Former governor of Oyo State, Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala has advocated for the equitable rotation of Oyo governorship seat among the senatorial districts, constituting the state, saying this would promote fairness and create a sense of belonging among all geopolitical zones.
He bemoaned the seeming domination by the political class in Ibadan, contending that out of six governors that have occupied governorship seat in Oyo, five were indigenes of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
Pushing for the rotational arrangements, regarding Oyo governorship seat in his autobiography titled “Amazing Grace”, Akala said, “though rotation of the presidency or governorship seat is not captured by the consequent 1999 Nigerian constitution, it has nonetheless become a compelling feature of our political culture since then.”
According to him, “political parties and players at the national level and in many states have reflected the tenets since the advent of the nation’s nascent democracy. However, that pact seems not to have penetrated Oyo State.”
“It is agreed that merits such as robust antecedents, intrinsic personal capacity, genuine knowledge of the people and capacity to sell the vision to the people, should determine who becomes governor in the state and not whether one belongs to the majority or the minority. Nevertheless, merit cannot be the exclusive preserve of only a section of the state”, Akala remarked.
While contending that the primordial holding on to power by the Ibadan people, under whatever guise had become primitive and embarrassing, he opined that “if the Yoruba insists that the presidency should be zoned to it in 2023, it is expected that it should ensure that charity begins from its domain by rising to stop the domination of a section by another as it obtains in Oyo State.”
Akala further stated that “it is not an exaggeration to say that the Ibadan attitude to power has become segregationist and outrightly sectional. This attitude has encouraged the impression that the marginalised people of the vast geopolitical zones of Oyo, Ogbomoso, Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa who have been immensely pivotal to the outcome of governorship elections in the state can only be kingmakers and not kings themselves.”
“Ibadan and pivotal Yoruba supra-bodies such as Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders among others, must know that the rest of us are not comfortable with that. There is, therefore, the need for a consensus, and I think that the time is now, to ensure the equitable rotation of the state governorship among all the three senatorial districts in the state and allow other geopolitical zones other than Ibadan to be governor.”
“We may be unable to avert an impending crisis if political players in the state fail to take cognisance of the pluralistic nature of the state and continue to restrict power to only one senatorial district of the state, a situation that has created apprehension if not outrage among the people on the receiving end of this undisguised oligarchy,” Akala averred.