Decades of richness of history have passed through the walls of the Esie Stone Images National Museum since it was created to curate centuries old of cultural heritage. During this period, it has witnessed leaders of all nomenclature— civil and military. However, the intervention of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq to solidify and open up access to the nation’s premier museum is literally breathing life into already dry bones.
This has started with the restoration and the building of allied cottage industries, many of our skilled labourers here in Esie, Ijan, Oro, Ajase-Ipo and its environs are excited about the opportunity this brings to the table for them.
The atmosphere in Esie since October last year when Governor Abdulrasaq made the impromptu visit has been great, having such an august visitor in our small enclave was exciting, no doubt. After being shown around, he saw the pitiable sight of neglect and abandonment. He made assurances of his support. Few months after, backed up by an emergency supplementary budget, we are witnessing his words being fulfilled. One can make bold to say that with concrete and steel on site, this is the kind of man we need at a time such as this.
Long gone are those days of dictatorial ideas that foisted the privilege of a few over the interests of many. We are proud that Governor Abdulrasaq’s Iseya clarion call has brought about construction of Popo Road, Offa; Offa township roads, Taiwo Road, Omu Aran; Offa Garage Roundabout; multiple culverts on the Obole-Isapa Road Ekiti LGA; establishment of public works office for road maintenance across the state and many more.
One can tell that there is a sense of urgency to get the state working from the lens of an impartial administrator. The Esie stone images are a rarity in the global space and a national treasure, what has always been missing in action is the will to do. And that is one plague Gov. Abdulrasaq won’t be adorning, bearing in mind what he has started. The catalyst effect of opening up the museum to a wider audience is a step in the right direction towards increasing Kwara’s internally generated revenue base.
But much more than that is the local economy that would thrive around this project. After so many years of neglect, the Esie soapstones would definitely leap for joy. It is my belief that the narrative is changing. There is now a better way to approaching governance as Governor Abdulrazaq’s interventions keep showing us. Long after this construction, these lessons would remain tarred in our minds as we look forward to the road ahead.