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Saturday, 7 November 2015

Ikenne stands still for Osinbajo today

Yemi-Osinbajo 
The small, serene but sig­nificant town of Ikenne, Ogun State comes agog today as it formally wel­comes one of its important citi­zens, the Vice president, Pro­fessor Oluyemi Osinbajo. The reception of the vice president is one of the high points of the annual Ereke Day Celebrations which enters its 39th edition this year.

Professor Osinbajo thus becomes the highest ranking personality to grace the Ereke Day celebrations which began in 1977 and has been held on every first Saturday in No­vember at the Obafemi Awolowo Square. Traditionally, the Ereke Day affords the indigenes to con­gregate and celebrate their culture and heritage and also to unveil de­velopmental projects.

According to officials of both Ikenne Development Association (IDA) and Ikenne People’s Forum (IPF), this year’s event will not be a departure. It only has a fillip in the official reception of the vice presi­dent who will be honoured in his hometown.

He will be given some awards and also, launch the proposed Ereke Event Centre. The vice president’s presence is expected to attract other dignitaries including the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and almost all members of his cabinet.

Beside the usual cultural display, the Ereke Day always serves as oc­casions to commission projects ex­ecuted through self-development efforts. According to the IDA offi­cials, some of such projects include the facilitation of the relocation of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sci­ences of the Obafemi Awolowo College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University to Ikenne’

The Ikenne community provided the land and executed the construc­tion and donation of all the building complexes, access roads, electricity transformer and boreholes. Other self-help projects that have been ex­ecuted under the aegis of the Ikenne Development Association include, a community hospital, which has been upgraded to a general hospital by the Ogun State Government.

The IDA also funded the equip­ping of the Ikenne Local Govern­ment Primary Health Care Centre and Maternity Ward and also con­structed some boreholes in soce quarters where the problem of ac­cess to portable water was hitting hard on the indigenes.

hrough the activities of the Ereke Day celebrations, the indi­genes built the Ikenne Community High School in 1980 in addition to the eight blocks of classrooms in all its four public primary schools. Among the executed project were building complex for use as the Ikenne Divisional Headquarters of the Nigeria Police and a modern post office complex and post-mas­ter’s quarters.

The small town boasts of emi­nent citizens, the most prominent being the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whose wife, Chief HID Awolowo, also passed on about two months ago. The Vice President is an in-law to the Awolowos.

Other prominent indigenes of the town included the late Dr. Tai So­larin and Chief Kehinde Sofola and the late Rev. Nathaniel Salako who was president, Methodist Church of Nigeria among others. Significant­ly, the town had produced the vice chairman of the Federal Executive Council of the Federal Government, an attorney general as well as pro­ducing concurrently, the attorney general of two states – Lagos and Ogun.

The legal profession appears to be a popular one in the town, which has produced no fewer than six Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) among 429 since the ranking began in 1975. Among the SANs were the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1978), Chief Kehinde Sofola (1978), Abayomi Sogbesan (1983), I. Onafowokan (1984), Idowu Sofola (1989) and Kayode Sofola (1996).

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