Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has hinted of plans by his administration to create a diaspora office to attend to the needs and aspirations of Osun indigenes abroad.
The governor also estimated that hundreds of thousands of Osun indigenes are resident in Benin, Togo, and Ghana with a huge population in Ivory Coast. This is in addition to a very huge diaspora population of Osun origin living in Europe and North America.
Adeleke, who made the disclosure while receiving Osun indigenes who came for Sallah celebration from several West African countries, said his government is desirous of tapping into the many potentialities of the diaspora population to enhance the development of the state.
According to him, “Tell our people from Cotonou to Abidjan, from London to Atlanta that we have plans to integrate them into our good governance agenda. I am working on the creation of a diaspora office to document, engage and involve our people.
“I know our people across West Africa countries are mostly artisans and small-scale business people. The proposed office will capture their data to see where to assist and support them. I may even appoint a liaison officer to be based in Abidjan.
“For our North American and European diaspora community, I am part of you. Your population is different from that of our brothers and sisters across West Africa. We are already reaching out to you, to drive investment into Osun State and ensure your involvement in our administration.
“I know of some towns in the state where almost every household has several family members of several generations in Abidjan, Cotonou and others. I want to put up formal structures to address these various categories of our people.”
Governor Adeleke, who promised to unveil details of the plan in due course, noted that Osun State needs all hands on deck to resolve its developmental challenges, tackle poverty and fast-track state development.