Dapo Abiodun: Whither Isheri- Olofin Mole?
Sir: Historically, the Olofin-Isheri Mole which is acknowledged to be the cradle of the Awori nation was founded by Olofin Ogunfunminire around the year 1425. What is of paramount importance is the fact that all Awori of Lagos and Ogun states evolved from this location.
Therefore, we cannot afford to ignore the well-being and importance of such a great nation on the altar of pettiness. Therefore, Governor Dapo Abiodun needs to rewrite the history of the relationship of the Awori in Ogun State with her siblings in other parts of the state on one hand and the government of the state on the other hand.
Abiodun’s attention to the neglect of this community by previous administrations in the state will achieve two main objectives. One, it will add a feather to the cap of the governor who in modest estimation is a capable administrator whose action is propelled by his willingness to be accountable to posterity. Second, his immediate moves and actions will improve the lives of his subjects perceive the odour of development in an adjacent community in Isheri church or Isheri Oke which is located in Lagos State without having a feel of progress in their own domain.
In Isheri–Olofin Mole today, there is no single government owned secondary school in a community that is yearning seriously for education. There was at a time when the Isheri–Olofin Secondary School was demolished and scrapped in the 1980s. Since that time, the children in the community have to hitch-hike into other communities every morning to receive this basic and essential value of life. Interestingly, the land housing the school is still in existence without a structure.
The roads in Isheri Olofin Mole are the worst in the immediate neighbourhood. They are impassable and constitute utter nuisance to the economy of the community and the state. That is Ogun State. Also, the community cannot boast of a decent and good primary health care facility. In fact, pipe borne water is a luxury.
Isheri- Olofin Mole by its history and location deserves a better deal than it is getting from the government. Its proximity to Lagos makes it a good place for development as a tourist centre. The citing and building of a good hotel in the area will reduce the pressure on Lagos hospitality industry, particularly when the Murtala Mohammed Airport is located at a stone throw from the town.
It is important that the government of Ogun State accord the traditional stool of Isheri-Olofin, the honour and accolades that it deserves as the premier institution representing the Awori nation. Recently, the Oba of Isheri-Olofin, his Royal Highness expired without a word of condolence from the Ogun State Government to the Isheri community and the family of the deceased. A little more attention to the wellbeing of the community will certainly strengthen the relationship between the government and the people.
Prof. Rasheed Ojikutu is of the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Lagos.
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