Oke-Ogun Community Development Network (OCDN)
This is the network that was set up in Oyo State to continue the work of the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale. The commitee was originally called Oke-Ogun Community Development Agenda 2000 Plus - which is what Peter had called his project in Oke-Ogun. Later this name was simplified to Oke-Ogun Community Development Network.
Background to the Project
Peter Adetunji Oyawale (known in the UK as Peter, and to his famly as Tunji) was an IT professional and visionary. He was an amazing and determined man who had gained an education against tremendous odds. His father is an illiterate peasant farmer. Most of Peter's peer group are also illiterate and grew up, if they survived to adulthood, to toil in the fields.
Peter originally came to the UK when he was serving in the Nigerian navy, as part of his communications training. Later he settled in London where he married Agnita Sternheim. They set up the Commitee for African Welfare and Development and, through that, laid the foundations for an ambitious and imaginative community development programme.
From London, through his contacts in Nigeria, Peter did the goundwork for his pilot project, which was to take place in his home region of Oke-Ogun. He returned to NIgeria in 2000 to launch Oke-Ogun Communty Development Agenda 2000 Plus.
Everything seemed to be going well, but tragically he never returned to his wife and young family in the UK. The day before he was due to come back he died, in mysterious circumstances. There are many conflicting versions of what happened. The official version is that he was the victim of an armed robbery - simply in the wrong place at the worng time. There is agreement that he was shot, and died very quickly. Local belief is that he knew and recognised the person who killed him. The computers and most of the other items of equipment he had taken out to Nigeria to set up the project were never recovered.
During David's time as project manager a Community Information Centre was set up. The Information Centre at Ago-Are provided a number of services on-site and in the surrounding community. Two smaller centres were equipped, in Okeho and Isseyin, shortly before David left.
What Happened Next
Once OCDN had formed Pamela helped at a distance and during working holidays in Nigeria. This created the first high trust relationships which are now a key characteristic of Dadamac. Involvement with OCDN taught her about Nigeria, development, cross-cultural issues, Internet enabled collaboration, and much more.
The OCDN team linked up with Fantsuam Foundation, which led to the collaboration with John Dada on Teachers Talking and the formation of Dadamac. Close links continue between Dadamac and various people now involved with the continuation of Peter's work in Oke-Ogun.
Connection with Dadamac
This project pre-dates Pamela and John working together as Dadamac. Pamela was a friend of Agnita and Peter Oyawale and had gradually got involved with CAWD (the Committee for African Welfare and Development) and the Oke-Ogun project. She represented Peter’s widow, Agnita, at Peter's funeral in Ago-Are in February 2001, because Agnita had to stay in the UK to care for their young family, and there were also concerns for her safety related to rumours surrounding Peter's death.
At the funeral Pamela was asked to ensure the continuation of Peter's work. She kept in contact with various people after the funeral. Information was exchanged by email and surface mail (to the cities only), through contacts travelling between UK and Nigeria, and now and again through official courier services. Pamela sent letters and printed information - from shiny DFID publications to printouts of websites and online discussions. She received letters and, later on, video recordings of local meetings.
After six months of communication Chief Gbade Adejumo emailed Pamela saying that he, Mr Adetola (later Chief Adetola), and Chief Michael Mojoyinola had formed a committee to take Peter's work forward.
Peter’s uncle, Mr. Timothy Oyawale, was invited to join the committee and agreed to do so.
To Pamela's surprise she found that, because she knew Peter's vision well, she was being consulted about the decisions that the committee was taking and the future direction of its work. She was able to do online research and face to face meetings with people in the UK to try and take the work forward. As a result she found about about VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas and was able to support the committee in making an application for a volunteer. In July 2002 VSO volunteer David Mutua, from Kenya, joined the OCDN team as project manager. She continued working with OCDN and with David throughout his time in Nigeria.