2019: OGUN WEST MUST SOLVE ITS PROBLEMS the Cock must crow from the West

I feel highly delighted to be the guest speaker on this special occasion of the 2nd Session of the tenth Synod of our great Diocese of Yewa (Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion). When I was contacted some few weeks ago to come and deliver this lecture, the Synod Secretary Venerable Wusa gave me the topic 2019: Making it a reality for Ogun West. After having a deep thought about the Sociology of Ogun West in the context of 2019 in Ogun State, I decidedly chose to rephrase the topic on the title 2019: OGUN WEST MUST SOLVE ITS PROBLEMS” with a rider that the “Cock must crow from the West” particularly to reflect on the expectations of the people of Ogun West in 2019. This is the year I regard as the beginning of a new dawn in Ogun State and Ogun West after a long history of disappointment and unsuccessful expeditions at the political arena. I’m sure you all know that at the beginning of a new dawn a cock must crow to signal the beginning of a new day. The Cock is like a time teller in the life of a community.
Permit me to thank My Lord Bishop, Rt Revd Michael Adebayo Oluwarohunbi my fellow Alumnus of that great University, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and our amiable Mama Yewa, Mrs Grace Olufunke Oluwarohunbi, the woman I have a lot of respect for, for her academic brilliance and special ingenuities in handling issues for giving me this privilege of this address at this very important occasion. I also sincerely thank the Synod Officials for the invite.
The long trek in the wilderness
According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Wilderness is derived from the notion of wildness that which is not controllable by human. It is a natural environment that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It is an area considered important for the survival of certain species, biodiversity, ecological studies, conservation solitude and recreation.

In America, a wilderness is a designated Federal area of land set aside by an act of Congress. In this area, human activities are restricted to scientific study and non-mechanization recreation; horses are permitted as the only means of transportation. Little wonder those Ogun west road networks are worst in series of Ogun State road development and only good for the horse instead of SUV cars

Sometimes in my previous writing, when I referred to Ogun west as a wilderness, many questions were raised by several people who felt that the description may not be too apt to describe a place like Ogun West; a place with modern buildings, schools and industries. Of course, the industrial hub of Ogun State and the homeland of the Anglican Diocese of Yewa shouldnt be referred to as a wilderness and so there were many questions raised to which I tried to proffer answers. In the literary sense, Im not talking of a forest with no human activity neither am I referring to an environment that has not been significantly modified by human activities. Of course , I am not talking just about the presence of big Iroko trees, mahogany, Obese and organic vegetables while truly to my conscious mind I am not looking at conservation solitude of a natural environment of biodiversity and ecological specifics.

On the contrary, I am making reference to the legacy of sins of deprivation of development which successive Administrations have committed against the general well being of the environment that supposed to be one third part of the State. If we accept it as such, then we will come to the grim reality that this part of the State despite the amount of human activities is still a wilderness that needs wholesome development to make it a decent habitable environment as it ought to be comparable to other Senatorial districts in the State.

By 2019 it will be exactly forty three years that our dear State was created, if we are to tell the history of our attempts to govern Ogun State this will also mark forty years of our wandering in the wilderness looking for the roadmap to the Promised Land as that journey significantly began in 1979. Since those years, our Community and its people have been embroiled in several conflicts of underdevelopment, unity and consensus arrangements which the Israelites also suffered before God finally gave them Moses, Aaron and Joshua. One can therefore appreciate why the silent majority of our people are yearning for a new leadership that will break the vicious cycle of internal segregation, derangement, and inexplicable under-development that had prolonged our journey in the wilderness.

The search for the Biblical Joshua
As we continued our long trek in the political wilderness, in every election since 1979, we continue to search for the visional leader unabatedly among our political elites to lead us to the Promised Land in the prevailing socio-political situation in State. I have compared the rich history of human and natural resources in our environment and my conclusion was that we have remained longer in the wilderness because we have failed to strip ourselves naked to shake off the heavy burdens of methodical individualism that had eroded our free movement to greatness.

At this point, we can pause and ask ourselves the questions whether the entire race, most importantly the political and educated elites have learnt anything new during the long trek in the wilderness and how the revolutionary consciousness in the minds of the youth of the present generation can now salvage the situation. We must have learnt that our usual approach and struggle among ourselves always give our neighbours the political advantage over us. Their goals usually had been that individuals in Ogun West are empowered to carry out wars as long as possible so that our collective aspiration grow weary and become exhausted.

If we have learnt any lesson, our agenda now should be the establishment of a stable and unwavering political leadership, the emergence of experienced and dynamic individuals with sound economic powers and sense of devotion for the selfless service of the Community, People who can drive the Community goals with their earned resources. Unfortunately Sir, my Lord Bishop and the people of God, Im yet to see any serious planning in this direction and this made me think we are still stock in the wilderness.

It is an undisputable fact that our inability to grab power has wasted the vast human resources needed to turn around things and bring fortunes to the Community. It is clear from the history of our State that which section of the State holds power decides everything and like the proverbial mad man, they always hoe to their directions. The law made us equal, but man does not. Thus, that Ogun west still remain a wilderness is what men rather than the law has done.

Obviously, we still have a long road to trek out of the wilderness. After all our previous experience in the historical treks, I no longer see any reason why our people should not reason together, search for the roadmap and a compass for the pilot to fly save on the airspace. Our focus should be since we dont have economic power we should employ the means of political-economic cooperation to achieve our purpose.

