No doubt, this unreasonable arrogance is the beginning and end of our problems in the region overflowing with milk and honey.
Now to the meat of this epistle…..
As we begin the year 2023, it is apposite to capture some of the strides made within the year 2022 by the only voice of the Ilaje/Ese-odo federal constituency in the national assembly, Hon. Kolade Victor Akinjo. Though the last few years have witnessed a lot of activities on his part as the people’s representative driven by the desire to effect a positive change in our federal constituency through a purposeful representation devoid of greed and callousness, yet without relenting, he started the year 2022 with some visible projects such as the distribution of plastic chairs and tables to schools in the Ukparama axis of the federal constituency; distribution of tricycles to constituents; rehabilitation of Igbokoda internal road-Ipare community; construction of Arogbo civic centre; distribution of AANU mini-buses, facilitation of 2km concrete walkways to Erunna, Ilowo and Ikorigho through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; construction of Madagbayu/Itebu-kunmi and Mahintedo roads through NDDC; payment of Call to Bar Grants twice to Nigerian Law School graduates in the federal constituency; building of three(3) classroom block at Igbobini Comprehensive High School in Ese-odo LGA; organised Foreign Scholarship for constituents under the KVAFS scheme; Installation of integrated solar streetlights at Igbokoda, Ebute-Ipare, Oke-Ipare, Upoke and Igbotu; Agricultural Empowerments for women and youths under the 2022 Zonal Intervention Project (ZIP); construction of Interlock paving roads beside Akins Motel and Motor Park, College Road, Igbokoda; construction of footbridges at Ebiaye, Biagbini, Jeribeni, Akpata, Ojumole, Obenla, Erunna communities; distribution of plastic tables and chairs again to our primary and secondary schools in Baptist Primary School, Atijere, Methodist Primary School, Sabome, L.A Primary School, Abe-Oroyo, L.A Primary School, Ode- Ugbo, Community Grammar School, Zion- Ipepe, Etikan High School, Etikan and Ukparama Grammar School, Bolowoghu; donation of Sienna buses for NULGE Ilaje and Ese-odo Local Govt Chapters and many others not mentioned.
I’m glad this man with many monikers – the newest title being: “The Atúnlúse of Itebu-kunmi kingdom”, is doing his best to the admiration of many of our constituents but then should we allow those who care not about how we feel as a people to continue to decide our fate as a nation? Or should we let those who wanted all of us gagged and docile for their own patronage be our kingmakers? If we allow such, our case would not be different from those described by Paulo Freire, a Brazilian author in his book titled: “Pedagogy of the oppressed”- where he opined that, ‘the oppressed man loves only one man, his oppressor; the oppressed man respects only one man, his oppressor; and the oppressed man has only one dream in his life, to become an oppressor’. Regardless, the history of men was not made by chance but by choice. If we want to be free, we must find the courage to resist evil and muster the will to reject slavery and servitude.
Whatever the case, I am an optimist and history has taught me that no nation has ever lived perpetually in stupidity, and ours will not be an exception. We can’t be suffering neglect in terms of infrastructures, having our communities like Ayetoro, Mese and Gbagira submerged in water and be working against the one still giving us succour. Instead, let the coming election send a signal and let our fear of the oppressor come to an end. With this being done, time will indeed tell our story in glowing terms.
However, in the coming days, contractors would commence work to link Omonira-Ilara Streets with Igbokoda-Ugbonla road; Ugbo-Ughoye road would be re-awarded to Setraco Nig. Ltd; Agadagba-Obon/Arogbo bridge would be taken care of and the same for some roads in the Apoi axis of our federal constituency through the representation of Hon. Kolade Victor Akinjo. For us, the year 2022 is auspicious, annus mirabilis!
Without prejudice, his priority agenda aside from sustaining what has so far been done would be exclusively towards human empowerment, rural transformation, urban renewal, peace and security, evaluation of existing healthcare system, and more substantially for quality education through the instrumentality of his legislative expertise and experience.
Finally, as we continue in our march to deepen and consolidate the gains of our democracy in the 2023 general elections like other federal constituencies, we can only get better at advancing the frontiers of our representation with such a performing representative in the national assembly. Remember, no reasonable society changes its best for the worst unless we want to replicate the mob’s preference for Barabbas ahead of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. We cannot afford to be without an active voice in the 10th Assembly. Kolade Akinjo is our surest bet.
God bless Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency.
AYODEJI O. OMOSOWONE