Akinyele: Touching the grassroots in an all-encompassing mode

Though Akinyele Local Government is made up of many new sites and villages in the hinterland, this has not stopped the people from feeling the impact of government, even in the face of scarce resources. YEJIDE GBENGA-OGUNDARE reports.

Akinyele Local Government with headquarters at Moniya in Ibadan is one of the local councils that make up Ibadan city and is also one of the oldest, having been created since 1976. However, it is also one of the councils with a large number of local communities that can be termed the hinterlands and new sites; consequently, it is filled with a concentration of areas that require special attention in terms of infrastructure.

This has however not deterred the administration in office from touching the people’s lives in spite of its meager resources. The caretaker chairman of the council, Hon. Ope Salami, divided his team into eight and together, they have been effectively serving the community as one to make lives easier for people in the council.

Hon. Salami in describing his activities stated that he is poised to take democratic values and dividends to the people at the grassroots level in his local government in line with the reformation and transformation agenda of the state government.

He believes in development of human capacity, education, good health facilities and a good road network in a peaceful environment. And Salami does not only put his vision on paper, he backs his words with actions, indeed, he has done so much in the council right from his first term as a caretaker chairman.

As a result, he focuses on training, agriculture and road construction. To drive his vision on agriculture, he put in place a project tagged the Oyo State Agricultural Initiative Programme. And to expand this scheme in the local government, the council in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and NIHORT, put in place a vegetable farm scheme; the Ajeja vegetable farmland.

The farmland was mapped out and distributed to registered unemployed youths across the 12 wards of the local government and to ensure that the scheme is a success and the young farmers don’t abandon the trade along the line due to stress of commuting to the farm, participants are conveyed to the farm twice weekly to ease transportation challenge.

Salami and his team did not end at this; they further empowered farmers by registering them for a growth enhancement scheme project and an Anchor Borrowers programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria which gives facilities to farmers practicing within the local government area.

He also engaged over 150 youths in the local government to reduce the unemployment rate, distilled Ojoo roundabout drainage, provided equipments for the magistrate Court, generating set for the Moniya police station and the rural electrification of Abaosa Talontan village.

The Salami led team embraced massive road renovations and drainage constructions in various areas across the local government. In his term as caretaker chairman, he has complete many projects that is yet to be commissioned; a health center at Olorisaoko town, construction of 17 meters retaining wall underpinning and earthworks along Tokunbo Ojo street, Ojoo, construction of three classroom with headmaster’s office , store and toilet at CPS primary school at Kajorepo and Dabiri communities.

Others include construction of 900 meters culverts and drains, earthworks and asphaltic paving of Trinity Adekanbi Street, construction of 820 meters culverts and drains, earthworks and asphaltic paving at Omowale street, Shasha and construction of 590 meters culverts and drains, earthworks and asphaltic paving oat Agbala Daniel road.

He further constructed 750mm and ring culvert at Igbo Oloyin town, 900mm and ring culvert at Iroko Olode village road, 900mm and ring culvert at Iroko Molade village road, 900mm and ring culvert at Aroro Makinde junction, Arulogun road, 900mm and ring culvert at Ajobo junction, Arulogun road, 900mm and ring culvert at Bola town junction, Arulogun road as well as 900mm and ring culvert at Iyana Offa road.

Others include 750mm and ring culvert at Ui Quarters, Arulogun road, 750mm and ring culvert at Ikereku town road, 750mm and ring culvert at Babamogba village road, 750mm and ring culvert at Idi Apa village road, 750mm and ring culvert at Adekunbi village road, Pade, among many others.

Also, he constructed box culvert along barrack road, Moniya, sheep/cattle kroal main entrance, Akinyele, repairs of drains at Onikeke/Orioke olounkole road, improvement/palliative measure on Iyana Offa village road, improvement/ palliative measure of Onikoro road link express and dredging/ channelization of Alade/Oro eran along Iseyin road.

His environmental health services department is also very vibrant and ensures the safety of the environment; house to house inspection was carried out within the local government area, 1512 houses were inspected; 1172 were found satisfactory while 341 that were not found conducive for living were giving abatement notices. He enforces compliance with no street trading, market sanitation, control of flood, school inspection and market sanitation.

He has so far inspected 130 schools and has cleared public drains blocked by debris to prevent flooding in his local government. He has also ensured that there is routine inspection and monitoring of local government housing scheme to prevent encroachment  and tackling of 30 per cent land compensation for families that originally owned lands on which government scheme falls.

Salami is a man of peace and has over the last seven months settled rifts for warring parties in various sectors within the council and in spite of the economic situation of the council; he has tried to touch all aspects of the people’s lives.

“Though the local government is saddled with enormous responsibilities and the present economic reality is unfriendly, it is our vision to ensure we touch all aspects of life so that people within this council will feel the impact and presence of government.

“Our aim is to make an impact and ensure the days ahead spell good tidings for people in our council in terms of basic amenities; good road networks, rural electricity, portable drinking water and such other infrastructural facilities for the people at the grassroots level,” salami explained.

For him, it is important to in a little way touch every community, no matter how small it is. “Everyone deserves to feel government’s presence. It is true that resources are scarce but we have devised a means of touching the lives of people in every area no matter how little it looks.

“We get to every area even the hinterland and no one can say they are neglected. There is a need for councils to be more empowered financially in the area of ability to generate more revenue through enactment of various relevant enabling laws. But for now, we will continue to do our best to make life easy on every resident in our council,” Salami concluded.