Residents of Ikorodu have been charged to brace up for the challenges that its new status confers on her as the third largest city in Southwest and 12th largest in Nigeria, by harnessing the massive opportunities its also presented.
The people were also charged on sustaining their culture which has made the ancient town transformed into a city and made her confronted and overcame several challenges.
Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo, Chairman, Ikorodu – Oga Development Association (IKODASS), gave the charge at the grand finale ceremony of the 2022 Ikorodu – Oga Day Carnival that took place at the Ayangbure palace and the Ikorodu Ultra – Modern Town Hall, Ikorodu, on Saturday, November 19, 2022.
At the grand finale of this year’s edition of Ikorodu – Oga Day themed, “Cultural Tourism and Economy”, the Pro – Chancellor, Lagos State University, Ojo, Sir David Sunmoni, was presented with the Merit award.
Also at the very colourful and well – attended event chaired by the Senator representing Lagos East, Sen. Mikhail Adetokunbo Abiru, were the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Engr.) Kabir Adewale Shotobi; the Ranodu of Imota, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, FCA; the Sekumade of Ipakodo, His Royal Majesty, Oba Bashir Shotowa, the Olu of Agboyi, His Royal Majesty, Oba Monsuru Abimbola Adekanbi Oladega, the Eweye of Isiwu, His Royal Majesty, Oba David Balogun Raji, Chairman, House Committee on Defense and representative of Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Rep. Babajimi Benson, Executive Secretary, Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative Limited/GTE, Otunba Ganiyu Abiru, the Agbaakin of Ikorodu, Otunba Ayodele Elesho, President, Oriwu Club, Prince Amid Adekunle Oduborisha, Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Olumuyiwa Omotola Odusanya, Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Ojo, Prof. Ibiyemi Bello, Chairman, Ikorodu Division Human Resource Development Board (IDHRDB), Prof. Kunle Ade Wahab and Permanent Member, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB), Dr (Otunba) Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle among others.
Tracing the historical development of Ikorodu from a mere farm settlement (Oko Odu) to a town, council area and now a city, the IKODASS Chairman said that the people’s industrious and enterprising culture among others aided the ancient town’s transformation in no small measure.
“The culture of Ikorodu is the culture of dignity, enterprise, egalitarianism, forthrightness, industry, fairness and loyalty. It is this culture that has transformed this land from the thick forest where elephants roamed to the fastest growing cosmopolitan city in Lagos State”, he said.
“It is this culture that has taken us from the farms of Oko Odu to the commanding heights of commerce and industry. It is this culture that has taken us from the numberless lots, despite concerted attempts by some to suppress us, to the twelfth largest city in Nigeria and indeed the third largest city in Southwest Nigeria after Lagos and Ibadan.
“The new status that we occupy requires a recalibration of the dynamics of our society; a conscious re-anchoring of our economy because a population of over 1.4 million people cannot be ignored by any serious person, organization or government.
“This status of course, will bring its own tensions but we must not be deterred. We must be prepared. A city of 1.4 million people must not take itself for granted. We must brace up to take the advantage this new status our city affords us to better the lots of our people and communities.
“Our new status comes with new challenges. It comes with increased pressure on existing erstwhile inadequate infrastructure; be it road, housing or refuse disposal system. It comes with potential for increased crime. In every challenge, however, there is a massive opportunity to think deeply, innovate and break new grounds for the greater good of our people”, Erogbogbo charged.
While listing the likes of Odfin Adewunmi Ogunsanya, Senator Tokunbo Abiru, Rep Babajimi Benson, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Ms Bisola Olusanya and Alhaja Shukura Modupe Sanni (a.k.a. Shineshine) among others as Ikorodu figures making impact on humanity with their industriousness, Erogbogbo stated that development in the state can never be completed without Ikorodu’s input.
He asked the movers of Ikorodu and the entire state not to relent in their efforts to take the new city higher.
“Ours is a vibrant land with culture because we are a people of pride and dignity. Our pride and dignity flow from our value for industry and enterprise. Can anyone talk of enterprise in Lagos State and leave out Ikorodu? Only mischief makers or those who indeed wallow in abject ignorance will dare such a disservice to the pride of place Ikorodu occupies in the commerce of Lagos State”, he said.
“Like you well know, to whom much is given, much more is required and because we are a city simultaneously expanding in every direction, we yet ask more of you.
“Our simultaneous expansion in every direction is testament to the hospitality of our people because nobody settles in a hostile environment. This is one of the reasons for our emergence as the third most populous city in Southwest Nigeria because hospitality is the fulcrum of tourism”.
The IKODASS Chairman called for more focus on tourism development, stating that Ikorodu has tourism potentials in abundance and that this have attracted many people into the city.
