29th July, 2011
Eminent Nigerians today gathered at the Press Centre, Iyaganku Area of Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria to honour the late Military Governor of the defunct Western Region of Nigeria, Lt. Colonel Francis Adekunle Fajuyi.
He was murdered in a grusome manner 45 years ago by the mutinous soldiers.
In attendance at the event today were the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Ekiti State governor, Mojeed Jamiu, who represented the Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Dr. Festus Adedayo, Senior Special Assistant on Media in Oyo State represnting his governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, President and cordinator of Professional Group of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Dr. Ademiluyi Olumide, Dr. Kunle Aderinto and others.
In his wellcome address, the Oyo State Chairman of League of Veteran Journalists, Dejo Olatoye asked what would have been the trajectory of Nigeria’s political history if Fajuyi had not done what he did.
“It has been the view of most analysts, however, that the situation would have been different from what it is today. His sacrifice was not only for the old Western Region but for the whole of the country. This is why he should be accorded a great honour at both federal and state levels,” Olatoye said.
He said that the courageous act of Fajuyi should be passed from one generation to the other.
Olatoye said the involvement of the military in the nation’s politics has been more of a curse than blessing, adding that their primary objective was to secure unrestricted access to the treasury.
He said, “The last set of military personnel in political positions left with their tails between their legs. They perverted time-honoured values and left the country worse than they met it. It became difficult to imagine that it was the same military in which Adekunle Fajuyi served.”
In his lecture titled ‘The Imperative of True Federalism In Multi-Ethnic Political Entity”, former managing Director of Sketch Newspaper, Felix Adenaike condemned the way and manner the military government created states in Nigeria.
He said, “How did the 36 states come? By military fiat splitting ethnic nationalities between states and without recourse to the preferences and wishes of the people.”
He called for proper reorganisation of the country stressing, “the spectre of many unviable states threatens the federation. A hard look must be taken at these states to see if they can be made viable or collapsed into each other to form bigger viable entities if they are found to be inherently unviable”.
He concluded: “Politics must be made to return as a means of service to the public/people rather than the shortest route to affluence that it now is. Individuals must subordinate their interest to the corporate/community interest. Nigerians must take a keen interest in how they are governed and should hold those who govern them to account. They must make their will prevail at all times.”
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan