Why Okun Development Association Must Re-unite

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When unity is lacked in a family, society or group, there abided extreme detrimental effect capable of eroding harmony and eradicating mutual co-existence. More so, disastrous to building formidable frontiers warranted ere achievements of common goals.

Pursuant addressed factuality indications that withdrawal of Kabba Development Union’ (KDU) from Okun Development Association (ODA), is a capital threat to Okun unity. Likewise if any components of its structures make peculiar decision. Why is this a basic fact?

Okun Development Association (ODA) is a sociocultural and welfarist union, established by Okun people in the 70’s. To serving as its national umbrella body and promoting common interests. Its exclusively covered all communities and districts associations located on Okun soil. Over the years, elective positions during national conventions are following established order of zoning formula, across Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu, Yagba and extending to Oworo lands. Hence misunderstanding leading to separation of KDU from ODA, demanded core introspection, forensic explanation and in-depth solution. But first what happened?

Going by press statements published by the immediate past president of ODA Chief Femi Mokikan, and that by the incumbent national president of KDU Eng. Emmanuel Ajibero, the Writer deduced causes of the misunderstanding as: differences on position zoned to Kabba, stationary idea against rotationary idea about convention venue, inability to undertake grievances resolution ere, ODA’S 6th National Convention held March at Egbe Yagba West Local Government Areas. Notwithstanding sampled causative reasons, begging question is how could separation or withdrawal served as perfect panacea to the disturbing question mark?

Certainly realistically separatism philosophy is not and never the solution. Separation translated to separating from common identity, and promoting glorification of division. And whenever cord of unity is broken, society or group cannot aligned one interest and one voice. Late Professor Chinua Achebe wrote in his book: ‘Things Fall Apart’ that when the centre can no more holds, things will definitely fall apart. More so, scripturally biblically Matthew 12 verses 15 “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand”. Synchronously appraising implications of division, the inference is not indifferent to a cog injection machinery wheel’s of advocacy for development.

Notwithstanding, understanding conclusion could be drawn factually that, the tempo behind the separation moved during the momentum period connoted template’s captured by the moment. Hence the decision deserved no attraction of blunt castigations exemplified by some opinionists who earlier addressed the matter in their articles. Rather it demanded been respected as unanimous decision of an aggrieved group. While probably passionate persuasive reaction could have, paved way for unalloyed reconciliation. Thus recognising nitty gritty of reconciliation concerning the issues when shall it be visible, and what likely solutions can be applied to hinder future occurrence of such problem?

The perfect timing for, inevitable reconciliatory gestures is now. Knowing that Okun unity, is unarguably sacrosanct complementing merits of collective: efforts and participations, towards achievements of common goals. Like the fighting against third class fiddle categorisation of Okun people in Kogi state, where togetherness is an unavoidable methodology and systematic tactic required to win the battle.

Furthermore, pragmatic strategies needed be supplied to the demanded problematic cases.

Firstly, on zoning of position. The onus is on the Chair and the members electoral committee to chart way forward not, the President of an association. So any arising complaints ought to have been channelled to its office. While zoning of position can simply be done by appraising zoning method of position, and analysing offices held by various districts and communities in the past ODA’S conventions. This steps will helped the Electoral Committee overcome confusion allotting positions during future conventions.

Secondly, on whether ODA’s national convention be rotated or stationed. The idea of rotation is the best. Because apart from popularising ODA at the grassroots levels, it will makes its more acceptable, respectable and conversable with the grassroots challenges and opportunities. For instance ere 2012, the idea of rotation of NAOS convention was a capital sin. From the head of pioneer National President, Comrade Adeyanju Tosin in 2004/2005 administration till the era of its 4th National President in 2007/2008 when the Writer, served as NAOS National President, conventions were held at Kabba. The first attempt to trying applying rotation order commenced during the Writer’s tenure going into the NAOS 5th National Convention. And of course, the idea appeared strange to some stakeholders who resisted tirelessly to frustrate the efforts. It took NAOS 8 year’s of establishment before its could held proper democratic election. And successfully the Writer, chaired the 8th NAOS National Electoral Committee that initiated the process and enhanced First Election in NAOS history. Even in Okun Youth Development Association (OYDA), atimes there are instances of confronting challenges, but are been strategically settled by its stakeholders. The credo been enhancement of basic purpose surrounding sustaining maintaining developing unity.

Thirdly, the: National Secretariat of ODA and Electoral Committee, should when next priorities attentions to trivial issues, raised by any components of ODA regarding conventions and other matters. Thereby proffering acceptable solutions, before venturing into conducting elections. The approach would ensured future avoidance of likely disputes.

On this notes Okun people have to rediscover their unification strength, drawing examples from nations which overcomes divisional standards during given periods to reclaim their lost glories. And also, learnt from aftermath consequential on those nations which failed to conquer it based on poor conflicts resolutions management. These exemplified nations are found in Europe, Asia and Africa continents.

For instance, Germany is an example of an European nation which overcame divisionism. History recorded ,that its got balkanized in to West Germany and East Germany by 1949. In May 1949 West Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany was officially established while, in October same year East Germany or German Democratic Republic was founded. But reunited on 3rd October 1990 after discovering advantages of unity. And the resultant effect indicated Germany growing stronger, bigger and mightier than when divided.

