The Ogun State governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2023 general elections, Barrister Biyi Otegbeye, has called on Yewa-Awori sons and daughters in diaspora to support his ambition. Otegbeye made this call on Saturday at the 10th Anniversary Gala night of Ilaro Descendant Union in the UK and Ireland held at Wesley Halls, Downham Community Centre, Bromley, United Kingdom.
Otegbeye said that the Ilaro Descendant Union in the UK and Ireland has always played a pivotal role in alleviating the sufferings of the people back home. He noted that the organisation has contributed immensely to the development of Ilaro. He specifically singled out the leadership role the organisation played during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He however charged members of the group to immortalise the heroes of Ogun West who have laboured for the emergence of a Governor of Yewa-Awori extraction by teaming up with people back home to ensure he is elected Governor on March 11, 2023.
In his speech titled, ” Ogun 2023: A Clarion Call to Yewa-Awori in Diaspora”, which was delivered by his wife, Dr. (Mrs) Comfort Otegbeye, and made available to NigerianEcho; the ADC Gubernatorial Candidate went philosophical saying he was fascinated by the “contradiction’ in one of the sayings of a famous South African literary icon, Mokokoma Mokhonoana. “Some things are not worth dying for, but without them life is not worth living”
“I am fascinated by the seemingly absurd or contradictory quote of Mokokoma above. It succinctly captures on the one hand our peaceful and reserved nature as Yewa-Awori people, which regrettably is being taken for granted by the uninformed as dispositions of timidity and cowardice and on the other hand the untold marginalisation and hardship confronting our people at home!
“I will not bore you with the woeful catalogue of the sufferings of Yewa-Awori people. Education is relegated and we have the highest dropout rates in ogun State! Medicare is in comatose and you will be shocked by the state of our hospitals! Our hitherto hardworking mothers and wives have been forced into slavery of debts because they now survive on “Gurumi”- unregulated micro loan schemes operated by loans shark syndicates. Our daughter and Sons now face an uncertain future with glaring unemployment after working so hard to graduate from colleges. Bandits and Kidnappers have taken over our rural towns and night life is fast disappearing. Cultism and Ritual killings are now rampant!
” Our road infrastructure is in terrible shape or no longer motorable. From Ilara, Ijoun, Eggua, Oja- Odan, Ilase road to Owode, Ado Odo, Ikoga road, to Igbesa, Ejila Awori roads, Sango, Ilogbo to Oke Erinja Ilobi road, to Oke Odan , Eiyekose, Owo, Ilaro township roads and many more are all in a mess of neglect! I am not going to belabour us on the need to have one of us elected as the Governor of Ogun State, because we all know that is not only imperative but also expedient if we truly desire to lift our people out of poverty and squalor. The timing of such effort must however be properly situated within the political realities of our dear Gateway State”, Otegbeye noted.
While commending the efforts of the past leaders, Otegbeye said the reasons why those efforts failed are not there today.
“I am here as a benefactor of Ilaro and Yewa-Awori upbringing and values. Like many of you, the reminiscence of the Yewa-Awori of old lingers but the reality on ground today brings tears to my eyes. I stand in the shoes of our fore bearers who laboured so hard and paid a huge price for our emancipation and I salute their gallantry! Odebiyi, Oyagbola, Otegbeye, Abioro, Otegbola, Olabimtan, Anisulowo, Olurin, Apampa, Ashiwaju, Afonja, Akinleye, Bello, Bajomo, Olatunji, Akinola and many more that I may not recall now (My apologies). Their struggles to attain the Governorship of Ogun State since 3rd February 1976 when the state was created were marred with disunity of multiple candidacy!
“You will recall our recent history of Olurin vs GNI in 2011, GNI vs Senator Odunsi in 2015, GNI vs Kunle Akinlade in 2019. Unlike the past, Divine Providence has gifted us with a rare opportunity to contest and win the Governorship election come 2023.
” I OLUBIYI OLADIPUPO ADISA OTEGBEYE, a Descendant of ILARO, remains the only candidate of Yewa Awori extraction on Ballot for the Governorship election in 2023″, Otegbeye said.
He said the people of Ogun West in particular and those from other zones in Ogun State who are lovers of fairness, equity and justice have shown tremendous support for his ambition since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published his name as the gubernatorial candidate of ADC.
“Since INEC published my name on September 4, 2022; happenings in Yewa-Awori land have shown that our people are truly ready to make sure they are elected Governor. I have a compelling reason to believe this due to the enthusiasm and uncommon zeal that greeted my emergence as the gubernatorial candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC). The support from our people back home has been phenomenal to the point that people from other zones who hitherto thought Yewa-Awori could not unite now have a change of mind. I cannot pretend that all is well even with this unprecedented scenario! Quite a handful of our people still think we are not ready and should wait till 2027! The logic of their position is frightening! I can only respond with a few rhetorical questions.
” Why not 2023? Can our people endure four more years of suffering? Who knows who will be alive in 2027? Will our brothers from the Central fold their arms and concede the position to us in 2027? Will we not return to the Era of multiple candidacy in Ogun west in 2027?? What prevents us from trying in 2027 if we fail to secure the slot in 2023?”, Otegbeye added.
Otegbeye commended the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle for leading the town well and providing a conducive atmosphere for all sons and daughters of the town to excel.
“Let me pay special tribute to Our Kabiyesi, The Olu of Ilaro and the Paramount ruler of Yewa Land Alayeluwa Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle under whose reign ILARO has witnessed unprecedented developments. I also salute him for his courage to speak the truth to power on many occasions! Ade a pe lori, Irukere a di abere! By extension, I pay glowing tribute to all Yewa Awori Obas, and many revered traditional rulers from Ogun East and Ogun Central who have ceaselessly been expressing prayers and support to me on this quest.
“I urge all of you to rally round our Kabiyesi and me and let’s work in unity to mobilise all sons and daughters of Ilaro, All sons and daughters of Yewa-Awori, all indigenes of Ogun State and all registered voters in Ogun State to vote for me on March 11, 2023 as the next Governor of Ogun State and to vote for all the candidates of African Democratic Congress, ADC. Finally I thank the organisers of this event and look forward to attending your 11th anniversary as the Governor of Ogun State by the grace of God”, Otegbeye concluded.