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Oloja, Olafeso, others task Ondo people on unity

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[FILES] Martins Oloja

The Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Mr. Martins Oloja, has urged the riverine people in the South Senatorial District of Ondo State on the unity of purpose and integration for maximum development.

He said this, yesterday, in Akure at an event organised by Okitipupa Divisional Development Forum (ODDF) to honour two of their illustrious sons, Prof. Olukoya Ogen and Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun.

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Ogen is the former Provost of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo, while Ajibefun is the former Rector of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic (RUGIPO), Owo. The event was attended by over 25 professors and other illustrious sons and daughters from all walks of life.

Oloja said there is a need for the Ikales, Ilajes, Apois, and Ijaws living majorly in four local councils of the district namely: Okitipupa, Irele, Ese-Odo, and Ilaje councils, to unite for progressive development of the area.

Aside forging a common front, the renowned newspaper manager and critic also urged the people, who are spread across the 18 councils of the state, to galvanise their efforts on the discipline of execution rather than wistful beliefs.

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“The nation, states, and even our own land have produced so many professors. But we have got to a stage in our country where it is not enough to just think, as there are so many thinkers and intellectuals.

“What we need at this juncture is the discipline of execution. We can say there are so many orators and oracles, but I think it is high time we began to think like the people who organised this event. What will happen the morning after this occasion,” he queried.

He noted he had attended many fora, where people came together to forge a way forward for the myriad of problems facing them but lacked the willpower to implement them, despite the brilliant ideas.

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He continued: “The trouble I know, as a journalist, with this place is how to defeat the common enemy outside the WhatsApp group. This is one thing the social media has done, it has taken away some initiatives from us.”

Oloja, who was an eminent personality at the occasion, implored the people to go beyond social media and wishful thinking, saying there is a dire need for people to think outside the box.

The Guest Lecturer and former Acting Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNNAB), Prof. Ololade Enikuomehin, spurred the people to action with his lecture, titled: “The Ikale question: the need to redraw the lines.”

Enikuomehin, represented by an Ondo State High Court Judge, Justice Demola Enikuomehin, lamented the disunity that had torn the Ikale elites and ruling class apart, decrying the clash for paramountcy among the traditional rulers.

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“The younger generation is growing into this disharmony and there is a need to redraw the lines, so we do not fail to identify a common priority before it is too late,” he said.

He appealed to the riverine people to eschew the grudges among them and utilise the vast opportunities available in unity to catalyse their growth like their Ijebu and Ondo neighbours.

The Chairman of the occasion and former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, said it was high time the Ikale people and others in the old division took back power.

Olafeso, who is the immediate past National Vice Chairman (South West) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged the people to be proud of their nationality and origin as Yorubas, who migrated from Ile-Ife over 400 years ago.

He said the former and late governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, laid a strong foundation for the development of the old Okitipupa Division, imploring other sons and daughters to emulate his legacies.

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