Every student of political history across the shores of Iwoland will easily recognize the inglorious locution of ‘Our Second Home’, its history, its implications and its meaning – both contextual and inferential.
For the benefit of inquiring minds, It is a phrasal lip-service whose inception is dated back in the 70s. A lip-service paid on Iwo citizenry to acquire their thumbs anytime election is held. Political actors, having realised the importance of the teeming population of voters Iwo has, and having studied the mindset of the people, came up with the grand deceit. This was expressly used to the detriment of Iwo as a town.
As a governorship contestant in the defunct Oyo state, Uncle Bola Ige, of blessed memory, used it to garner votes from Iwoland. Chief Bisi Akande and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola did same, promising the Iwo community heaven on earth, as their second home. The rest they say, is history as none of these promises was ever kept.
Apparently we have been subjected to the greatest underdevelopment anyone can talk about in the comity of high ranking and historically great towns in the southwestern region. Among her peers in the comity of big towns, Iwo is the most marginalized. It may interest you to know that as at 1931, Iwo was the fifth largest town in the whole of Nigeria, coming behind only Ibadan, Kano, Lagos and Ogbomoso in that order. It is also safe to say all other cities in this regard have had more than their own share of development over the years. What has Iwo gotten? Iwoland is the only Federal Constituency with no federal institution. No infrastructure, yet Iwo Local Government is the most populous Local Government in Osun State.
We accepted to be their second home, hosted them, supported them wholeheartedly, treated them like our own children but unfortunately they lowered our bar and made us play the second fiddle. Whenever election is around the corner, they beseech Iwoland with sweet tongue, promising to transform our community to a Paris of sort but when it is time to locate infrastructures, they choose their first homes.
Esa Oke is the first and natural home of Chief Bola Ige, the small community has a polytechnic on its soil. Ila is Chief Bisi Akande’s first and real home, Ila has a College of Education and a Police Training College. Ilesa is Ogbeni Aregbesola’s home, there are Colleges there coupled with a huge infrastructural development the Aregbesola’s government as Governor of Osun State birthed for them. The question now is ‘What has Iwo gotten to show for being their second home? Can you tell me what? Is development meant only for their ‘first homes’? Is Iwo only meant for electoral use?
A couple of days ago, the Federal Government Of Nigeria announced its plan to establish six Colleges of Education, one in each of the six geo-political zones and one was ceded to Osun State. To the dismay of many, an unfortunate news filtered that the college has been ‘agreed’ to be sited in Ila, as an upgrade of an already existing and smoothly running Osun State College of Education (OSSCE) Ila. Feelers have it that a certain influential indigene of Ila, who doubles as a second homer of Iwo vetoed it.
The people of Iwo find it hard to believe that a ‘son’ of theirs whom they have provided shelter many times before now would drop such heavy blow on their faces. It is an heavy blow, not just because Iwo has long been marginalized to a ridiculous extent of being their only Federal Constituency without Federal presence in Osun State, it’s not just because we have politically shielded this top politician in the times past but also because Ila already has a federal establishment – Nigerian Police Training College in addition to the Osun State College of Education which is shockingly being touted to be replaced by the said Federal College.
One would ask why replacing a state owned college with a federal college. Why do we need to substitute, when we can actually add. Why do the state need to give its existing structures to the Federal Government, even when the Federal Government have decided to spring up their own structures from the scratch. It will not augur well if the Federal Government spend huge to build colleges on virgin lands in the other five geo-political zones, only to spend a relatively small sum to upgrade the Ila College. That sounds ridiculous! Lands are abound across the state.
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Iwo is ready to provide every hectares of land and every other things required to host a federal college. So why the need to substitute? Is it to satisfy the needs of the ‘first home’? Where is our spirit of fairness and equity? Like I expressly stated, Iwo people do not believe the rumour and seriously hope it is not true.
At this juncture, It is pertinent to reiterate that the main import of this piece is to raise consciousness in Iwo people. We really need to wake up to this reality of ‘Use and Dump’ We cannot continue to be SECOND HOME and play SECOND FIDDLE. O to ge! If we are doing the same thing the same way, we are certainly going to get the same result a hundred times. There is a serious need to change our political approach.
Ti apa o ba se san, a si ka l’ori. Ti eeyan ba ba olowo rin ti o ba yo, ti o ba pada leyin re ebi o le pa. It is hightime we have reassessed our participation in politics. A political participation that does not bring about community development is useless.
God Bless Iwo.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jubril Akintayo Onseyoo
Isale Oba, Iwo