The last may not have been heard about the recent renaming of some railway stations after a number of prominent Nigerians as a serving Nigerian Colonel in the US Army Adeyemi Isiaka Isioye appeals to President Mohammadu Buhari to reconsider giving due recognition to Ibadan indigenes who have made remarkable contributions to the development of the country.
Isioye over the weekend regretted the omission of Ibadan indigenes on the list released by the federal government to honour the deserving individuals. He however, noted with regrets that quite a number of prominent Ibadan indigenes were qualified to make the list given their antecedents in their respective chosen fields.
According to the US senior military officer who is a native of Ibadan, the conspicuous omission of names of anyone from Ibadan on the list when about three of the stations were domiciled in Ibadan smacks of conspiracy against Ibadan and its people, the capital of Oyo State and Southwest political zone of the country.
Commending President Buhari on the initiative, Olawale who also coordinates the Yoruba Mandate Group in the US and doubles as YMG worldwide security adviser, was particularly miffed that no single Ibadan man or woman was deemed qualified by the administration for a slot on the list. He however, noted that all those duly recognized from the Southwest deserved the honour.
He said until last election when APC lost the state to PDP, Oyo State and the Ibadans had always remained progressives in their political leaning. He said when taken into consideration, since 1999 when the present democratic experience took off, the progressives have ruled Oyo State more than the conservatives.
He said prominent Ibadan indigenes like Onikepo Bisi Akande, Chief Bode Akindele, Adegoke Adelabu Penkelemesi, Richard Akinjide, Omololu Olunloyo, Arisekola Alao and Oba Babalola Akinyele amongst others are handsomely qualified Nigerians whose names were missing on the government’s recognition list. The US serving military officer however, disclosed that he was ready to lead a team of other Nigerians in the diaspora including prominent Ibadan indigenes in the US to visit president Buhari in Abuja to lodge a formal complaint on the matter.
Col Adeyemi Isioye however, wondered whether it was a deliberate decision by government to punish the people of Ibadan for the failure of APC in the state in 2015. He noted that it should be brought to the fore that the voting population of Oyo State transcends the Ibadan indigenes in isolation.
According to him, Oyo State and Ibadan people have always been progressives in their political leaning over the years. He said since 1999 when the present political experiment commenced, AD and APC have ruled the state for a greater number of years than PDP.
He however, noted that such recognition shouldn’t be political but based on merit.
It would be recalled that the beneficiaries for the Lagos-Ibadan with extension to the Lagos Port Complex are Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Apapa station), Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson Rtd. (Ebute Metta Station), Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (Agege Station), Alhaji Lateef Jakande (Agbado station) and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (Kajola station).
Other beneficiaries include Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (Papalanto station), Prof. Wole Soyinka (Abeokuta station), Aremo Olusegun Osoba (Olodo station), Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola (Omio-Adio station), Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Ibadan station) and Chief Alex Ekwueme (Operation Control Centre).
For the Itakpe-Ajaokuta/Aladja-Warri Railway, the names of the beneficiaries are Alhaji Adamu Attah (Itakpe station), Dr. Olusola Saraki (Ajaokuta station), Admiral Augustus Aikhomu (Itogbo station), Major General George Innih Rtd. (Agenebode station), Anthony Eromosele Enahoro (Uromi station), Chief Tom Ikimi (Ekehen station) and Brigadier General Samuel Osagbowo Ogbemudia Rtd. (Igbanke station).
Going further, the government also noted that the Agbor Station Complex is named after former President Goodluck Jonathan, the Abraka station is named after Major General David Ejoor Rtd, the Opara station was named after Olorogun Micheal Ibru, Ujevwu station is named after Chief Alfred Rewane and the Railway village station Agbor is named after Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe.