By Omonu Nelson
A time-tested aphorism has it that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. The legendary Abraham Lincoln once said, “If given eight hours to cut down a tree, he will use six hours to sharpen his axe.” This illustration underscore the inevitability of proper planning, if sustainable success is to be achieved. Hence, planning is like having a road map that contains action steps, resource and time allocation and the verifiable expected outcomes.
Here are the 7 Point Agenda:
- Peace and Security:- Every other variables depends on peace and security to thrive. The current security situation in Oganenigu Community can be traced to network of factors. These includes bitter rivalry, ego tripping, youth restiveness and outright criminality.
So, to solve the challenge of security, most leading actors must buy into one vision. As it stands today, there are different groups in the community, polarized along interest lines. Except these interests is harmonized, reaching a concensus will remained a herculean task. Therefore, the institutionalization of regular multi-stakeholders dialogue is a panacea to lasting peace.
A definite Riot act must be read to Youths, who specializes in carrying out unprovoked attacks on Fulani settlements for pre-meditated (criminal) reasons. Where one or two miscreants are used as scape goats, the rest will find their bearing.
Most profoundly, every community needs a standing protective force, as the government security agencies are overstretched. However, such arrangement must be properly streamlined to stem abuses. In other words, the bath water cannot be thrown away with the bath water. The vigilantee at home can be trained in basic human rights issues and modern trend in community security protection. Proper synergy is the word.
- Economic Empowerment:- Most of the deviance in communities around Nigeria have been attributed to concatenation of factors but the facts must be stressed that they all have to do with economic pressure. In the days of old, when there was responsible governance, When evidences of good governance still trickles down to the rural communities, the people lived side by side with the herdsmen, with whom they transact different kinds of businessed, devoid of tension or mistrust. Today, economic pressure is on both the herdsmen and communities, giving way to anormalis to happen.
Everything must be thrown to the works to ensure economic activities are given a new lease of life. For instance it has become a recurrent decima that at every harvest season, miscreants orchestrate or brew all manner of troubles to scare people away from going to their farms. Architects of such mischief must be fished out and dealt with according to extant laws of the land.
3 Aggressive Revenue Mobilization:- Alot depends on money. Having good ideas alone is not enough. Good ideas needs good money to be executed. Just like the biblical “The harvest is plentiful but labour’s are few”, there is a lot to be done but the challenge of scarce resources. This underpins the burning need to block wastages, leaking holes and explore other sources of funding, including of course, upward review of the existing service charges.
Diaspora (Ojukpale) funding can also be another veritable source of funding projects. When purity of motives is established, getting people to buy into projects will be like a walk in the park.
- Reversing the rot in education sector:- Without a doubt, the moderate development/progress made in Oganenigu Community in the 80’s and 90’s can be attributed to the impact of western education. Apart from the zeal of the community and its people, early education empowered the Sons and Daughters, who have traveled out to bring fortune back home.
Today, the once envious Primary School has almost gone into extinction. In the interim, a taskforce on education, to comprise of former teachers from the community can be setup to monitor and ensure a lifeline for education in Oganenigu. Moreso, private initiatives (schools) can be supported to enhance the delivery of quality education, since their charges are still very minimal.
One fact remains, everybody’s action is governed by punishment and rewards. Fathers, mothers engaged in ‘mad rush’ of sending their children to schools in the 80’s and 90’s because there was obvious attraction arising from people coming home at festive periods, and everyone wanted to have children who will travel and comeback home with their mates. With declining economic fortunes in Nigeria, most people believe education is useless as those who have graduated cannot get jobs. It will take a deliberate campaign to get a buy back from this mindset. Truth is, there are jobs and professions that required high skills to match up.
The Secondary School that was the centre of attraction and synosure of all eyes for people from Abujukolo, Agbenema, Agojeju and sorrounding villages has become a shadow itself. Thank God that the current Community Leader is an educationist and a man of the system, that has been part of the school:s development from inception.
The best that can be done in the immeadiate is to monitor teachers, who are sent to the community but will not come to the community, or be on their farms instead of schools.
It is not archaic to reintroduce the Headmaster Abutu style. We were told of how he moved from house to house scolding parents who fails to enroll their children of school age in school. He was also know for sending people to bundle pupils, who are found of absenting from school. Loitering or hawking by children of school age can be prohibited and parents sanctioned for defaulting the detective. Some state government have made laws to this effect and enforcing it with arrest.
- Addressing Infrastructural Decay:- Increasingly, governments at all levels in Nigeria have become unaccountable. Most of the things governments are finding difficult to today, were done when resource allocation was far less during Shagari. As a result, community initiative to reversing infrastructural decay is the in-thing. For instance, instead of grading an entire road, the little resources available can be concentrated at the severly damaged portions.
Again, instead of allowing school building to drlapidate completely, it cost far less to maintain existing structures.
- Reviving Agrixulture:- The principle of comparative advantage in economics supposed that, you concentrate production on areas that is easier and, or with far less cost. Oganenigu Community is not only blessed with abundant arable land but with good vegetation and clement weather, favourable for the cultivation of most crops.
Reintroducing the seed distributing approach of our childhood days won’t be a bad idea. The leadership can laiase with our people in State and Federal Ministries of Agriculture for information on improved seedlings and fertilizers.Of a particular note is one of us, who have worked extensively in the area of seeds can be consulted.
- Restoring the lost glory of our traditional institution:- Traditional Rulership is based on Influence. In the 21st century, the influence a traditional stool wield depends on varied factors. We have seen somewhat mushroom traditional stools like Ogohi Anyigba, Aido Abocho and Onu Egume etc., waxing strong in influence, while traditional stool like Egena that is from the source and one of the oldest of its kind, dating back to 1830’s, deteriorating in influence. This is no doubt an onerous task. But that it is difficult does not make it impossible.
Back in the 70’s and 80’s, Egana’s stool was the rallying point for Peace, Unity and Progress. We can return to that era with concerted efforts.
Conclusively, it is important to note that a tree cannot make a forest. Also, even the most gifted of kings, throughout ages have relied on the wise counsel of their leutatenants to lead the people well. This reenforces the need for a full complement of exco, as Mallam Idrisu Atabo Okpanachi alone cannot discuss with himself before transmitting decisions to council of elders or traditional council etc.
Opened to continuous review…