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By Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako


I feel highly honoured to stand here this afternoon to address this August gathering on an important and strategic topic focusing on harnessing our potential and opportunities towards 2027 and beyond. As a people, we have a lot of stories to tell most especially when it comes to Ogun State political evolution and engineering.

The topic, however, is not just about politics amongst Yewas. It is an all-encompassing topic that should reflect historical perspectives, varying experiences, pains and of course gains, put together as Yewa socio-political milieu is explored in this pedagogical and non-pedagogical exercise.

So many factors and traits combine signposting who a people really are. At this juncture, it must be made abundantly clear that, Yewas are in the best position to tell their story. This is with a view to situating issues of interest such as economic, political, and cultural adequately and properly.

To weather the storm and come out victoriously unscathed, the first thing we must ensure as a people is erection of the pillars of synergy. The binding energy. Cooperation amongst one another.


How important synergy is in our match to a new political trajectory brings to the fore the story of the ice cream cone. Ice cream used to be sold in paper bowls, until one day in 1904 in Missouri, USA when a popular ice cream vendor ran out of paper bowls at a time, he still had a lot of ice cream to dispense and a lot of customers waiting on him.

Beside the ice-cream seller was another man selling a thin pastry who was not receiving patronage. So, having a “brain wave”, the thin pastry vendor took one of his pastries, twisted it into a cone and had the ice cream vendor dispense it in the cone. The ingenuity was so loved by the waiting customers such that the ice cream man sold all his ice cream and the pastry man too, who wasn’t earlier enjoying patronage went home smilingly having sold everything of his pastry now turned to ice cream cone.  And so was born the ice cream cone that has stood the test of time for over a century.


The power of synergy as depicted in the above scenario helps to create something new that added value. As we can also see, a potent synergy flows freely with partnership, it is multi-generational, and all party can progress when we genuinely synergise. 

I am using this story to underscores the power of working together and why Yewa and Awori people particularly in Ogun West Senatorial District should synergise as we are linked together by fate. We share common political and economic challenges which should build group consciousness amongst us and bind us together.

By pooling resources, talents, and efforts, the Awori and Yewa communities can create something greater than what they could achieve individually. This collective approach is essential for driving progress and ensuring sustainable development.


Though it was political anastomoses that brought us under one senatorial umbrella, we are also culturally and socially linked in many ways.  We share common challenge, similar group identity, linked fate, and linked prosperity.

Shared Challenges

Political anastomoses represent the coming together of diverse groups to tackle common obstacles and struggles. Our shared challenges should create a sense of solidarity and unity among us as individuals and groups. This should stimulate sense of interdependence, mutual support and working together to overcome those shared challenges.

Collective Identity

There’s a shared sense of belonging among at individual and group levels.

A collective identity emerges when individuals recognize shared values, interests, and goals.

This shared identity transcends individual differences, creating a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Linked fate

This discussion recognizes that individual fates are tied to the fate of the larger community.

Linked fate acknowledges that individual success is dependent on the success of the collective. This understanding creates a sense of responsibility and investment in the well-being of Yewa-Awori community.

Linked Prosperity

Understanding the bigger picture of togetherness promotes the idea that individual prosperity is linked to the prosperity of the larger community. Linked prosperity recognizes that economic, social, and political progress is intertwined. By working together to achieve collective prosperity, individuals and groups can achieve greater success and well-being.

By understanding anastomoses through these headings, we can see how it represents the connection and fusion of individuals and groups into a unified whole, promoting social and political unity.

Having established this deep connection of Yewa and Awori at multiple levels, I can comfortably submit that I will be referring to Yewa in the rest of my presentation because this is a gathering of Yewaland Development Forum, everything I say about Yewa is easily applicable to Awori. Therefore, anywhere that I make use of Yewa, Awori can as well be substituted.


Ladies and gentlemen, Yewapeople and Yewaland are two clearly distinct entities but often used interchangeably. People own the land and when the people develop, the land also does. Land, on the other hand can be developed without the “people” who owns it but not otherwise.

Another distinctive characteristic of land is that it is infused with a feeling of sovereignty. A feature which often makes land a source of contention between people and amongst peoples.

Land is therefore more susceptible to political or forced ownership. That is why land is more difficult to define.

Still, the United Nations defines land, “as a delineable area of the earth’s terrestrial surface, encompassing all attributes of the biosphere immediately above or below this surface including those of the near-surface climate, the soil and terrain forms, the surface hydrology (including shallow lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps), the near-surface sedimentary layers and associated groundwater reserve, the plant and animal populations, the human settlement pattern and physical results of past and present human activities”.

