Governor Olusegun Mimiko
As Olunloyo canvasses Yoruba unity
Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State Wednesday advised Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State to stop party politics and join the crusade for South-west integration.
Also speaking at the same forum, the former Governor of Oyo State, Dr. Victor Omololu Olunloyo, urged Yoruba leaders to stop exploiting the name of Chief Obafemi Awolowo but work for the collective interest and development of Yoruba in the country.
Speaking at the opening of a four-day South-west Grassroots Business and Investment Forum titled: “Actualising Economic Development for Regional Growth,” Aregbesola noted that the struggle for power politics is gone, but enjoined all governors in the South-west to work for the development of the region.
According to him: “I want to use this forum to call on Governor Olusegun Mimiko to join other governors in working for the collective South-west integration for collective development.”
He contended that the fight for regional integration is to accelerate economic development of the entire region.
Aregbesola also noted that the call for national or regional integration is to enhance socio-economic of the people under a responsible government.
In the same vein, Justice Ajibola contended that South-west region as an agrarian terrain, therefore regional integration should be accorded priority to reposition agriculture which plays prominent position in the live of any government.
Also in his own message at the occasion, Olunloyo stressed that the ideal behind regional integration is to enhance what has gone wrong in the country and correct some ill feelings.
He said before regional integration could be achieved, all politicians at the age of 75 years old should be disbanded in political circle to allow for fresh ideas.
Olunloyo emphasised that the unity of Yoruba people should be paramount in the minds of all as to allow for proper regional integration.
Meanwhile, in his view, Governor Abiola Ajomobi of Oyo State equally reinstated the call for Mimiko to join the progressives and work together with other governors to make South-west great.
He, however, called for unity, peace and serenity of the people in the region for collective socio-economc and political greatness.
Ajimobi called for the fashioning out of a blueprint that would serve as a template for the actualisation of the regional integration currently being pursued by the geo-political zone.
The governor, who reiterated his state’s commitment to the regional integration efforts in the South-west, however said the exercise should not be political but purely economic so as to carry all the states along and enhance the all-round development of the region and its people.
While describing the regional integration efforts as “self help through mutual help,’’ said it should not be constrained by the capability or incapability of each of the participating states but that each state should concentrate on the area where it had competitive advantage.
``I also like to state that regional integration should serve as a pillar of protection to all member-states, stressing “an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.’’
The governor said all the states in the region must balance effectively.
“We must leave room for the aspiration of individual states. The primary reason for this regional integration effort is to achieve economic development.
``To achieve this therefore, we must see ourselves as one; we must ensure fiscal discipline in our individual states; we must appreciate the importance of non-politicization of our efforts and there must be mutual respect amongst us,’’ he said.
The governor also said that if the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo could perform brilliantly as the Premier of the defunct Western Region such that he has continued to be relevant even up till today, there was nothing stopping the region being transformed economically through cooperation amongst the states in the region.