Consequent upon the reported denouncement of Nigerian citizenship by residents of Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State, the proclamation has continued to generate mixed reactions from well-meaning indigenes of Kwara who insist they would not allow the aggrieved residents secede to the Republic of Benin.

One of the concerned indigenes, Dr. Bola Olaosebikan (OON) regretted that though everyone is aware of the pains of the residents who attributed their decision to long neglect of the local government in terms of basic infrastructures by the Kwara State government, “we shall not allow any part of Kwara to be lost because of neglect or any display of ethnicity”.

In his words, Dr. Bola Olaosebikan who spoke through his spokesman, Dele Aberuagba upheld the urgent need to share in the burden of Baruten residents, “We have one Kwara State, and so whatever affects any part of Kwara State is affecting the whole of Kwara State. We should desist from saying it is a problem for Kwara North, Kwara Central or Kwara South. In modern global thinking, a problem somewhere can become problem everywhere”. So the Baruten issue is a Kwara issue and it is time to take the matter up seriously. We must show empathy and not display of ethnicity”.

The populous gubernatorial candidate in the State, Dr. Olaosebikan however decried a number of unfortunate situations in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State that has made the people denounce their beloved Kwara State. While insisting that Baruten must not be allowed to go, Dr. Olaosebikan said though Baruten is a local government in Kwara State sharing border with the Benin Republic, but unfortunately, there is no road leading to the local government from Kwara State.

He has therefore promised to carry out a study of the issue of Baruten Local Govt Area under the auspices of his campaign team, OLASCO 2019. “Our members in Baruten would send reports and messages to us to help us make provisions for their needs. We shall carry out an infrastructural and economic potential study and from this and we shall produce a Strategic Master Plan for Development of Baruten and similar places in Kwara State. Baruten has enormous agricultural potentials that need to be explored”. 

With the fact finding team already constituted immediately after the denouncement, Dr. Olaosebikan assured the aggrieved residents that the OLASCO team will visit Baruten on a support mission that will restore the entity called Kwara.

It will be recalled that in a statement made available to journalists, Abdulrazaq O. Hamzat of “Kwara Must Change” accused Kwara politicians of deceiving residents of the local government with promises during electioneering campaigns.

He said since the creation of Kwara state over 51 years ago, no single meaningful project has been done in the local government by either state or federal government.

Hamzat said some members of Kwara Must Change residing in the local government confided in the group that they have since lost hope in the Kwara State government and have silently denounced their Kwara State citizenship due to absolute neglect.

According to him,”I am from Baruten local government, in Gwanara district specifically. We call ourselves citizens of Benin Republic because we are not sure if we are part of Kwara state. From Gwanara, we travel to Saki in Oyo state for medical treatments and some even die on the road while going. Others go to the Benin Republic for medical treatments too, because we really lack everything at Baruten especially Gwanara district’’.

He regretted that when going to Baruten, one has to travel a long distance to neighboring Oyo State before connecting back to Baruten Local Government. However, apart from Oyo State, one can as well travel to the Benin Republic and come in through the other axis.

Although Nigeria’s border road to Benin Republic located in Gwanara district of Baruten Local Government is stinkingly terrible, notwithstanding, one can still use it at grave discomfort.

It is important to note that, the Kwara State governor, Senator representing Kwara North and other office holders often go to Baruten during electioneering campaigns. When they go there, they make all sorts of promises, but after getting into office, they forget the people.



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