14 July 2010

Nigeria: As Imeko-Afon LG Inaugurates Elders' Council (1)

Abeokuta — Emeritus Professor of Borderland History, Anthony Ijaola Asiwaju, is the perfect description of a square peg. He no doubt has some of the best brains in Imeko-Afon local government area in the newly constituted tink-tank for the borderline council area, courtesy of Albert Durojaiye Asipa, the council chairman.

Asiwaju, as it were, is a round peg in a round hole as the Chairman of the 22-member of Elders' Consultative Forum, having traversed both the public and private sectors of life, especially as a practicing and writing historian of repute. He did well as the pioneer Chairman of the Ogun State Housing Corporation in 1978; and has been there at the University of Lagos.

He again came to accept responsibility to serve his fatherland on June 29, 2010, when the one-time Chairman of the National Boundary Commission Technical Committee, and Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) became leader of the 22-man advisory council.

He fitted aptly with the saying in vernacular: "Omo o le jo Baba, ka maa binu omo, Durojaiye (Asipa) jo Baba e ju," meaning that the chairman, for mooting and constituting the advisory panel, was only being a chip of the old block.

Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, had long ago constituted such a panel at that level, headed by Prince Bola Ajibola. The ambience at the Tijani Ade Isiaka Memorial Hall, within the Muslim Grammar School, in Imeko, was carnival-like. It also had the touch of royalty as Obas across the length and breadth of the council area graced the occasion.

But beyond the inauguration of the forum, an intellectual-cum-academic angle was added into the programme, when the Editor-in-Chief of Nigerian Compass newspaper, Mr. Abiodun Oduwole, in his critique faulted not only governance in the Gateway State, but linked such assessment to the personages driving government past, present, and with a peep into the future.

Welcoming people to the occasion, which was also used to drum support for the aspiration of the Ogun West people in producing a governor next year, Asipa, said the forum is not an alternative government but one which would give policy direction for the over all development of the council.

According to the Chairman of the "Virgin Land" as the tourist haven of Imeko-Afon is called, the words of advice and encouragement have been a tonic of invigoration, declaring that the inauguration was to tap into one of the innovations brought into governance by Daniel.

Asipa explained that the council's effort in constructing the 20 kilometer Imeko-Oke-Agbede-Iwoye road was not out of financial buoyancy, but due to necessity.

Besides, the chairman said such effort was in continuation of the examples laid by the governor, Gbenga Daniel, who, according to the Asipa, has been constructing federal roads since his assumption of office, at the ceremony enlivened by theatrical performance and cultural dances of secondary schools' troupe, complemented by Adimula Babies.

Asipa, who lauded the support of Obas and indigenes of the area for his government since assumption of office in 2007, said the constitution of the Professor Anthony Ijaola Asiwaju's Consultative Forum, was to advice government in an official capacity.

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