Op-ed: There was an #Igbonla! By Anike Abanishe
A community filled with shadows of its past
An almost empty town with shambles
Derelict, devastated yet alive
An ancient town with almost no government impact or significance.
A tour round Igbonla eju, an ancient town few kilometers from Ajasse-ipo in irepodun local government will have you wondering whether it is indeed good in Kwara State. With the huge hopes and promises of the Otoge mantra, you will be shocked to find a fat level of government neglect in Igbonla eju.
The community which has a predominance of farmers is a shadow of its today. Serving as a gateway to strategic locations such as Esie, Oro, Agbamu, Ajase-ipo, Offa and even Ila-Oragun (in Osun State), Igbonla community can boast of two educational institutions which have been operating partially effective due to efforts and contributions from indigenes; borehole water sources donated by NGOs and an extremely worse rickety road at the verge of notorious ruins.
One wonders, isn’t this the same Igbonla town that was in the news for approval of its road network? Isn’t this Igbonla community that is said to have a state and government approved road construction years ago?
Why is the Community still struggling with worst road network? Why should people loss their lives while using this road? Why should the Community hospital be this empty and abandoned with no single health worker? Why should the secondary and primary school run effectively majorly from community contributions in a democratic setting.
Hon Ajuloopin of House of Representative, Sen. Lola Ashiru of the Senate, Kayode Alabi and AbdulRahman Razaq all travelled to this community during elections to seek for votes. They promised heaven and earth but today, none of the appeal of the community means anything to them. Is Lai Mohammed not Nigeria’s Minsiter of information, Culture and Tourism? Esie museum is just less than 5 kilometers from igbonla town yet the road to this historical museum from igbonla is a mess! Ajasse-ipo is 15 minutes drive from igbonla yet every nook and cranny of Ajasse-ipo boasts of asphalt road.
What has Igbonla done wrong to deserve this level of neglect?
Is it a crime that when the governments (past and present) refused to listen to their cries, they have themselves electricity, built their schools and did almost everything by themselves?
Am I missing something here?
I am scared, government of the day is only interested in photo shots and ops just to be seen as good. I am scared Igbonla and so many other communities are at the verge of ruins by government neglect.
How do you expect people to live in this dungeon? How else can the community get the attention of Governor Rahman after sending letters, videos and pleas? Why should our children and elders die when there’s a health facility waiting for doctors and health practitioners to save lives?
I am starting to believe that there is a deliberate and conscious underdevelopment of communities in important regions for selfish politicization and God knows what!
Why and how will a community as strategic and important like Igbonla have an access road has poor as the road to hell? How do we explain the extremely empty and locked community health center there? What do we say about the weak school structures?
What happened to Igbonla? What happened to Kwara Southerners? Enough of the talks and take the bull by the horn. To prevent your people from further sufferings, you must work hard, strive hard and be interested in community development. You can’t sit in lagos, Kano, US and other big cities supporting political candidates and parties (who end up betraying your trust) without been deliberate on your community’s growth. You have to join politics! You have to lobby for your community! You have support your people! You have to travel home and see what’s happening! You must galvanize efforts and make things work for your community.
Igbonla’s situation is making me weep!
God send down your angels. Yahya Igbonla lived for his people, today he’s long gone and igbonla is in dereliction.
*Anike is a villager who knows human rights and God only. email@example.com