Meeting Olu Agbesua

Keynote Speech delivered by Dr. Wunmi Akintide at a special gathering hosted by the Akure Progressive Union of the Tri State Area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut on Sunday, October 30, 2005 to welcome Architect Olu Agbesua and have him introduced to Nigerians and Ondo State Indigenes in particular as our Peoples’ Choice for Governor in 2007 on the Platform of the reorganized AD.

I wish to thank President Julius Fakinlede and the entire members of

the Oyemekun Progressive Union of the United States, and all Nigerians and Ondo State indigenes, here present, for your invitation to me to give the keynote address at this occasion. The former launch of the Agbesua Governorship Campaign in Nigeria will, of course, take place in Akure, the State Capital at a date to be announced. Our gathering today is just one of the preliminary steps to that ultimate goal. It also offers an opportunity for us to face-to-face meet with Olu Agbesua and to hear him out on the cardinal principles of his campaign to run for office as the first citizen of the Sunshine State, endowed with a high potential to be a leading light in the Federal Public of Nigeria as an integral part of the goose that lays the golden egg for the economic transformation of our dear country.

Gone are those days when Ondo State used to be seen as one of the

poorest States in our country. We have the wherewithal, today, to be named the

richest and the most progressive State in Nigeria because we have the resources,

the manpower, and the intellectual power House to lead Nigeria. What we lack is

dedicated, committed and visionary and dynamic leadership that we all know

that Olu Agbesua is more than ready and adequately equipped to provide, if we

elect him our Governor in 2007.

For those of us who are meeting Olu for the first time, let me seize this

opportunity to define for you, a few of his profiles in courage and talent

that make him the best candidate, in my judgment, for the soon to be vacant

position of Governor in our State. As a State where Education is highly valued, and

as a State where electoral rigging is hated like poison, if the Omoboriowo’s

coup de grace on august 16, 1983, t is anything to go by. We know our State is

capable of taking back from the lackluster PDP Administration, what they have

brazenly stolen from us in 2003, because we let them and because we wanted to

teach the AD a lesson they would never forget. A scenario where any political

party takes a one-sided victory like the one they claimed in all of the

Yoruba Kingdoms in 2003 was suicidal in an ideal democratic setting. A

winner-take-all victory in a Democracy breeds Dictatorship of the worst order, We have now had the opportunity to compare and contrast the PDP and the AD approach to

Government, and Ondo State, like much of the Yoruba States, across Nigeria, is

just about ready to say “Never again” to a totally dysfunctional caretaker

Government and Party, and to return back to our first Love, by voting in a

Governor and a Party that truly reflect our long cherished values of a truly

democratic Government.

Since the whole State is going to be our governor’s constituency, if Olu

Agbesua wins, I am impressed by the turnout of the few Black American

politicians who have honored our very short notice invitation to this Banquet. For once

our American brothers and sisters here present, can go home fully convinced

that all those stories about Africans living on top of trees, are grossly

exaggerated, as they listen to our candidate articulate his plan of action. I am

pleased that this candidate has not only paid his dues in politics, his track

record and exposure as a consummate professional and business man, without

blemish, and his track record as a distinguished citizen of Ondo State and an Akure

original who will stand for fairness and principle, and who will never betray

our capital city or the State, for a pot of porridge, like the current

incumbent and his Deputy are regrettably doing. I don’t know about you, but I can

tell you, I was a very enthusiastic supporter of Agagu and Oluwateru in 2003,

and I did so, in cash and kind, because I thought he, Agagu, was going to offer

a better alternative to Adefarati Government. In only four years, Agagu and

his Deputy have lost my support and respect, just like they have lost the

support and respect of millions of their erstwhile supporters in the State.

