By Láí Onipede
Yes, I was in Ìgbájo between January 23rd and 25th,2020 for the burial ceremony of Mama Dns Láawájú Fáminú. I was at her Ile-Olorin residence with the BOT, IDA members for her wake and burial rites on Friday. We are aware that the road from the Ìlórò main market down to Ile Olórin side of Òkè Ojà was tarred by the Government of Òsun State but nobody was aware of the kind of work going on from Olugboka, in Ìgbájo to Èdèmòsí, a road that had been long abandoned since early 70s.
Those of us who grew up in Ìgbájo in the early 70s would remember that for the first time, construction work was commenced on the Ìgbájo-Èdèmòsí by either BITS or POAT Construction Company or the Ministry of Works in then Oyo State. I personally can’t remember the particular Company that did the work. It was later abandoned because the government of that time could not finance or face such a road handicapped by hills and impenetrable rocks.
I remember as a local boy we used to go and spend hours to watch for the first time how these heavy machines called Bulldozers were able to bring such hills down and blast the rocks on the roads.
Our joy of having another good road from Ìgbájo to Èdèmòsí leading to Koro-Ekiti by the side of Ila-Orangun to Otun-Ekiti in Èkìtì State or through Ekanmeje/Ilale to Omu-Aran in Kwara State.
Its construction would have helped the town out of its being a landlocked town to become more easily accessible by indigenes and visitors.
Instead, the construction was completely abandoned.
Around March this year, an Ìgbájo journalist named Rasheed Rasheed, formerly working with Television Continental (TVC) News but now based in US, wrote and published pictures of the on-going construction works the road.
I thought he was given wrong information concerning the road since he is not in the Country to write as an eye witness.
I then decided to take up the assignment and see things with my two eyes as the saying goes “seeing is believing”.
I was to be in Ìgbájo between April 30th and May 2nd but the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown thwarted my plans.
Since then I have been looking for an available opportunity to visit my town and thus have a first-hand experience of the said construction works along the road.
Fortunately, the opportunity came on Wednesday 24th of June,2020 when I traveled from Òsogbo through Iresi and navigated through Aba Faniyan, Aragba, Irepodun, the town where our Ajoda LCDA headquarters was located and until I got to Èdèmòsí where I was able to confirm the on-going construction works.
I turned back towards Ìgbájo to cover the villages under Ìgbájo such as Oke-Osun,Irepodun, and Araromi-Edi and able to inspect physically the heavy construction works on the road.
To my surprise, the Contractors handling the road had completed bridges, decks and culverts across most of the rivers along the road; they also had completed associated shoulders.
The covering of the road with asphalts has started from Ìgbájo heading towards Èdèmòsí but surprisingly not many of our people are aware of the project.
I took time to inquire from a few people in Ìgbájo more details about the road.
I was then directed to Prince Adegboyega Famodun our man who is currently the Chairman of APC. I then proceeded to Òsogbo to meet the Prince.
I want to thank my Àbúrò Victor Fatoki, the P.A to the Chairman, he was the one who facilitated my seeing the Prince on time.
I want to also appreciate the OMO ONILU HIMSELF for granting me so many hours to “lecture” me on the importance and benefits of having that axis of the road opened up.
He mentioned those families at Ìgbájo whose ancestral farmlands are in Èdèmòsí such as Ile-Àrí, Ile Balógun, and other families (Lowaikan, Olori Alulu, Odofin Ikan and others) whose farmlands are along the landlocked areas even as far as Ila Òràngún and Òyán sides.
“Lai, we always concern ourselves with Ìgbájo-Ada road at the detriment of this important road”, the Prince said.
He went further that “any government in power must see to Ìgbájo-Ada road which I am sure the government of Governor Oyetola will do”.
He continued, “If not for the silent efforts that we have been making for over two years to bring this World Bank project to this road under RURAL ASSISTANCE MOBILIZATION PROJECT (RAMP), no government would ever think of financing such a hilly and rocky road”.
He didn’t stop there, “to me I saw it as a way of opening up the town in another direction towards Èkìtì and Kwara States. And for those who have farmlands along the axis, it is a big achievement for us in Igbajo though we are doing it silently for now”.
The Prince continued, “Let me tell you, the presence and siting of our Community Polytechnic along Ìgbájo-Imesi Ile road has opened up that area to massive development as people are now moving to that area to build hostels accommodation etc along the road. In a similar vein, the construction of Ìgbájo-Èdèmòsí road will facilitate another development to our town along that axis too. We must make efforts to have effective control of all our lands along that side too. Having good road along Ìgbájo/Èdèmòsí will help us and will encourage those who may want to embark on big-time farming and other investment ventures along that axis would be able to it conveniently”, the Chairman concluded.
One may wonder why I need to go thus far.
Those who are familiar with my write-ups on the town will attest to the fact that I have written much to call our people in government to make sure they facilitate developments to the town.
It then behooves on me to report the efforts being made by this patriotic politician and Prince of the land Prince Adegboyega Famodun who has used his influence to bring development to the town.
I wish the government a speedy completion of the road and immediate commencement of Igbajo-Ada road.
In Ìgbájo, what we love to do best is self-help.
We have done it in the past; we are still doing it now.
We as a people do not always wait for government efforts only.
We assist the Government to develop our community for the benefits of the Government and our people too.
We wish our leaders in governments to do all within their purview to help in the development of the town and to support one another towards such lofty drives.
To our OMO ONÍLÙÚ TÍ KÌÍ FÉ KÓ TÚ, OMO-OBA ADÉGBÓYÈGA FAMÒÓDÙNÙN, I wish you more grease and grace to do more successful exploits in Jesus name!