NEW OYO STATE FORUM (NOSFOM)
Motto: Good Governance, Equity & Justice
c/o P.M.B. Iseyin, P.O.Box 591 Oyo,
P.O.Box 250, Ogbomoso,
U.I. P.O.Box 20477, Ibadan
The Distinguished Senate President,
Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria,
3 Arms Zone,
National Assembly Complex,
RE: REFUTATION OF NOSFOM'S CLAIM ALLEGING SUPPORT OF OGBOMOSO COMMUNITY FOR CREATION OF NEW OYO STATE WITH THE CAPITAL AT OYO
We read with surprise the publications in the Nigerian Tribune and the Punch Newspapers of Wednesday 18th August, 2010 by the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oladunni Ajagungbade III on the above subject and addressed to your High Office.
- NOSFOM has no doubt that Your Excellency has gone through our memorandum submitted on 1st July, 2010. That document speaks for itself.
- As a Forum of cultured people, it is not in our character to take up an Oba on the pages of Newspapers, moreso on issues that are clear, unambiguous and in public domain. We, therefore, resolve to address this letter to Your Excellency with a view to assisting in your historic desire for the good of the people of Nigeria.
- NOSFOM is a platform set up in 2007 to work for the creation of (New) Oyo State from the present Oyo State. It has continued in that quest which culminated in the submission of Memorandum on the creation of New Oyo State to the National Assembly on 1st July, 2010. It is pertinent to inform your Excellency that there was no organization known as NOSFOM in 2005 as claimed by the Soun of Ogbomoso.
- There were two (2)situations before the existence ofNOSFOM in 2007. First, there was a general proposal for New Oyo State with the capital at Oyo town in 1979, which was approved by the Senate on 8th February, 1983 and published in the Daily Nines of February 9th 1983. This proposal was signed by different communities including Ogbomoso traditional and political leaders. The present Soun, Oba Oladuiani Oyewurni Ajagungbade III also signed' the document. The second situation arose from 1984 - 206 owing to the termination of the life of the Second Republic National Assembly. Here, numerous communities presented memoranda for State creation that suited their peculiar interests. It is, therefore, in the desire to harmonize various interests and re-awaken the spirit of the 1979 presentation that gave rise to NOSFOM in 2007.
- NOSFOM, from inception noted that there were requests for the creation of two (2) new States from the present Oyo State, namely Ibadan State and Oke-Ogun State. The Forum critically studied The requests and arrived at a conclusion that it is not feasible to break the present Oyo State, into three (3) consequent States. It therefore decided to back up the demand for the creation of Ibadan State -such that what would remain of the present Oyo State would constitute the (New) Oyo State. This decision was unanimously adopted by the representatives of Oke-Ogun, Oyo and Ogbomoso Zones at a meeting on Tuesday 1st April, 2008 at the residence of Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu, Oyo. It also led to a joint meeting of NOSFOM with the Central Council of lbadan indigenes (CCII). This in turn led to a joint press conferenpe by the two (2) bodies the NOSFOM and CCIl with adequate participation of Ogbomoso representatives.
- Representatives of Oke-Ogun, Oyo and Ogbomoso Zones (in NOSFOM) have therefore participated together actively; collectively, collaboratively and harmoniously on the quest for the realization of (New) Oyo State to which they all AGREED to belong. The joint advertorial of Monday 26th Jan, 2009 in the Nigerian Tribune, the joint meeting with the Oyo State House of Assembly, and the joint press conference with CCII on Wednesday 8th April, 2009, are evidences and clear indications of our common. resolve in the quest for the creation of (New) Oyo State. Relevant records for joint collaborative efforts are herewith attached for reference.
- The Ogbomoso representatives in NOSFOM participated in the Forum's activities up to Tuesday 8th June, 2010 at a meeting chaired by one of them; where they affirmed their difference on the issue of location of capital town for the proposed State. It is pertinent to state that the discussions on the issue of- capital town and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be adopted in the new State commenced on 25th June, 2009 at a meeting presided over by one of them. At that meeting, the MOU was unanimously adopted as a rational, fair, objective, workable and acceptable document to ensure equity, fairplay, and good Governance in the new State. However, on the site of capital, the Oke-Ogun, and Oyo groups agreed on the choice of Oyo while the Ogbomoso group differed, preferring to further consult its leaders and relay same to the Forum. The response is still being awaited.
