AREGBESOLA: 2013 OODUA Person Of The Year


After careful deliberation of parameters necessary for our choice of the Oodua Person of the Year, the Editorial board of “ooduapathfinder” resolved on Adesoji Rauf Aregbesola, the Governor of the State of Osun, Nigeria. All of the others considered actually merited it but Adesoji Rauf Aregbesola came out tops. The main consideration was on his dogged pursuit of the quest for Yoruba Self-Determination that propelled him to embark and project certain ideas which we feel are necessary ingredients for that quest.

The State of Underdevelopment foisted on Yorubaland from 2003 by the ousted PDP governments was inherited by the then ACN(nowAPC) governments which meant virtually starting from scratch, an undertaking well-handled by each of the governments under that political party.

Three issues stood out in the course of the year 2013 that was promoted by the Aregbesola administration. The first is the celebration of “World Oodua Day”, where youths and children of Yoruba extraction, both at home and in the Diaspora gathered in Osogbo for the celebration which was held to mark the Nigerian-orchestrated “Children’s Day”. The second is the advocacy of using Yoruba Language as the language of instruction in schools while the third is the introduction of the Parliamentary System in the Local Governments being created.

We avoided comparison of development programs or projects because all of the governments in Yorubaland have things to show in that direction and when such development efforts are viewed against the backdrop of the previously imposed underdevelopment, when what ought to have been ordinarily available become much sought-after, we cannot but lament the impact, both of the current developments as well as the previous underdevelopment, would have on our society.

Thus when actions are directed at challenging us to critically examine issues within the context of that underdevelopment, we cannot but promote and acknowledge such efforts.

The consciousness generated by the celebration of “World Oodua Day” broke and will continue to break the barriers imposed by colonialism on the Yoruba Nation and encourage the growth of our minds to further challenge ourselves in the pursuit of our Autonomy and Self-Determination. The use of Yoruba language as a medium of instruction will also demolish such colonially-induced barriers. Yorubaland had always advocated the Parliamentary System as the best form of government both within the Yoruba nation as well as in Nigeria, hence that the State of Osun will put it into practice is a development that will reinforce those demands and maintain, now, officially, the momentum towards its eventual application throughout Yorubaland. These constitute fundamental issues in the continuous decolonization of Africa.