On May 29, 2012, at an event marking the first anniversary of his administration, the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, reeled out his achievements.
As is the practice with politicians, Mr Amosun went on and made several promises to the people of the state. Among the promises he made was a plan to build 26 “world-class” model secondary schools across the 20 local governments in the state.
Mr Amosun said the foundations of the schools were already being laid adding that when the model schools were completed, they were going to raise the education standard in the state as they would provide first-class tutelage.
“Just last week, we laid foundations of 26 model schools that we believe will define the new Ogun standard in the provision of education at the secondary level. It is an ambitious educational programme, which will touch all of the 20 local government areas of the state. These schools will provide unparalleled facilities in science, technical education, agriculture, humanities, enterprise, and sports, with full boarding facilities, to serve the entire state. It is envisaged that these model schools will produce students who can compete with their peers anywhere in the world,” he boasted.
As it is usually the case with the development of new projects, ordinary people and communities would be expected to make sacrifices such as the demolition of their properties and the loss of their land (sometimes without compensation). For instance, Musafau Adebisi, a retired civil servant and the Baale (village head) of Oke Odo community in Ago Iwoye, Ijebu North Local Government Area, got to his farm one morning in 2012 but discovered his crops had been destroyed. When he approached the king, he was told that a model school was coming to the Oke Odo community and that his farm and those of others had to be sacrificed.
“I felt terrible. I was using about one acre of the land to farm. There were other farmers too, some of them were widows. Our crops were destroyed.” Mr. Adebisi said.
He said though they (farmers) were never consulted nor compensated before their crop were destroyed, they were pleased the land was going to be used for a good course.
This newspaper tried to get the exact amount officially budgeted and spent on the project but was rebuffed by officials of the current administration in the state. Ade Akinsanya, Ogun State’s commissioner for works, declined to say the amount spent on the project. He also refused to reveal the name of the contractors who built the schools. Mr Akinsaya said the project was not handled by his ministry.
“You know the right channel to get that information,” he said over the phone and hung up.