Ilogbo-Ekiti: Sniveling In Neglect and Reckless Abandonment – By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
In the words of Professor Omo Omoruyi, a former Director General of the National Centre for Democratic studies, “Any community deprived of good roads, power supply, pipe-borne water, health care delivery and affordable education, will be axed and carved, hewed, shredded and cleaved of social, economic and political progression. The aforementioned are very germane towards the economic advancement of every society.”
Pathetically, this above proclamation by the Benin, Edo State born Omoruyi seemed likened to the ordeals of Ilogbo-Ekiti, a countrified community in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti-State enmeshed in myriads of socio-political and economic maladies which had hitherto continued to heighten its state of Under-Development”.
Indeed, it should be told that Ilogbo is not a barren land, it is a town blessed with numerous Sons and Daughters who have reached the peak of their careers starting from the chronicle of the king of Ilogbo-Ekiti, Oba Edward Oluleka Ajayi is a doctorate degree (PhD) holder from the University of North London, United Kingdom. This category include the current Registrar of the Ekiti-State University, Ado-Ekiti (EKSU), Dr. Omojola Awosusi (Ph.D.); Prof. ‘Tola Olutoye, a former Provost, College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti; Dr. ‘Deji Fasuyi (PhD), an ICT expert and Senior Lecturer in EKSU; late Obagbade Bamisaye, a former Comptroller General, Nigerian Custom Service; Olufemi Aina, a top official of the Nigerian Custom Service; Justice Adesodun of the Ekiti-State High Court; Barrister ‘Tunji Orisalade, a Lawyer and incumbent Deputy Speaker of Ekiti-State House of Assembly; Prince kayode Jegede, Special Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti-State on Infrastructures Development and Public Utilities amongst many others.
Unfortunately, as I write, the young and old residents of the town are bawling and howling in the agony of cruel-neglect and abandonment of their community by government across all tiers.
THE DEVASTATING STATE OF ROADS IN ILOGBO EKITI: A DEATH TRAP
There are five lawful alleyways through which commuters from neighbouring town access Ilogbo-Ekiti. These pathways are interlinked with Osi-Ekiti, Ijurin-Ekiti, Usi-Ekiti, Ido-Ekiti and Ayegunle-Ekiti. Sadly enough, four of these routes are no longer motorable. The 3.5km Usi-Ilogbo Road project that was awarded by Segun Oni led PDP government of Ekiti-State has not been completed since May, 2008 till date. The contractor handling the road project stopped working even before Oni government was sacked by the Court of Appeal. Aside the fact that the quality of the road project is shamefully out of order, the completion rate has not reached 60% and no contractor is working on the road at the moment.
To many Ilogboans, Ilogbo-Ijurin road may have been erased from the map of Ekiti-State. Since, the road has never been tarred since it was constructed by the late Obafemi Awolowo led government of the old western region. The state of Ilogbo-Osi road is akin to that of Ijurin-Ilogbo road; both roads are so inoperably narrowed to the extent that Motorcyclists now find it difficult to commute.
That of Ido-Ilogbo road on its own is a fright. Erosion has declared the road a no go area for both Motorists and Cyclists. Without being hypocritical, a 2013 model Hummer Jeep with good shock absorber cannot dare drive through the route.
The boulevard roads in Ilogbo-Ekiti are the most atrocious. Roads intersecting Oju Oja – Ugbo-Eku-Okuta Edi-Ile Ogbomo-Odo-Ode-Aafin -Ipono Akobo -old Anglican road are not commutable as far as I am concerned. The path from Imeya to Adiatu crossroads in Temidire Street is more than what a sane mind should label a monstrosity, it is in a grisly form! The neglect of the road that links the community’s Health centre and Oke Ayo to Ayegunle-Ilogbo to Ido highway is the most pitiable, same as that which leads to the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Oke Ooye, Ilogbo-Ekiti from the new Anglican church junction, which has defaced the vehicles of many worshippers of the churches on the route.
Meanwhile, the road from Ijigbo Street to new Palace is not only horrendous but very appalling. The 200meters allocated to Ilogbo-Ekiti out of the 5kilometers access road being tarred in each local government by the Kayode Fayemi led administration of Ekiti State has not been completed 15 months it was awarded to a faceless contractor.
