By Steve Oni, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has disclosed that his administration is developing master plan for the state capital Ilorin and other major cities, saying the current spate of unplanned developments in the state are not sustainable.
AbdulRazaq disclosed this while commending the great legacies of former military Governor Brigadier-General David Bamigboye when the sociocultural group, Omo Ibile Igbomina, paid a courtesy call on him in his office.
The Omo Ibile Igbomina delegation, led by its President, Elder Timothy Niyi Adebayo, comprised Mrs. Femi Olarewaju; Pa Peter Olorunnisola SAN; Alhaji Rasaq Jimoh; Chief Demola Omiyale; and former Commissioner for Information Raheem Adedoyin; among others.
The Governor said the legacies of Bamigboye included drawing up a master plan for Ilorin but lamented that the plan had not been improved upon, leading to unplanned settlements in the capital city and its attendant drawbacks for the state.
He said: “The first Ilorin Masterplan was done by Late Lasisi Bamigboye’s administration. We are developing another one to build on that and we are not limiting it to Ilorin. It is going to Kwara South and Kwara North. it will be replicated in our cities so that we can have planned development in our urban centres. Planned development is the way to go. You plan your waste disposal. You plan your utilities. You plan where to locate schools and other things.
“Bamigboye did a lot for Kwara. So, he must be recognised. Most of the institutions we have today from Kwara Hotel to Kwara State Polytechnic and the Masterplan for Ilorin were done during his time. Incidentally, we are just awarding a contract for the Ilorin Masterplan because nothing really has been done since he left on the Masterplan. Ilorin, for instance, has overgrown the plan. That’s why we have uncontrolled urban spread. Ilorin has reached Ganmo now and there’s no plan. People are just building the way they like. That is not sustainable.
“Incidentally, Ilorin today is one of the largest towns in Nigeria by population and if we don’t plan properly, we will not be able to increase our GDP and improve the lifestyle of the people. Our people will be living in slums.”
AbdulRazaq also praised what he called the self-driven development spirit and resourcefulness of the Igbomina people, saying such approach is good for development as it challenges government to do its own part.
“Igbomina are very resourceful people. What admires me most about Igbomina people is self-help mechanism. (Igbomina) don’t wait for the government to do everything. They go out, reach out, push forward, and appeal to government but you don’t wait for the government before you do certain things. Because of that attitude, we will also not take you for granted because you go ahead to do certain things with or without government’s input. There is a lot that our society can learn from you,” he said.
“We need partnership with members of the public, citizens of the state. In areas where we put boreholes, we want citizens to take ownership. We will not take you for granted and what is due to you will get to you.”
He explained that the appointment of Dr Thomas Adewumi as the Chancellor of the Kwara State University was to add value to the institution, praising him as “a very resourceful fellow and we know he will take that institution to greater heights. He was not appointed because of where he came from but because he is articulate, resourceful and we know he can add value.”
AbdulRazaq urged the body to keep the Igbomina people more united and to continue to engage his government on developmental and social issues, pledging support to the socio-cultural association in its community development drive.
Adebayo, for his part, commended the Governor for his numerous achievements recorded in the last one year, including in Igbomina land, describing them as truly remarkable.
“We want to once again use this opportunity to appreciate Your Excellency for the various appointments you have given to our sons and daughters since your ascension of office. As we said in our earlier letter, you have indeed kept to your golden words on the day of inauguration that you are for all Kwarans, and not for a particular section. This has reflected in the equitable distribution of projects and appointments. We urge Your Excellency to keep it up and not to deviate from this golden path,” he said.
Adebayo said the association’s mandates included to champion, promote and protect the education, economic, industrial, social and cultural advancement/interests of Igbomina people as well as preserve their traditional and moral values.
He urged the government to immortalise Bamigboye by renaming the Kwara State Polytechnic after him and construct the road network to Owu Fall in Ifelodun local government, among other requests.
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