By: Ade Adeleke
The people of Osi Kingdom in Akure North local government area of Ondo state have pleaded with Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to extend his administration’s giant strides in infrastructural development to the town by constructing the only road linking the community with Akure-Owo highway.
The traditional ruler of the town, Iresi of Osi, Oba David Olajide-Okunato, made the plea while inspecting the ongoing grading and repair of failed portion of Osi-Akure/Owo road which was being done through communal efforts.
According to the monarch, the road which was opened few years ago to link Osi with neighbouring towns like Obaile, Igoba and Isinigbo, needs the state government’s assistance in tarring it.
Oba Olajide said the community which had been in existence for about 600years, had suffered neglect from successive administrations, hence the plea to Governor Akeredolu to direct relevant government’s offices to help the town in the provision of motorable road as well as public primary and secondary schools.
He said he had used his personal resources to carry out some developmental projects in the last six years that he was installed as Iresi, listed such laudable projects to include; modern structures that accommodate Chief Magistrate’s court; Divisional Police station, training centre of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), modern Health centre building and some cottage industries.
Oba Olajide noted that over three Housing Estates including Ondo NUJ Pen Estate had commenced in the town, adding that the community had almost completed a structure for the new Police Zone 17 where the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) for Ondo and Ekiti states would operate from.
The monarch said, “Osi community is an ancient community. It is over 600 years ever since it has been existing. The community evolved from Ise Ekiti for a very long time and we settle here. Osi town is an ancient town.
“By God’s grace, I see that it is in a king’s responsibility to facilitate development of his community for it to be well known worldwide. This I saw when I became the Iresi of Osi community since 2014. Within that period till this moment, I noticed things has changed and with my efforts, I see that the glory of Osi is shining throughout Ondo state and the world generally.
“Anyone that desires progress for his community must not be greedy and must be ready to spend money on developmental projects that will stimulate government to bring in other developmental projects.
“For example, the police division station was given to them by me. For the court, I gave them twelve plots where it is built. Then, I am currently constructing the office of Police AIG Zone 17. I gave 50 plots of land to them.
“Because I am looking at how to help the government to enhance the development of my town and the state in general. I asked for three months to build the AIG’s office and government can now put other things in place on the remaining parts of the land.
“It is not up to two months since I started and the building has been constructed and it will be painted this week because everything is ready. So, I’ve done this and even installed transformer in my community for the betterment of the residents and many other projects we have done so far through our personal efforts.
“I want several things to be here but the paramount thing is road construction. If government could construct the road that leads to this community. I opened this big road that links the community with Akure-Owo expressway in 2015 which was part of my vision and God so helped me to achieve that.
“It was a thick forest and nobody believed that there could be a road there in the next fifty years. It is not by my power but by the grace of God to do all these.
“I am also constructing a bridge due to a marshy area that gets cars and trucks sunk on their way here and and I am not happy about it.
“If we want development in this town, we must not allow that to continue. So, I had to but big stones and hire all those caterpillars to help construct the bridge.
“I will be so happy if government can come and see what I’ve done and thereby tar the road because that’s what I’m praying for. If the road can be tarred up to Igoba, it will be very good because it will also serve as a bypass road for people going to Ekiti from Akure and Owo axis and the airport.
“It will also reduce traffic on these roads I mentioned. With what I have done, it has reduced what the government will do here at least to some extent. So, if government can complement my efforts, I will be glad.
“Other projects too such as the community schools, these are the things we can do now and God has been of help. The chiefs, elders and inhabitants of the community have been supportive too.
“We have been able to put in place certain things and we have been successful. So, we just appeal to the government to help us with the road construction,” Oba Olajide said.
Also speaking on the ongoing development at Osi town, the Ondo state Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Prince Leke Adegbite expressed delight that the community was rapidly witnessing unprecedented growth.
Adegbite said “we are very happy with what is happening in Osi community that happens to be the host community for Ondo NUJ Pen Estate and we have been on the project for almost five years and when you visit Osi before, you will know what the Kabiyesi has done for the community is massive.
“So, we want to beg our dear governor and the government of Ondo state and by extension, Federal Government and Akure North Local Government authorities to complement the effort of the Kabiyesi and the community by construction the road that link with the community from Akure airport road to Igoba to Isinigbo,” the NUJ Secretary said.
Another resident of the town, Mr Adebo Ajibola described Osi community as peaceful and full of life, commending efforts of the monarch for taking the development of his town as paramount.
Ajibola appealed to government to support the community by tarring the only road that passes through the town, provide public schools, electricity and modern market for the community.