Rejoinder: Who Will Save Awo's Agro-economic Legacies From Total Destruction?

By Prof Bisi Ogunfowora

For the information of Mr Kotoye and other agents of rent seekers like him, it is important to emphasize that I have never been a business man all my life. I did not, at any time, bid for the management of Apoje farms; neither do I have any subsisting case on Apoje in any court of competent jurisdiction anywhere in the country. I am also not a politician; neither am I a card carrying member of any of the political parties. But, I am, like hundreds of others, a proud beneficiary of Awo’s agro-economic legacies, being a recipient of Cocoa Marketing Board scholarship (1958-1962). And, as a lecturer in UI (1967-87), I used these projects as the laboratories for research and practical exercises in Production Economics and Agri-business. Also, as the Agricultural Analyst (1975-1977) in EPPU, I led the team of Analysts that developed commercialization plans for all the large scale agricultural projects in the Region. This was with a view to maximizing the multiplier effects of these plantations on the economy of the Region
Contrary to Mr Kotoye’s assertion, my intervention is patriotic and in sympathy with the poor, jobless and traumatized majority who has been at the receiving end of poor governance in Nigeria. My goal is to contribute to the emancipation of disenchanted youths and vulnerable class in the host communities from agonizing joblessness, poverty, hunger and socio-economic deprivation.

I am not frustrated but disenchanted. And my disenchantment is with the ruling class that promoted a system that permitted progressive destruction of all agro-economic projects that our forefathers labored very hard to build; a system that encouraged destructive exploitation of Apoje for 7years under a lease arrangement that generated only N270,000 for Government; a system that approved a concession arrangement based on a reactivation blue-print of doubtful technical feasibility, managerial capacity and financial viability; a system that rendered Apoje plantation the most technologically backward and unproductive in the history of plantation management in Ogun State

Nobody should blame the distinguished Commissioners for resisting, with dignity, exemplary courage and self assurance, all attempts by some legal counsels of the Concessionaires to use intimidation and legal technicalities to abort the public hearing on Apoje lease and concession
- Prof Bisi Ogunfowora

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As an independent witness at

As an independent witness at the justice akinyemi commission, I was sad about ugly revelations regarding the looting of the peoples properties and assets for many years by various companies at the instance of the OGD government. The peak of such revelations, was the fleecing away of over N300m of unpaid royalties due to Ogun state government by a traditional ruler in Ijebu land. Prof. Ogunfowora's life was threatened at a point of his bid to single handedly and intellectually recover Apoje farms from the hands of these looters and oppressors who felt being stung by a 'lone bee'. There is no wonder why every means is being used to have their own back on him by fronts.I'm appealing to Prof Ogunfowora who is a world renowned agro economist and a rare asset to the country to stop wasting his precious time with people who have neither honour nor dignity.

I v just read Dr. Odenusi n

I v just read Dr. Odenusi n Prof Ogunfowora's response to my reply. I challenge them to make public the unedited version of the proceeding of the commission. At least it was recorded on a daily basis. I also challenge them to make public all the memo they submitd so that members of the public can make an informed judgement. Saharareporter, kindly conduct your independent investigation on this issue. I will not submit to any blackmail of whatever form. I demand from the administrators of this forum to create a platform between me and these two gentlemen. It is only when the public have full disclosure that we all can see who is telling the truth. It is gratifying to note that none of them has responded to any of my claims but have only resorted to cheap blackmail and propaganda.

Who will Save Awo's Agro-economic Legacies from Destruction

Mr. Kotoye's claims so far on the concession arrangement of Apoje Farms to Egja Meceng Nigeria Limited and Egja Miramar by Daniel's Administration have not been been well argued by Barr. Kotoye. The truth has not been explained to him by his clients; that the concession and management agreement has been nothing but a political patronage to raise money for the PDP party at the detriment of jobless community youths. Kotoye should borrow a leaf from Late Fawehinmi on how to defend the populace from oppression and creating vaccum from governance. Your argument on Prof Bisi Ogunfowora article is baseless. It should have help you to see the future progress for agricultural infrastructural improvement for the Ijebu Community, and not destruction, and carting away millions of Govt money unreceipted. Be smart enough, and stop arging blindly Mr. Kotoye.

Who will Save Awo's Agro-economic Legacies from Destruction

Mr. Kotoye's claims so far on the concession arrangement of Apoje Farms to Egja Meceng Nigeria Limited and Egja Miramar by Daniel's Administration have not been been well argued by Barr. Kotoye. The truth has not been explained to him by his clients; that the concession and management agreement has been nothing but a political patronage to raise money for the PDP party at the detriment of jobless community youths. Kotoye should borrow a leaf from Late Fawehinmi on how to defend the populace from oppression and creating vaccum from governance. Your argument on Prof Bisi Ogunfowora article is baseless. It should have help you to see the future progress for agricultural infrastructural improvement for the Ijebu Community, and not destruction, and carting away millions of Govt money unreceipted. Be smart enough, and stop arging blindly Mr. Kotoye.