Without mincing words, your identity is your prerogative which can not be taken from you but what you consider your land can be contested and snatched away from you. Cases abound across the globe where supposedly more powerful entities or sovereignties have risen to extend their boundaries beyond their natural or known threshold. 

In effect, for the purpose of this lecture, I will stick with using Yewa people. I want to see people as a collective group of human beings belonging to a particular/specific nation, community or ethnicity. Wherever Yewas find themselves, by political arrangements or otherwise, our identity as Yewa is our identity which can not be contested by anybody.


Ladies and gentlemen, I proceed on to the crux of the lecture by an x-raying the meaning of potential. POTENTIAL is a latent possibility, totally internal but capable of being development. In similar vein, OPPOTUNITY refers to a favourable circumstances or period in time that makes it possible to do something. Cutting across the 2 words; potential and opportunity is the word possibility. The world over, people move in leaps and bounds while leveraging on opportunities and potential that present itself. Yewa people are not and can not be an exemption. Leveraging on potential and opportunities to claim power requires sacrifice, strategic planning, tactical negotiations, hard work and serious resource mobilization as power always is never served à lar carte.


Before exploring the pivotal roles played by the plethora of opportunities and potentialities nature bestows on Yewa people. It is time I examined why 2027 matters in the journey at hand. By 2027, Ogun State would have crossed the golden age of 50 by a year. In the Bible, every 50 is called the

Jubilee year for “an economic, cultural, environmental and communal reset, when the land and people rest, and all those in slavery set free.” A rejuvenated and tweaked Yewa people I am advocating, would serve as the face of a reset Ogun State come 2027.

This same Jubilee Year, 2027 symbolizes a time for renewal and a fresh start. It provides a symbolic backdrop for pushing forward the Yewa governorship ambition. A deliberate and strategic effort to reset the political landscape of Ogun State in favour of a Yewa governorship by 2027 can not be overemphasized. This involves understanding the political dynamics, mobilizing support, and leveraging the unique strengths of the Yewa people.

A corollary of that, is, by 2027, the legal identity referred to as Yewa, will be approaching 40 years of age. What happens to a fool at 40?

Yewa people have long weaned themselves off the toga of a fool at 40 that may have been surreptitiously woven round us. In like manner, by 2027, Nigeria’s current democratic dispensation shall commence its 7th cycle. 7 is a significant number in the metaphysical realm. In a nutshell, year 2027 marks another period in time to democratically elect another chief executive for our dear state, this time around a Yewa person would mount the mantle.

The combination of the aforementioned physical and spiritual factors and the aggregation of the accumulated potential and opportunities need to be leveraged to give us the edge ahead of others in the coming election cycle.


Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to dwell on four potentialities that can take Yewa to the zenith of Ogun State political power starting from 2027. 

Unarguably, we have the largest land area and probably most populous sub-ethnic group in Ogun State. Another distinctive feature of ours is the access to West African subregion. The popular Idiroko international land border situated at Ipokia Local Government Area is ably supported by less popular Obele land border Yewa North Local Government Area; Ilara land border Imeko Afon Local Government Area; Ijofin Jetty (waterways) and Idopetu Jetty (waterways), all in Ipokia Local Government Area. Ijofin Jetty was indeed the first international border before relocation to Idiroko. It is on account of all these borders that Ogun was christened the Gateway State. Another remarkable potential is that Yewaland is the undisputed agricultural backbone of Ogun State. Yewa people are mostly agrarian. The vast land bestowed on Yewa people mostly supports agricultural practice. Grown mostly in that part of Nigeria in commercial quantity are cash crops like cocoa, cashew, and palm oil. The Igan Alade/Eggua axis of Yewaland is good for rice plantation richer or at par with what is obtained elsewhere.  The rice harvested at Igan Alade/Eggua was bagged at Sawonjo rice mill sited at Sawonjo Farm Settlement established by the defunct Western Region government. 

What’s more, due to the vast and very rich agricultural farmlands making up almost 75% of Yewaland. The administration of Gen Murtala Mohammed had proposed a Cargo Airport at Tobolo-Aworo-Ilara axis of the region. Yewas landed property found in Lagos in areas like Mushin, Iyana Ipaja, Ayobo, Kosofe and so on are proceeds of farming back home. Notably, an average Yewa is highly accommodating, he is of moderate temperament and displays high sense of fidelity. 


There is a quantum of elbow rooms for Yewa people to thrive and get to where we should at any point in time.

