The unique characteristics of the State of Osun, unlike the other states in Nigeria, is the conglomeration of the ancient cities located across the entire three senatorial districts of the state. Earlier before the introduction of British administration in Nigeria, which gave birth to the creation of protectorates, provinces, regions and currently now 36 states in Nigeria; the current State of Osun had few kingdoms in existence, precisely, prominent among them was Iwo kingdom. Apparently, apart from Ile-Ife, which is undoubtedly accepted as the cradle and the ancient capital of the Yoruba nation; and Ilesha, the capital city of Ijesha extractions, since the tribal war, (lest I forget, Osogbo, the capital of Osun State), I dare say no other city in the present Osun State that has historical, economic and political supremacy over Iwo, the headquarters of Osun West Senatorial District.
Iwo is the capital of the ancient Iwo kingdom which comprises three local governments namely: Iwo, Ayedire and Ola- Oluwa local governmemt areas of Osun State. The fact that Iwo local government is the most populous local government in Osun State according to 2006 population census, it has given the city an edge over others on state sharing formula or federal character principles.
Like some other cities in Nigeria, Iwo has a peaceful, suitably atmospheric and climatic condition for the growth and development of both agricultural and industrial activities. With about 214km2 of landmass, Iwo remains the only city in Osun State that is strategically located with the intersection of road network from other major cities such as Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Oyo, Gbongan, Ikire, Osogbo-Ede, Ejigbo etc.
Nevertheless, no one with intellectual acumen, ability and rational thinking could believe that in spite of all the natural and essential endowments deposited in Iwo and its environs, the constituency remains the only one out of the nine federal constituencies in Osun State yet to accommodate any state or federal government tertiary institution.
Ife federal constituency was the first in the present Osun State that was compensated by the then Western region government, led by Chief (late) Obafemi Awolowo, with the establishment of higher institution of learning with international showpiece – the University of Ife (the Great Ife), now OAU, long before the creation of Osun state.
There are some other higher institutions, owned by both state and federal government in the eight federal constituencies, (excluding Iwo Federal constituency) since the creation of Osun state in 1992 by the Nigerian military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, located in Odo- Otin/ Ifelodun/Boripe Federal constituency; Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, cited in Obokun/Oriade Federal constituency; Osun State College of Education and Osun State College of Health Technology Ilesha fell under Atakumosa East/Atakumosa West/ Ilesa East/ Ilesa West federal constituency.
The location of second Osun State College of Education and Federal Police College in Ila-Orangun, was a big booster compensation for Bolowaduro/Ifedayo/Ila Federal constituency. While Ayedade/ Irewole/Isokan Federal constituency bestowed with the Osun State Cooperative College.
Ede North/ Ede South/Egbedore /Ejigbo Federal constituency despite its proximity to Osogbol( Irepodun/ Olurunda/ Orolu Federal constituency), the state capital, which has several tertiary institutions, has also been compensated to home The Federal Polytechnic, Ede.
Marginalization on Iwo federal constituency continued under Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola led administration’s refusal to use his political will in locating one of the colleges of the University of Osun, Uniosun, to Iwo and its environs from inception of the school. Whereas, other constituencies with concentration of higher institutions were still benefited in accommodating five campuses without a single consideration for any local government under Iwo federal constituency.
The purpose of listing the names of above institutions, along with their beneficiary constituencies was to set the record straight and corroborate Mr. Amen Isaac, the PRO of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, who stated that the decision of federal government to situate six colleges in Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Sokoto, Edo and Osun was to right the injustice of the past. If Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari convincingly admitted that the reason for the establishment of six Federal Colleges of Education was the fact that those state had no existing one, then, it is pertinent to note that Iwo as the headquarters of Osun West Senatorial Districts and most populous local government in the state has no existing federal or state institution; and by the virtue of Mr. President’s pronouncement, Iwo deserves and merit to have one.
The fact that people of Iwo are peaceful and democrats in nature make them to believe that on a platter of justice, fairness and fair play, the constituency has undisputed criterion as the best and suitable location for the citing of the proposed FCE. Notwithstanding, some concerned citizens from the constituency are not comfortable with the on going insinuations that some prominent citizens, especially, an elder stateman and few big wigs from the ruling party in the State of Osun, have sinister motives against this divine arrangement; and they have vowed to influence the location of the proposed FCE to their favour using the instruments of government and political weight.
Though, no man has power to work against divine arrangement, but my fear is that if they are succeeded in these political aggrandizement and nepotism, what hope does a common man have in the principles of equitable distribution of nation’s wealth?
“The world holds enough to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed” observed by Mahatma Gandhi. The main cause of most of the world’s social and economic problems emanated from ill treatment, marginalisation, injustice to a particular section of the society. This simple truth underscores the equally obvious fact that human misery and injustice are the by products from unfair allocation of the wealth and resources.
The most unfortunate phenomenon in our society is the political system that unfettered egocentric tendency – which promotes, defends, and even extols an obscenely unequal distribution of institutions of government. Its three basic principles are greed, individualism and rivalry; all of which militate against fairness, equity and social justice.
Obviously, many of these big wigs enjoy to adopt system based on the survival of the fittest because they are politically connected. Of course, this application of the law of the jungle to Iwo federal constituency on sharing the institution of government is not new, it has been over decades; but now, every Iwo sons and daughters should stand against it. We have been put to the walls, therefore, we are determined to renew agitation to claim our collective entitlements. We shall continue to speak the minds of our people to the relevant authorities in Nigeria. Not only that, we shall use all appropriate means of engaging our people, particularly our youths to see any personality within the state working against our dreams as enemy of our constituency without minding whose ox is gored.
Under democratic system, the idea of primitive one man show should be totally abolished and pave way for the supremacy of the people’s interest, merit and liberal society.
However, I use this to call on President Muhammadu Buhari as the father of the nation to wade into this matter before it would escalate into communal crisis or social unrest. My call also goes to the Executive Governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, to quickly take right steps on this development, otherwise, ignoring its culpability may bring untold threat to our peaceful co-existence in the state. As a matter of urgency, he should be able to persuade all stakeholders from other constituencies to shun all forms of irrational bidding for the citing of the proposed FCE, rather, they should jointly concede it to Iwo for even development.
Finally, let me use this medium to engage and remind the progressive elements in our country; begins with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC national leader, Comrade Adams Oshiomole and Chief Bisi Akande, incumbent and former APC chairman respectively. All the National Assembly progressive leaders, under the leadership of Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawal, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and other progressive National Assembly members to bear it in minds that, Iwo, has been in the progressive movement right from the time immemorial, history is there to substantiate my claim. Therefore, this is high time all progressive minded Nigerians should give Iwo and her people unequivocal supports for breaking non existence of government institution jinx associated with Iwo constituency over the decades as a result of social injustice. Injustice to Iwo constituency over this proposed FCE this time, is an injustice to our democratic principles and humanity.
Tolulope Oludayo O