Igbaja Day: Community Marks 12th Edition, Unveils N200m Development Plans

By Olakunle Oyedunmola, KWARA |

The Igbaja Progressive Union (IPU) celebrated its 12th Igbaja Day anniversary in grand style, launching a N200 million developmental project for the Igbaja House to be situated in Lagos State.

The event, held in Igbaja, Kwara State, was attended by dignitaries from across the country, including the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdul-Rahman AbdulRasak, and traditional rulers from various kingdoms across the country.

The Elese of Igbaja-Irese Land, HRM Oba (Dr) Ahmed Awuni Babalola Arepo II, expressed his gratitude to God for the successful celebration, which he described as one of the best thus far.

“I want them all to continue to work together as they’re doing and move the land forward”

He expressed appreciation for the supports of sons and daughters of the land, both at home and abroad, and prayed for their continued protection and guidance.

The Royal Special Guest of Honour, Oniru of Iru Land, HRM Oba AbdulWasiu Omogbolahan Lawal (CON) Abisogun II, commended the celebration as special and prayed for God’s continued blessings on Igbaja Land.

The Asiwaju of Igbomina Land, Arogundade of Lagos, Baba Oba of Offa Kingdom, and Founder and Chairman Board of Trustee (BOT), Al-Hikmah University, Alhaji (Chief) (Dr) Abdulraheem Amoo Oladimeji, also appreciated the dignitaries for their presence and support.

The Al-Hikmah University founder lauded the people for not forgetting their roots and making efforts towards making it better every time.

Oladimeji specially appreciate the Elese of Igbaja-Irese Land, Oniru of Iru Land and The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Chairman Governor’s Forum, Mallam Abdul-Rahman AbdulRasak (CON) for their contributions, honour and support towards the success of the programme.

“I appreciate the Elese of Igbaja-Irese Land, Oniru of Iru Land and The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Chairman Governor’s Forum, Mallam Abdul-Rahman AbdulRasak (CON) for their presence, contributions and supports towards this celebration. I pray Almighty Allah will continue to bless and guide them towards a successful tenure”

“I also appreciate the sons and daughters of the Land for their team work, it is a success. Almighty Allah will continue to bless them, guide and protect them”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), one time Secretary to the State Military Government, also an Igbaja man and Father of the day, Chief Peter Olorunnisola, described the celebration as marvelous and an improvement on previous editions.

He said, “This programme is marvelous, we have never seen its kind. It is a great improvement on the past and we are happy about it”

“The programme is not the first, not even the tenth, you know as a society progresses, things begin to improve, this one has reached this stage because of the modern computerisation of things that make communication fast and effective”

“Igbaja sons and daughters, both home and diaspora should continue to be involved in the whole project, they should show interest in what is happening back at home”

“They should try and develop home just as whatever they see there, they should try and appropriate it here and not forget the people they left behind”

One of the prominent daughters of the land, Alhaja Muibat Folashade Aribidesi, a retired CBN senior staff and computer guru, classified the celebration as interesting and special, with many dignitaries in attendance than ever had.

Aribidesi, who was obviously excited, lauded efforts of the committee and all indigenes of the town for doing the town so much honour.

“This is an interesting programme and we give glory to God for this opportunity as many of us are alive to witness this. Of course we have been doing Igbaja day but today’s own is a special one and we have so many of our dignitaries here, those who schooled in Igbaja and so many people”.

Also speaking with a member of the committee, Mrs Arinola Falilat Aroyehun, a retired banker and business executive, she acknowledged the programme as a big one and one that should be celebrated regularly in Igbaja.

Aroyehun advocated that Igbaja should be celebrated across the world by indigenes.

“This is a big one for us in Igbaja, it is a very very big one, we ought to celebrate many more of this type. This is Igbaja day 2024, it is the 12th edition so we are happy and we are proud to have come from this community”

“Congratulations to every indigene of Igbaja, the home of the highlanders”.

The President of Pathfinder Club in Igbaja, Alhaji Sidiq Toyin Fatai, noted that the event is a special one of its kind. He lauded the efforts of the committee members and contributions from indigenes of the town, which he and all Igbaja people tagged as their ‘small London”.

The President said the Pathfinder Club is all about professionals coming together for the betterment of the community, by exploiting their experiences, contacts and resources to develop Igbaja.