Our land, like others within the state is blessed with a paramount ruler. Paramountcy is always a rallying point for the indigenes under the paramountcy. It is therefore imperative that the coveted Paramount Ruler of Yewa stool is considered as transcending its occupier at any point in time. With the cooperation of all Yewa traditional rulers, leaders of thought, opinion moulders, high chiefs and of course political leaders, including the youth community, the paramount ruler must be obliged the free hand to deploy a carrot and stick approach to settling any political impasse. In case it erupts. God forbid. That Yewas are visible at national and state politics is to say the least. The present senator representing us at the 10th Senate of Nigeria, chairs one the most important committee of the senate and is an influential member of the chamber. Same with his colleagues at the green chamber who also chairs strategic committees and are making the necessary nationally recognised impacts.  For the first time in almost 30 years, a Yewa man is a member of the Federal Executive council and for the first time that an Ogun State indigene will be the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police, it is coming from Yewa.

At the state level, a Yewa daughter is the deputy speaker of the house of assembly with our other children serving as house assembly members, commissioners, local government chairmen giving Yewa the needed political visibility. These feats and many others deployed politically can certainly make a lot of things happen in our journey towards 2027.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is also important to highlight the contribution of Yewa to the political victory of other regions of the state in the past.  From 1979, Yewa in many elections played the determining role for the eventual victor. The result of the 2023 general election speaks volume of Yewas electoral fidelity, influence, preparedness, cohesion, focus and determination among others.  

Anywhere you go, at least within Ogun State every Ogun resident, voter or person earnestly yearns for a Yewa man as the next governor of our dear state. Such a love, aspiration and expectation are both divinely and pragmatically motivated.  The average Yewa man’s consciousness about the state’s Number One seat has over the years also increased in multiple folds.

Hence, when these potential and are garnished with the identified opportunities nothing stops Yewa from clinching the coveted gubernatorial position by 2027 and beyond.

I want to reiterate 2027 identified 4 cornerstones. These are, Ogun is golden plus, Yewa approaching rubby, political copper cycle begins, ultimately, Yewa man or woman in the saddle of political leadership in our state.


You harness when you “direct and control something so that it can be used effectively.” Harnessing is also a set of straps and fittings by which an animal is controlled.

The nagging question is, how do we direct our potential and control our opportunities to be effective?

Do we need to tie ourselves with straps like it is done for animals? 

To harness our potential and opportunities, we must be scientific and strategic in our planning. We must also be ready to take calculated risks. We must set a template that is devoid of personal aggrandisement, that is Yewa owned and Yewa driven, that appeal to majority of Ogun State people and is politically overwhelming.  


Ladies and gentlemen, we must also come as an entity together. We work together across local governments, across groups– not just political juggernauts, across political platforms, across senatorial divisions. No one must be left behind for everyone is important.

It is also imperative that we up our game in mobilising for the common goal. Assiduously mobilise people to be alert to their civic duty to register as a voter and coming out to vote on the days earmarked for general election. Taciturnity, complacency or any form of apathy at the period of registration or eventual voting is an ignoramus way to think or act in the 21st century. Especially at this crucial period.


This is a matter of no stone must be left unturned. Democracy is most times about number. In view of that, we sharpen our alliances within and without. I implore us to explore blood cum cultural bonds, conscientiously link up with Yewas outside Ogun West, explore spousal linkages as well as maternal bonds.

As you voyage ashore, do not be timid. Be like David who combined confidence with bravery to mow down Goliath. Avoid unnecessary dependence on outsiders. The only person in life who will not disappoint you is yourself. Therefore, believe in internal agenda setting than agenda set by external collaborators. Nature does not entertain a vacuum. That makes it essential that you are calculative, put your ears to the ground to reading political schemes.


The nationalist spirit that dawned on our forebears and compelled them to change our nomenclature from Egbado to Yewa must be protected by all. The efforts of our nationalists who saw tomorrow in the 90s to properly situate our identity reflecting Yewa proper must not be rubbished. Same Yewa nationalist leaders had fought and won paramountcy battle for us. Let us build on these positive and successful experiences going forward.

The best way for the labour of these heroes past not to be in vain is to deliver Okemosan for their souls and spirits by the next electoral cycle.


We can learn from experience by asking ourselves the following pertinent questions.

Are we disunited or simply nonstrategic fellows?

Can anyone love us more than ourselves?

Can we abridge the laws of power in our quest to gain power?

 Can we rely on incumbency factor?

 Can we do it same way and expect a different result?

Is Yewa agenda birthed and oiled by Yewas themselves not the best way to go? Atelewo eni ki i tan ni je (your God-given palm will never deceive you).


