By Boluwaji Obahopo – Lokoja
The people of Iyara community, headquarters of Ijumu council area of Kogi State have called on the state government to carry out an urgent rehabilitation of Iyara township roads.
The traditional ruler of the community, the Eleta Oluyara of Iyara, Oba Michael Olorundare who made the appeal on behalf of the community at the Iyara day said the township roads are gradually turning to death traps.
Oba Olorundare said it was appallingly disheartening that the ancient town which is the headquarters of a council area can neither boast of any social amenities nor motorable roads.
He said government presence at the ancient town was almost non-existent, as most of the development efforts carried out in the town were purely through communal efforts. He urged the Kogi state road maintenance agency to immediately fix the dilapidated township roads to ease movement in the town.
Oba Olorundare also called on the state government and other appropriate federal government agencies to provide portable water to the community which he says is in dire need of portable drinkable water especially during the dry season.
The national president of Iyara development Association (IDA), Aliyu Badaki said the celebration of Iyara day was meant to showcase the diverse rich cultural heritage, tourist sites and traditional festivals to the outside world.
He said the occasion was also meant to raise funds for the development of the community and to give chieftaincy awards to distinguished sons and daughters of the town and personalities from outside the community who have directly or indirectly touched lives of the people.
Badaki said funds gathered in the past have been used to construct water projects, installed street lights, construct police post and construction of motor parks for the community, among others.
He said funds raised this year will be used to renovate some secondary and primary schools in the community which he described as eyesores stressing that the only industry of the community is education.
Badaki however called on the state government and well meaning individuals to come to the aid of the community saying the infrastructure in most of the schools have collapsed while the learning facilities are moribund.
In his short remarks, Senator Smart Adeyemi who is an Indegene of the community praised the communal efforts of the people and urged them to continue to live peacefully and support the Yahaya Bello administration.
He donated the sum of ₦5 million and provided 30 computer sets to be distributed to three secondary schools but instructed that 20 of the computer sets be made available to his Alma Mata, Anglican secondary school, Iyara.
The Mother of the day, Mrs Folashade Joseph who is the MD/ CEO, National Agricultural Insurance Commission (NAIC) equally donated ₦2.5 million with three motorcycle to the community while the chairman of the occasion, Michael Olobatoke, an Abuja based businessman also donated ₦1 million.
Those given honourary chieftaincy titles include the president of Ijumu development union, CSP Kayode Olorunmaiye (retd) who is the Chief Security officer of Ajaokuta-steel company.
He was given the title of Olugbofinro of Iyara land; Mrs Yemisi Balogun as Yeye Bobaseye of Iyara land and the director, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Iyara Study centre, Dr Mrs J S Aina as Yeye Atuluse of Iyara land.