In actual fact, Oba Ajayi, the Owa of Ilogbo-Ekiti, if not stuck or wedged, can carve a book on the poor condition of the roads in his Jerusalem.
WHEN WILL WATER FLOW AGAIN IN THE DRY TAPS OF ILOGBO-
The 2012 United Nations report on third world countries made it known that, over 1million people die yearly in the world as a result of unhygienic water consumption. Nonetheless, this report may not be a source of concern to the poor people of Ilogbo-Ekiti because they are already addicted to the water being fetched from Ogidigbi, a stream in the town.
Ilogbo-Ekiti, with a distance of less than 12kilometers to Ero dam in Ikun-Ekiti no longer enjoys regular water supply. Water has stopped flowing in the many water-pipes in a community whose son, kayode Jegede, is the one saddled with the task of coordinating water and power supplies in Ekiti-State. Many public servants (mostly teachers) posted to Ilogbo-Ekiti have relocated to neighbouring towns as a result of social and infrastructure decadence in the community. In addition, a drive all through Ilogbo-Ekiti conurbation indicates that virtually all the public water points where the poor masses of the town fetches water have warped. The water points sited at the old Adiatu, Central Mosque, Aafin, Ijigbo, C.A.C., Odo-Ode, Usi road, etc. do not function again. The only available manual borehole located near Fasuyi house in Iyedi compound now functions anti-clockwise. The modern borehole at Imeya street in the town only dispenses water for just two weeks since it was advantageously erected in year 2006.
WHEN WILL ILOGBO STREET LIGHT POLES BEAM AGAIN?
The street light poles in Ilogbo-Ekiti last functioned in 1999. The good people of Ilogbo-Ekiti, like every other Nigerians, for many years have been paying for services they are not enjoying. Generating power plants have taken over the streets of courtesy of epileptic power supply.
ILOGBO MARKET CRUISED FROM GRANDEUR TO MEADOW!
The two markets in Ilogbo-Ekiti were adjudged as the most patronized in Ido/Osi in the 90’s; but gone are the days. The story of Ilogbo markets could be equated to the live of King Saul in the Holy bible. Saul, the first king of Israel, was demoted by God from a Titan to a non-grata for violating his order. The man prevalently known for his extravagancy later becomes someone that eats with ghosts in the mausoleum and catacomb. However, the only different between the history of Ilogbo market and that of King Saul is that, the market men and women of Ilogbo-Ekiti did not contravene any officially authorized tenet. Meanwhile, the regrettable feat of Ilogbo market from grandeur to meadow was largely impelled by the horrific condition of all the roads that leads to the town. As I write, bordering communities have stopped patronizing Ilogbo market as a result of bad road. The people of Ijurin-Ekiti no longer bring their tubers and local rice to Ilogbo to trade.
WAEC AND NECO SET TO DUMP I.H.S
The only secondary school in Ilogbo-Ekiti, Ilogbo High School, was donated by an age group,” Gbotoluwa” in the year 1974. Information on my radar has it that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) will in any moment from now, cancel its centre in IHS due to under-population. Many young lads from Ilogbo-Ekiti have chosen to be attending nearby town secondary schools rather than their own Ilogbo-High School. The state of Infrastructures in the school was before now a blot on the landscape. However, Ilogbo community is presently renovating the school assembly hall while Ekiti State Government is renovating about 3 classrooms and the staff room. Meanwhile, the school dining hall, Staff and principal quaters have all shrunken as they are now in moribund.
ALL HAILS ILOGBO EKITI AGE GROUPS!
History made it known that the major infrastructures and Public Institutions in Ilogbo-Ekiti namely; Primary Health Center, Post Office, Ilogbo-High School, Police Post, etc were all donated by age groups. The four Primary schools in Ilogbo-Ekiti were built by churches. The one and only civic centre in Ilogbo-Ekiti was built by an age group. The only institution built by government in Ilogbo-Ekiti i.e. the National Primary Health Centre situated along Usi-Ilogbo road does not have a single Doctor. The civic centre positioned along Aafin road which was awarded by Ido/Osi local government during the administration of a son of the soil, Thadeus Aina in year 2005 but was abandoned a year after. Confirmed Information on my radar has it that the project file has disappeared from Ido/Osi council secretariat. Several projects initiated by the government since 1999 swell transversely in Ilogbo-Ekiti uncompleted.
