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Whoever advised Governor Seyi Makinde to prioritize Iwo road interchange for N8billion naira ahead of the more urgent Iseyin/Ibadan road deserves a heavy knock on his head. And for the government to have acknowledged the proposed project is the height of insensitivity and lack of empathy for the good people of Oke-Ogun.

This is not because the zone is dubbed even by the Governor as the food basket of the state nor that World Bank has situated in the region Oyo North Agricultural Development Program (ONADEP) in Saki for many decades, but for the simple fact that the region has been left by successive government to grasp for breath and fight for her pie all alone.
   
Thus, the emergence of Engineer Seyi Makinde was thought and considered a succor to the plights of the people and an attempt to salvage their pains. However, the latest decision of this administration on road construction and farm settlement, have left more questions on the lips of both the governor’s admirers and his cynics.

A Rare Privilege
Politically, the past nine (9) years or so have been somewhat spectacular for the people of Oke-ogun that never has the zone had it on a platter of gold to tease out a federal minister typified by Barrister Shittu, deputy governors in succession exemplified by the emergence of Otunba Moses Alake Adeyemo (igboho) and currently Engineer Rauf Olaniyan (igboho) — and never has its potential been cornered to score cheap political gains. But with gains come its own pain. Prior to the last governorship election, there was a feeling the zone would take the bull by the horn and win over any candidate from Ibadan if it can put her house in order and speak with one voice.
At that time, it looked almost real that the zone was both marked and mapped for the Agodi house, but the unfortunate political bickering, stabbing and internal wrangling were the albatross on the neck of the realization of such lofty dreams. As the saying, a house divided against self can never stand thus killing the hope of the region.

A Land Of Abundance

Oke-ogun with its swathes of land, pedigree of people, abundance of its resources and its relative atmosphere is in competition of its own. The zone which is bigger in size than Bayelsa state has suffered years of unprecedented neglect, abandonment and marginalisation. It is with all sense of modesty in the categories of what Prof Abiodun Alao of the African Leadership center, school of Global affairs, Kings College London described as the “left behinds”. Its swathes of land have been left to waste and unused, its pedigree of people continued to wage war of attrition on each other and its abundance of resources both human and natural  have become relics of good old days. In short, it is a replica of a rich region with poor people.

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Developmental Projects
The multi-dimensional nature of development makes it a subject of fascination that scholars across Africa, Asia, America and across the world continued to unearth its deep puzzle. Although Walter Rodney warned of the impending danger of comparison; that a country develop at its own pace and space is a concept rooted in the idea the Guyana born scholar propagated.

In Oke-Ogun for instance, little or nothing could be pointed to as developmental projects, apart from the transformed satellite Ibadan polytechnic to a full-fledged polytechnic Saki by the last administration. The BCOS Oke-ogun still operates without wider coverage of the entire region. To some extent the region cannot boast of good road network, stable power supply and even in the area of human capacity development.
     
Economically, the viability of the region has not been fully harnessed, socio-culturally, the rich culture of the people has not been properly packaged to spin out money and attract tourists — and agriculturally, only leap service has been paid to assist the people in ensuring they plant with modern farming tools.
While this administration might claim the gain from the proposed farm settlements would help put others in gear, what then will happen if things don’t work as plan? Or has Oke-ogun been shortchanged because of Iwo road Interchange?

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