It is my understanding that the position of Governor in the next

Election circle in our State, has been legitimately zoned to the Ondo Central

Senatorial Constituency to which the State Capital belongs. Olu Agbesua coming from

Akure, therefore, has every right to enter the race, and if he wins with your

moral and financial support, he will be the first Akure-born civilian

Governor, in all of our checkered history, as the primadona of all ci

ties in our

State. Akure has always rallied round and voted massively for candidates from other

senatorial Districts. We, once upon a time, did it for our late Chief

Akindeko, and then for our late Chief Tifase of Igbara-Oke to mention a few, but now

is our turn to field a candidate we all can trust and respect. Why? Because

Olu Agbesua is not going there to make money for himself. He is going there to

serve our people, and to work for the economic revival of our whole State in

the spirit of give and take, and in the spirit of live and let live, as a

panacea for an all round development, unity and harmony that have so far eluded us

under the Agagu/Oluwateru Administration. I am aware, of course, like most of

Akure indigenes in this Gathering, that Akure alone is fielding no less than

nine candidates for the job Olu Agbesua is seeking. We would cross that bridge

when we get there to tell our people it makes more sense to rally round one

eminently qualified candidate than dissipating our energy on fielding as many as

nine at a go. As far as I am concerned, Olu Agbesua stands, head and shoulder,

above the rest in this contest, and should be so recognized.

In the midst of plenty, and at a time Ondo State has been earning in one

month, from Federal allocation, what Ondo State used to earn for the four

years that Adekule Ajasin was our pioneer civilian Governor, we see in Agbesua,

some of those attributes and qualities that have made Adekunle Ajasin our most

benevolent Governor of all times. Some of those basic financial

infrastructures that Ajasin had built would be revived, consolidated and multiplied to give

our State a face lift never before witnessed in our State. Architect Agbesua

is eminently qualified to excel on the records already set by Ajasin, and he

would carry our State to loftier heights through his peoples-oriented programs.

Agbesua is a pillar in AD. He had remained steadfast and unshaken in his

loyalty to the ideals of our great leader, Obafemi Awolowo. He is a self-made man

who has never stolen a penny from the Treasury. he is a builder by profession

and a fisher of men by politics. There is no stopping him now.. He is going

ahead to answer the call of Destiny, and to make all of us proud in Ondo State.

As an old boy of Oyemekun Grammar School, Agbesua represents the best and

the brightest in what is good in our dear motherland. I have known him

for more than 40 years, and I feel as positive about him, today, like I felt

when he was a year one student, and I was in my final year at Oyemekun Grammar

School way back in 1960. He is great in intellect, but greater still in

promise. He has always been very resourceful, and would accomplish for Ondo State

what he has accomplished for himself as the founder and the senior Partner in

the Architectural Firm of Archives Nigeria PLC based in Lagos which he has led

and nurtured to stardom in Nigeria.. Some of his Company’s executed projects

include the Nigerian Merchant Bank Complex, a showpiece of a design in Victoria

Island, the Oba’s Market in Benin City, and a host of other landmark

architectural marvels in Nigeria, Ghana and the Gambia. To know Olu Agbesua is to love

him. I will personally do everything and give all I have to make him the

Governor, and so should you, if you know what I know about this young man.

Olu Agbesua is not seeking the office to enrich his pocket or to steal

and divert the State revenues into his own pocket like the current incumbent is

notorious for. He is a comfortable and successful businessman by any

standards. He is going there to channel our productive energy, and to mobilize our

ingenuity and reputation as an integral part of the intellectual power House of

Nigeria where Education still counts for something. He is going there to make

our good better, and our better best, at a time we need a good manager of

resources to come take charge and manage a lot of the revenues accruing to Ondo

State, as an oil producing State with as much leverage and as many Oil well rigs

as Delta and Bayelsa, two of the richest oil producing states in our country

today. You are never going to hear of a Governor Agbesua being charged and put

in jail for money laundering in London or Washington DC. You are never going

to hear of an alcoholic Governor Agbesua getting so drunk, he can barely walk.

