Written by Saint-Olawale Jimoh
In the last few years l have learnt my lesson in Nigeria’s politics especially on the social media where people always manage to protect “their own” people or areas when situations demand, not minding the overall negative effect of such action on others. The recent confab’s recommendation as regards additional states creation to which Ijebu State was included has generated controversies bothering on its proposed capital.
The more aggrieved people were Remos who felt the capital should be in Remoland.
Hon Yinka Mafe, a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly from Sagamu few days ago on his facebook page declared that if the State capital can’t be situated in Remoland, then he and his people would not be part of the proposed Ijebu State. Another Pan-Remo group met and even issued a communique stating that except the proposed capital is situated in their domain, it would not do them any good.
This state creation which should have been a blessing to us (knowing fully well that among all the 25 Provinces/Kingdom approved by British colonial masters for Nigeria, it is only Ijebu that has not gotten its State) may easily start unending crisis between the two ethnic divisions. Same sentiment that deprived us of the opportunity during Abacha regime may mare the whole agenda again if care is not taken.
But come to think of it, should Remoland be both the administrative and economic capital together when Sagamu has naturally been positioned to be the economic capital of the proposed State? Or what special benefits has Abeokuta enjoyed as a State capital more than Ota?
Is Ikenne or Sagamu the central?
Is Sagamu not too close to Abeokuta to be another capital again?
If Chief Obafemi Awolowo were to be alive today, would he be fighting that the capital be situated in his home town?
What meaningful contributions have those clamouring for Remo as capital made in support of the proposed State?
If the capital is situated in Remoland as Remos are are agitating for, how then do we honour the likes of Awujale and other magnificient persons from Ijebu who have toiled hard on this Ijebu State project and even went as far as bringing David Mark and Aminu Tambowal to Ijebuland all in a bid to make them witness the craving of the people for the new State and throw in their weight where necessary?
The Remos should take things easy and see this matter as one that can be settled amicably.
Fact is, if a Remo State for instance, is proposed today, there will still be issues of location. That is when you will know that Makun is not Offin. And Ajaka will say they only sell their land to Makun people and so so so. It’s normal but should not be allowed to generate into crisis.
What I expect the leaders of aggrieved people to do is simply to appeal to their people who have limited knowledge of state creation and make them realize the collective benefits lying ahead if our wish is granted.
We are one and we shall continue to be. Those areas called ‘Remo’ were formerly known as ‘Ijebu-Remo’. Suddenly they removed the Ijebu from the original nomenclature. Like birds, Remo and Ijebu needs both wings to fly. So rather than throw away the child with bad water, we can concentrate on the overall benefits in health, education, infrastructure, rural development and other new opportunities.
What we would have thereafter will be enough to go round. We will have 3 senators; about 7 House of Representatives, maybe 15 or more local government councils. Then, if the Governor is from Ijebu, deputy will come from Remo and vice versa. We shall be contending in that line and at the end we would all be better of. We should all see this State creation as a blessing and an opportunity that should be embraced knowing fully well that if we behave otherwise, there might be another Ife-Modakeke kind of story right here in our land.