“It is our opinion in IKODASS that we need to consciously pay closer attention to the tourism potentials of Ikorodu. This is even more so because of the ability of tourism to drive economies, grow IGR and catalyze rapid development. Make no mistake about it, our unique geographic location, tolerance, enlightenment and pluralism coupled with our culture of dignity, enterprise, egalitarianism, uprightness, industry, fairness and loyalty are massive tourism resources waiting to be tapped”, he said.
“If tourism must yield us the promise it holds, we must provide tourism the tools to do so. Our environment must be clean. Our roads must be motorable. Our service delivery must be impeccable. Multiple taxations by way of tolls on our roads, particularly illegal tolls, must be eliminated. Our communities must be secured and our outlook must be positive and cheerful”.
Chairman of the occasion, Sen. Mikhail Adetokunbo Abiru, commended the leadership of IKODASS, for sustaining the annual celebration of the Ikorodu – Oga day since inception, describing the celebration as “platform for promotion of cultural heritage and overall development of Ikorodu”.
“For over three decades, these great sons and daughters of Ikorodu have shown unusual love and dedication to this land by sustaining this cultural heritage, which is unarguable in the league of notable cultural festivals in Nigeria. These festivals apart from promoting love and unity, have become a rallying point for socio-cultural development across Ikorodu Division. History will forever be kind to you”.
While stating that the theme for this year’s lkorodu-Oga Day was apt in the light of the realities of the present moment, Abiru said that the huge tourism potentials in Ikorodu should be repackaged and marketed through partnership for investment to flow in.
“Culture shapes human experiences and serves as the main foundation for advancement of mankind. It also gives oxygen to Tourism. Our rich cultural heritage, historical sites and foods, among which are: palaval Island where the first treaty was signed in 1853; ljede warm water spring fast going Into extinction; lsiu couple river where it is forbidden to mix the two; the Etunrenren spring; the Ikorodu defence wall of 1600 with the Ojubode gateway and the Ebute-Iga aquatic Stadium host of boat regatta”, the Senator said.
“Others include: the Majidun shrimp breeding ground ground Ogun river forest reserves which is the largest collection of wildlife in Lagos State, Ebute Iga, Liwe Festival which is an open display of water regatta; Agemo festival- an open display of traditional and religion; Asa festival- an open display of height and colors; Egungun festivals is an open display of ancestry heritage and dance and Turuku Festival which is an open display of a moving and dancing collection of bushes and drums.
“Ancient historical sites also abound across the division. They include: Odoro River in Ijede, which is one of the two gazetted Sites in Ikorodu Division; they are however presently under serious threat; Ancient Oloja palace at Ajina, Ikorodu; Jaiyesimi compound at obun oke; Madam Ota shrine, Itumaja; Elephant House, along Ireshe Road, Ikorodu; colonial District Office, Civil Service Club/GRA, Ikorodu; First Mosque at Obun Oke Ikorodu; Ile Elena ( traditional museum), and Obun Ale are all tourism potentials that can attract local and foreign tourists to Ikorodu Division.
“The Ikorodu Division Tourism potentials listed above are very huge. To fully maximise these opportunities, there must be deliberate efforts by the IKODASS and others development associations in the division to come together and partner with other interested bodies to develop, package and market the Ikorodu Division Tourism sector for private capital to flow in”, he said.
“The new economy, which thrives essentially on innovation and digital technology, has even made the opportunity for growth in Tourism and other sectors vast. Innovation is the catalyst of every sector today. From farming to medicare to education etc. Not only can we use technology to position the Ikorodu Oga Day and the rich cultural heritage of our people in the entire division on the global stage, we can also deploy innovation and technology to tap vast economic opportunities in the tourism sector”.
This Royal Majesty, His Royal Majesty, Oba Kabir Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, in his royal remarks, thanked the IKODASS executives for the successful 2022 Ikorodu – Oga Day and wished guests and residents healthy living till the next celebration and beyond.
In his usual self, Oba Shotobi appealed to residents to get their PVC and ensure that they vote to make the Ikorodu Division’s voting record the highest in the state.
He charged that Ikorodu people should vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Sanwo – Olu in the coming elections.
Rep. Babajimi Benson, in his own remarks, charged sons and daughters of Ikorodu; both home and abroad, and residents to continue to support IKODASS in promoting Ikorodu’s culture through the annual celebrations.
Many clubs, societies and associations that are affiliated to the IKODASS, as well as political groups and other tribes in lkorodu, took turn one after the other to pay homage to the Ayangbure who in turn, prayed for them.
clued from The Impact Newspaper