Onimeko Conference Center in Imeko was filled to its full capacity as traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, trade unions, civil society organizations,, students and other stakeholders in the development of Imeko-Afon local government all gather at a summit organized by Yewa People Development Council (YPDC), Imeko-Afon LG chapter which is aimed at sensitization, mobilization and advocacy on the forthcoming 2023 National Population and Housing Census and General Elections.
While delivering his welcome address, the chairman of the local government chapter of YPDC and chairman planning committee of the summit, Com. Olutunde Aninkan charges the people to take their destinies in their hands and fight for their survival and liberation in the face of the odds that confront them as a people.
“Dear people of Imeko-Afon, you and I are witnesses and victims of many odds that confront us as a people.
The neglect and exclusion in almost everything that matter in life by the government with its attendant effect of retrogression, increasing poverty and underdevelopment in the area is so appalling.
Educationally, we are excluded as the entire local government lacks the presence of a tertiary institution, our secondary and primary schools are grossly short-staffed and deficient infrastructural-wise.
Politically, we are nowhere to be found as we remain the only local government in the state that presently has no representative in the State Executive Council where decisions as to the sharing of state resources is taken.
In this era of cash swap, the entire, local government has neither a bank nor just an ATM machine and the CBN who said they are going to rural area to change money for people that has no access to banks never consider our area thereby further plunging us into extreme difficulty of survival.
This is at the backdrop of Federal government not allowing fuel to get to us because simply because we are in border area.”
Comr. Aninkan stated further “we are sufferers on our roads that are not car-worthy, whereas, you have agents of government running after us to demand road worthiness taxes from commuters.
Go to our hospitals, even the so-called general hospital at Imeko has no building to accommodate patients conveniently, neither is it adequately equipped with modern machines and staffs.
I can go on and on but the purpose of taking this stock is not for us to put our hands on our heads and keep wailing. We have been wailing since time immemorial without a decisive action to upturn the status-quo; now is the time for us to unite together and take our destinies in our hands.
All of us, starting from our Royal Fathers must close ranks, unite and fight for our survival, liberation and development of our land.
Let us learn from the people of Singapore who at a time found themselves in extreme situation and approached Malaysia for Colonization; but the latter rejected them as they had nothing but their dried land and their people”.
“Eventually, led by a man called Lee Kuan Yew, they took their destinies in their hands and today, they have moved from 3rd world and prospering as first world.
They succeeded because of the odds and not the even despite the odds.
And that is the reason this event was organized in line with the purpose of instituting YPDC solely to prevent social exclusion and promote social inclusion and community strengthening through supporting, developing and promoting unity within and among Yewa communities and Yewa based Community managed organizations which focus on community developments, social inclusion and community focused services as well as promote effective development of Yewaland.
This mandate is devolved to its ancillaries at each local government across Yewaland.
YPDC Imeko-Afon is taking this initiative to sensitive and mobilize our people on the forthcoming two important government programmes, 2023 National population and Housing Census and general elections.
‘’We must be adequately counted and vote right’’ the chairman emphasized.
While delivering her speech as the distinguished Guest of the occasion, Hon Federal Commissioner of National Population Commission in Ogun State Yeye Seyi Aderinokun Olusanya, ably represented by Mrs Olayinka Akinsibo, a deputy director in the department of Cartography of the Commission in the state stressed the importance and process of the census exercise and charged participants most of which are community leaders to go back to their different communities in the local government to sensitize and mobilize their people and prepare adequately to play their role so as to having a hitch- free and successful exercise in the area.
In his own contribution, Mr Olufemi Sikuade, the Comptroler of NPC in the local government extolled the accommodating mien of the people of the local government which according to him has contributed immensely to the highly successful operations of the Commission in the local government area which was the local government chosen for trial census in the whole of south-west geopolitical zone .
In his own remark, Alh. Chief Yaya Fadipe, the executive chairman of the local government represented by the secretary to the local government, Hon Tajudeen Olaleye commended YPDC Imeko-Afon LG chapter for the initiative and commitment to the development of the area.
He further pledged cooperation and continued support for the organization in a bid to unite and create a better Imeko-Afon.
In the words of Onimeko of Imeko, OBA B.A.O OLANITE who led other royal fathers to the occasion as royal fathers of the day, charged the people to make sure they play active roles in the development of the land.
“The more we wait for someone outside to come and help us to effect the desirable change, the more, we will wait and that means we will wait forever.
We should be the drivers of our destinies’’
This assertion was also hinted in the earlier remark of the Alale of Moriwi HRH Oba James Olusegun Taiwo who appealed to the people not to see the period of census as a time to travel on courtesy visit outside the local government and thereby adding to the population of other areas, but to stay back at home and make sure they are counted in their local communities.
All royal fathers and communities leaders present at the event eulogized YPDC Imeko-Afon for the good initiative and sacrificial commitment to community building.
They also commended the official of National Population Commission in the local government for building and sustaining a good relationship with the people in the local government and for their competence and uncommon commitment in the delivery of their services and responsibilities as agent of the Commission in the area.