By Dapo Akinrefon
IN a move aimed at developing the oil rich community of Ilaje, prominent personalities from the community converged io Akure, Ondo State last week to brainstorm on ways of achieving this.
To achieve this, the Ilaje sons and daughters are embarking on a strategic, deliberate and structured path in building an enviable community.
After much brainstorming, the strategic gathering, made of professionals and technocrats, led to the establishment of the Ilaje Development Summit Group, IDSG.
The IDSG, held at the DOME in Akure had a convergence of stakeholders from Ilaje including traditional rulers, politicians across party divide, religious leaders, and top government functionaries among other relevant stakeholders.
Summit not just a talk shop— Ogunyomi, BoT chairman
In his opening speech, chairman, Board of Trustees of IDSG, Asiwaju Oluyemi Ogunyomi, said the inaugural summit was conceptualized to address the common purpose of developing Ilaje in a sustainable way.
According to him, the summit is poised at engaging stakeholders in fashioning out a plan of implementation that will move Ilaje community forward saying “the summit is not just a talk shop but a realistic opportunity to make a mark on the resurgence of hope and reinvention of the people as a community.”
Also speaking, Rev. Adesola Adebawo said “irrespective of political affiliations, all sons and daughters of Ilaje must come together and lend their voices to the proposed Development Plan Agenda as there is wisdom in the multitude of counsel.”
In his presentation, Mr. Andrew Omomehin, while highlighting some of the challenges confronting Ilaje community, said the regional development plan being canvassed will cover all areas of endeavour.
Some of the plans he highlighted include the development of new towns and gated communities like VGC in Lagos, building of digital innovation hub and as well opening up the community as access brings development.
Akeredolu commends IDSG
In his keynote address, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, hailed the organizers for coming up with the initiative saying “Ilaje people are one of the most resourceful set of people in Ondo State.”
Akeredolu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Investment, Mr. Boye Oyewumi, also used the opportunity to affirm government’s readiness to ensure the take off of the deep sea port.
He said: “Beyond citing massive structures in the community, the people must be ready to address the issue of insecurity without which everything amounts to nothing.”
On his part, the head of ONDIPA, Mr. Femi Akarakiri urged the leadership of Ilaje communities on the need to manage hooliganism, vandalism and as well improve intelligence gathering mechanism.
Also, Mr. Banji Okunomo described the summit as a welcome development just as he called for a united front in wielding state power to be in a position to influence policy direction that would bring about the desired change.
Govt must tackle insecurity—Oba Ogbaru
The Odoka of Obe Ogbaru, Oba Femi Ogbaru, while also applauding the initiative to organize the summit said government must be ready to combat issues of insecurity as it is not peculiar to Ilaje community alone.
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Security should be all-inclusive —Ilaje LG boss
Speaking on the state of insecurity in the area, the chairman of Ilaje council, Mr. Otito Atikase, said government cannot do it alone adding that the “issue of security is everybody’s business.”