Feature- Okeho: Great Town, Great and Self-Reliant People but Neglected by Government

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by Kayode Awojobi

We all hail from a particular community either it be the developed, underdeveloped or rural homesteads. There are many factors that determine the fate of a location either it would thrive or not. But as fate would have it, I am proud to say it anywhere that I was born of Okeho parentage, this is not the end of my joy, the strides of my kinsmen within and outside the country give me great assurance that I am also heading somewhere. We all have a choice to affect our world positively without being affected by our background or whatsoever limitation that abound. I’ve read extensively about many people that hail from Okeho and I’ve been inspired and motivated by their lives. There is no gainsaying that Okeho has produced successful people with various laurels.

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From time immemorial, Okeho the headquarters of Kajola Local Government of Oyo State is renowned for outstanding performances in all facets of life be it academics, creativity, religion, entrepreneurship, leadership, and many others. I can posit that people from Okeho are excelling in their various fields of endeavors and they’re always extraordinary. We have people from Okeho who have set the pace in Music, Drama, Poetry, Engineering, Art, Writing, Broadcast journalism, Religion, among others. These people have raised the bar amidst their peers and are still setting pace to date.

Okeho people are well known for their selflessness and self-reliance in whatever they tend to lay their hands. These are people who don’t rely on the government before they get things done. History has it that when the people of Okeho saw the need to help the sons and daughters of Okeho to proceed in their education after the completion of Primary school education, and the government that was supposed to establish schools failed to fulfill its promise to establish a secondary school, the forefathers came together and seriously work towards establishing a secondary school of their own in the region. To this cause, the popularly known Okeho/Iganna Grammar School, Okeho, was established due to the unwavering commitments of our forefathers who are endowed with dauntless courage that they can get things done and this helps them in achieving this remarkable feat. Today, the post-primary institution has produced people of timber and calibre across the universe.

This self-reliance aspect of Okeho didn’t stop with our forefathers, the current generation as well is fostering in the path of their ancestors and this led to their way of life that embodies commitment, love, and unity which was stretched forth when the Oyo State Government announced that the Okeho College of Health Science and Technology would be cited in the community. Someone single-handedly gave out his personal property in order to keep the school in our territory and now the people of Okeho are working assiduously towards making the permanent site of the school ready within a short time.

Asides from this, the Nation Open University of Nigeria Project is currently ongoing. We are at the final stage of approvals and we keep that by God’s grace. The license will be given to us to run a centre that will aid the development of the academic environment of our community.

We should not forget the effort of our youths in curbing the bank robbery and also worthy of note is their protest again Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company. The inert and imbibed lifestyle of cohesion and working together made electricity restored to the town within few hours. These are just some examples of how great and resilient Okeho people are.

Equally, the youths recently mobilized themselves and took to rehabilitate the township roads within the town. The call on the government to rehabilitate and help reconstruct our roads had always fallen on deaf ears. Worthy of mention is the Okeho-Iganna road that has been washed away by erosion amongst many other roads. The youths filled many gullies on the roads, some of the roads are Gbonje- Isale Alubo road; Ajelanwa-Imalefalafia road; Sharp Corner- Sir Water road and within Gbonje market.

Okeho indigenes should not seat down and relax based on the precedents of the past; we all should stir up our passion for our homeland by investing more into our source. Just like the refrain of the song of Musiliu Haruna Isola, ‘no one who stays aloof from his homestead will ever be able to repair his father’s house.’ Okeho is a great town, that needs international attention, It is a very saddening situation that the government has forgotten this community and it is the citizens that keep striving to add value to their homestead.

Okeho is where we belong, and our inputs must be felt in the nooks and crannies of the town. I believe we have what it takes, we are true descendants of Olofin, and I know in years to come, Okeho shall surely be a region in the entire world that will always be appreciated for cultural heritage, outstanding potentials, tourist centres, and many others.  Let’s continue to commit our concern to various sectors within the town to workability and result-oriented radical development and growth that in a short time proceeds our town to the rightful position we’ve always desired.

Come to Okeho and experience the gathering of great people across the world. A town situated on the hill that can’t be shaken, we are more than conquerors, we have conquered the Fulanis, Dahomey and Alimi invaders and recently, the armed robbers. We have continually lived together in peace and harmony with our undaunted spirit but we desperately need to fill the government’s presence in all spheres.

Kayode M. Awojobi is a journalist and public affairs commentator

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