Ajaawa, not Idi-Ayin ’ll be temporary site of FedPoly Ayede, council chairman talks tough
Hon. Oluwaseun Adesoye Ojo is the executive chairman of Ogo-Oluwa local government of Oyo state. In this interview by the editor, FEMI OGUNLANA, he debunks the ‘insinuation’ that Idi-Ayin in Surulere local government will be the first choice site to temporarily host the Federal Polytechnic, Ayede. Ojo, who had previously served as caretaker chairman insisted that the institution is approved for Ogo-Oluwa local government and in Ogo-Oluwa local government it will commence. ogbomosoinsightonline.com recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari announced Ayede in Ogo-Oluwa local government as the permanent site of the institution last year however inadequate facilities at Ayede have necessitated that a temporary site be found in order not to delay its take-off. A secondary school in Ayede community was not approved by the Oyo state government perhaps due to inadequate buildings. Thus, the Ogbomoso Stakeholders Forum that facilitated the approval of the institution considered a number of facilities in Ogbomoso zone including the Government Technical College, Ogbomoso (GTCO) and the National Youth Development Centre, Idi-Ayin, via Iresa-Apa. But the Oyo state government similarly refused the release of the Government Technical College while approving the use of Ajaawa Grammar School.
On the other hand the Ogbomoso Stakeholders approached the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare, who is of Ogbomoso stock, for the release of the NYDC, Idi-Ayin, a request that was granted. This was followed by a release of about N100m by the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development to execute further developmental projects at the site. The Ogbomoso stakeholders are of the view that both Ajaawa and Idi-Ayin can serve the purpose meanwhile, hosting different departments. But Hon Ojo stands on the ground that Ayede, the permanent site is in Ogo-Oluwa local government and so the temporary site must remain in Ogo-Oluwa local government, positing that the polytechnic is given to Ogo-Oluwa and not Surulere local government (where Idi-Ayin is domiciled).
What is your view on the revenue sharing formula being reviewed by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC)?
Simple! it is obvious that the local government is the closet to the people. It is the council chairmen that are most accessible, thus local governments should have the largest share as far as the revenue sharing is concerned in the country. Local governments should take 40 something percent; while the remaining 60 percent should be shared between federal and state governments. The best arrangement should be a situation where the local government takes the largest, because the local government chairman is more accessible than either the president or the governor.
But don’t you think if local governments take the largest share a situation whereby local governments’ operatives including the chairmen and councilors start living extravagantly will arise?
It wouldn’t be so. The local government should take the largest, followed by the state and then the federal government. Anybody can access the council chairman for issues bordering on their communities which the chairman will have to allocate funds to, to meet the request but this is not so with either the president or the governor. I appeal to RMAFC to adjust the formula in favour of the local government.
It is being rumoured that the Federal Polytechnic, Ayede will begin with Ajaawa as a temporary site, how true is this?
It is God. It is God helping us. Ogo-Oluwa local government is one of the most backward local governments, so it God’s mercy. It is the result of our efforts. Being the chairman of Ogo-Oluwa local government and specifically from Ajaawa, the headquarters of the local government, we worked for it and God crowned our efforts, it is God’s glory brought to Ogo-Oluwa. Ogo-Oluwa is not two, there is only one Ogo-Oluwa in all the 774 local governments in Nigeria. You know the end time glory usually surpasses the earlier one. So, it is God that assisted us. Yes, Ayede, but Ajaawa is the headquarters, and I am the chairman, and I am from Ajaawa, so, when the matter arose, the state government asked for our cooperation to let it begin at Ajaawa at Baptist Grammar School, and that is the location the technical team from the Federal Ministry of Education and National Board of Technical Education inspected; we discussed. Then, some people said there was another site in Ogbomoso, but they noted that location way very far, because they made use of Google map, which was being relayed to Abuja. At Baptist Grammar School, Ajaawa they expressed satisfaction, on the basis of being within the same council area with Ayede. Secondly, it is not far from the permanent site, and I have graded the road between Ajaawa and Ayede. The relationship among the three governments i.e. local, state and federal must be cordial, so, we told them pointblank that is where we wanted and they had accepted. So, all the insinuations about one Alayin (Idi-Ayin) or what have you have no basis, Alayin is not under Ogo-Oluwa. The polytechnic is given to Ogo-Oluwa local government and that is where the institution is domiciled. It is pure lie to assert it will be located somewhere else, it can’t be taken to any other place. When they announced one is put in Daura, why didn’t they take it to Sokoto?
So, have you started putting up structure at Ajaawa Grammar School?
We have commenced preparation, there is land for expansion. There are accommodations. There is a hotel in Ajaawa, there is a house called White House in Ajaawa, though the owner is late (Chief Oyelakin) but his children have agreed to release the building for the institution, the local government too is ready, if we have to commit all our allocations to it we won’t hesitate. We will soon erect fence at Ajaawa Grammar School. We have put up a number of signposts indicating Ogo-Oluwa local government and Ajaawa as temporary site.
How far with the N2b take off grant promised the institution, what effort are you making to facilitate its release?
We are powerless regarding that, though we are talking to people in authority. As an instance, I went to Abuja recently and I made some discreet contact towards the release of the fund, before the end of the year, funds will be released.
So, you are assured that the polytechnic will commence at Ajaawa, and not Idi- Ayin as being speculated in some circles!
Idi-Ayin is not in Ogo-Oluwa local government.