You are going to see an activist workaholic Governor who is going to totally

change the landscape of our State and to make it one of the tourist

attractions, and the economic engine of our country.

Our limitless resources in O

il, Bitumen , Liquufied Gas and cash crops

like Palm Oil and Palm Rubber, not to mention white Sand for Glass manufacture

and Cocoa Products Manufacturing Industries and timber which is found in

commercial quantities at the great Ofosu Forest Reserve and other places across

Ondo State. With a Port outlet in Aiyetoro and Igbokoda area, Mogunyanje, Zion

Pepper, and Obe Jedo and Ijaw Arogbo, our state is, without any question, a

gold mine, waiting to be fully exploited. I feel at home with all these

information and data as the pioneer Director of DIFFRI (Directorate of Food, Roads and

Rural Infrastructures in Ondo State) under Governor Okhai Mike Akhigbe in

1986. Ondo State has the potential to be the richest and the fastest growing

State in the whole Federation, because we have the manpower, we have the

intellect, and the natural resources and the good soil and weather to make that happen.

What we lack is sound and selfless leadership, and we have it all in

Architect Agbesua, if you ask me.

We need experienced and world traveled entrepreneurs like Olu Agbesua to

take charge of those resources and to lead our State to freedom for all, and

Life more abundant as envisaged by our greatest politician and Economist in

our one and only Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory.

I can assure all of you that Olu Agbesua would not follow the Fire

Brigade approach to management that has become our hallmark as a country. Today Lisa

Village near Ifo in Ogun State, the site of the recent Plane Crash is

jubilating. Why? Because it took the loss of a Plane and 117 valuable lives lost in

he crash to get our Government attention to want to do what they should have

done in the normal process of doing what they were elected to do. They have

now, after the horrific accident, hurriedly given a marching order to Julius

Berger to start constructing a road to the site of the crash. Telecom masts are

now being hurriedly set up in the village. Electricity is now being arranged

for the villagers ahead of the American experts coming to investigate the crash.

It is only after a disaster has struck, that our leaders run around, helter

skelter, looking for solutions, always putting the cart before the horse.

A ring road is right now urgently needed in Akure, the State Capital to

prevent Akure from becoming the same traffic nightmare that Lagos and Abuja

the new capital has become, within a few years of her creation, and despite all

the warnings and recommendations given the authorities by late Justice Akinola

Aguda and his Capital Development Commission. We need thinking leaders with

some modicum of vision, and long term planning to appreciate that prevention

is, indeed, better than cure.

Architect Agbesua, by profession, is trained to think and to build, and

to plan his way into the future just like the Japanese Architect that

designed the World trade Center knew, up front, that the World Trade Center may one

day become a target of terror. The building was therefore designed from the

“get go” in a way that it could not capsize or be pushed to somersault. Instead

it was designed to implode and to crumble down in rubbles, thereby saving the

surrounding buildings and the thousands of people that work in them in the

event of an attack like the one we witnessed on 9/11. Can anybody imagine how

much more havoc the attack on the World Trade Center would have caused, had the

design Architect not done his home work, years ahead of time I cite this

little example to show how much we need thoughtful leaders like Awolowo, like lee

Kuan Yu of Singapore, like Madiba Nelson Mandela, to mention just a few around

the world. Architect Olu Agbesua is that kind of visionary leader in my

judgment, and that is one more reason he deserves our support. I cannot tell you how

happy I am to see in this august gathering faces like that of my former

student whom I had taught, way back in 1962 at Olofin Grammar School, Idanre. I am

talking about Festus Akinaso from Idanre who is today a tenured Professor at

the great Temple University in Pennsylvania. I am as proud any teacher can be

to see him here this evening. I feel the same nostalgia in announcing the

presence of High Chief Bukie Adetula from Owo, one of the best attorneys in the

commonwealth of New Jersey and one of the shakers and movers of African

Independent Television (AIT) of Nigeria. These juggernauts see what I see in Agbesua

and are here to give him a helping hand like the rest o

f us.. Akures alone, even

if we give him one hundred percent of our votes, cannot make Agbesua the

Governor. All hands must, therefore, be on the deck from Obe Jedo in Ilaje EseOdo

to Iju in Akure North Local Government and from Okegbo to Zion Pepper, for us

to succeed in making him the Peoples’ Governor in 2007.

