The Orange Family Initiative, non-governmental, non-profit and independent organization put together by Ondo State indigenes in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, to propagate and encourage socio-political and economic development as well as good governance was launched Friday last week at the Sunview Hotel Hall, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The event was attended by well-meaning Ondo State indigenes who share in the vision of building a State that will be a model to other States in the nation.
Our mandate is to protect the core values of the State and sustain the unprecedented trend of development in the Sunshine State.
Since the Orange Family Initiative made an appearance in the public space, precisely in the media last month, the political climate has not been the same. The avalanche of calls and e-mails from well-meaning citizens and friends of Ondo State within and outside the country, the heavy traffic of people struggling to download membership forms on our website and the multitude of personal visits and requests by well-meaning citizens to join the OFI have made it clear that we have taken the right step in the direction of genuine progress and development.
These multitude of responses is a testament not only to the desire of the people to have a sustainable developmental progress, it is also proof that the Ondo State people are yearning for continuous rise to the enviable position in the comity of states. It also underscores the fact that OFI is an organization whose time has come, and whose orientation approach is issue driven.
But in a polity ravaged by poverty and ignorance, there is no doubt that naysayers could easily sway public opinion with bogus claims and promises they can never fulfill, just to take over the resources of Ondo State. With this, they can go to any length to supplant the will of the people and we must be vigilant as stakeholders to educate our people on our core values as a people.
This is the void that the OFI has come to fill, by enlightening the people, to stoutly defend the power that rightly belongs to them; to let them see that as far as Sunshine State Politics is concerned, power belongs to We the People of Ondo State; to let them see the need to protect their common till and chase the hawks away.
As the Director-General of the Orange Family Initiative, Dr. Lanre Adeleye, rightly observes, “We live in a polity in which people who are comfortable with old ways of doing things sell stereotypes to unsuspecting members of the public. These naysayers easily sway public opinion. And we are resolved as a group to let the people know that the grass is greener on the other side.
“Our duty as a progress-minded group is to stand in the gap, show the people the light and rescue the people from the claws of political hyenas.”
We have watched the pendulum of governance in the last three years swing in the direction of sustainable people-oriented development, and we are resolved to drum massive support for the achievement of a second term for the incumbent Governor of the State so that the good work he started can continue.
What Ondo State is witnessing now is a watershed in the history of governance in the country. For the first time in this nation, the people are not only provided with basic needs, they are also involved in the determination of such needs. This is a novel development flowing from the Sunshine State, the cradle of progressive politics, and other states are already taking cue from it.
There is a need to guard this novel initiative jealously and rescue the state from the selfish tendencies of elements who are collaborating with external forces that will only benefit them and their cronies at the expense of the good people of Ondo State.
To achieve this novel initiative, OFI will be at the state’s local government and ward levels to drum support for the achievement of a sustainable, people-oriented governance. We have the capacity and we owe it a duty to determine our leaders. We therefore enjoin all well meaning indigene of Ondo State within and outside the country to stand up and be counted in the struggle against the external forces who are bent on destabilizing our stable polity and progress recorded in the past few years.
If other states are borrowing from us already, it is evident that we are getting it right. We therefore cannot afford to change a winning team.