Under normal conditions rural communities develop from a broad base of knowledgeable, skilled, and motivated leaders, but the defunct Agbazilo Local Government Area now Esan North and South East Local Government Areas through the ages lacked these bare essentials to reposition her on the path of integrated rural development. Could these frustrating delays and difficult setbacks be attributed to lack of political will, motivated leaders or a complete dearth of resources? This poses a difficult puzzle.
Why have these two civil divisions still remain an economic backwater in spite of the huge Federal Government allocation to Local Governments? Are the allocations hijacked midway by the state Governor because taking a cursory glance at the statutory allocation on a monthly basis, this writer has it on good authority that annual allocation to each local government in the federation of Nigeria is not less than 1.3 billion Naira which is more than enough to impact positively on the lives of the inhabitants when spent on viable capital projects. What has been happening over the years is better imagined than real. One billion Naira you will agree with me is a lot of money, but there has not been an equitable development to justify this huge allocation, all things considered.
However, I will not spend time brooding over the mistakes of the past. It is time we reversed this unfortunate situation by scouting for visionaries and motivated leaders alike who are in fact builders of a new dawn, motivated leaders that will work with insight and boldness. This search might be difficult but not impossible. There are still some men out there who are acutely focused and astute in assessing what should be done to move communities forward. Propelled by a benevolent force, this writer had to beam his searchlights on the natives with a viewing to scouting for a change agent, social innovator who is capable of combining organisational sagacity with realism.
Esan North and South East Federal Constituency must not be left behind ever again with a bright intellect and visionary like Barrister Sergius O. Ogun now in the picture, a strong and new voice , if I dare say, of which we urgently stand in need considering his impressive pedigrees over the years that have immeasurably impacted on the lives of many of our people.
Education, they often say, is the best legacy one can give to one’s child. In line with this general maxim and old aphorism, Barrister Sergius O. Ogun pitched tents with late Nelson Mandela that ”education remains the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. It is an open secret today that many of our folks back home have been thrown out of school by the elitist policy of the APC-controlled state government which makes the cost of education prohibitive in the state. Many families had no option but to withdraw their children from schools which expose them to none other than an open sewer of vice and crime. Irked by this the above-named resolved to tackle this problem by setting up a charitable foundation to cater for our children’s educational needs and this he does to this day under the auspices of ”BARRISTER SERGIUS O. OGUN FOUNDATION” which has provided succor and support for students who hail from our socially deprived and diverse communities.
No fewer than 550 students of the defunct Agbazilo extraction had their NECO/WAEC enrolment fees paid and 250 students drawn from the nooks and crannies of Edo State also had their NECO fees offset by this builder, a change agent , a bright intellect and visionary of our time who sees the big picture and thinks strategically. These students were to drop out of school owing to the elitist policy of the APC-controlled state government. This is just a tip of the iceberg.
The profound interconnectedness between us and the government will be found in the visionary and able leadership of Barrister Sergius O Ogun. There is no denying the fact, based on his antecedents, that this is one young man who understands our obviously sad situation and also recognises the truth on both sides of most polarised issues in our society today. I have not been retained as a traditional imbongi for praise-singing, my position should therefore not be misconstrued because the presentation I make here this day to rally support for him in Esan North and South East Federal Constituency under the platform of the ruling People’s Democratic Party is entirely of my own volition having been watching behind the scenes here in the Old World. I stand firm in my conviction that the above-named whose impressive pedigrees speak volumes for his ability to further deliver the goods if given the tools remains the best bet to give us a formidable voice in order to bring good things to our people.
This is one young man that searches for solutions due to his humble beginnings, solutions that transcend the usual adversarial approaches and address the causal level of problems. He realises what our people stand to lose by the increasing neglect of our youth and decided to tackle this problem head-on. Barrister Sergius O.Ogun as our representing Esan North & South East Federal Constituency shall indeed find a higher synthesis of the best of both sides of every issue, plan and address the systemic root causes of the problems plaguing our constituency and create a real and lasting breakthrough.
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan, is a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues.
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