“We have it in mind that we want to exploit our experiences, contacts and resources to develop Igbaja. And to the glory of God, we have been doing very very well, we have touched many lives in terms of infrastructure and building individuals, it is not even forgetting members too”

“On health, we have a Cottage Hospital that serves Igbaja and about 16 surroundings communities to ensure they run 24 hours services. We have built two Bungalows of a bedroom flat in each of the Bungalows and we are planning to build another one for the doctors, so a 24 hours comprehensive service will be delivered to our people”

“On Education, we have several students of secondary and tertiary institutions that are on our scholarship scheme through the use of our members to sponsor diligent but brilliant students.

As a community, on this Igbaja Day celebration, we all are progressive partners with other development clubs in Igbaja to ensure this occasion held and I assure you, this is a special and beautiful occasion”.

He added, “Our is a community of a lot of less privileged who do not have access to good health services, either because of poverty level or they are not well informed.

“You see we are talking from informed position so what we have done regarding that is we give information, highlighting, and counseling our people, at the same time we sponsored treatment of sick individuals”

“Already there is health insurances. We make sure that we try our best to pay for the less privileged, the elderly people, they are on the scheme because of our sponsorship. So there are so many things we do to improve health services in our community and we are not relenting, a lot of groups including students will benefit from us”.

Alh Sidiq Fatai explained that the club aims to exploit members’ experiences, contacts, and resources to develop Igbaja, which he described as “our small London”

Chairperson of the occasion, Alhaja Fatimo Dosumu Omotoso, a business Mogul expressed appreciation to God for the success of the event and prayed that subsequent Igbaja Day will be as grand and even better than this.

Also speaking with NATIONAL TELESCOPE, the Chairman Organising Committee, Dr Doyin Rasaq Ogunleye, appreciated everyone who contributed to the success of the programme, especially the indigenes and committee members.

“Yeah, I’m very happy and I appreciate everyone, most especially some of our indigenes that came from Abroad. You see, we have so many people that came from Abroad, United States of America, Canada, UK, different places, France, you know to just attend this programme and I am very impressed.

“We the organisers tried our best to make sure that we have a very good day and thanks to all my chairmen,we achieved that. I thank everyone that came”

“On the Governor, I am very impressed by the governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdul-Rahman AbdulRasak for even coming earlier than expected.

“Actually he was one of the first people that came to the hall, so I was really impressed. We thank him for coming and staying long in our programme”

“I pray that everyone arrive in their destination peacefully”

“The advice I will give to all indigene is that we should always come together, there is nothing we cannot achieve if united. You can see how beautiful it was. So we should just dedicate, commit ourselves to the community, I hope other communities can learn from us, we have done so well”

“We had over 50 million in our account, you know, donations that we already collected from members, from indigenous and even from some people outside the country. Yesterday too,we had a very good day”

“But I cannot tell you the exactly how much we had yesterday, but I am sure we should be going above 100 million right now. We may not reach the 200 million target but I’m sure, by the grace of God, we will execute the project. Those who promised us, we have to pursue the funds and start our project”.

As part of Igbaja day celebration, a CBT Centre was facilitated by Maj Gen AA Eyitayo, was commissioned by the Chief of Army Staff, (COAS) Lt. Gen TA Lagbaja

Height of the programme was the installation of some of the indigenes in appreciation of their contributions to their motherland, Igbaja. Among those given honorary chieftaincy are former minister for Information and Culture, Alh Olayiwola Mohammed, Gen Abdulwagab Eyitayo, the Are Jagun of Igbaja, Engr Adeyemi Adeshina, asGbobaniyi of Igbaja, Owoniyi Olaitan Nurudeen, Alh Abiodun Ikolaba, Asoju Oba, Alh Fatima Sanni-Omotosho, iyalaje, Alh Muibat Olagunju – Yeye Meso, and Erelu, Alh Bukola Oladimeji-Oye.

Dignitaries present included the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdul-Rahman AbdulRasak, traditional rulers from various kingdoms. The celebration showcased the community’s progress and development, with a call for continued unity and support among indigenes.

About Olakunle Oyedunmola

A Veteran Journalist | Scriptwriter | Clergy | Photographer | Videography | Businessman | Actor | Contractor | Motivational Speaker | Scout and currently the Chief Correspondent at National Telescope Newspapers.

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