The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Dr Gani Adams has lauded the initiators of
the First Southwest Stakeholders Education and Economic development Summit
held in Abeokuta, just as he campaigns that the summit be rotated
around other southwest states for hosting.
The summit was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Hall ,
Abeokuta, with Dr Christopher Kolade as the chairman.
Fielding questions from newsmen at the event,Adams while thanking the
Southwest Patriots Movement (SPM), the Awolowo Foundation and other
corroborative groups for the initiative , registered his support for the
position of speakers at the event that meaningful development could be
recorded in the southwest’s educational and economic sectors only if it is
able to secure regional autonomy.
Advocating for the summit to be taken round the southwest states, to
sensitise the people in the region on the benefits of the region’s autonomy
and what would be it’s effect on the development of the lives of the
people, Gani said the revelations of Chief Afe Babalola and Dr Tokunboh
Awolowo Dosumu on the progress recorded under Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the
Premier of Western Region are enough reasons for the Southwest to seek a
reversal to the good and more rewarding era of regionalism.
According to him,there is no doubt that the Southwest needs cohesion to
enable it develop educationally and economically.
He said there is also an urgent need to put in place , arrangements that
will also make the region blossom in other sectors beyond the one in focus
at the summit.
Insisting on the importance of the unity of the southwest to enable
cohesion, Adams said the education and economic development of the
southwest depends more on the unity of its people.
” We must come together first as a people, the region must come first, and
we must have unity of purpose beyond politics, an economic base that we can
all be proud of, regardless of our differences”
He said whatever development envisaged in the area of Education and
economy is dependent on the policies of the federal government, adding that
the current economic crisis confronting many governments in the country is
creating severe conflicts in the educational sector of many states.
This , he said is a great challenge and the more reason “we must get the
economy right so that the education sector can be what it should be.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo he said ,continues to be relevant in the country today
because of his achievements in the area of education among others, when
he was the Premier western Region.
“Apparently, he was able to record those achievements because the
government could use its policies as a region to control the economy to
accommodate its educational budget.
“This is why it is important we run a regional government. I continue to
wonder how possible it will be for the Southwest to drive the kind of
education that suits it when it doesn’t have control of the economic
policies the nation operates on.
“Our inability to get the southwest to get its own region under a
restructured Nigeria will mean that we will continue to groan under the
current system and tag along with the pace the federal system can afford
for our economic and educational development.”
Speaking further, he said “because of the premium we place on education in
the southwest, i don’t see for instance, a wholly Southwest region
government , cutting budget on education because of economic downturn”.
This he concluded, is one of the reasons he believes, the economic and
education development in the Southwest has a lot to do with it running its
own budget and policies under a regional government.