Saturday 25 November 2023

Iragbiji Day: UN-SDGs, Coastal Guard Infocus _job for youths___ By ISAAC OLUSESI

The insertion of something of a different nature into something else is the latest misfortune of the government of Osun State, going by its decision to convert the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, funded Skills Acquisitions Center in Iragbiji into a soccer base. The centre is built by the federal government.

The thought out switch or conversion of the center, in every sense, cannot go for a value determined from the existing value of the UN- SDGs. In terms of concept and departmentalization, the metamorphosis is just wrong, an affront to the UN's interlinked objectives of ending the global challenges of poverty, hunger in all its forms and generate prosperity for the youths of the world. The Osun government's steering to modify the UN-SDGs skills acquisition hub in Iragbiji in Boripe local government council area of the state, to a soccer bed on the same land square is unwelcome and a snub to the federal government's interest in national youth development. 

Conceptually, the Iragbiji skills acquisition nexus is meant to equip the youths with vocational and technical skills, afford them decent work and economic growth, and reduce inequalities, the finest, admirable short titles of the UN - SDGs. It is also the UN, federal government's sustainable economic concern for the youths of Osun through the Iragbiji skills acquisition center, put in place. 

And by the writer's content analysis, it's the point made by Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who said, "Turning the centre into anything outside this, is a disservice to the purpose it was meant for. This is a project that we fought for and facilitated while in government for the benefit of youths in the state and anything short of what's not meant for is anti- development."

As to departmentalization, the lined up conversion of the Iragbiji skills acquisition locus to soccer axis is a paradox, marked off by contradictory fixtures. The Osun government's reasoning premise has only led to a conclusion, absurd, and logically unacceptable. How? The state government ought to know that the centre, not just any but the UN's, is a distinctive work learning processes centre, firmly focused on the SDGs' goals to achieve the UN global vision, with the centre programmed to function productively, based largely on specialized skills, vocational and technical, departmentalized. And the trainees' expertises galvanized most effectively to handle a particular set of tasks, most adaptive to their skills. 

The skills acquisition centre in Iragbiji, is one departmentalized to bring about the trainees' specialization, simplicity, speed and clarity in particular entrepreneurial skills or services with productivity and profitability as end results. This is enough a reason the state governor, Ademola Adeleke should let the Iragbiji centre be. But Adeleke, weak, and without intellectual protection, one with corrigible disability, and most emotionally wounded, oft-times, relishes in nonfeasance, or lawlessness.

Oyetola, erstwhile governor of Osun and current Minister of Marine and Blue Economy spoke at the 2023 Iragbiji Day, a Saturday ago and berated the state government's intention to exchange the Iragbiji skills acquisition core with soccer link when he stated that, "it is ridiculous that the state government could think of converting a centre that's meant for youth development into a soccer base. But we won't allow a project that's purposely built to cater for youth development in the area of entrepreneurial skills acquisition to become a football base for whatever reason," adding, "I have taken it up already, and I want to assure you that very soon, something will be done in that regard."

Speaking on Iragbiji Day, Oyetola charged communities across the nation not to relent efforts at supporting government by mobilizing, orientating and sensitizing the natives to embark on community projects. "Government alone cannot do it," he pointedly said. He noted the individual achievements of everyone present at the event, saying, " All of you, sons and daughters of Iragbiji and our invited guests are eminent with whom I'm not just pleased but very proud of you. All of you have brought honour to me by your presence. The wherewithal to sustain the momentum you have reached in your respective endeavours, God will grant you all."

The former Osun governor is a prophet honoured in his hometown, Iragbiji. That fact of him as personal grata to his countryside home has been proved several times in the past. And it was again demonstrated at the 32nd Iragbiji Day celebrations. The town folks, virtually everyone on their feet to catch a glimpse of him again, and they all had many good things to say about him as they took turn to describe him in superlative terms, with the aggregate saying, he's an amalgam of intellect and wisdom, a skilful administrator, and champion of social justice whose contributions to Osun politics and finances, then as governor, were prudent and innumerable. 

The men wing said, "he's a silent philanthropist per excellence, caring, that endeared him to many." And women noted, "he's unassuming and quiet and a lover of peace. We pray to God to continue to protect him." As a matter of factly, he deserves the honour from his people. His upbringing must have shaped his unassuming disposition. Born into the family of an Islamic cleric and mother, a community leader, he benefited immensely from God fearing parents who taught him in the way of Allah.

The palace of Aragbiji of Iragbiji was earlier in the day turned an amphitheatre with a warm parade of Nollywood comedians, artistes, actors, itinerant talking drummers and entertainers performed,

seasoned with cultural display, traditional songs and dance. And people kept chanting ' _Kabiyesioooo_ ,' to HRM Oba Abdul-Rasheed Ayotunde Olabomi Odundun IV Aragbiji of Iragbiji, described as an embodiment of royalty, nobility, humility, self sacrifice and accommodating spirit. The king was full of smiles as he waved his horsetail at his subjects and guests, chauffeur driven in exotic cars and gaily dressed in their attires. 

