By Adeyemi Sulaimon
In the face of government lack of responsiveness to their plight, residents of Olohunsogo/Ifelodun at Ifesowapo in Aboru under Agbado Oke Odo Local Council Development Area, have taken their destiny in their hands.
The infrastructure deficit in the area calls for urgent government attention as most of the roads that connect the streets within the communities are not motoroable. From Olumo, Olufunmilade, Fadeyemi, Olohunsogo, Temidire to Alabede streets the story is nothing to write home about.
But, after much appeal to the LCDA authorities without success, the residents decided to embark on palliative rehabilitation of the bad roads to make them a bit passable for motorcycles and cars in the communities.
The Chairman of Olohunsogo/Ifelodun Community Development Association, Mr Sekoni AbduRazak, told Community Standard in an interview that the communities could no longer wait for government’s assistance that was not forthcoming.
“Since year 2014 that we came on board, we had made several efforts on our communities. We wrote series of letters to both the state and local governments. Prior to the 2015 election, I brought the then Executive Secretary of the LCDA, Engineer Famuyiwa here to see the situation of things. When he saw the problems, he promised that if we vote for APC, our roads would be done within three to four months after the election.
“In fact, on that day we did a road work together with him around the communities so that he would see the extent of the decay. There was a woman whose child was swept away by the flooding in our area. Famuyiwa visited her and promised to do something for the family but up till now, he has done nothing.
“There was a time we wanted to construct a culvert at the entrance of Fadeyemi street, which connects Olumo, Olufunmilade, Iyiola Ololu and other adjoining streets, we contributed money, about N350,000 for the project. We took pictures of other efforts we had made, in addition to letters, and sent to the LCDA authorities, still nothing came from them.
“On this palliative effort too, I personally met the Executive Chairman, Augustine Arogun to assist us with laterite he said there was nothing on ground. When we realised the government was not ready to assist us, we had a CDA meeting and resolved that each house should contribute N25,000 each. We contributed the money ourselves to do the little we are doing now’ he said.
Despite this obvious neglect by the authorities, Mr Sekoni is still optimistic that a time would come that the government will remember his community.
“I know Governor Ambode is doing well but we want him to assist us here. We promise him our votes come 2019. He has done a lot no doubt.”
One thing that makes the effort smooth for Sekoni is his ability to carry his people along especially the youths. Community Standard witnessed how the youths were at the forefront of spreading the used bitumen on a portion of Fadeyemi street. Sekoni appreciated their contributions, and called on government to provide job opportunities for them.
“Our youths have been highly supportive. As you can see they are the ones spreading the bitumen. Whenever we have development issues such as electricity blackout they are the ones that mobilize themselves to call NEPA to fix it. We don’t give them money. Even, water we don’t give them.
“Most of them are graduates but are unemployed. So, we will appreciate a kind of empowerment program me for them,’ he said.
Oyekunle Olanrewaju Azeez is the Secretary of Olohunsogo/Ifesowapo Youth Forum. He said the current palliative effort was borne out of the need to assist the communities and make life comfortable for the people.
According to Azeez, popularly known as Keppazino, erosion has damaged most of the roads in the communities, thereby making them difficult for passage by vehicles.
“That’s why we keyed into this idea as championed by our chairman Mr Sekoni. Our youth forum is basically for the development of our communities. We have done Olumo, Olufunmilade and now we are doing Fadeyemi,” he said.
Although this effort may look infinitesimal, it will surely go a long way in ameliorating the sufferings of the residents at least until the government decides to look their side.