The challenges of the past
From the several historical accounts of our previous attempts at the governorship, I have identified the under listed issues and Challenges in my previous writings
The imposition of a super structure that gave lesser representation to Ogun west against other zones which has constantly put Ogun West in a precarious disadvantage position in a party primary election or selection process. You must be aware Ogun west has the lowest number of electoral units namely the Local government areas, State constituencies and wards
Problem of disunity among the power contenders and inability of the leadership to effectively coordinate political activities within
Over reliance on external forces without a solid internal structure and tangible resources to accommodate last minutes disappointments
Lack of autonomous behaviours by the aspirants on the political field
Multiple entries of aspirants at every election and last minutes integration difficulties by the leadership
Lack of effective acquisition of structures and strategic tactical actions by candidates
Internal rivalries among Ogun West aspirants and inability to achieve synergy
Lack of effective strategic leaders in Ogun west
Absence of strategic alliance with political players from other zones before commencement of race
Problem of paid agents and fifth columnist in Ogun west internal politics
Problem of poverty and strategic crisis of inflection among party members especially among the youth
Internal crisis in the political parties and instability as result of lack of internal democracies in the parties
The big threat of new entrants and old competitors. Those who have been on the stage does not want new contestants because they felt they have spent resources and committed their times to build political relationship that should simply give them the greatest opportunity to lead the new contest
Environmental and societal pressures on Ogun west as a tarnished brand. People revere us in bad light as a community of people who can never agree on consensus. They regarded us as unorganized
Unhealthy rivalries among our political promoters
Poor registration of voters and less impressive voting behaviors of Ogun west electorates.
For these reasons, the cock could not crow from the west hence the dawn of new days from the other parts of the State.
The Solutions within
By now we must have come to a grim reality that the task of socio historical regeneration cannot be achieved on methodological individualism but rather through our concerted group motivational approach. The whole issue is whether the entire race most importantly the political and educated elites have learnt anything new during the long trek in the wilderness and how the revolutionary consciousness in the minds of the youth can salvage the situation. I must remark that those who do not believe in this type of gathering are merely deluding or hiding under their own self ignorance that Ogun west as multi cultural ethnic Senatorial district needs to build a strong central framework for moderation of political activities in the State while back home we have to provide the much needed necessary impetus for our march to political relevance and strategic positioning in the scheme of things in Ogun State. It is expected that at every occasion such as this, we shall have a clear action plan leading to the emergence of credible and acceptable candidate(s) for Governorship position within democratic process and principle with issue of funds for the project receiving our ultimate attention.
We need to put in place effective damage control by cautioning our youth to desist from attacking or blackmailing aspirants from Ogun west. Rather we should begin to inculcate the habit of defending our territorial interests on social media and elsewhere. If we have learnt any lesson at all, I reiterate that our agenda now should be the establishment of a stable and unwavering political leadership around People who can drive the Community goals with their earned intellectual and financial resources. I therefore recommend immediate convocation of a Pan Yewa Awori elders council to provide a non partisan platform for effective coordination of socio-political objectives.
Having said this, I need to further reiterate the need for a strategic plan to channel resources to fulfil our mission. We need to come out more boldly with specific internalised programmes for the emergence of the candidate for the position amidst other political arrangements if we must redeem our image as a tarnished brand. Obviously some people must be in-charge to midwife the whole arrangement into fruition with utmost transparency and credibility. Our strategy should consist of combination of competitive moves, and business approaches to compete successfully and achieve the major objective of the contest if we wish to live up to the expectation of our people. To this effect, we need to constitute two important committees of experienced and learned individuals (1) for strategic and tactical actions (2) for Public enlightenment and voters awareness. We need to give our aspirants practical codes of engagements such that will build mutual agreements, respects and co-operations.
The role of political leadership in arousing and setting political agenda within the prevailing political process is an all important one. As political leaders we must not renege in our responsibility to epitomize the inspirational goal of our people in our political aspirations. We must begin our winning strategies from the voters registration exercise. We need to supervise and ensure that there is massive turn out of voters during registration exercise in all the five local governments areas of Ogun west. The winning strategies start from overwhelming registration of voters and effective mobilisation of voters during elections.

CONCLUSION
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, In my own knowledge of sociology of human history, there is no unsolvable problem. The Israelites were once in a more difficult situation; they were marginalized, oppressed and dehumanized in Egypt. They had a focus and a hope of a promised land, they set out on the journey in search of the opportunity, they had a long trek in the wilderness following the road map, using a good compass and with a dynamic, strong and courageous leader who led them out of Egypt. The baton of leadership were translated from Moses, to Aaron and finally to Joshua. With their spirited efforts and conquering the obstacles they finally arrived at the Promised Land at the appointed time.

If we follow the road map using a good compass and with a dynamic, strong and courageous pilot we shall definitely arrive at the Promised Land. Our political journey which we began in 1979 could be likened to the challenges faced by the Israelites. We have had a long trek in the political wilderness and we are hoping to arrive at our Canaan in 2019. If we must get there, the time for decisive action is now; the flame of revolutionary consciousness in our Youth must keep burning. We can achieve the greatness of our Community if we devotedly and sufficiently pursue our goals to have a Community of Brothers, Community of dynamic leaders and elders harmoniously working for the good of all. This is part of the lofty ideals which most of our past heroes fought in vain but which we must become victorious. The simple fact is that we cannot afford to lose again as such a loss would be unacceptable to our people and a total rejection of our generational leadership. One important thing is very crucial in this journey: your Voters card and mine. This is how elections are won

Let me therefore end this address with a declaration that the cock must crow this time around from the west and that the sun must rise from the West to usher in a new dawn in the history of our dear state.
Once again I thank you for the opportunity given me to address you on special occasion.
Thank you

Dapo Oke
June 2018