The sight and sound at the palace were soonest joined by other Nigerians resident in Iragbiji- the Hausa with their flutes, the Igbo in their typical dress with redcaps, the Edo with their wrappers flung over the left shoulders, and other nationals cladded in dresses that depicted the part of the country they come from.  Men and women, in the element, did the hip and waist dance that had guests and bystanders in stitches with rib- racking laughter and admiration, right in the frontage of the palace in homage to the traditional ruler of Iragbiji. Why? The town kinsmen and women and enthusiasts couldn't wait for the event to be over to cheer the king; they rolled out drums in celebration. The brevity of songs, pitch and resonance at the palace, preceded by the series of events in the town gave insights into the grand finale of this year's Iragbiji Day anniversary, certainly, the most grandiose in the recent times.

From the palace to Oke - Iragbiji Grammar School, event venue, the town lost its serenity to heavy human and vehicular traffic and security operatives had time frenetic, on hand as the moment the people had longed for came with the arrival of Oyetola. And the venue, brimmed with a beehive of activities, became enlivened with his friends, associates, politicians, heads of government establishments, captains of industry and commerce, and other eminent personalities who hold enviable positions in the private sector, his first constituency. All, gently out of posy cars, orderly parked with music wafted, alighted, were dressed in a kaleidoscope of colours like in a carnival arcade. Handset phone and the day's newspaper were their only companion. Journalists, and photographers had hectic time to capture sights. 

The well respected Aragbiji of Iragbiji welcomed dignitaries from within and outside Osun to Iragbijiland and thanked all, including his subjects for their presence and love over the years. He said that the Iragbiji Day for which people of contrasting backgrounds in tribe and language, sex and age, position and status, power and authority, enterprise and wealth, and affluence and influence gathered was about improving interpersonal relationships to further the development of the ancient town. 

The _Oba_ of Iragbiji promised that justice would be done to whatever was the donation for the development of Iragbiji - 'Consolidating our frontiers,' the theme of this year's Iragbiji Day. He added that "it gladdens me, the annual event has made my people and our good friends socio-economic actors in the development and growth of my kingdom." The event had the clergy, Muslim and Christian pray for everyone, Iragbiji, governments, and the nation. While the natives of Iragbiji sketched the monarch as a rare gift to humanity, kind hearted who's willing at all times to share what he has with the less privileged. Others marked him out as courageous and hardworking.

Guesstimated, there were more youths, so overwhelming at the Iragbiji Day event, representative of the nation's youths as it were and that, by itself, defines the aptness of the planned enlistment of youths into "Coastal Guard."  Oyetola made the disclosure on the guard as accompaniment to the extant coastal security system. He made known his ministry's determined and serious shots at reinforcing security across the nation's waterways in Balyesa, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Ondo States to ensure providing a home for fish, improve water quality, provide valuable economic and ecological services for economic development, and guarantee human security as coastal areas are popular tourist destinations. He enjoined the youths, other Nigerians to increase support for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his people centric government and governance. 

Withal, the coastal guard is the Ministry of Blue and Maritime Economy's swivelling around its commitment to putting up perfect associates to the traditional maritime security. In specific terms, the young men and women as coastal guards may be required to perform maritime search for coastal touts and maritime rescue for fishermen in distress and vessels wrecked on or near coast; mount maritime law enforcement against smuggling operations; keep up maritime security and safety against hijacking, piracy and slavery known today as human trafficking; and  bring off maritime environmental protection  against maritime pollution, flooding, erosion and other territorial water threats. 

It's anticipated that the youths for the job would have to get fitted, uniformed, trained and oriented on maritime skills and meteorology. General competence would have need of skills in good verbal and written communication, concentration, interpersonal relationship, organizational, team work and project management. Hello, Nigerian youths, coastal guard should leverage you to be free from history of seizure disorder, chronic pain syndrome, recurrent syncope, pre-syncope or traumatic loss of consciousness. And such others. To qualify for the job.

The 2023 Iragbiji Day was not just a headlong, higgledy-piggledy, hit or miss outing. Or a celebration on the spur of imitation. Dr Thomas Olaleye Ogungbangbe, a shrewd business magnate, politician of no mean values and servant of the Most High after the Heart of God, who grew up in Iragbiji noted, "we do not have to mimic the ways of other communities around in fixing our own development process in Iragbiji. The Iragbiji Day we have just had is about  ourselves as the architect of the collective destiny we seek together as a community; and our unique preparations, sacrifices and efforts form the bedrock of our communal achievements made thus far."

The event as witnessed by the writer was one that was strategically planned on common and clear purpose in terms of relationships and trust, belongingness and influence, reputation and loyalty, and engagement and cooperation, with result and accountability in view. The planning carefully explored the efforts of the sons, daughters and friends of the town and achieved the outcome - about #200million was what guests including Oyetola's friends and associates donated. Really, the 2023 Iragbiji Day, with its excitement and glamour, had no dull moment; the scenery was beautiful and the reception was grand and guests' own, classy. And there were enough choice delicacies and drinks for everybody. 

 OLUSESI writes at the Foot of the Most Merciful. Most Gracious. All-knowing

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