by Abolade Adewale
Every community has always loved to have the presence of the government in his or her vicinity but the needs of every government is always overwhelming. It has got to a point when townsmen now converge to think of the ways of helping themselves thereafter the government will take it up from there.
It is ironical that in Nigeria, the residents will open up a particular location, when it’s time to name the streets, they will make remittance to the local government; the residents will purchase electric polls, rolls of wire and a transformer, then they will sign it off to the Electric Distribution companies amongst many others. That is the stark reality of how far we have gone in seeking self-support when the government cannot help to develop our communities.
The Magistrate Court at Okeho was dilapidated and there was a threat that the court will be moved away except if it is rebuilt through communal efforts. As a community that has been begging for government presence over the years, we had to resort to our self-support model that had worked for many generations. Lately, Okeho indigenes from all walks of life put funds together to light up Okeho by installing solar-powered streetlights across the town. This is still in the works when the attention of the community had to embark on the reconstruction of the Magistrate Court.
When the reconstruction work began earnestly, the threat obviously subsided and it showed that Okeho indigenes can still defend being the capital of the local government. People kept doling funds to ensure that the work is completed in record time while the local government stands aloof with the statement we have always heard, “there is cash crunch.”
With the rural-urban drift that has happened over the years, the sons and daughters of Okeho can be classified as- The Homegrown; the Rural-Urban migrant; the local and international diasporas. The homegrown are those who were born in Okeho, went to various schools in and out of Okeho, then returned home to settle down and continued family life. The Rural-Urban migrants are those who were out of Okeho to study but decided to build their career in the city within and outside Nigeria. Today, they are accomplished professionals. These set of people have now raised the local and the international diaspora.
The efforts back at Okeho is great but we want other sons and daughters from all the quarters are united in developing their homeland but there is a need to bring on board the young local and international diaspora. Over there has been a gap in the commitment of the older generation and the younger ones. The older generation are extremely connected to their roots while the younger ones are not at all. The reasons are not farfetched, they were born in the city, they had little interactions with their kinsmen and they do not think they owe the place anything. When their parents pass on at old age, they either come to inter them at home and return swiftly to the city.
If the baton of leadership and responsibility is not well passed, the self-support model is bound to fail in the next few years. This must be guard against as parents are very deliberate in giving their children the best of education, there is a need to be deliberate in the way in which we inculcate the love of our homestead too into them. Without this, we are heading for a deserted community.
Fellows in the diaspora, it is time to join in building Okeho, not just the Magistrate court but the community at large. It might not thrive today but it thus have great prospects if we all work together to develop Okeho. Some towns have turned cities through individual and communal efforts, look at Ondo, Owo, Ijebu-Ode, Ede and many more.
There are trustworthy and committed people leading these noble causes and you can be sure that Okeho will get value for the funds being raised. As it stands, we are raising fourteen million naira only and we have just passed the halfway mark. Your donations will make the dream come true, the account details is Okeho Global Connections, First Bank 2042343547 or you can call Pastor Tim Amosun on 0802 313 2022 if you have any clarifications.