Ikale Heritage Development Association, IHDA, has disclosed its readiness to team up with the Ondo State government, the traditional rulers, Ikale sons and daughters, and all the other three local government areas of Irele, Ilaje and Ese-Odo in the efforts to rebuild Okitipupa after the EndSARS protests that left the town in ruins.
The Heritage recently sent a high powered delegation to commiserate with the people and assess the extent of damage to both public and private structures by the hoodlums.
Led by a former Director of the Central Bank and two-term INEC Commissioner, Elder Martins Okunfolami, the team visited the Ahaba of Ajagbaland, the Jegun of Idepe-Okitipupa, the chairman of the Local Government and all the destroyed structures.
Okunfolami who described the carnage as a huge setback, eloquently expressed the desire of the Heritage to work with all stakeholders in the effort to rebuild the town, presenting a letter to the royal father to commiserate with the people.
In his response, the Jegun acknowledged the heritage’s good intentions and commended the Chairman Otunba Sola Olatunji for his yeoman effort to empower the youths in the local government while appealing to other associations to take a cue from the Ikale Heritage by indentifying with the people.
Okunfolarin reiterated the fact that rebuilding Okitipupa should be collective responsibilities of all the four local government areas in the South insisting that the committee for the project should comprise people from all the areas.
“We are pained seeing the quantum of destruction by the hoodlums but we can’t fold our arms and continue to bemoan the unfortunate ruins,” Okunfolami said. “The way forward now is to reach out to our people and appeal to them in rebuilding the place. “
After listening to the plight of the warders and the returning five inmates at the Nigerian Correctional Service which was the next port of call during the visit, Okunfolarin assured that the Heritage would do everything to assist as he donated N20,000 to get some foodstuffs and drugs for the inmates.
The chairman of the Local Government, Hon. Igbekele Akinrinwa also expressed gratitude to the Heritage team adding that the leadership of the group has always shown tremendous interests in the growth and development of the area. He said that no stone will be left unturned to apprehend the hoodlums and make them to face the law.
The chairman promised to liaise with the traditional rulers to ensure that all the off-shoots councils from the Okitipupa Local Government would be incorporated into the rebuilding committee.