Ogbomoso: 2021 in retrospect
This is the dawn of a new year but as we consigned 2021 into history it’s imperative that we take a look back for a proper appraisal of how the year 2021 unfurled, what successes were made, what failures were recorded and on what pedestal is one standing.
Put in proper perspective three events defined the year 2021 as far as Ogbomoso is concerned. Nonetheless, their effects have not come into maturity and are still developing. They are certainly issues that will significantly shape the future of Ogbomoso zone in the years to come. The approval of a Federal Polytechnic in Ayede via Ogbomoso is number one. Number two is the decision to locate the Faculty of Agriculture and Renewable Energy Resources LAUTECH, to Iseyin and the transition of the monarch of the city Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, form the three events.
The establishment of the Federal Polytechnic in Ayede, Ogo-Oluwa local government, was an announcement earlier in the year that filled the people with joy on account of the economic prospect most especially its full operation will offer. The economic benefits conferred on the community by the location of LAUTECH in Ogbomoso cannot be over-emphasized. LAUTECH today constitutes the most energetic boost to the economy of Ogbomoso and not less is expected of the polytechnic when fully operational. This is aside the greater opportunities of securing higher institutions’ admissions by the youths in the zone and the windows of employment opportunities that will open. Therefore, we are of the view that all hands must be on the deck in order to fast track the taking off of academic activities at the institution in earnest. This is as the various stakeholders who contributed to the siting of the polytechnic in Ogbomoso are acknowledged and commended. But it is not over until it’s over. They should ensure necessary strings are pulled to facilitate the release of the N2b takeoff grant announced by President Muhammadu Buhari.
While the establishment of a federal polytechnic is a welcome development, contrarily, the resolve to excise the Faculty of Agriculture from LAUTECH main campus by the Oyo state government under Engr. Seyi Makinde is repugnant to say the least for obvious reasons notwithstanding the promise to turn the institution recently adjudged by various bodies including the National Universities Commission (NUC) to be the best state university in Nigeria, into a conventional university. Faculty of Agriculture is about the largest in the institution and tearing it off will have dire consequences in terms of students cum both teaching and non-teaching staff’ population. When this becomes fully effective the economic loss that will be suffered here can best be imagined. However, Ogbomoso’s loss will be Iseyin’s gain. That’s the perspective from which Governor Makinde is perhaps looking at it – spread of opportunities. Even if it metamorphoses into a conventional university, an average Ogbomoso person will still want it whole and for the government to conjure up something else for Iseyin or wherever. In the face of this development therefore, those who can influence the matter should ensure that in the final analysis the best interest of Ogbomoso is served. How this turns out will undeniably have deep effects on Ogbomoso in the nearest future.
The passage of Oba Oyewumi Ajagungbade III to the great beyond is another matter of public importance that will also define the future of Ogbomoso. The departed monarch was a strong and brave character whose contributions to the evolution of Ogbomoso in the 48 years he reigned will remain indelible. The challenge now is to find a successor that will be greater than him. It is imperative therefore that the ruling house whose turn it is to produce the next Soun, Bayewuwon Kelebe (Laoye), should be guided and borne by the greater interest of Ogbomoso and not by a narrow one. The kingmakers too should not be swayed or coerced by things that will not endure just as the government, at the local and state levels is advised to go about the process with decorum, adherence to traditions and moral principles. The path of honour must be toed by all those who will take a part in the process towards the appointment and inauguration of a new Soun of Ogbomosoland. The shape, colour, vision, moral fibre, character, influence, courage and whatnots of the next king will undoubtedly determine the shape of things regarding the city in the future and that is why the best or one of the best must be allowed to emerge.
The past and present often determine the future. Ogbomoso is definitely at an advantage in respect of this, thus the task is to continue to harness this to chart a greater realm of opportunities that will birth a continuous or higher flow of prosperity. It can be said with a great degree of confidence that 2021 is not a bad year for Ogbomoso. It was a year the federal government also approved a federal fire service for her, got road approvals from state and federal governments, got approval for a federal government-funded skill acquisition centre etc. But the challenge is to make 2022 and subsequent years, periods of better accruals and immense expansion. Her men of influence, timber and caliber, those who are well placed , who have demonstrated great patriotism to her cause in the past, are further called upon and encouraged to do.more. Perhaps they have been endowed with the positions they hold for a time like this. They should bring to bear more finesse, more aggression, more tact and more focus in getting things done for their place of birth. Whatever they do will echo till eternity.