UK-Based Techpreneur, Popoola, Makes Case for Siting of Proposed Federal College of Education in Gbongan

By Eric Elezuo
A native of Gbongan, Osun State, and prolific techpreneur, Mr. Joel Oyeyinka Popoola, has lent his voice to the call for the Federal Government to site one the six proposed Federal Colleges of Education in Gbongan community, Osun State.
Mr. Popoola, who is the Founder of Rate Your Leader app, a digital democracy project, said that considering the mouth watering incentives that Gbongan has to offer among other communities in Osun state, it would only be fair if the government considers it first among any other.

Popoola spoke in the light of the Federal Government’s decision to establish six new federal colleges of education in each of the six geo-political areas in the country to compliment the 22 already existing ones. This the government said is intended to increase the number of quality teachers in the country.

According to the public relations officer of National Commission for Colleges of Education, Mr Ameh Isaac, the newly approved institutions would be situated in Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Osun, Sokoto, and Edo states, where there were no presence of Federal Colleges of Education.

The Rate Your Leader Founder, who lives in London, from where he has concluded to launch the wave making app in Nigeria later in February, echoed his traditional ruler’s stand on the need to site the institution in Gbongan.

During a press conference in Gbongan City Hall on January 15, 2020, the paramount ruler of Gbongan kingdom,

HRM Oba Dr. Adetoyese Oyeniyi (Ph.D), the Odugbemi I and Olufi of Gbonganland, craved the indulgence of both the federal government and Osun State government to consider the very peaceful, progressive, dynamic and cohesive attributes of the town as well as its population of politically-conscious, well organised, hospitable, accommodating, socially responsible, peace-loving, highly enlightened and educationally advanced citizens to grant the town the privilege to be a host community.
In his words, Oba Oyeniyi described Gbongan Community as blessed and the most strategically suitable location for the Federal Institution based on merit and due consideration for even development.
The paramount ruler itemised the literacy of its population, available land mass of 950-acres with perimeter survey, security and orderliness as well as tolerance among its people.
“Gbongan is a very peaceful, progressive, dynamic and cohesive town which is inhabited by politically-conscious, well organised, hospitable, accommodating, socially responsible, peace-loving, highly enlightened and educationally advanced citizens.
The citizens believe in honesty of purpose, selflessness, forthrightness, diligence, visionary leadership and progressive ideologies which are treasurable values and legacies inherited from our fore-fathers,” Oba Oyeniyi said.
He further noted that most communities clamouring to host the new institution already have more than enough in their localities, saying it could only be equity if Gbongan is given the mandate to host the institution.
Hear Him: “It is the belief of the community that education should be taken as one major industry that can liberate the community from the shackles of poverty, hence every family strives to invest in the education of its children and leaves no stone unturned towards achieving this laudable goal.
Education is considered as a major legacy that is worthy of being bequeathed to incoming generations.  It remains the best asset of Gbongan community, as there is no family in Gbongan that cannot boast of being blessed with graduates and post graduate offsprings.
It is not a coincidence therefore that the incumbent Olufi of Gbonganland is an academic (an Agronomist), who is also married to an educationist- a Ph.D holder in Education, succeeding an Associate Professor in the Department of History of the University of Ibadan, the Late Oba Dr. Solomon Oyewole Babayemi.
The community prides itself with the hundreds of academics (Professors and Doctorate Degree holders) that God has been gracious to bless it with.  These academic giants of repute currently serve in various Federal, State and Private Universities within and outside Nigeria.
The community is also blessed with consummate professionals like Pharmacists, Pharmacologists, Lawyers, Legal luminaries and Jurists, like the Hon. Justice Bolarinwa Babalakin JSC (Retd) MON, CON, Renowned Accountants, Reputable Estate Surveyors, Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Builders, Bankers, Financial Analysts, Astute Investors, Information Technologists,  Computer gurus, Engineers, Medical Doctors and Para-medics, Teachers, Pilots, Military and Para-military subjects, Security experts, Seasoned Administrators, Educationists, Journalists, Actors, Business magnates, Career Civil Servants, School Proprietors, Clerics, Hoteliers, Saw-millers, Produce Merchants. The list is inexhaustive.
All these in their hundreds are creating waves across the globe, as they also contribute meaningfully to national development, while carving a niche for themselves in the temple of fame.
It is the fervent belief of Gbongan citizens that with the support and in collaboration with the resourceful politicians in our midst, national development can be propelled and government policies influenced positively towards a paradigm shift that focuses on the building of synergies and networking for the achievement of corporate goals, through the constructive engagement/prudent application of resources.
Apart from the vast land space available for developmental objectives, the town is blessed with a number of existing educational facilities (Secondary and Technical Schools) that are readily convertible on temporary basis, while the permanent site for a Federal College of Education is being developed subject to availability of resources.”
Oba Oyeniyi highlighted that Gbongan has suffered serious deprivations as a largely marginalized community despite its contributions to electoral victories in Osun State, adding that in the interest of fairness, equity and even development in Osun State those concerned should kindly consider the “current exigencies that best place Gbongan in Ayedaade Local Government in a vantage position for the location of the approved FEDERAL COLLEGE OF EDUCATION in GBONGAN.”
Popoola’s Rate Your Leader app is a democracy incentive, which allows the elected and the elector to have a stress-free direct communication devoid of abusive languages.

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