For members of the National Association of Oke Ogun Students, NAOOS, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, last Saturday would continue to be in their memories.
A governoship aspirant, Prof. Adeolu Akande and the lawmaker representing Oyo North in The Senate, Sen. AbdulFatai Buhari donated generously to their project.
The duo made the donation at the 2017 NAOGS annual day which took place on the campus.
Akande, who earlier delivered a lecture with the theme- The economic and political situation of Oyo State: the case of Okeogun, said explained that the region’s profile in agriculture is under threat.
According to the Otu-born professor of political science who has just been appointed to chair the board of the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, “the people of Oke-ogun are not educationally disadvantaged; we just need to be focused.
Giving a brief profile of the region, he noted that “Oke-ogun is an agrarian community. Over 60 per cent of the land in Oyo State is located in Oke-ogun but unfortunately, our people are into subsistence farming. Gone are the days when our parents sponsor our education with money made from tobacco.
“Our profile in agriculture is under threat; most of our young ones are enamoured in okada riding as a means of making money. The average age of a farmer in Oke-ogun is 60. Those who learnt skills have become okada riders. Okada accident is the second factor that causes death, according to UCH findings. Our people are disadvantaged as we don’t have what it takes to compete economically in spite of our second position in terms of population; we have also not been able to produce governor of the state.
“Politically and economically, we cannot compete. We are late starters in terms of education. We need to work on these challenges to reposition Oke-ogun. If Bayelsa, with fewer local government areas, can produce Nigeria’s president, what stops us,” he added.
Lamenting the rate at which poverty has affected Nigerians, he said that no part of the state is immuned against what he described as grinding poverty. He charged those who are of voting age to go and register to be eligible to vote, adding that “they won’t count the numbers of opinions on social media as votes.”
He continued: “The number problem in Oyo state is grinding poverty. The second one is youth unemployment. Education can liberate us. A graduate without a job is better than a person without any certificate. The health sector needs to be funded. Our school curriculum should be looked into; it should be one that focuses on skill acquisition. Currently, 28 states are unable to pay salaries as and when due and graduates are looking for jobs. Where would they get money to pay?”
Also speaking, Buhari, who was represented by one of his legislative aides, Prince Afeez Kilani-Olarinre, charged the students to be focused, adding that they should make good use of the opportunities in the information communication technology, ICT.
He added that efforts have reached top gear to site a university in Oke-ogun area which we help in no small way in the development of the region.