Community leaders on Ayanwale Street, in Isheri-Oshun Ward of Igando-Ikotun local council development area have decried the lack of good road, power supply, befitting primary school and primary health centre in the community.
The community leaders made this known in separate chats with Our Community Newspaper on Wednesday, June 6.
According to them, the one kilometre-long Ayanwale Street is directly connected to 75 streets that boast 13 polling units which have always been won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its progenitors.
Despite this, the leaders lamented, the popular street could not boast of social amenities that were taken for granted by other communities with lesser electoral value.
They added that the residents of the community have written numerous letters to the government at both local and state levels but their appeals have failed to yield positive result.
The General Secretary, APC Ward C in Isheri-Oshun, Mr Kazeem Atanda, said, “As I speak with you, I am a politician, a general secretary of my ward in which Ayanwale belongs.
“Ayanwale as it is has 13 polling units which have never lost anyone to the opposition party both at the local and state level.
“Huge thanks to Hon. Jimoh Ajao (former Chairman of Igando-Ikotun LCDA) because during his tenure, he happened to be the one who saved us a bit then because the road had got to a level where no one could pass through it again. That was in 2003.
“When he came then, he came in to address the elders within the community. He saw the road then and the only area where he could help then was for him to dredge drainage for us then which he did. Since then we have not enjoyed the dividend of democracy in this area.
“The last time Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan (then Special Adviser on Community Affairs to Governor Ambode) came to one of our funded community schools in Ayanwale, he asked me how many streets link Ayanwale and while sitting that day, I counted about 75 streets.
“I told him that ‘we need your assistance in making sure we benefit from the present government.’
“We don’t have good roads, no electric power supply, and no primary health centre within our community. We have about 75streets linking to Ayanwale, and the road is not motorable anymore.”
Atanda appealed to the state government to intervene especially in road construction to save the street from flood during the rainy season.
He added, “We are begging the government; there’s nothing we can do than to beg them to come to our aid. If this year’s rain starts fully, I wonder how we can go out or come in.
“All our vehicles have been trapped by the bad road. We are seriously appealing to the government for their intervention.
“In the past, we have written letters to them, both the local and state government. The only way in which the local government has been assisting is to grade the roads.
“But this year, we told them not to grade the road because we know that if they grade it again and rain falls the next day it would affect us more.
“What we need is a permanent solution. A letter was written to the Office of Civic Engagement during the regime of Hon. Kehinde Joseph and from the Ministry of Works a delegation was sent to come and inspect the road then and one Mr. Dotun came from Alausa with his team. They measured the road right from the canal down to Ijegun road.”
He reiterated the strategic electoral value of Ayanwale especially as the 2019 general election is fast approaching, noting that canvassing for votes from dispirited residents may prove futile if nothing is done to address the issues bedeviling the community.
Atanda stressed, “I am the collation officer for Ward E1 and I have the copy of the (past 2015 general election) result with me. This is a community where we have 13 polling units and has not lost to the opposition party in the past.
“Tell me, how do I campaign to my community people in the coming election? They would surely tell me that they have not enjoyed the dividend of democracy and won’t vote.
“In 2015, we had to beg them, pleading to them to vote in the current administration; that once they do, we would beg the government to come to our aid.
“However, three years have gone and we are approaching another election, yet we have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy: no power supply, no water supply, no good road and no primary health care centre.
“From our own end we have tried our best. This community has been in existence since the 1970s and I have been living here for 33years now, and we are still lagging behind in terms of development.
“Yet, anytime it is time for election we deliver massive votes to the progressive party both at the local, state and national level.”
He added that the only primary school in the community was built through communal effort after appeals to the government for one went unheeded.
He further disclosed that the land on which the project was situated was rented for N120, 000 annually.
Atanda appealed to the state government to take over the primary school project.
He said, “If you look at the primary school here, in the past, before you could see any primary school you would have to get to Ijegun or Ikotun or Isheri Oshun.
“The elderly people in the community had to come together to build the one we currently have to the level it is now.
“The school has graduated about five sets of students. The pupils pay N2, 500 per term and that is what we use to pay the teachers’ salaries.
“Although the materials used in the school are being provided by the government. I have to credit Hon. Khairat Mojirade for that; she is the Secretary for Education in Alimosho and she has been doing wonderfully well for us concerning that school.
“The land where the school is built is not for the community; it’s on rentage and we pay the owner N120, 000 per annum.
“The school has not been claimed by the government, so we bear the school’s finances alone. There’s no street as popular as Ayanwale in this council yet our sufferings are not being heard.”
The Chairman of Kuaru’Ijalemo CDA in Ayanwale, Chief L.K Olumide, corroborated Atanda’s assertions and appealed for prompt action from the government.
He said, “As a CDA chairman, I must tell you that we have not enjoyed the dividends of democracy at all in this community.
“We have about six functioning CDAs within the community. We lack good roads, water supply, power supply and no primary health care centre.
“Even our community school is self-funded. We had to build the school when we realized that the government was not forthcoming and our children’s lives were being exposed to dangers. You can’t expect a child of six years to go to Ijegun or Isheri Oshun (to attend primary school).”
He further lamented epileptic power supply to the community, appealing to Ikeja Electric for improved services in the area.
Olumide added, “Concerning electricity, we have made numerous efforts to get another transformer. We were told that the one we have here is overloaded.
“What the electricity officials do for us now is to give us light one day and the next day it is off. They do this so that they do not overload the transformer.
“Before they came up with this idea, the transformer always developed fault. It is either the cut-out is bad or the G and P is faulty. So they decided that we could not all have light at the same time. So some people would have to be off when others are on and vice versa.
“We have gone to Alausa to lay complaints for a new transformer and they came and promised to give us a transformer but we have not seen anything till now.”
A foremost community leader in the area, Alhaji Osuolale Ayanwale, also appealed for the relevant authorities to treat letters addressed to them over problems confronting Ayanwale.
“I’ll just say it is very painful that after all the letters written and all our appeals, we have not been privileged to enjoy the dividends of democracy. We would be very happy if they can help us get rid of our problems,” he said.