By Robert Awokuse
Creating a greater community in which no one will be left behind in decision making for an all-inclusive administration where infrastructure development is key were the words of Hon. Julius Oloro, the Executive Chairman of Ojodu Local Council Development, Ikeja LGA, Lagos state during the commissioning of Abibatu Mogaji Multipurpose Shopping Complex, Ogba sometimes last year.
For many, these objectives by Oloro were not just spoken or engraved on a plaque but have been actualised in many quarters as the chairman continues to match his words with actions.
Aside successes noted in his first term, Oloro has consolidated on his previous achievements in office with more giant strides being recorded, especially in area of infrastructure development.
Within the ambit of his constitutional powers, these commitments to the people at the grassroot have largely changed the face of the council area for better.
Beyond the routine statutory management of roads, drainages, construction of healthcare centres amongst others, the Chairman has distinguished himself by taking a huge leap to address infrastructure deficit in some of the schools in the area, particularly Oke-Ira Primary and Secondary Schools.
This development among others stands out as a commitment to a worthy legacy – education for the present and for posterity to enjoy, therefore bequeathing a lasting heritage and creating the enabling environment for it to thrive.
Reacting to the development while commending the chairman’s achievements, a septuagenarian and Vice Chairman, Yakoyo Residents Elders’ Association, Chief Bassey Okonessien, described Oloro as a “man of action who does the very needful”.
The Chairman according to Chief Okonessien has displayed a high sense of duty and responsibility to continually bring the dividends of democracy to the people at the grassroot hence he is a worthy and dependable representative, politician and a good administrator.
In his words: “Let me use this medium to acknowledge and commend Hon. Julius Oloro, the Executive Chairman of Ojodu Local Council Development Area, for his good efforts. He has done the right thing – he has done the very needful.
“With the renovation of the Oke-Ira Primary School, the chairman has encouraged more pupils to be registered in school. And this singular effort will directly or indirectly inspire more learning and development strides which will invariably cause our youths to be empowered positively thus forestall criminality tendencies.
“This for me is a thing to rejoice over. And not also forgetting the healthcare centres which he has improved both in services and structure,” Chief Okonessien said.
Amongst other laudable projects the chairman has done, the Abibatu Mogaji Multipurpose Shopping Complex, Ogba remains a beacon for its capacity to drive socio-economic status of the residents and the area at large.
True to his words, Oloro, who noted that the local government as the third tier of government has great role in the socio economic development of the nation especially the rural areas, made his administration a catalyst of the people’s development and aspiration.
He has from all indications shown that the desire for infrastructure development was indeed uttermost to his administration which is in consonance with the megacity agenda of APC administration in Lagos state.
His administration was the first in Lagos to successfully relocate a market to pave way for redevelopment and bring the entire marketers back upon completion of the development, while those not willing to move to the relocation site were duly compensated, reports Lagos Panorama.
Hon James Faleke, pioneer Chairman of Ojodu LCDA and member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency at the lower chamber of the National Assembly, described Oloro as “a man who has zeal to deliver”.
But while the chairman’s efforts reverberate as they continue to meaningfully impact residents, a ‘monster’ which has been in contention for decades however threatens the livelihood of two major communities (Yakoyo Ojodu and Oke-Ira) in the area.
Despite their inter-dependence due to proximity, these two communities remain parallel to each other following their separation by swamp which stretches several kilometers.
Though there have since been calls to connect these two communities through Apata Street, Oke-Ira, with a link bridge to connect Yakoyo Ojodu, these efforts however have been frustrated by some recalcitrant elements who tried to subvert the existing plan of the area, using subtle means to have their selfish interest protected having defiantly acquired restricted spaces earmarked for road network.
These individuals, who are relatively new in the area, put up what some old residents described as abysmal disposition and flagrant disregard of approved master plan existing since 1977.
The situation became worrisome as these unscrupulous individuals indiscriminately erect structures on approved road network, a development that culminated in environmental degradation which began to take its toll on the Ojodu community – particularly the neighbourhood that shares boundary with Apata community, Oke-Ira. Wrong construction of drainages and uncharitable water channelization has been the bane of residents especially with gorge expansion threatening homes of some of the people.
Besides the environmental degradation in the border community of Yakoyo to Oke-Ira being provoked by illegal structures, the need to open up the roads in order to link the two communities is imperative, many have argued. For them this will enhance quick business delivery as the current pressure being experienced on Isheri (Ogunnusi) Road will be eased.
It is also argued that the link road when constructed will enable quick access to the school and health facilities situated on Apata Street.
But sadly hopes to actualise these feats are being frustrated with successive governments ignoring calls to ensure its fruition.
Many petitions have been written calling on the attention of the government to look in this direction to connect the two communities.
Chief Okonessien, whose residence is among the border houses facing gorge encroachment at Ojodu, lamented government disposition to the situation.
He said on many accounts had he written letters of complaint to government, demanding urgent action to save the area from collapse yet nothing done to address the situation.
“It’s a shame that people can act so deviant and damn any consequences their actions may bring,” Okonessien, said.
“And sadly the government is not doing what is right to correct the anomaly. I have lost count of times I’ve written to government and officials have been here many times to carry out on-the-spot assessment of the area yet nothing has been done.
“And because several residents acquired lands and built wrongly, the effect has led to wrong channelization of drainage system which is wreaking havoc on lands of other landlords in the community.
“The supposed road in Unity Estate which has been mapped out from 1977 as an existing road was bought by someone last year and a two-storey building was swiftly erected.
“What particularly infuriates me is the fact that this new resident wanted to channel his waste waters into my compound. This must be forestalled,” he stressed.
As the tenure of the chairman gradually winds down, the septuagenarian further called on him to use his goodwill and position to facilitate the move by the government to open up the road that connects the two communities.
This according to Okonessien would leave Hon. Oloro’s footprints indelible in the history of the council.
Other members of the association who backed the road link plan are Chief Iluyemi, Chief Alex Egbuniwe, CDA executives, amongst others.