By NBF News

THE people of Oke-Ogun, acclaimed food basket of Oyo State and indeed Nigeria, have selected the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, as their new leader. Oke-Ogun region covers the northern part of Oyo State.

Ojerinde was chosen on Friday, January 28, 2011, at a meeting of eminent representatives of the zone, under the aegis of Oke-Ogun Development Council (ODC), who converged in Okaka Town in Itesiwaju Local Council.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, the group said the choice of Ojerinde was part of the people's resolve to have credible, responsible and responsive leadership, who will serve as the rallying point and official spokesperson of the area.

ODC said with the appointment, Ojerinde would 'henceforth lead, champion and chart accelerated development plans for Oke-Ogun axis of the state. The new leader will operate along with other leaders of Oke-Ogun Development Council on all issues and matters relating to and affecting the developmental interests of the area.

'The selection of a competent, recognised and selfless individual is further necessitated by the political and socio-economic happenings in the country, especially where Oke-Ogun has lost out, courtesy of bad leadership in the state both in the past and in the present.

'The flagrant under-development of Oke-Ogun region is unrivalled compared to what is obtainable in other zones in the state, namely: Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho and Ibarapa. Oke-Ogun zone is also a victim of failed promises by the state government…'

The statement added that Ojerinde's choice was further informed by the request of Prof. Joseph Dada Adeniyi, the incumbent leader of the community, for a successor.

Consequently, the group said Ojerinde became people's favourite because of his contributions to humanity, especially his kinsmen irrespective of their towns, villages and religion.

'His progressive stand and quest for development in the area also marked him out for the enormous assignment he is saddled with by Oke-Ogun people', the statement added.

In his acceptance speech, Ojerinde, almost in tears, thanked his kinsmen for finding him worthy. He said: 'I am overwhelmed, dazed and short of words. This is an enormous assignment for me and other leaders, especially our community leaders. For Oke-Ogun Development Council and me, we shall not disappoint you. We shall live to your expectations and ensure that our collective decisions reflect your will. We shall carry you along irrespective of political affiliations, religious belief and creed. We shall consult with you often to ensure that our resolutions enjoy your approvals.

'Our case is that of the oppressed people who are desirous of emancipation and accelerated development. We will ensure that we have credible, responsible and responsive representation in a way that will derive our common yearnings and aspirations in due course', he said.

Oke-Ogun zone comprises 10 local councils and has a census population of about two million people.