Federal Polytechnic: Why Ayede and not Ogbomoso metropolis! See reason
Many have wondered why the federal polytechnic approved for Ayede town in Ogo-Oluwa local government area was not located in Ogbomoso metropolis, the chief city in Ogbomoso zone of Oyo state. In fact, many have asked, “Why Ayede?” ogbomosoinsightonline.com provides reason in this piece.
How the journey started
The journey to making Ayede a polytechnic town started when Senator Ayoade Adeseun won election into the House of Representatives in 2003 to represent Surulere/Ogo-Oluwa Federal Constituency on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. At the time, he became a member of the House Committee on Education and the journey “by play by play” started. The idea for the establishment of new federal polytechnics was first mooted at the time with Oyo state certain to get one. The choice of site became a dingdong affair between (then Hon) Adeseun and Prince Jonah Otunla from Irawo, Oke-Ogun area of Oyo state, who later became Accountant General of the Federation in 2011. Otunla coveted the institution for his town just as Adeseun wanted it for his constituency.
Adeseun won reelection in 2007 and was named the chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation. This placed him in a vantage position to make things happen and he availed himself of the opportunity. Otunla who was still in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, now succumbed to the wish of Adeseun to bring the institution to his constituency, of course on certain conditions.
“But nobody knew it would come to reality,” Barrister Dapo Atanda, who spoke with The Insight on behalf of Senator Adeseun stated.
The Federal Government eventually crystallized the plan to establish six federal polytechnics across the six geo-political zones in the country. Oyo state was to have that of the South West as until then it did not have a federal polytechnic. Senator Adeseun leveraged on his connections using his position as bargaining power to press the necessary buttons and ultimately he succeeded in getting his constituency approved to host that of the South West zone.
The main reason Adeseun zeroed in on Ayede was to beat the stiff competition in respect of the location of the institution. According to him, many communities strove to host the institution and so, he came up with a stratagem which was to put forward a community in Ogbomoso zone that would not be associated with Ogbomoso immediately in order to keep antagonism at the mention of Ogbomoso at bay, as the city in such a situation would have attracted a lot of envies, which might be counterproductive. So, he put forward the name Ayede, which is within Ogbomoso zone. And he specifically chose Ayede to reward his Physics teacher in secondary school, who had now become the traditional ruler of Ayede, Oba Solademi Akanni Adewuyi II JP.
Recalling, Adeseun, during a programme held at the Ogbomoso Recreation Club in 2019, revealed: “I had to choose Ayede to increase the chances of my proposal for Ogbomoso zone getting the institution. I realized that if the name ‘Ogbomoso’ was put forward it might generate unnecessary antagonism and therefore cut down our chances. In fact, that might be easily shot down.”
He also disclosed on December 27, 2019 at the celebration of the elevation of HRM Oba Solademi Akanni Adewuyi II JP, as a crown-wearing Oba, at Ayede that his choice of Ayede in particular was to honour Oba Adewuyi, Alayede “because he was my Physics teacher at Ogbomoso Grammar School.”
He however left the House of Representatives in 2011 for the Senate, but before he left, he ensured the provisional approval was granted for Ayede as site and a tender published subsequently, in that 2011. That would be the saving grace.
The push for and final approval
But the battle was not totally won. Adeseun failed to return to the Senate in 2015, things nosedived on the matter and indeed the dream dissolved into thin air as there was no one to push it further. Thus, other communities especially in Oke-Ogun capitalized on the absence of Adeseun’s strong voice, and so they rallied their people to secure the hosting right. And indeed it almost slipped off the grasp of Ogbomoso if not for divine intervention, so to say.
This came in the form of two chanced discussions. In July 2019, Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oladapo Oyediran Lagbami Osekun III was in Abuja to discuss with some high up sons of Ogbomoso his dream of having a School of Basic Studies to cater especially for non-science students in Ogbomoso established. On the 10th of July, the Onpetu met with Professor Josiah Segun Ajiboye, who is in the Federal Ministry of Education and who had been appointed as the Executive Secretary of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), to intimate him with his vision of the School of Basic Studies, but the latter had pointedly asked, “But Kabiyesi, what about the federal polytechnic for Ayede?” That is how the struggle picked off again in that end. Barrister Olusegun Adekunle, who was then Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), was also brought in, as well as others in the Federal Ministry of Education, who are of Ogbomoso stock. A memo was subsequently raised to kick-start the progress again.