The society we have found ourselves is highly stratified. Every stratification is important by their own right. Our organizational dragnet must as a result be extended to groups outside the partisan fold. Youth organizations, elites, professional bodies, societies, clubs, associations, faith-based bodies and so on must be reached out to in the manner that will warm our concerns into their hearts.

Similarly, putting up indepth empowerment programmes for the appropriate quarters. In effect, we must consider cognitive and psychological empowerment; economic empowerment; and infrastructural empowerment. The task at hand calls for capturing every voting individual with a view to convincing and wooing them. 


Before I conclude this paper, let me dwell on factors that I consider important to wining the primary election in a popular party and eventually wining in a general election based on my contextual and statistical analysis of all gubernatorial elections (Primary and General) held in Ogun State since 1979.   In a democracy you can not bulldoze yourself into power, nor rely on bravado or sentiments. 


Incumbency factor at both at the national and at the state level.

Financial war chest

Political base of the aspirant in terms of the powerbrokers behind him or her

Perceived home support cum voting pattern in previous election(s)

 Grassroots structure of the aspirant

Other factors include sub-ethnic origin, past record of achievements, street support, and past alignments.


Strength of the party platform (as measured by leadership cohesion and grassroots penetration)

Financial strength

The power brokers of godfathers behind the candidate

Absence of cohesion in the main opposition or alternative party

High vote for candidate in his/her senatorial district in previous election(s)

Street popularity of the candidate

Bandwagon effect or political trend

Others like public sympathy, past records

Generally speaking, for an aspirant to succeed at the primary election at least 4 of the 6 factors must be present and for such a candidate to win at the general election, at least 6 of the 8 factors must be present.


Yewa persons have always taken part in Ogun State governorship elections since 1979 either at primary or general election levels. In each of the years of contest it has been either near victory for Yewa extraction candidates or complete trouncing at the poles. Why, so if I may ask?

I believe we have not been tactical and strategic enough in some of the past elections contested. The mantra, “I was asked to come out and to contest” has always worked against us and I dont see changing in 2027 because Ogun State people detest imposition.

This is why, we must realise that getting the Okemosan mantle must depend largely on the readiness and preparedness of the individual contestants himself or herself and a broad base of “political godfathers”

The slogan, Yewa l’okan though justified smacks of sentiments and will only become a reality by playing the power game in accordance with the rules. We must realise that sentiments of Yewalokan nor a mere demonstration of boldness to impress are not enough in the contest to win the gubernatorial seat come 2027. Wining political contest especially the coveted seat of the chief executive of our dear state requires painstaking planning, fielding of a cross-cutting candidate who can mobilize and deploy resources as required, build strategic alliances, mobilize party structure at the highest, middle and grassroot levels and connect with the voting public As we go into the 2027 race, this understanding must guide our choice and actions.


It is my hope and prayer that come May 29th, 2027, a Yewa and indeed an Ogun West man or woman will be sworn in as the 6th elected Governor of Ogun State. However, we must be realistic in our expectation of such a person as he/she is going to be the Governor of Ogun State.  We must also be fully prepared to support such a person not to just be in office but be in power. This standpoint will need a complimentary virile legislative representation, civil service support and a good mix of politicians and private sector technocrats to partake in governance.

In summary, this paper has underscored the importance of unity, strategic planning, and empowerment in the real sense of it for the Yewa community. By leveraging our potential and opportunities, and with a focus on synergy, strategic political resetting, and empowerment initiatives, Yewaland can achieve significant political and economic milestones by 2027 and beyond. The lecture provides a comprehensive roadmap for realizing the Yewa governorship ambition and fostering sustainable development in the region and Ogun State at large.

A POETIC ENDEAVOUR – IKS @ 2nd Ogun West Youth Summit, April 2011.

Ayetoro, e je ka fi oro jomi toro oro, ki Yewa toro. 

Ilaro, ka la oro yi ye rawa. 

Imeko, ka si ko eko ninu itan.

Ipokia, ipo yi o ma gbodo tun pafuka a.

Awori laa, okun ki ho ruru, ka wa ruru.

Omo Yewa, e je ko yewa o.


According to Genesis 11:1-9, human race wanted to build a tower tall enough to reach heaven where God lives. Observing the efforts committed into building the tower, God confounded their speech so that they could no longer understood one another thus signalling the death of their collective ambition. For me, it will seem that but for the confusion, lack of understanding of one another and infighting that bedevilled this race, they could have made a meaning of their collective agenda. A BIG LESSON FOR US IN YEWA AND OGUN WEST

Dr. Iziaq Kunle SALAKO, Hon Minister of State for Environment, Federal Republic of Nigeria delivered the above paper at the 8th edition of “YEWA TALK” held on May 11th, 2024, at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos

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