Home NewsOndo State News BEING THE OPENING REMARK OF THE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE, ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU, SAN, AT THE OCCASION TO MARK THE BIRTHDAY OF CHIEF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO, SAN, GCFR, ORGANISED BY AFENIFERE RENEWAL GROUP, EKITI CHAPTER, AT THE EAGLE HALL, ADO EKITI, EKITI STATE, ON THE 6TH MARCH, 2018

BEING THE OPENING REMARK OF THE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE, ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU, SAN, AT THE OCCASION TO MARK THE BIRTHDAY OF CHIEF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO, SAN, GCFR, ORGANISED BY AFENIFERE RENEWAL GROUP, EKITI CHAPTER, AT THE EAGLE HALL, ADO EKITI, EKITI STATE, ON THE 6TH MARCH, 2018

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AWO: COPING WITH THE BURDEN OF MEMORY
I must hasten to congratulate the organisers of this remarkable event for bringing us together to celebrate an avatar, whose impactful sojourn in our midst continues to sustain its relevance through the deepening deficit in social service delivery in, virtually, all areas covered by his glorious reign.
All those who were not only witnesses to history, but beneficial partakers of the reasoned and altruistic interventions owe the present generation a duty to keep alive the memory of the sage. The simple reason for this discharge of this communal responsibility is not just to gather with a view to indulging in unprofitable reminiscences of the glorious past. If today’s occasion will not pass as yet another moment for exhibiting groveling idiocy on the much vaunted supremacy of a particular race over others, we must rise from this event charged with the knowledge of the possibility of making our lives sublime.
The current pervasive decadence of the infrastructural architecture, painstakingly designed and built for optimum service delivery to the people, is sufficient to nudge human memory from complacency in this part of the country. The very fact of the prior existence of a glorious state, caused into being through sustained conscious, methodic and systematic exactions on socio-economic activities, put to the strictest proof our claims to superior understanding of the matrices of growth and development in a transitional society.

Our perpetually dependent and helpless state exposes the falsity and vacuity in the specious embrace of the philosophy of self-reliance, liberally propagated by Awo and his faithful lieutenants. The unthinking and, I dare say, ignorant replication of certain features of the socio-economic policies of the past, shorn of the rigorous and objective analyses of the current dynamics, is symptomatic of an existential crisis far deep than would be admitted. The defects are structural; any attempt to apply a cosmetic panacea to a deep-rooted problem will exacerbate the problems.
Awo’s message was clear; no society develops solely on external assistance. If development is about the people, it is incumbent on political leaders to mobilise the direct beneficiaries for the purpose. The basic assignment is to educate them on the peculiar challenges faced by the society from the standpoint of general knowledge. The abiding belief in the ability of the people to be self-reliant is intrinsic.
True leaders must always make the led aware of the acute challenges present in an environment. The first task is to build their confidence in the possibility of creating a world of their expectation through the dint of hard work. They must realise that it is possible to create an environment of real prosperity. It is they who must develop their society, not ghosts. This was the philosophy upon which much of the current glamorization of the past rests.
The philosophy of development was anchored on real education as against the current drudgery, an unproductive certification process which has given provenance to an army of not only unemployed but, regrettably, unemployable youth. Our near-capitulation to foreign expertise in, virtually, all aspirations towards infrastructural development attests to the failure of the current educational system. An over-bloated and largely redundant civil service mocks the memory of the golden era when Chief Simeon Adebo was the Head of the Western Region Civil service.

The clarion call of Awo and his true disciples was for a truly federal system where all component units would be given latitude to explore, devise and implement means of socio-economic programmes of development, devoid of subtle or brash external coercion, for the ultimate benefit of the good people of the defunct region. Each socio-political space should have the inherent authority to decide on its course of progression towards development. Its system of education, health and economy must be woven around peculiar exigencies.
No group, regardless of size, mores and/or location, must suffer any disadvantage. The march towards nationhood must be on the basis of mutual respect and understanding between and/or among the federating units. This is the only path to peace and harmony, real independence and economic prosperity. There is the urgent need to bring our children to speed on the nuance of the heuristic logic which propelled the South West to greatness.
As we celebrate Awo today, we remind ourselves of the possibility of true rebirth in the polity. This celebration should also bring to our consciousness the futility of mere wishful thinking. All of us must rededicate ourselves to the task of nation-building through knowledge. We must embrace the philosophy of hard work as a virtue. Awo achieved immortality through an unyielding adherence to time-tested principles upon which pillars of civilizations are erected. Our region must think and act anew.
I thank you all for your patience.

ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O. AKEREDOLU, SAN
GOVERNOR, ONDO STATE

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