Monday, May 11, 2020 will remain an indelible day in the lives of resident of Idi-Ogede community. Made up of eight communities, which cuts across both Ilorin West and Ilorin South Local Government Areas, residents of the community woke up to see Hillux vehicles bringing in materials for the reconstruction of the drainages for erosion control.
Located between the ever-busy Offa Garage Area to the North, and the popular Ganmo market to the South, the bustling commercial activities in this communities also lends credence to its location. But the perennial erosion problems faced by residents had become a nagging pain in their hearts.
In the words of the Magaji Idi-Ogede, Alhaji SaliuAbdulkareem, “the people are already heaving a sigh of relief seeing materials coming to site and workers working. This action of Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazaq has further endeared him to us as a man of his words.
“Few weeks ago we were already becoming agitated seeing that the rains had started and our people were already becoming restless but Alhamudulilah we are witnessing the manifestations of the Governor’s promise.”
Shedding more light on why the erosion was becoming life threatening, the Magaji disclosed that, “The contractor that constructed the Offa Garage-Olunlade-Ganmo road diverted all the erosion into the community.”
Also commending the governor, the chairman of Idi-Ogede Household Community Development Association, Dr Ridwan Ibrahim Olagunju noted that “we quite understand that there is a lot fighting for attention of the government and we are most grateful to the governor for honouring his words to us.”
He lamented that the economic damage the flood does to the people necessitated that agitations. “Whenever it rains, most houses in this community are over flooded such that people cannot sleep conveniently. You can imagine a landlord/lady begging a neighbour for a place to sleep just because his/her house is flooded, it is as bad as that.
“At individual levels, now that the rain is here, you would see that the drainages at both sides of the road is being cleared. Money was contributed, and you can imagine, especially at this period. We are still putting heads together to ensure that even if it’s the drainage alone that we can clear, we will do it.”
He stressed that, “The people of Idi-Ogede are peace loving people who have been enduring for a very long time, and I must commend them.”
Dr. Olagunju who is also a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin disclosed that the problem has been on for a very long time. “I joined this community about five years ago, but even when I came, I met the issue on ground. It’s our major area of worry. And there is no time we have left any stone unturned. We visited Ministries, wrote letters, had peaceful demonstration to drive home our points and all.
“The last peaceful demonstration which led to the Governor’s visit held in November. The Governor was hinted and he came here the same day. He promised that action will follow and today we are seeing the result of that promise. Sincerely, the governor has truly surprised us.”
Also speaking, the Secretary, Idi-Ogede Household Community Development Association, Alhaji Raufu Oyeyemi Oyewumi assured that once completed the project would further improve commercial activities of residents of the community.
On other challenges faced by the community, the Magaji, Alhaji Abdulkareem, disclosed that apart from the menace of the erosion and road overrun by gully, the community wants government to improve on the electricity supply to the area.
“The transformer serving this part of the community is on 11KVA, and is now weak. Idi-Ogede is a huge commercial centre, and is also very close to the popular Ganmo Market. Idi-Ogede is made up of eight communities. Three of the communities falls on the side of Ilorin West, and five to Ilorin South.
“The community also lacks pipe borne water, and no single borehole was drilled in this community by either the local or state government. The few boreholes we have are dug by individuals.”
The chairman of the community who agreed with Magaji explained that lack of portable water and power supply are the challenges faced by members of the community. “This is why we are calling on Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to come to our aid,” he said.
Efforts to get the reactions of the Commissioner of Works proved abortive but reacting in a telephone conversation with The Herald, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, urged residents of the state to continue to exercise patience with the present administration in the state.
“When we have a government committed to the welfare of the people the best thing for us is to cooperate and exercise patience so that we don’t derail the focus of government. I can assure you that, despite the meagre resources, this governor will always put the welfare of all Kwarans first.
“The government has a lot of things in its hands and the resources are so meagre. I therefore urge all Kwarans to be patient, we will get there but we all need to be patient and show understand and support for this present administration,” he admonished.