Your Excellency : “Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.”-Desmond Tutu
We want to draw you attention to the ongoing politics of exclusion being embarked upon by your present administration. History will not be kind to us if we refuse to point out at this juncture the level of the conscious discrimination against the Ibarapa region in terms of political appointments and infrastructural developments. As indigenous leaders from Ibarapa district, we know what exclusion looks like.
We have decided to make this an open letter to you in order to set the record straight and also take our case to the court of the public opinion after all the entreaties made to your office by the elders of the region yielded no fruit.
However, let it be noted that “WE WILL BE REMEMBERED MORE FOR WHAT WE DESTROYED THAN WHAT WE CREATE.” The Ibarapa people have never been so short-changed like your administration has done to our region in the last two years and half.
For avoidance of doubt, Oyo State is catalogue into seven zones for administrative conveniences and equitable distribution of political positions. The zones are; IBADAN I & II, OYO, OKE-OGUN I & 2, OGBOMOSO and IBARAPA.
Aside, there are ten important positions that must go round the seven zones in Oyo State. The positions are: Governor; Deputy Governor; Speaker; Deputy Speaker; Secretary to State Government; Chief of Staff; Deputy Chief of Staff; Majority Leader; Party Chairman and ALGON Chairperson.
Ibarapa zone has none of this position and to add salt to our injury, your government totally excluded the region from your cabinet appointment list. This is not only marginalization but pure hatred with impunity.
Today, our people are requesting for explanation on why nobody is qualified to be appointed a commissioner from the three local governments in Ibarapa land? Of course, it has never been bad like this since 1955. Even during the military era, the political appointments are evenly distributed based on merit and zones.
How come our people could not even get a slot while some zone get five appointments in your cabinet? It is on record that Your Excellency went as far as appointing two commissioners from one local government.
It is sad that the only ranking special adviser from our zone whom you appointed has been demoted and relegated to more or less an ordinary “messenger” and made irrelevant in your cabinet. This is an insult to the collective intelligence of our people.
In addition, our people felt neglected in term of projects and infrastructural development. The only road that links Ibadan to Ibarapa has become a death trap despite the recent rehabilitation by your government some few months ago.
Even though, your Excellency said in one of the occasions that we do not deserve dual carriage road, however, it is ridiculous, unsightly and fundamentally unsound to hear that a road that was awarded for rehabilitation has gone bad within a short period of time.
We see all these as a deliberate and orchestrated attempt to under-develop our region in order for us to remain under the perpetual dominance of other region. Your Excellency, It is, of course, highly imperative to say that when we forget our essential similarities, we forget how to get along, and that cannot but lead to prejudice, discrimination, and eventually, conflict.
No government has ever discriminated against our people like your present administration has done so far.
Indeed, most of us, the members of Ibarapa frontiers are not partisan politicians and some us will not even be a direct beneficiary of any political appointments from your government. However, history will not forgive us if we keep quite at this point in time.
It is on record that our people also voted you into power just like your people did. Some of our leaders took risks and some of them were even part of the success story that brought you to the government house in 2011. Our people are known to be committed to progressive politics and not politics of opportunism. Our people remained committed and steadfast throughout the eight years of being in the opposition. They stood by Your Excellency despite the fact that you were picked ahead of their own son who also aspired to become a governor of the state. Notable among our leaders did not jump ship into another political party; it is on record that some of them even funded the party at a very difficult period. These are known fact and like Mandela said, history will continue to punish those who use fraud and forces to suppress the truth and the aspiration of the people.
Your Excellency, Bryant McGill says that “people who have trouble questioning their own country often have trouble admitting fault in themselves, both of which come from insecurity and lack of humility.” We want you to see this piece as a “friendly tackle” for it is better to “jaw-jaw” that to “war-war”
We conclude by saying that a sign that a peace association is going adrift is its exclusion of others, with whom it could collaborate effectively on most of the problems besetting the cause of our entire race. It is never too late to make necessary amendment. Let it be said many times: the policy of exclusion and the policy of marginalization must end in Oyo State NOW!
H.E SEN. ABIOLA AJIMOBI,
Executive Governor of Oyo State
Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.