I was one of the youngest accredited members of the Ondo Provincial Movement that fought for the creation of Ondo State in 1976.
I was also the Publicity Secretary of the Movement and one of the remaining fourth lucky survivors, Chief R.F. Fasoranti being one of us.
Our Divisional leaders then comprised patriots like Chief R.A. Olusa and I.A. Olukoju from Akoko, Chief M.A. Ajasin and Pa. Odenusi from Owo, Chiefs R.F. Fasoranti and Akin Deko from Akure, Chief O. Bademisi and Chief Olorunyolemi from Ondo, Chiefs Akinfosile and Kwoewumi from Okitipupa, all of blessed memory except Chief R.F. Fasoranti: They along with those of us younger and brilliant ones genuinely fought to get Ondo State created.
I am sure none of these would be happy to see the storm gathering to consume the State they dearly cherished.
On October 17, 1975 in our address to the Irikefe Panel on creation of States these patriots as one of their reasons for demanding a State of their own said and I quote “the prime motive and reason for demanding our own State is that it is only by having it that we can effectively deal with and ultimately solve the socio-economic and political problems of our area, of our people”
I want to admit that most of those who have got the opportunities of managing the fortunes and affairs of this State, whether at the political or administrative level, try as they might, have been slowed down by the skewed Federal System of Government we run in the country. To worsen the situation, the internal problems especially the occasional cold war between some of our Governors and their deputies have exacerbated the “socio-economic and political problems of our people”, a key factor for the demand for the creation of Ondo State.
My fear, nay our fear, is that the present gathering political storm between the Governor and his Deputy arising from alleged disloyalty, if not checked or properly handled, will lead to very bad blood, developmental set back, disruptive tendencies within the polity, and, in turn, have their unhealthy backlash on the civil service and the welfare of the common man. We don’t want this to happen.
Indeed, the fragile economic and security situations in the country demand that it is better for the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary in Ondo State to come nearer together and see how they can make the life of the people better.
In this regard, the Legislature that represents the people has a major role to play in the development and stabilization of the State and the polity. The issue on ground needs a careful handling so as not to lead to any major crisis.
Therefore, our Honourable members should remember they have their names to protect in whatever they do. They should be mindful of the verdict of history. We therefore call on them for fair play and justice to arrest the gathering storm.
While it is the legitimate right of any Ondo State good citizen to seek for the highest office (the governorship inclusive) in the State, such should be pursued at the appropriate time with the fear of God and without any injury whatsoever to others. Those aspiring (including their collaborators) to take over from the Governor should know that power belongs to God.
No one can take what does not belong to him and enjoy it. Such members and their collaborators in and out of Akeredolu’s Government should stop destroying or blackmailing one another to climb up.
They should remember that the founders of the State were guided by patriotism, not self-interest or the search for naked power. They should remember that some of those who sacrificed to get the State created never enjoyed any form of patronage in the State before they died, nor did they have any opportunity to serve it. Such patriots included Chief E.O. Olugboja from Akoko, Baba I.D. Odenusi from Owo, Chief Akinfosile from Okitipupa, Prince Deji Adegoroye and Chief Akintoba from Akure, Baba O. Bademosi and Chief Olorunyolemi from Ondo.
We know that the Governor has not been well. I am aware, too, that well meaning Ondo people and Nigeria have been praying for his recovery. He is now recuperating. Let’s encourage him through what we do, or tell him.
I know Arakunrin to be a good Christian. Let him forgive anyone who might have done anything wrong against him or against his office. Let him remember that except the Almighty God wants it, nobody can take the life of another person. God holds the key of life. So let him not glorify or flatter any perceived enemy who may be said to be after him. The Lord God is the Almighty; He is the Omnipotent.
If his Deputy has done wrong, please call him, chactice and thereafter forgive him and like Jesus Christ, tell him “go and sin no more”. Iron things out with him so that Ondo State can move on. Let us well-meaning Ondo State citizens rise up and quench this gathering storm whose full explosion will not be healthy for the State.