The aspirations by some indigenes of Ile Ife, planing to succeed the incumbent governor of Osun state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, received the backing of the General Manager, Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, who described the move as “morally correct”.
Mr Adefaye, who spoke in Ile Ife on Saturday, while delivering a paper on the topic: “The Contemporary Ife Issues: The way forward” at the 40th Anniversary lecture of the Ife Club 25, said, notwithstanding the fact that the incumbent Governor Aregbesola hails from East Senatorial that has the Ife and the Ijesas, it is indisputable fact that Ifes remains the only distinct group that has not produced governor in the state.
He said the Ijesas have produced two governors in the past in the person of Chief Bola Ige that ruled Oyo state between 1979 and 1983 and the incumbent governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, adding that Chief Bisi Akande, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, from Igbomina and Oyo stocks have been governor in different time in the past.
“Ife has not produced a governor yet. So the quest for governor of Ife extraction is legitimate; although political power is not shared on the basis of sub ethnic groups per se, on negotiations within the recognized political parties. ”
Ife remains the old sub ethnic group yet to govern the state, notwithstanding its contributions to the state. “Yet we all have seen the nexus between producing the political leadership of the state and the overall development of the constituency of the governor. If anyone is in doubt, he should ask the people of Ede, who hold dearly that the short lived governorship of the late Isiaka Adeleke emancipated his people.
“Not only did he open up Ede, he facilitated strong of his people into the bureaucracy and the public service. And that is where policy programmes are formulated and executed. ”
A drive round Odo Otin when Oyinlola was governor was quite revealing in terms of infrastructural development. One of the first steps taken by Governor Aregbesola on assumption of office was to vote N3.2 billion for Ilesa township roads apart from the 10kilometres per local government road work subsequently done around the state.
“After Osogbo, the state capital, comes Ilesha and Ijesaland generally interms of special attention from the state. And it is our collective resources that fund this development.
“So Ife quest is legitimate. Unfortunately, in politics, interest articulated via consensus building rather than brute energy delivers political powers. Ife alone cannot deliver power to itself by itself. Ife must build consensus at home in greater Ife and then approach other zones with legitimacy of their quest. It is in a basket: I give you, give some, I take some.
“Ife must therefore, agitate, propagate and convince others of the fairness and just in the quest”, Adefaye concluded.
SOURCE: Vanguard Newspaper