POLITICAL SLOGANEERING: WISHY-WASHY PROMISES!
Governors have come and gone in Ekiti-State without commissioning any meaningful project in Ilogbo-Ekiti. The former governor ‘Niyi Adebayo in 2002, explicitly promised to reconstruct Ilogbo roads but bowed out of office without laying any asphalt in the town. Ayo Fayose led government that was abruptly terminated via the conspiracy of Ekiti Assembly and some Federal figures in October 2006 also performed abysmally in Ilogbo-Ekiti. Segun Oni led government came with hope but failed to deliever. Oni governent awarded the 3.5 kilometers Usi-Ilogbo in May 2008 but failed to complete the project before being legally booted out of office in October 2010. Kayode Fayemi led government came with much prospect but yet to execute a magnificient project in Ilogbo-Ekiti.
Tractors were brought to Ilogbo-Ekiti prior to the February 2012 botched council poll; some drainages were excavated while few roads were graded apparently to cajole the gullible people of Ilogbo-Ekiti. The tractors were taken away a day after the election was stopped from being conducted by a Federal High court sitting in Ado-Ekiti.
IS ILOGBO-EKITI JINXED?
The above question was sometime ago asked from me by a United Kingdom based conscious daughter of Ilogbo-Ekiti. Well, I wouldn’t castigate the young lady for such vituperation; the present situation of Ilogbo-Ekiti can make one offend God. The mind-boggling state of infrastructures in Ilogbo-Ekiti can make anyone think in the direction of that lady; but to the court of public opinion, the drought of Ilogbo Descendants at the top government seats is the architect of many troubles militating against the community.
FAYEMI’S FEAT IN ILOGBO-EKITI
Ever since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, Ilogbo-Ekiti descendants have never had it so pleasurable in term of juicy appointments like the way they have been treated so far by Kayode Fayemi led government. ‘Tunji Orisalade, Deputy Speaker of Ekiti-State House of Assembly, Kayode Jegede, Special Adviser to Fayemi on Infrastructures and Public Utilities, Dele Omoleye, Senior Special Assistant to Deputy Governor, Modupe Adelabu on Political Affairs, and ‘Femi Bobade, a Board Member of the Ekiti-State Community Development Agency (A World Bank Project) all hails from Ilogbo-Ekiti. The incumbent secretary to Ido/Osi Local Government, Mrs Abiola Adeosun also hails from Ilogbo-Ekiti. However, how far have the aforementioned worked for the upliftment of their Jerusalem- Ilogbo-Ekiti? The degree of personalities, mostly government functionaries, that graced the 2011 and 2012 annual Ilogbo Day celebration had been attributed to the influence of Political Titans of Ilogbo-Ekiti origin appointed into various positions by Fayemi.
Meanwhile, these political figures till date have not been able to ensure that the 3.5 kilometers Usi-Ilogbo road awarded by the Segun Oni led government since year 2008 is completed three years after their Boss takes over the insignia of power in Ekiti. The social and infrastructures development attracted to Ilogbo-Ekiti will the yardstick which these public officials of Ilogbo-Ekiti origin will be measured after exit from office, not by the merry- making galore that pervades Ilogbo day celebration. As at the time of writing this piece, Fayemi and his lieutenants in Ilogbo have performed below expectation, and for the sake of record, I wish to remind Fayemi that he won only in Ilogbo-Ekiti in the entire Ido/Osi during the 2007 polls.
On a final note, let me seize this opportunity to inform all the current political gladiators in Ilogbo-Ekiti that history and posterity will never forgive them if Ilogbo-Ekiti is not fixed before Kayode Fayemi regime expire in October 2014. Meanwhile, Fayemi should note that the N2million he donated for the completion of the community’s palace is not the desire of Ilogbo people. We want him to sincerely compensate for the loyalty of Ilogbo Ekiti people towards him in becoming the governor of the state by assisting us in revolutionising Ilogbo-Ekiti with infrastructural development and necessary amenities. Fayemi and his associates in Ilogbo Ekiti should remember with nostalgia that every action of today becomes history tomorrow!
Adeleye, a Public Affairs Commentator and Son of Ilogbo-Ekiti, writes from Lagos, Nigeria. +2347039168005 email@example.com
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