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Residents Appreciate Corp Member Who Supported Construction Of Road in Their Flooded Community

Nigerians corp member named Obinna Andrew, who graduated from University of Benin (UNIBEN), serving in Kwara has put commendable efforts to Ayegbami community by supporting the construction of 1.5km road which today connects over five communities.

The area of Ayegbami community in the Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State is part of the Ilorin metropolis, but the area had lacked one of the regular amenities of an urban setting.

Residents of the area had lamented over their sufferings for long over this important factor of socioeconomic development which was believed could galvanise the community for better life. The road in the area was simply deplorable.

However, it took the intervention of a serving National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member in the area, Mr. Gabriel Obinna Andrew with state code KW/21A/1640 to change the narrative. Andrew is a graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Benin, Edo State and hails from Isiagu-Ibagwa community in the Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State.

According to the youth leader of the area, Usman Kayode Abdulbasit, who spoke for members of Ayegbami community located in Alagbado/Okelele area, he said that the community had suffered harrowing effects of the bad road despite resources spent to make the road motorable in the past.

When it rained, our houses, shops and everywhere else got flooded. We always had to wait for the rain to subside to move. Even while on commercial motorcycles, the passengers would have to alight before they would be able to continue their journey. The 1.5 kilometre road leads to many other neghbouring communities such as Alore, Technical College, Modina, Oloje, Abayawo, Al-Adabiyya, and Oko-Olowo. The nature of the road had adversely affected our economic lives as many shops and businesses had to fold up due to lack of patronage. There used to be a man moulding concrete blocks along the road. He had to stop the business as there was no good road to get materials to his site or get finished blocks out of his site. It was that bad”, he said.

In an interaction with the Nigerian Tribune, the facilitator of the road project, the youth corps member, popularly referred to as Corper Obinna, the motivation to get involved in the project was because of his passion for development.

Speaking about himself and the factors responsible for his push for development, he stated that “I started my youth service about a year ago. I have just a month left to finish. I attended the University of Benin, Benin City, where I studied Mass Communication. I am from a Christian home and a firm believer in Jesus Christ who has instructed me to do good works. I’ve had the privilege of occupying certain offices while at the university. I was president of our departmental association. In fact the very first departmental library association was started by me with a book campaign. We realised 201 books. Currently I am the president of cultural and tourism CDS, NYSC, Kwara State. While I was at the orientation camp, I was leader for platoon 10; I was also a member of camp corps. By the grace of God, some of these leadership experiences culminated into the passion that I have for development. I am from a very humble background. My cousin whom I refer to my brother and his wife gave me university education. My father is late; he died when I was in final year at the university. My mother and siblings stay in Lagos. My mother came to Lagos over 30 years ago; they have been staying in a room apartment. That is how humble my background is.

The economic situation of my background has always propelled me to be a better person. I know what lack is. Whenever I step into an environment and I see lack or want, I can easily relate. If I talk about the formative years of the values that I garnered, I would give everything to my cousin’s wife. Her name is Blessing Cosmas. I am passionate for development; it irritates me to see people struggle something that can be readily provided.

When I got into Ayegbami community, after we were posted there from the orientation camp, other corps members could not stay there. The community had no electricity when we got there on the first day. I was posted to teach at Imam Hamzat Model College. I, alongside other corps members, was given an accommodation right behind the school; I am the only corps member that is living in that lodge.

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“On that first day, I needed a place to charge the battery of my phone. I decided to charge the phone battery at the principal’s house. He had wanted me to help him do some things. Later he came asking me if I had picked up my phone. Sadly, the phone was stolen on the first day that I got to that community. I had to swallow a lot of things. I recognised that it is a year of service and so many things would have to stay aside. The situation I met on ground was not sufficient enough to discourage me.”

Speaking further, Obinna said that he found out about the most pressing need of the community after carrying out some investigation. According to him, “That link road connects several communities: Ayegbami, Dada, Abayawo, Olode, Adabiya, Ogidi, Alore; about seven communities. Unfortunately for a long time, that road was not motorable. A motorcycle could only access it when it was not raining. In fact, I was told that due to the state of the road, it flooded so badly that two children lost their lives. They were washed away. I started by having conversations with the principal of my school, community members. We had told by the NYSC that if we are to help in any project in any community, it must be in identifying their topmost needs and helping to solve them. Various rivers pass through these various communities, and Ayegbami is not an exception. When it rains, these places get flooded and the road running across Ayegbami was badly affected by the erosion.”

Obinna added that he embarked on the mission to actualise his dream by drawing up a proposal that would later be sent to the NYSC management for approval. “While doing that, I realised that the road project would take about N263 million to construct. I started thinking of organisations to write to. And in the course of that, I discussed with members of the community who suggested that I liaised with the member representing the area in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Abdulganiyu Cook-Olododo. I submitted a letter to the state Commissioner for Works, Engineer Suleiman Rotimi Iliasu, but they were not the one that came in directly to construct the road. It was through the member of the House of Representatives. So, when I sent the proposal to him and every other materials, he reached out to me that same day and invited me to his office the next day, although it was his PA that I met there. The project was included in his constituency budget for 2021, then one month later, September 24, 2021, construction started.”

Residents of Ayegbami community are ever appreciative of all the efforts that culminated to the construction of the road. For instance, findings showed that there has been appreciation in prices of land and rents in the area since the road was constructed.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, a resident of the community, Alhaji Isa Ibrahim Ayegbami, on behalf of the other residents, said that the road was facilitated by Obinna, and completed with his intervention despite all their past efforts. “We are happy. And we appreciate Alhaji Abdulganiyu Cook-Olododo for the achievement. We also pray for Corper Obinna to be successful in life,” he said

READ ALSO: Kind Corp Member Brings Road For Community Battling With Erosion

CREDIT: ALLSCHOOL, Nigerian Tribune

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