By Ayodele Fagbohun
For its intrinsic and peculiar position as Ondo state capital, Akure is the most suitable and ideal location for the university teaching hospital, the appurtenances to any state owned tertiary institution.
For clarity and emphasis, the state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) should accede to a clarion call to upgrade the ancient Akure state hospital turned Specialist to Adekunle Ajasin University Teaching Hospital.
To convince doubting Thomases, Ekiti State University sited its teaching hospital in Ado-Ekiti State Hospital, the state capital Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTEC)
Ogbomoso jointly owned by Oyo/Osun states’ the headquarters, state of osun.
Why Akure should be an exception rather than the rule calls for serious and great concern. It boils down to an idiomatic expression that runs thus: what sauces for the goose also sauces for the gander.
Which is why this writer raises grouse against one aspect of the Jones Ogunmusire fact finding panel that recommended teaching hospital to be affiliated with the newly established Ondo State University of Medical Science.
Our amiable governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu barrister-at-law painted a gloomy picture of a depressed economy he inherited on the swearing in ceremony of his cabinet commissioner and Senior Special Advisers. This trying time calls for restraint and sparing utilisation of existing infrastructure to achieve result in the optimum.
It behoves Ogunmusire’s committee to key into the necessity of giving a facelift to the old State Hospital in Akure already neglected and “cannibalized”. It is very unfair to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
I must assert unequivocally that from time immemorial, Akure is the nursery of progressive politics with reference to the colonial period dovetailing to the first and second republic politics Akure is the home where the leader of Action Group (AG) Chief Obafemi Awolowo wrote the forward to his landmark autobiography “Awo” 1960.
Some staunch lieutenants of Awo that committed to the political ideals of the late sage till the end included Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti OFR, the late Wumi Adegbonmire A.K.a Omo-Ekun, the late Hon Alexandria Adedipe, Senator Olorunimbe Farukanmi Hon. Dr Akerele Adu, all of Akure extraction. Let me say in passing that the debut of Dr Nnamidi Azikiwe from America ignited political re-awakening in Nigeria, strengthened the bellicose activities of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) as a foremost nationalist movement/political party throughout the length and breadth of the country.
The ancient town of Akure and its adjoining district was literally caught in the web of Azikiwe brand of politics which was a novelty in the annals of the country’s history, Akure no doubt was a rendez vous of NCNC party sympathizers.
Later the town swallowed hook, line and sinker the progressive politics of Obafemi Awolowo led AG which eventually became the darling and the ruling party in the Western Region.
In the ensued political campaigns and melee, there were always skirmishes, show of strength and sporadic cross fire between the supporters of NCNC and AG. Whilst the former was Fabian and conservative in its policy and operation, the vast majority of Akure opted for more liberal welfarist and masses oriented programmes of Awo led AG ruling party in the region.
From the backdrop, it can be deduced and thereby asserted overwhelmingly that Akure and her people have paid their dues and it is unfair if the conduct of government business should appear as a spite on Akure. The town should be given her rights as a befitting state capital.
Besides, it is a product of warped minds and corruption in high quarters to lament the failure of Akure indigene to grab governorship ticket as a reason for the present state of affairs in Kaure and its environs.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo who hailed from Ijebu-Ikenne in the present day Ogun state, as leader of government business, Premier of Western Region established the hospital in Akure later turned Specialist Hospital, before the attainment of independence in October 1, 1960.
This administration should hit the ground running and swiftly revamp the specialist hospital with a view to upgrade is to University Teaching Hospital without further delay.
What is more, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s debut in government at Ibadan, the capital of old Western Nigeria built a standard hospital in Akure, the provincial headquarters of Ondo. The onus is on the APC led Oluwarotimi Odunayo administration in the state to preserve this legacy as university teaching hospital.
Au revoir, Pa Alex
The news of the death of former first elected vice president, Dr Alex Ifeanyi Ckukwu Ekwueme did not come as a surprise but was received with mixed reactions.
Anyone above the biblical injunction of 70 years can answer the supreme call and the rite of passage will turn and as celebration of life.
So be it with Dr Alex Ekwueme. He was a man with solid personal achievements, a first rate distinguished architect owned a vast investments that conferred on him in the rank of nouveaux riches.
Alex Ekwueme was not a politician in the first instance but was wooed owing to his enormous wealth by some bigwigs of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) to build the ragtag NPN, confronted the political roaring machine of well organized and prepared Awolowo led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) from clinching the presidency.
After the collapse of the ill-fated Second republic, the former vice president joined the group of eminent elderstatesmen in the struggle for the unity and progress of one Nigeria. A highly detribalized Nigerian.
Alex Ekwueme did not brook the misguided and reckless actions of some Igbo kinsmen clamouring for the resuscitation of failed republic of Biafra.
The incontrovertible lesson from the life and times of Dr Ekwueme and probably those who abandon thriving and profitable business for politics. For, it beats one hollow that paucity of funds could have been responsible for the drama that played out before the federal Government could intervene for the oversea’s treatment of the former vice president.
Where then is the wealth that attracted and dazzled NPN to lure Alex to its fold in 1979? The family wealth that could not come in handy to attend the critical ailment of a man of substance like Alex Ekwueme reveals the futility and vanity of life in its entirety.
May God grant the departed soul of this detribalized nationalist politician a repose in the bosom of Lord Jesus Christ, baba!, I bid you permanent au revoir!!
Fagbohun write from Akure.