By Yinka Kolawole
Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has appealed to the federal government to shift ground on its decision to take over the road leading to Osun sacred groove and banning of vehicular movement within the groove.
CACOL’s Executive Chairman and National Coordinator of C-GATE, Comrade Debo Adeniran, made the appeal during a peaceful demonstration staged by members of the group in the groove in Osogbo, Osun State capital, to register the group’s discontentment over the decision of the federal government to hijack the road and convert it UNESCO property.
He explained that confiscating the roads without the provision of another alternative would amount to unfair treatment on the people who are plying the road for their daily economic activities.
“We learnt that this road will be confiscated by the federal government and it would turn out to be an unfair treatment if the road is taken away from the people who have been using it for their economic activities without replacing it with another one.
“We don’t mind if the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is taking interest on the road and expand it to fulfill their aspirations, maybe for exposing our cultural heritage beyond Nigeria, but they should not make people to pay for such enterprise because everything we are doing supposed to be of benefits to the ordinary members of the society.
“We should not do anything that would put our economic activities into jeopardy. So, if they want to take over the road, they should construct another one that would take them to their places of work.
“You cannot say that you are exposing a cultural heritage to the world and yet taking away source of income of those who are using the road and that is why we are here to demonstrate and appeal to the government to find an alternative,” he said.
During the symbolic trek around Osogbo, Adeniran noted that his group also used the avenue to sensitise the public on the destructive effects of corruption.
Tagged “Walk Against Corruption,” CACOL chairman inaugurated more units of its Good Governance, Accountability and Transparency Education Project (C-GATE) in Osun State.
He said the inauguration of C-GATE was in continuation of the group’s resolve at deepening the war against corruption by engendering the fight from an elitist approach to the grassroots, saying three additional units of C-GATE were inaugurated in Osun State.
The newly inaugurated units according to him are: Ejigbo CDA Unit, Isokan CDA Unit and Ede North Unit 2 with certificates and banners of authority handed to the units’ leaders as their symbol of representation after necessary education and orientation about acts that constitute financial and corruption crimes within the Nigerian society and how to report same and ensure that perpetrators are made accountable for within the available paradigm of legal provisions and good health of the society.
Some of those present at the event were: Osun State Coordinator of C-GATE, Comrade Rufus Oyatoro, and the National Coordinator of C-GATE, Mr. Debo Adeniran, CDC Chairman, Ejigbo Local Government Area, Deacon Kayode Bello, Alhaji Yisau Abubakar, Osun State Chairman of C-GATE, among others.
The participants at the inauguration among whom were community leaders lamented deplorable conditions of some of the public schools, increasing cases of theft and probable loss of their landed properties in the guise of building a private university without due consideration to the original owners and occupants of said properties.