Also in about August 2019, Mr. Dapo Atanda, a prominent lawyer in Ogbomoso, was in the middle of a private discussion with an acquaintance when he learned that the person had crossed to the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja (Tertiary Education Department).
Dapo Atanda became alarmed and so requested the said acquaintance to scout for the file on the Ayede Polytechnic and scoop information on the issue. By this time, the institution was on its way to another community in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo state. This is because while Ogbomoso slept off on the matter patriots of rival communities had become active.
Recalling the presidential electioneering campaign in 2019, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo emphatically promised the people of Oke-Ogun the federal polytechnic should President Buhari win re-election.
Addressing monarchs and other residents of Oke-Ogun at the Saki palace during a campaign tour of the area, Professor Osinbajo had said, “We have been touring Oke-Ogun for a few days now. We have received all the requests from the people and we will address them.
“Oke-Ogun deserves a federal institution, we will give you a federal polytechnic.
“Buhari is true to his words and we will do all we’ve promised.”
He added, “Oke-Ogun is not a place we belittle at all. They support us all the time.
“The first thing is that we selected a minister for the first time in this area.”
This was an impetus for Oke-Ogun people to scale up their lobbying for the federal polytechnic as well but it was destined for location in Ogbomoso, which has now come to reality.
After about two weeks, the mentioned acquaintance of Dapo Atanda called him back to inform that he had located the file which gave the polytechnic to Ayede. But it had gathered dusts! And that Ayede had been side-stepped.
Dapo Atanda said in a chat with The Insight that he became agitated and anxious upon learning that another town was at the point of being given the institution.
Continuing, Atanda disclosed that he now called some political gladiators of Ogbomoso origin, who were in government, to steer them to exert their influence but they did not show enthusiasm. He now thought of Senator Adeseun, whom he informed. But Adeseun also expressed reservation on the ground that he was no more in government.
“I now told Senator Adeseun that how many people in the Ministry would know you are no more in government and that his clout would still open doors. So, I implored him to travel to Abuja and see things for himself. Thank God, he hearkened. That week he was at Abuja on the issue.”
Adeseun was advised by Ministry officials that a reminder letter be written and promptly he asked Dapo Atanda to come up with one. Atanda wasted no time in writing the letter and in dispatching it to Abuja but that was not tenable as it was advised that it be written in the name of Ogbomoso community and not by an individual.
Adeseun then commissioned agents to come up with the survey plan and other necessary things so as to convince Ministry officials that the site was actually prepared for the institution. Promptly, Egbe Omo Ogbomoso Parapo Agbaaye was asked to come up with the letter, with Hon Chief Michael Abioye, immediate past national general secretary of the socio-cultural organization, coordinating the process. The letter was produced and taken to Abuja in earnest. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education subsequently approved (or re-approved) Ayede as location for the federal polytechnic.
Recalling the moment, Atanda commended Adeseun describing him as “the initiator, facilitator and coordinator” of the Ayede project.
But the task was not done. Vigilance was now required to fend off any attempt to alter the site of the institution and to get the Minister of Education to endorse it.
Luckily again, Mr. Sunday Dare, an indigene of Ogbomoso, emerged as the Minister for Youths and Sports Development. He quickly began to apply pressure too on his brother Minister (for Education), Mallam Adamu Adamu.
Shortly after, a stakeholders’ forum was set up composed of prominent indigenes of Ogbomoso, headed by Dr. Saka Balogun. The purpose was to aggregate various strengths towards actualizing the dream.
The process for the approval dragged but “Ogbomoso lobbyists” did not lose vim, they ensured persistent guidance and guardianship of the file and adopted eternal vigilance. Persons like Chief Sunday Dare, Barrister Segun Adekunle, Professor Josiah Ajiboye and some others in the Federal Ministry of Education (names withheld) are some of the indigenes that deserve accolades too aside Senator Adeseun, Barrister Dapo Atanda, Ogbomoso Parapo and others.
The stakeholders’ forum discussed a lot other issues bordering on ground work for the proposed polytechnic. In about November 2020, the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, put the final seal on the document, with Ayede as the site, and early this year, it became a reality when President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed it and an announcement was made to the effect. The Federal Polytechnic, Ayede, Ogo-Oluwa local government area, Ogbomoso zone of Oyo state, has become a dream come true! Congratulations once again to the people of Ogbomoso.