30 years after, under the leadership of Governor Isiaka Adeboyega Oyetola, the State rolled out the drums not just to celebrate, but to create more history, with a series of events to mark this 30th anniversary. One of such events was a colloquium held on September 8, in which I served as a panelist.
The colloquium was moderated by renowned scholar, Professor Niyi Akinnaso who, together with the panellists, discussed the keynote address presented by a former governor of the State, Chief Bisi Akande, whose presentation revolved around the dreams of the “founding fathers and past leaders of the state for achieving an optimum community and laying a foundation for the prosperous future of the state”. The keynote was titled, “Osun @ 30: Celebrating Milestones, Building a Prosperous Future”.
As the custodian of the people’s culture, the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi paid glowing tributes to the past and present leaders in the State, while expressing happiness over the progress the State has made in the past 30 years. He also cautioned politicians not to play politics that could divide the State…
The event was chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, his Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, who said that the State’s decision on a colloquium to celebrate its landmark 30th anniversary, “is a significant strategy for linking the past with the present and the future to build a sustainable enterprise”. And the audience received a good dose of history and its relevance in charting the course of the future, with the addition that, “it was no surprise that in Osun’s years of statehood, it has produced a galaxy of stars in all sectors and areas of human endeavour”, as the state is blessed with both human and natural resources.
The concept of the optimum community has ensured the rise and rise of such development units and all-encompassing development of the State, especially in the area of education, which has expanded the frontiers of the State to other sections of society’s strata. Osun State boasts of at least 14 tertiary institutions, among them the federally owned Obafemi Awolowo University, a State university, seven private universities, one federal polytechnic, one state polytechnic, one college of technology, two state colleges of education and a newly approved federal university of health sciences, to make the number of educational establishments 15. This exceptional stand in education has put the State in a good stead. It is therefore no coincidence that the State boasts of the highest number of professors and PhD holders in Nigeria.
As a first-time visitor to Osogbo, the State capital, I looked out for anecdotes that piece together to make the people who they are. There is no gainsaying the fact that their education has contributed in no small measure to their exposure and urbane traits. I must say I was impressed by the way the people I met conducted themselves.
Education of the mind presupposes a positive social construct of the people. As a first-time visitor to Osogbo, the State capital, I looked out for anecdotes that piece together to make the people who they are. There is no gainsaying the fact that their education has contributed in no small measure to their exposure and urbane traits. I must say I was impressed by the way the people I met conducted themselves. My initial reluctance to make the trip soon gave way to cautious optimism, when the protocol people picked me from Ibadan airport to Osogbo. Then came the day of the event. And I saw the overwhelming joy of the people, old and young, who gathered at the State’s event centre for the occasion.
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