Moreover, Korea is an example of Asia nations defeated by divisionism. On 15 August 1945, Korea got splitted in to North Korea and South Korea after Japan had been conquered. Today both countries are living in fear of one another.

Furthermore on the continent of Africa, Sudan is a good example of a country conquered by divisional standard. Its is located within region of West Africa, gained independence from British imperialism and Egypt on 1 January 1956. But got divided 2011 in to: Sudan and South Sudan. Nevertheless both have not enjoyed relative peace till date.

Very close to the Okun people, are the Igalas which had to redefine its course of unity sequel to the creation of Kogi state in 1991. The rediscovery motives helped its to grip unto the governorship seat’s for around 18 years until power tergiversate in 2016. The story is that by1967, Igala was placed in Central Western state later renamed Kwara state, and located as its eastern part. That was during military era but, rather than being satisfied and settled down because, possibly could have produced Kwara state Executive Governor by 1979 based on its population size, its opted out in a move to Benue state created 1976. Before then the Igalas acclaimed closest cultural links to the Benues; and there they learnt unforgettable lessons in their political history. But apart from the population strength the Tivs possessed, the Igalas was politically subordinated submerged due to its growing internal division. The vacuum promoted divide and rule policy— an anticlockwise order fighting dangerously against erecting bulwark of unity in any given organisation, society and political structure seeking freedom, equality and justice. The end product was failures to find their bearing throughout 15 years sojourn in Benue State.

Relatively possibly Okun can find calvary from political oppression in Kogi state, if patiently and ruthlessly pursued the agenda. Because according to lesson learnt from the Igalas experienced, Benue state bequeathed pauperization, depression and marginalisation to them. Probably Okun agitation for excision from Kogi state and merger with the Ekiti or the Igbominas, may not be a right call.

An assessment apropos examples reflectively reflected that, onus is on Okun leaders to find equilibrium point. As well proved their leadership intelligence and brilliance through uniting KDU with ODA.

Regarding the recommendation above, why the right call remains Okun leaders agreement to unification agenda? It is simply generational tenability and social responsibility, showcasing exemplary compatibility quality ttutoring to Okun youths and students over years.

Okun leaders have mandatory course to navigate historical realm, evaluate their roles and gospels during conflicting cases in the National Association of Okun Students (NAOS). During instances of 2005, 2009, 2012, 2018 and 2019 National Conventions. Irrespective of what caused those crises during the stated periods, NAOS has remained one undivided body. Hence the antecedent remains precedent today, and speaks to essence why Okun leaders must embraced amicable reconciliation with open hands.

Okun leaders must set good example of tolerance and harmony now, encouraging Okun people to put their hands on decks purposely to salvage social, political, economical and cultural values that are degrading. And helping evading sentencing Okunland to live penitentiary where justice is criminalized.

Sequel recommendation of peace and unity, the Writer proposed that resolution be championed by Okun Elders Council, Okun Think Tank, Okun Development Initiatives and Okun Traditional Council of Chiefs. So that, ODA can be rebirth, rebrand and restructure to live up to the dreams and visions of its founding fathers.

Very importantly, resolution of the matter is desiderata for Okun to find its bearings. Because beneath the face of current crisis indicated piles of accumulated issues wrapped up to frustrate success of the administration of ODA’S 5th National Executives. The Writer having prescient the imminent problems, summoned Pan Okun Youth congress in 2019 at Kabba for common deliberation on restoration of common unity in ODA. The major reason been to devise proactive measures to tackle future contingencies capable of uprooting ODA’S foundation. Thus idea of symposium was agreed, and an official memorandum was issued, circulated and published. The associations duly represented at the congress comprised: OYDA, OYP, OYEC, FYDA, IYDA and OHAF.

Moreover, the Writer recalled courtesy visitation by OYDA’S delegation on some Okun Elder Statesmen in December 2019. Like Chief. E.O Otitoju, Amb. Babatunde Fadumiyo, Prof. Tunde Arosanyin, Dr. Remi Medupin, etc where hardcopies of the OYDA’S Memorandum of Position on ODA, was presented each of them. Categorically, OYDA beckoned timely intervention of the elder statesmen before ODA divided. But just about three years after, the forecast becomes fulfilled.

The writer’s tactical analysis of Chief Mokikan’s leadership, glorified administration with plenteous positive initiatives frustrated by some Okun leaders who walked and worked parallelly against its realisations. Therefore, the roots of the problem inherited by the current 6th National Executives of ODA led by His Excellence, Amb. Rotimi Akenson, was planted during era of the 5th National Executives. And efforts to run Chief Mokikan’s government ineffective and inefficient was at the peak of some cabals agenda if not for his strategic management skills, the storyline could have been a score card of poor performances.

The bottom line is that unity is the most potent medication that can be minister to a divided entity, for regaining collective values and attaining common interests. Hence ODA’S components has no substantial reasons not to agree and unite. Because good leadership, is the act of leading by good example.

In closing, the current National President of Okun Youth Development Association (OYDA), Comrade Oguns Tosin Gbenga has a tasks to lead other executives and members on courtesy visitations on those who matters and can be instrumental towards reuniting ODA.

– Comrade Segun Babayomi Amupitan, ACIHRM, CPM , PGD-HRM, incorporated Okun Youth Representative ODA Extended Excos 2021, former National Vice President NAOS National, former National President NAOS National, pioneer National President OYDA and former Okun Youth Representative Okun Development Association National Extended Executives.
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