By Bose Adebayo
For a long time, residents of Iludun-Oro under Iludun-Oro Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State suffered untold hardship due to absence of motorable roads. For farmers in this community, it was always a bitter experience transporting their farm tools,Â while house wives endured varying difficulties getting to the market to make purchases.
Students and teachers were not left out as many of them usually trekkedÂ several kilometres to get to school. The good news is that this unfortunate situation is now a thing of the past following a recent philanthropic intervention that has transformed the community.
Presently, motorists in this local government can afford to enjoy a smooth drive as a road has been constructed to link the place toÂ other areas in the state. Remarkably, the construction was sponsored by an illustrious son of the community and Chairman Daily Need group of companies Otunba (Dr) Matthew Jolayemi who said he was touched by the plight of his fellow citizens.
The commissioning which took place recently attracted dignitaries in the state such as government functionaries and royal fathers, just as residents came out en masse to express their delight at the development.
The state governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki who was represented by his deputy, Chief Afolabi Ogundeji, commended Otunba Jolayemi for a job well done, saying such a private project would certainly go a long way to complement the efforts of the state government in infrastructural development.
He also enjoined residents to follow the foot steps of the philanthropist. â€œI enjoin you all to follow his foot steps and seek for ways to promote and develop our communities so that we can all benefit from such development,â€ he said.
In his address, Otunba Jolayemi expressed satisfaction with the road and urged residents to make good use of it, saying this was part of his own contribution to develop the community. â€œThe word of God teaches us that nobody can add a single hair to his head; if that is so, how much more impossible for a man to build over three kilometres of road. Like many of you, I was born in this community many years back and God has shown me it was not a mistake.
I have been to Lagos andÂ many other great cities. Since then, I had nursed the idea that my community, Iludun-Oro and the entire Oroland could one day become one of the best communities in the whole world,â€ he said.
Continuing he said: â€œAs we open this road to the glory of God today, I ask you to join hands with me by contributing your own quota and getting ready to give your best. All we have been doing is to lay the foundation and show the example that you need to take Iludun Oro to the top. Let us join hands together to reach the promised land. You have all in one way or another helped to make this possible. Above all, we give thanks to the Almighty God who provided everything that was needed for the road to be completedâ€.
In his response, a representative of the community, Dr. J.I. Folayan, drew governmentâ€™s attention to the fact that most projects in the community were achieved through the self-effort of the residents. â€œYour Excellency, the electricity facility we are enjoying in our community today was done through self-help in September 1969.
The community water project took off in 1963. Here in Iludun-Oro, we can also boast of two secondary schools wholly owned by the community-the Iludun-Oro Anglican Girls College and iludun-oro Comprehensive High Schools while the Esie/Iludun Grammar School came to being as a joint venture between the Esie and Iludun communities. Todayâ€™s occasion is a continuation of that consistent spirit of self-help development that our people have imbibed over the years,â€ he said.
According to him, the road construction was not Otunba Jolayemiâ€™sÂ first and only philantropic contribution to his community. â€œIn December 1983, he single-handedly brought telecommunication facilities at the then NITEL to this community.
The traces of the project comprising the roles and the connecting cables can still be seen around the town up till today. Our community general hospital was built through a similar formula of self-help and self-development in 1972 and from that time, this community has been responsible for the running of the hospital, including the payment of staff salaries and allowances. As you come into town, just by your right hand side, you will notice a modern police post which is also a product of our self-help efforts,â€ he added.