A cleric, Bishop Olukunle Egbebunmi, of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Ilesa South-West Diocese, has called on Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun to urgently rehabilitate the only road linking Iloba-Ijesa community with Osu and Osogbo, the state capital.
Egbebunmi made the call on Sunday in Iloba at the investiture of four notable indigenes of Iloba community as chiefs of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Iloba in Atakumosa West Local Government Area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new chiefs were retired Ven. Olakunle Olatoye (Baba Egbe Ijo); Mrs Oluremi Odewande (Iya Egbe Ijo); Akin Olukiran (Balogun Ijo) and Oladele Igbindeji (Baba Egbe Ajinhinrere).
OYO NEWS reports that Iloba-Ijesa, notable as centre for agricultural produce and large deposit of gold, is currently hosting three federal projects and two state government projects.
The town is the site of the ongoing construction of new Mega Vocational Centre of the Nigeria Correctional Service for the South-West, Nigeria Police Educational Institution and barracks, while the state judiciary has its proposed site for High Court and Magistrates’ Court in the community.
NAN reports that the road, which is a distance of about five kilometres from Osu, local government headquarters, to Iloba, is now in a deplorable state.
It was last constructed during the administration of former Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, through the influence of the late Oba Olayemi Agboluaje, the Aloba of Iloba, to boost economic activities of the area.
There are more than 10 communities along the route, leading to Owode-Ede on one axis and Kajola-Ijesa on the other, linking Osogbo.
The villages along the route include: Akola, Iwaro, Awo, Baara, Alajue, Owode-Ede on one side and Odokooto; Eri-peeri; Aba-Eleko, Osin and Oke-bode linking Kajola on the other.
The Diocesan Bishop said that rehabilitation of the road would guarantee progress and development of the community.
According to him, when there is no good road linking a community like Iloba-Ijesa, there will be problem and retardation.
He warned community leaders against fomenting trouble over chieftaincy and landed matters, urging them to rather work toward the development of the community.
Egbebunmi also decried the attitude of some fake prophets, who, he said, had been predicting doom about the country, warning them against unguarded utterances.
He assured Nigerians that the May 29 inauguration of Sen. Bola Tinubu as the next President of the country had come to stay.
The bishop, however, made case for women to be accorded their rightful positions in various political offices, saying that they should not be pushed to the background.
Also, the Vicar-in-Charge of the church, Rev. Paul Oladele, said that the community had suffered lots of setback in term of development and progress due to the deplorable state of the road.
Oladele said that since the road had become impassable, commercial motorists had abandoned the community, while the central market that used to be a source of attraction had been neglected.
Commenting Olatoye, pledged that they would cooperate with the church leadership to ensure the growth and development of the community.
He said that through his efforts with other friends, who are also indigenes, facilitated electrification project, which had now been vandalised and construction of new building for the community primary school in the 90s.
Also, the Balogun Ijo, while thanking the Bishop and church leadership for recognising his little contributions, promised to do more and work toward the progress of the church and the development of the community as a whole.
Olukiran said that he would use his position to connect with the state government toward ensuring rehabilitation of the deplorable road linking the community with other parts of the state.
In his remarks, Chief Bayo Aluko, a Community Leader and Bayegun of Iloba, said that the state government should urgently rescue the town by addressing the state of the road.
Aluko said that as part of the communal efforts, the leadership of the community, in collaboration with an NGO, New Life Mission, were planning to build 50 market stalls to reopen the market closed due to bad road.
He said efforts were on top gear to renovate the primary school in Iloba-Iloba-Ijesa community.