It is true that most of us in Diaspora may not even be registered to

vote at home. But we still can do a lot to influence what goes on in our State

and country by giving moral and financial support to worthy and deserving

candidates like our special guest of Honor, Olusola Agbesua, by the grace of God,

the next Governor of Ondo State.

Finance, Money, “Ekurube” for sure, is always a big factor in who wins or

loses in our country’s politics, because of the level of degradation, poverty

and corruption at all levels and tiers of Government in our country. For

that reason, I humbly suggest that we create the friends of Olu Agbesua in the

USA as a rallying point to financially and morally support our candidate, not

only by raising funds for him, but through dissemination of information by

E-mail and through Internet articles that educate our people and project his

candidacy among the few Ondo State voters who have any access to a computer. There

are also many of us here present who are contemporaries, seniors, juniors, and

classmates of Olu Agbesua at Oyemekun, at the Yaba College of Technology and

at Ahmadu Bello University. The ball is now in our Court to do everything we

can, to dip our hands into our pockets, and from the generosity of our hearts,

to contribute to Agbesua’s Campaign, in the full awareness that “all it needs

for evil to triumph, is for good people to see evil and keep quiet” as

hypothesized by Socratis, the world’s greatest teacher. I cannot agree more.

We would keep on electing bad leaders, if we would not stand up for the

few good ones like Olu Agbesua. We have got to act and act quickly, because we

are up against an incumbent who currently has the key to Ondo Government

Treasury and would not hesitate to loot it, for his own selfish interest, in a

desperate effort to win by all means. We must flush them out of the Ondo State

Government House, come 2007. We count on all of you and your loved ones at home

to do just that, when you are called upon shortly by the friends of Olu

Agbesua, led by yours truly who truly believes in Agbesua, and what he can do for

our State and country, if elected. I thank you for listening and I thank you for

coming.

Written by
Dr. Wunmi Akintide
Join the discussion

4 comments
  • this was another material that we never had in the state.

    i hope Mimiko will borrow from some of his idea and use them to develop our dear state

  • im the president of national association of ondo state students,university of ibadan chapter.

    please,i will like to have the personal email address of Olu Agbesua and Dr. Wunmi Akintide.

    My phone number is +2348023857578 and email:- naossuni_ibadan007@yahoo.com

    Thanks..

  • A tree does not make a forest. We are yet to forge a national consciousness as A people in Nigeria. No matter how well meaning this candidate maybe, he must of necessity exist and function in the context of the what is. If 'The Center Cannot Hold" things will surely fall apart. Until and unless we see ourselves as a people working for the good of all (not just for my state or my family or my town) we can not develop a structure of administration that would be independent of personalities. Those who attended his introduction gathering maybe more interested in business oportunities than good governance. We need to rethink and craft a workable, all inclusive ideology for the geographic space penned Nigeria. We are right now, bits and pieces of different ethnic interests and political affiliations whose soul purpose seem to be the rape of the nation. Whatever we have to do, we must first be a people.

  • Sir good writeup you have there but the point is that how are we so sure that all the promises he made now will be fulfill, becuase that it how it is at the begin.

    Another point i will like to race is that why is it that Akure people that are captain of industries don't help we young Akure indigene to get job, Sir we are backward, people like Cheif Rufus Alabi, if you go to his office at guinness for help, he will not attend to you. Tell Agbesua if he want to have a better chance, he should use his connection to get many young people as possible job even if they are not akure people.

    Once again thanks for this opportiunty.

    Olujuyigbe Temidayo

    Irowo Akure