*Pic: Gen. OLU Bajowa
An appeal has gone out to all well meaning sons and daughters of Ikale Land, nay Okitipupa Local Government both home and abroad to rally round the Ikale Rehabilitation and Fund-raising Committee and contribute generously towards the course of rebuilding the public and private facilities touched and razed by hoodlums and arsonists who hijacked the EndSARS protest of October 2020. The committee has the mandate of Ikale Monarchs and stakeholders to raise the sum of ten billion naira for the rehabilitation of the affected public and private facilities.
Making this appeal at a Press Conference on Sunday, the 24th January via zoom was the Chairman , Rehabilitation and Fund-raising Committee, Prince Dr. Joseph Oluyemi Bajowa, a retired Major- General of The Nigerian Army, the Jagunmolu of Ikale Land and the Ojagbulegun From The Source.
Gen. Bajowa , while commencing the Press briefing said, ” I have the mandate of the Ikale traditional rulers and stakeholders to issue this press release on their behalf. It is now common knowledge that the hijack of the otherwise peaceful EndSARS protests across Nigeria in October, 2020 led to monumental destruction of public facilities and personal properties as well as other valuable assets in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.”
He noted that a report by the Ikale Central Organization ( ICO) showed that 25 Public organizations and individuals had their entire buildings , office equipment, furniture, Computer sets, valuable documents , electrical and electronic gadgets of high and expensive worth, communication and telecommunication equipment torched or completely destroyed, adding that the arsonists wreaked so much havoc that nothing from these affected facilities could be salvaged.
Gen. Bajowa who acknowledged the prompt visit of the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu to have a first hand assessment of the level of damage done by the hoodlums in Okitipupa, said Governor Akeredolu expressed grief and amazement at the degree of wanton destruction he saw. For those who showed empathy with the monarchs and people of Okitipupa Local Government Area, particularly the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu, Gen. Bajowa expressed profound gratitude of the Ikale Royal fathers and other stakeholders.
While highlighting the repercussions of burning down public facilities in Okitipupa, Gen. Bajowa said life and living have been traumatic for very many people since the massive destruction by the hoodlums , adding that occupants of houses destroyed are now refugees. “Government activities and functions have been suspended and thousands of people are out of job while their families and dependants are imperilled . Security agents , the police especially are virtually AWOL and this portends grave danger to the society,” the Jagunmolu of Ikale Land stressed.
Gen. Bajowa noted that in the aftermath of the crisis, Ikale Obas summoned stakeholders to discuss the unfortunate incident and in the course of several meetings that were held, four committees were set up: Ikale Rehabilitation and Fund-raising Committee, Assessment Committee, Security Committee and Cultural and attitudinal re – orientation Committee.
“The Ikale Rehabilitation and Fund-raising Committee, the anchor of this Press release is headed by myself, Gen. Olu Bajowa. With the support and approval of Ikale Obas and stakeholders, the Committee has opened 2 bank accounts for the purpose as follows: First Bank PLC Account no 2036272635 for donors residing within Nigeria and First Bank PLC Domiciliary (USD) Account no 2036442252 for ease of donations by those in The Diaspora,” Gen Bajowa noted.
He further said while the Assessment Committee carried out a detail assessment of properties destroyed and their cost implications which was pegged at six billion naira, considering the current exchange rate of our national currency and the galloping inflation rate, the amount needed to be raised to rehabilitate affected public facilities in Okitipupa Local Government Area has been adjusted to ten billion naira. “The ten billion naira stated above is gargantuan . We cannot source it alone. Even all the Ikale sons and daughters all over the globe cannot volunteer this humongous amount.
” It is in consideration of the above that the Rehabilitation and Fund-raising Committee on behalf of Ikale Obas and stakeholders call on the sons and daughters of Ikale Land at home and abroad for kind and generous donations to help us so that we can together rebuild and rehabilitate Ikale Land to its lost glory,” Gen. Olu Bajowa stressed.
Gen. Bajowa said the appeal for help towards rebuilding the affected facilities is a call to duty for all the good people of the land but beyond that, it is an appeal to the whole world for help, adding that the Committee is humbly seeking the help of government, institutions , Departments, Agencies, Ministries, Associations, Clubs, societies, corporate bodies, politicians, industrialists, Millionaires, Billionaires, partners and individuals to rally round Ikale nation at this most trying times. ” Please, come over to ‘Macedonia’ and help us,” Gen. Bajowa urged.
The Jagunmolu of Ikale Land , Gen. Olu Bajowa added, ” we assure you that we are responsible and disciplined Ikale sons and daughters and that we operate with a high level of integrity and hereby solemnly pledge that we shall deploy your donations solely to the purpose of rebuilding and rehabilitating Ikale Land and we shall be both transparent and accountable.”