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By: Ade Adeleke
Four towns namely Idoani, Afo, Idogun and Imeri have officially submitted a memorandum to the Ondo state government for the creation of Irekari local Council Development Area from Ose local government.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu had on 21st of March, set-up 11-man committee on creation of LCDAs in the State.
Addressing newsmen at the NUJ Press Centre in Akure before submitting memorandum to the government’s committee on LCDA creation, the Chairman of traditional rulers in Ose area and Alani of Idoani, Oba Olufemi Olutoye said creation of Irekari local Council would eliminate marginalization and ensure rapid development of the four communities.
Oba Olutoye noted that Idogun, Idoani, Afo and Imeri had natural resources like iron and gold in large deposit as well as fertile land for farming, that could sustain the LCDA if created.
In their separate remarks, the Alafo of AFO, Oba Samuel Egunjobi, the Onidogun of Idogun, Oba Ekundayo Bakare and the Onimeri of Imeri, Oba Babatunde Adeniran traced their agitation for the creation of Irekari local government to 1949, pleaded with governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to approve their request.
Also speaking, two community leaders, Asiwaju Dele Olapaju and Chief Ladi Tenabe said creation of Irekari local Council would stem high rate of rural-urban migration in the area.
Prior to the submission of the memorandum to the committee on LCDAs creation at the State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, the Irekari LCDA Planning Committee had addressed journalists about the development and described the merger of the defunct Irekari district council with Ekamarun as two parallel lines that made Ose Local Government.
The Chairman, Planning Committee of the proposed Irekari LCDA, Asiwaju Dele Olapeju noted that the aspiration to get a local council is to gain liberty from the marginalisation, economic deprivation and political annihilation under Ose Local government.
“We have chosen today as another day of resurrection. The resurrection of the unending dream of the self governance of the Irekari people. Past governments have failed us inspite of the justness of our demand”.
“We trust that Arakurin Olurotimi Akeredolu SAN, the Executive governor of Ondo State would write his name in gold by being the man God will use.
“He should indeed be the Joshua of our generation in leading Irekari Community to the promised land.” He said.
Speaking, the Alaani of Idoani, Oba Olufemi Olutoye described the governor as a man of integrity who never break promises.
According to him, of all the district councils created in 1958, Irekari and Ekamarun are the only district councils in the old western region still operating as a merged local government.
His words: ” Despite several agitations for the unbundling of the Ose Local Government into two unique and distinct councils, our prayers are yet to be answered. We of the Irekari Communities have taken our destinies into our our hands, hence, this renewed quest.
“Our population continues to become depleted owing to the migration of our youthful population for gainful employment in urban areas. We believe this can be reversed if our Local Council Development Area comes on stream”. He said.
He however assured that the proposed LCDA will not be part of the failing system of local administration which largely depends on vouchers from the federal government, but the one that would be private sector and agro allied driven.
Also, the Onidogun of Idogun, Oba Moses Bakare, the Alafo of Afo, Oba Egunjobi and the Onimeri of Imeri, Oba Babatunde Adeniran all appealed to the governor to grant their request, lamenting the distance they pass before getting to Ifon, the Ose Local Government headquarters to attend to official matters.
The monarchs described the merger as a great punishment, and assured that the area is fertile for agriculture and possesses untapped mineral resources that would be harnessed to develop the council.
“The members of the traditional Council within the Irekari Communities are resolutely committed and determined that during our own time as as traditional rulers, the dreams of our forefathers will continue to reality”, said the Alaani.