Reply to Kotoye (4) and Final reply

Similarly, the memo I presented on behalf of our community at a tripartite meeting held in OGD's house at Shagamu on the 22nd of October 2010, proved statistically and scientifically that the conceptualisation and the implementation of Apoje lease and concession was faulty and lacked integrity, and could not therefore be in the best interest of government and the host community. Hence, the granting of 15% equity participation and two Directors positions presumably to appease the community and as the Core Investors’ social responsibility to our community, a gesture, which without an MOU, had remained in legal vacuum till now.

Reply to Kotoye (3)

Those who were present at the public hearing on Apoje lease and concession inquiry cannot but agree with the conclusions and recommendations of the learned Commissioners. My memo and supporting video clips on the status of Apoje post 7 year lease and one year concession; the conflicting submissions of Gateway Holdings and ADC; and the contradictory evidence and responses of both the Concessionaires and their lawyers to questions, all showed clearly that Apoje lease and concession not only lacked integrity but was also in deficit in technical, managerial and financial capacities

Reply to Kotoye (2)

I will definitely not leave my happy and contented retirement life for any rent seeking venture, no matter how lucrative. It is however unfortunate that the likes of Kotoye and his paymasters had turned our beautiful dreams on agricultural transformation in Ogun State info nightmares. Hence the strident and patriotic call for Governor Amosun to fix it. Again time will tell. Again, contrary to the assertion of Mr Kotoye, I never refused to meet with Adele. Rather, I was present and served as the anchor man for our community at 3 crucial meetings with Adele following the meeting with OGD; the first at Rolatex Hotel, the second at Ogudu GRA and the third at Senator Durojaiye's house. Prof Ogunye chaired all the meetings.

Reply to Kotoye

I am in sympathy with Mr Kotoye and his employers for the loss of Apoje, which had served them as a dependable gravy train and instrument of rent seeking for over 8 years. Mr Kotoye should re-read my article for a better understanding of its message and stop using disinformation and wrong assertions as instrument of malicious attack and blackmail. As far back as 21st of September 2007, the Congress of Ijebu Igbo Community (CIC) and Ijebu Igbo Community Development Association (ICDA), the two organisations, which represent the epicentre of development promotion, community mobilization and socio-economic engineering, began negotiation with the government of OGD on the reactivation of Apoje. As the Chairman of Apoje Reactivation Committee, I was and I am still acting on the mandate of these organisations and only in the interest of our community.

Reply to Kotoye

I am in sympathy with Mr Kotoye and his employers for the loss of Apoje, which had served them as a dependable gravy train and instrument of rent seeking for over 8 years. Mr Kotoye should re-read my article for a better understanding of its message and stop using disinformation and wrong assertions as instrument of malicious attack and blackmail. As far back as 21st of September 2007, the Congress of Ijebu Igbo Community (CIC) and Ijebu Igbo Community Development Association (ICDA), the two organisations, which represent the epicentre of development promotion, community mobilization and socio-economic engineering, began negotiation with the government of OGD on the reactivation of Apoje. As the Chairman of Apoje Reactivation Committee, I was and I am still acting on the mandate of these organisations and only in the interest of our community.

I am in sympathy with Mr

I am in sympathy with Mr Kotoye and his employers for the loss of Apoje, which had served them as a dependable gravy train and instrument of rent seeking for over 8 years. Mr Kotoye should re-read my article for a better understanding of its message and stop using disinformation and wrong assertions as instrument of malicious attack and blackmail. As far back as 21st of September 2007, the Congress of Ijebu Igbo Community (CIC) and Ijebu Igbo Community Development Association (ICDA), the two organisations, which represent the epicentre of development promotion, community mobilization and socio-economic engineering, began negotiation with the government of OGD on the reactivation of Apoje. As the Chairman of Apoje Reactivation Committee, I was and I am still acting on the mandate of these organisations and only in the interest of our community.

Furthermore, I'l adise you to

Furthermore, I'l adise you to kindly concentrate on your research and teaching than attemptg to join the "rent seeking" crowd as your interventn in Apoje and other Farms seek to do.

Prof readg tru ur comnt mk me

Prof readg tru ur comnt mk me laf n shd tears @ d sam tim I lafd b'cos of d ease u dodgd d questns I put in my coment to wit d capacty n intgrty of dose who won d bids 4 d two farms mentnd in ur article n d openes of d proces I shd tears 4 our ivory tower dat stil harbr pple lke u who hide 2 expand deir personl interst @ a meetg convend by OGD wit Prof Ogunye Adele n rep of d cocoa farmers OGD postn is dat Adele shld acomodate d I/igbo comunity Adele agrd n askd 4 a meetg wit d farmers U bluntly refsd any meetg wit him flared up n threatnd 2 turn it into anoder N/Delta if OGD does not acede 2 ur selfish demand Whse intrst were u proectg thn? u dnied ever bn a party 2 any suit In Suit No.HCB/01/12 d cocoa farmrs sued d same state govt in a rep capacity on behalf of Apoje Comunity In d papers dey fild, dey listd u as a membr of d asociatn In d memo dey submitd b4 Akinyemi's comisn @ pg 3, para 4, they wrote thus "comunity comitee was set up under d Chairmanship of Prof. Bisi Ogunfowora"