The white men who we referred to as our colonial masters despite some of their shortcomings will forever be celebrated for their vision, forthrightness and equitable distribution of resources.
Development and infrastructural development were not done on whims and manipulation. The colonial masters would not site Schools, Hospitals, etc, in places where it would not be accessed by the people. They objectively assess the need of the people and Community before embarking on what it’s most desirable.
For instance, in the old Western region where we had Ondo division, (Ekiti State was part of Ondo division then), the four oldest secondary schools were sited justly in different parts of the region: Victory College, Ikare, Manuwa Memorial College, Iju-Odo, Ondo Boys High School, and Christ School, Ado Ekiti.
Eventually in 1976, Ondo state was created and the indigenous leaders emerged both in Military uniforms and civilian flowing agbadas! Schools and other social infrastructures were no longer created or sited according to needs. Manipulations and brinkmanship become the order of the day. Thus, between 1976, and September 2010, (thirty-four years), the entire Ondo South didn’t have any higher institution of learning!
While there are Adeyemi College of Education (Ondo central), Federal University Of Technology, Akure (Ondo central), Ondo state Polytechnic, Owo, ( Ondo North), Ondo State University, Akungba (Ondo North), Ondo South was left solely in the cold, since no “son of the soil” was connected enough to influence “things”.
Our young folks are meant to travel for several kilometres for admission into various Universities and Polytechnics. Many travelled to the Northern part of the country, some went to South-South and others to South East to seek for admission into various institutions of higher learning. The deprivations and harrowing experiences of students are better imagined than narrated here. It’s therefore heartwarming to read about the efforts of Barrister Ibrahim Jimoh of his intention to establish a Fortune University at Igbotako.
It’s a welcome development as it will accelerate the pace of educational desire of our people. Education brings light and higher education will further illuminate the nooks and crannies of the host community.
In addition, the university will boost the economic activities of the area as workers (both administrative and academic) together with the students’ activities will engender growth in terms of real estates, local food sector etc.
Since the government of Ondo state has since flagged off the taken off of Fortune University, may all the forces of the earth and Heavens combine to bringing into timely fruition the brilliant vision of the great dreamer: Barrister Ibrahim Jimoh.
Mr. Biyi Richard Orilabawaye is a Columnist on Ikale Voice Newspaper.
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