“Now, if only southwest governors would spend part of their security votes AND local government chairmen would spend part of their allocations on farming, we can encourage school farming, including in cities where containers can be used, and intensify the old Farm Settlements that are being re-started. I know these work because I’ve planted peppers, including tatase in little containers and use the yield as green peppers in fried rice and Chinese chow mein. I once planted Chinese broccoli (bok choy) and it thrived [at Ibadan]”
Excerpt from: “If Yoruba cannot grow their food, Yoruba must starve”, Essay for my Sunday weekly post for The Nation on Sunday, March 28, 2010 during the (what I described as) Tatase Blockade of 2010. It has been posted here twice, but was first used in February 2012; full essay can be reached through the link at the bottom of this post. TOLA.
Thanks to all SW governors for putting aside personal and political differences to take this giant step towards righting a wrong caused by political gerrymandering, Nigerian style which was put in place to achieve selfish and hegemonic ends. Excised Lagos was never anything but a Yoruba city, nor do her people who always have been – to a great extent – those nearest the coastal city: the Ijebus, Egbas and others from as far as the hinterland of far-flung Ekitis, ever considered themselves anything but Yorubas. Her invitation to join Odu’a Group bodes well for the economy of the whole region.
Politics has had its evil day; now, it’s time for a people with common ancestral origin and common values, to get their way.
All of us hope those at the helm of Odua will wake up to the reality that Awo did not envisage a future of Nigeria Hotels, Cocoa House, et cetera developing to anything but revenue-generators that would aid in the engine that would drive Yoruba area forward. I do not believe the man could imagine what has become of all the visionary development to which the small yet giant financial avenues of produce-based economy: cocoa, tobacco … helped build.
It is never too late to change direction, and here’s hoping our governors who knew Yorubaland is incomplete without Lagos, and have buried whatever differences there were to bring the family together, will work towards ensuring that incomes from the various investments that make Odua will be judiciously monitored.
This is a moment to call up a line from Nigeria’s old anthem:
“The labors of our heroes past/Shall never be in vain”.
Yorubaland is capable of great things under the present administrations in the region but much needs to be done: agriculture, transportation, et cetera, and it is praiseworthy that the section once excised through politics has returned to its rightful home because a Yorubaland without Lagos is incomplete.
It is praiseworthy that whatever differences held the “regional integration” project back is finally resolved because we can borrow a leaf from others who see everybody from their area as THEIRS even when being villified by other sections of the country.
The rail project, Farm Settlements and others that would see the West achieve its full capability are already on schedule and must be strengthened to raise our
people’s quality of life.
A people incapable of producing what they eat despite very favorable climate and the availability of land is a people not fit to be rescued by the shipment of, for example, very expensive ORDINARY PEPPERS from as far as up to a thousand kilometers in arid clime.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2016. 5:00 p.m. [GMT]