‘Restructuring will accelerate Southwest development’
The National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams has lauded the lauded the initiators of the First Southwest Stakeholders Education and Economic Development summit, saying such development could only be realised when Nigeria is restructured to true federalism.
Adams who expressed the views after the summit held in Abeokuta yesterday, also charged the leadership of the Southwest to ensure that such event, where the Yoruba nation would be opportune to discuss its fortune from time to time should be rotated among the states in the region.
While he thanked the Southwest Patriots Movement (SPM), the Awolowo Foundation and other supporting groups for the initiative, the Aare Onakakanfo-elect said the prospect of the Southwest region is unlimited in every sector, particularly in education and economy if only it could secure regional autonomy.
He said there is the need to start educating and sensitizing the people on benefits and advantages of regional autonomy, hence the need to rotate the summit, saying fantastic revelations made by the likes of Chief Afe Babalola and Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu on the progress recorded under former Premier of the Old Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, are enough reasons for the Southwest to seek a reversal to the good and more rewarding era of regionalism, which is usually referred as the Golden era.
The Aare Onakakanfo added that there is no doubt that the Southwest needs cohesion to enable it develop educationally and economically. There is also an urgent need to put in place, arrangements that will also make the region blossom in other sectors beyond the one in focus at the summit.
Adams also emphasized the importance of unity of the Southwest to enable cohesion, saying the education and economic development of the region could only blossom if it is united in purpose and determination.
According to him, “We must come together first as a people, the region must come first, and we must have unity of purpose beyond politics, an economic base that we can all be proud of, regardless of our differences.
“Whatever development envisaged in the area of education and economy is dependent on the policies of the Federal Government but the current economic crisis confronting many states is creating severe conflicts in the educational sector and this is more reason we need to the right structure of government as a determining factor for right the economy so that the education sector can be what it should be.”
He noted that Chief Awolowo’s legacies continue to be relevant because of his achievements in the area of education among others.
Said he, “Apparently, Awolowo was able to record those achievements because the government could use its policies as a region to control the economy to accommodate its educational budget. This is why it is important we run a regional government. I continue to wonder how possible it will be for the Southwest to drive the kind of education that suits it when it doesn’t have control of the economic policies the nation operates on.
“Our inability to get the Southwest to get its own region under a restructured Nigeria will mean that we will continue to groan under the current system and tag along with the pace the federal system can afford for our economic and educational development.”
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