By Wale Abydeen/LAGOS
The traditional ruler of Badagry land in Nigeria, His Majesty, De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi l, the Akran of Badagry kingdom has thrown his weight behind the monumental medical city project of State of African Diaspora, SOAD.
The Monarch in a letter to the Prime Minister of SOAD, Dr. Louis-Georges Tin expressed his full support to the SOAD initiative to build a Medical City in the Kingdom.
“We have the land to accommodate the proposed projects, and our support and cooperation to the realisation of these projects will be unflinching”
Security Monitor gathers that SOAD had signed a cooperation agreement with Medicus International few weeks ago to create five Medical Cities in Africa. It was also learnt that SOAD has confirmed that Badagry as one of the site for the project.
The choice of Badagry is hinged on its geographical advantage. Badagry is ideally situated at the gateway to West African countries along the coastline, close to Benin, Togo and Ghana ; and Lagos State in which Badagry is territorially situated has over 20 million population and stands today as the fifth largest economy in Africa with GDP higher than that of many African countries including Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia etc. These statistics illuminates the fact that the choice of Badagry for the smart city and the medical city projects is indeed divine.
From a historical point of view, Badagry is one of the major places of memory of the Universal History: Like Cape Coast in Ghana, Gorée Island in Senegal, Ouidah in Benin or Bimbia in Cameroon, it is one of the major places where African people were deported from.
The Prime Minister of SOAD, Dr. Louis-Georges Tin said that “to build a Medical City in Badagry goes beyond any kind of business. It is, in fact, a tribute to all the African men and women who successfully fought against slavery, but also to all the unfortunate ones who were captured and deported from this port. In that sense, our project in Badagry is an act of reparation or, should I say, of self-reparation”
Otunba Dele Ajayi-Smith, an Ambassador of SOAD, who has done a great job towards the realisation of SOAD mandates noted that “this initiative will repair the pains inflicted on the Ancestors and open the doors for the Afro-descendants to return to their fatherland to promote development, peace and bring unprecedented blessings to the entire Africa”.
The SOAD Ambassador who also doubled as Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, CEO of SOAD new company, SOAD Smart City Nigeria Limited added that that the company has since been incorporated in Nigeria.
According to Otunba Ajayi-Smith, the project is estimated to cost €3.5 Billion. He added that the project should be completed within five years.
Mr Olujoba Akinpelu, SOAD Financial Director maintained that the scars of that vestige have remained indelible in our minds, despite the abolition of the moral evil that slavery represents. However, this project will meet fulfillment, because a man does not put his hands on the plow and then look back.
Dr. Babatunde Olaide-Mesewaku, Vice Chairman of the SOAD Smart City Nigeria Limited harps on the cooperation of Nigeria and its government for the realization of SOAD dreams. Dr. Olaide-Mesewaku who recently retired as Permanent Secretary from the Lagos State was optimistic that SOAD will enjoy the support of all stakeholders in Nigeria as the numerous benefits of such project will be for all Nigerians and Africa at large.