- NOSFOM is a responsible platform, made up of people, with integrity and purpose.' The fact that one out of a tripod could not agree with. the rest on the issue of capital town should not forestall The Forum's efforts. In any case, democracy is a system where minority has its say, and the majority, its way. To insist therefore that the minority must prevail over the majority is to place logic upside down. Since NOSFOM is focused, it refused to be distracted and hence went ahead with its quest in the usual level-headedness and commitment. This led to its efforts that culminated in the submission of the memorandum' on the request for the 'creation of (New) Oyo State to the National Assembly on 1st July, 2010.
- The preparation of the Memorandum submitted to the National Assembly was not unknown to the Ogbomoso group. Inspite of this, the document submitted by NOSFOM to the National Assembly was never ' claimed to be co-signed by the Ogbomoso group; since we expect they were going to make a minority request to the National Assembly. Infact at the last paragraph of page 20 of the document it was stated thus "At the Steering Committee Meeting of New Oyo State Forum held at the University of lbadan on Tuesday June 8, 2010, all the Representatives from Oke-Ogun and Oyo Zones consisting of 14 Local Governments with a population of Two Million, Forty-Six Thousand, One Hundred and Forty (2,046,140) reaffirmed their support for the choice of Oyo ' Town as the capital of the proposed New Oyo State". This is integrity and humility, the hallmark of the minds in NOSFOM and typical of the people of Oke-Ogun and Oyo tones. The memorandum itself Jed "Memorandum on the Demand for the Creation of (New) Oyo submitted to the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 constitution. Abuja, by the Royal Fathers, Legislators, and eminent personalities of Oke-Ogun, and Oyo zones,- July, 2010". The fuss about the document claiming otherwise is therefore untrue, misleading and demonstrates unclear motive.
- On the endorsement of the document, it is evident from the attachments to the proposal that traditional rulers, eminent personalities, and legislators from Oke-Ogun and Oyo Zones support the proposal. The televised visitations to the National Assembly affirm the popular support of Oke-Ogun Obas, twenty two (22) of who led the visitation. If would therefore amount to sheer mischief, to insinuate that the document does not enjoy the supports of the very people that endorsed it. The Soun's position of lack of support for MOSFOM position from Oke-Ogun Obas is a betrayal of his brother royal fathers, who led the delegation to Abuja to submit the memorandum in question. Again, it gives the impression that the Kabiyesi was either misinformed or misguided 'on NOSFOM's presentation to the National Assembly.
- The support of the Oyo State House of Assembly for the split of the present Oyo State into two (2) consequent States of Ibadan and Oyo cannot be controverted. At Appendix' 5 of the document forwarded by NOSFOM to the National Assembly on the request for the (New) Oyo State is a "Resolution for the creation of a New State from the Existing Oyo State" by the Oyo State House of Assembly duly endorsed by thirty (30) of the thirty-two (32) members. It is pertinent to state that the two (2) absentees; are not from Ogbomoso.
- The supports that the NOSFOM proposal have enjoyed since the trip to Abuja from both Oke-Ogun and Oyo Zones have been tremendous and continuous. The meetings at Oyo, lgbetti and Sepeteri where hundreds of people and numerous high ranking traditional rulers participated indicate the support base for NOSFOM position.
- We are aware of the justifiably determined and studious disposition of the National Assembly on the issue of State creation. We also follow with keen interest the positive disposition to the creation of (New) Oyo State with 0'10 town as capital. We therefore arc not surprised that these signals can induce hysteria, agitation and discomfort in people who appear ambivalent, pessimistic or those who insist that matters cannot be seen except through their own prisms.
- NOSFOM is not unmindful of the advertorial placed by the "Ogbomoso Community Foundation" which equally was based on falsehood and ignorant of what NOSFOM memorandum contains, and which was similarly laced with uncivil language. But NOSFOM is of the view that in a desire of such emotional nature, unruly language may not be completely ruled out hence our silence over that advertorial.
- NOSFOM shall remain open, democratic, civil, purposeful, and determined on the desire for the creation of (New) Oyo State with Oyo town as capital and in realising the dream good life for her people.
- We conclude by urging the National Assembly to consider the memoranda before it with open minds, objectivity and the desire to foster unity, harmony and bring happiness to the greater majority of the various peoples of Nigeria.
- Your Excellency, kindly extend our warmest regards to your brothers, members of the National AsSembly on the good works and be assured of our support for your determination on this historic journey.
May the Almighty remain your strength, and guide you against the spirits of pessimism, distractions and failure.
Engr. ( Wet) F. A.. A. Taiwo
Chairman (NCSF IA),
Prof. Sayed Tunde alik