In spite of promises of dividends of democracy by politicians to the people under the current dispensation, many communities in Nigeria still lack basic infrastructure, including good roads and electricity.
This is particularly worse for those who are compelled by circumstances to live in rural areas.
Part of these communities is Igbope town in Oorelope Local Government area of Oyo State, where residents lack basic social amenities ranging from public school, potable drinking water, electricity, hospital and conducive market environment, bad road, among others.
During the ROUNDOYO visit to the community, residents, through self-help, have been responsible for the construction, repairs and maintenance of basic amenities in their domain. It was further learnt that on several occasions, the people of Igbope town have asked the federal and Oyo state governments to come to their aid by providing them with basic social amenities.
Heads and leaders of several associations in the town who spoke individually also pointed out the absence of functional schools for children, lack of well-equipped primary healthcare centers for pregnant women as they called for more government attention in the community in the area of provision of basic amenities to enable them to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Speaking with ROUNDOYO, the youth leader in the town, Mr Wasiu Bababtunde expressed concern over the rate at which they have been neglected by the government in the town.
He said “We are not treated as if we exist, for example with over 15,000 registered voters and over 30,000 residents in this town alone, we have no single Police station. 25 years ago we took the bull by the horn and pulled resources together to build a police station and up to date no single police officer has been posted there.
“Our lives are endangered due to our closeness to the forest reserve — bandits and herdsmen are attacking us. We’ve been to towns like Ago Iwoye which boast two police stations. There is no government infrastructure in our town, it’s unfair.”
Also commenting on the challenges besetting the community and calling for urgent intervention by both governments to redress deplorable state of infrastructure and social amenities in the town, Mr Olagbemiro Joshua Olayemi (Mandela), who also spoke in a separate interview with ROUNDOYO said Igbope had never for once experienced dividends of democracy, saying it is equally disheartening that many of the roads are also in deplorable condition “dilapidated roads and gully erosion have made it difficult to move blissfully from one point to another. The worst hit is farmers who now find it arduous to move their produce to the markets, thereby worsening economic activities in Igbope.
He added that “inadequate water, epileptic power supply affected by lack of transformers, and neglect when zoning projects and infrastructures by past and present governments make me wonder if we exist in their record books.”
Corroborating the feelings of the residents, the community monarch, Onigbope of Igbope land; Oba (Dr) Moses Olawale Oyetola Fabiyi VI, Ilufemiloye 1, explained that despite several letters and consultations and appeals to the past and present chairman of Oorelope Local Government to intervene on the bad roads in the layout, nothing had happened.
He said that residents were still battling to cope with the dilapidated condition of the roads, adding that his town had never benefitted from dividends of democracy from the council in the area of provision of basic infrastructure.
“We have been providing ourselves with the needed basic amenities such as roads, water, and electricity through contributions by the citizens and residents of Igbope.
“Through our communual efforts we built a Secondary School, Police Station, Hospital, School of Health Technology, Market, Electricity Extension, Road Rehabilitation among others. We have been abandoned in issues relating to developmental projects, but during elections, politicians will come to Igbope to campaign and seek our votes”.
“This community is not a small one as it plays host to thousands of people who are contributors to national economic and political development as all of us cannot live in Ibadan the capital city of Oyo State, we should not be neglected because we are all Nigerians and citizens of Oyo state.
On behalf of my people in Igbope, we are calling on His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to come to our rescue has he has been doing to other towns” the monarch said.