Residents of Akanran, the headquarters of Ona-Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State, were excited on Monday as the residents converged on the area to witness the flag-off ceremony of the resuscitation of the electrification project in the communities that make up Amuloko and Akanran, Nigerian Tribune reports..
The residents have been without electricity since 14 years ago when the areas were cut off from the national grid with the attendant paralysis of their socio-economic activities.
According to Tribune, the residents used the opportunity of the ceremony to show gratitude to the Chief Executive Officer of Ilaji Stadium and Resorts Centre and chairman of Ilaji Farms, Mr Dotun Sanusi, for undertaking the resuscitation and sponsorship of the electrification project and for his other contributions to the overall development of the local government area since last year.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chairman of the local government area, Mr Buliaminu Ogundele, commended Sanusi for his philanthropy which, he said, had brought about a new lease of life for both the council area its inhabitants socially and economically.
Ogundele traced the series of development projects happening in the area to a call by the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on local government administrators to partner with private individuals in their respective localities.
According to him, it was the governor’s advice that gave him the impetus to visit Mr Sanusi in his farm two years ago to seek his assistance towards the development of the council area.
“Let me make it clear that Ilaji Farms had been in our midst for over six years without being visited by any political appointee in this local government, but upon assumption of office as the then caretaker chairman, part of the duties I embarked upon was to pay a courtesy visit to Ilaji Farms to solicit for their assistance towards the development of Ona-Ara Local Government as a whole and Amuloko-Akanran axis in particular.
“Specifically then, I pleaded with Engr. Sanusi to assist in the rehabilitation of the Oke-Eleshin portion of Amuko-Akanran Road which was then a death trap. But to my surprise, the assistance was not only rendered immediately but a couple of other roads’ rehabilitation and other developmental projects, notably Ona-Ara Sports Festival, were also financed.
“The good fruits which our partnership with Engr Sanusi have born have since sent positive vibes to the rank and file of Ona-Ara local government and the resultant effect is the calls by other prominent sons and daughters of this council to assist in one area of development or the other,” Ogundele said.
In a remark, the chairman of the electrification project, Mr Muyideen Abiola, assured the residents of the communities that the money generated by his committee would be judiciously spent.
In his own address, Chief Folorunso Ogunnaike, a prominent son of the council and an entrepreneur, advised the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to refrain from actions that could frustrate the philanthropists who have elected to share from the responsibilities of the electricity company.
Mr Sanusi hinged his decision to finance the electrification project on what he called a covenant he made with God to always help the cause of humanity.
“I am not embarking on all these philanthropic activities because I am expecting certain favours from our people. What I have been doing is a call from God and as long as He furnishes me with the wherewithal, I will never shy away from assisting my community in any way I can,” Sanusi said.
Others present at the ceremony included the Alakanran of Akanran, Oba Oladipo Obisesan; president of Ona-Ara Development Union, Mr Kola Bolomope, officials Ona-Ara Local Government Area and Inukan Local Council Development Area, past and present; chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).