The Foursquare Gospel Church, Sango-Ota, Ogun State and its host communities have jointly rehabilitated over 1km stretch of roads, estimated at over N1m to ease movement. The road had been neglected for more than a decade despite being a major artery connecting the ever-busy Lagos-Abeokuta road and the Ijoko road. The road serves over 20 communities.
The last rainy season was the worst for residents, as the area was submerged like never before. It was a most damaging experience for the residents. It made the roads totally impassable, as vehicles floated and other valuables were washed away.
Faced with the challenge, the church in partnership with Isokan/Olunloye Community Development Association (CDA); Ifelodun/Olunloye CDA; Ifesowapo CDA and prominent individuals pulled resources together to put the road in good condition.
The three-day rehabilitation work, which commenced from the Mobil Petrol station, along Ijoko road, runs through a corner by the bakery, to Egbedeyi Close, Olasege Street, also covered Olunloye Avenue. It was supervised by the District Overseer, Sango Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev Ayomide Abraham; Chairman, Ifesowapo CDA, Alhaji Femi Kuranga; Chairman, Isokan/Olunloye CDA, Kolapo Ojo; Isokan/Olunloye CDA General Secretary, Mr. Gbadebo Aderohunmu; Treasurer, Alhaji Ibrahim Quamar; Treasurer, Ifelodun/Olunloye CDA, Mr Adeniji Abiodun; Auditor, Elder Ladi Sokunbi and other community members.
Rev. Abraham who told The Guardian that the church decided to partner the communities to make life easier for residents and motorists who use the road. “If we don’t secure it this early, by the time the rains come the road will become impassable,” he said. “What we did is to clear the drainages where they exist and filled the streets roads with laterite to make them motorable. The last raining season was the most damaging that we ever had over a decade here, which made the roads totally impassable. What we did was to contribute money, we have spent about N800, 000 for the filling alone and we engaged the grader for at least two days at N75, 000 per day, the project costs the community over N1m for the few places we are trying to cover.
“I believe that every church has a responsibility to give back to the community. The church exists to impact the community; the church does not exist for itself. People coming to the church, as well as our neighbours use the roads, so the church is not an island in itself, but ministers to the community spiritually. The church must also minister to the community financially, and the people in this community are the larger members of the church. So, if the church brings money to spend on the road, it is part of the money that indirectly comes from the community where we all live.”
Abraham added that the Winners Chapel is also involved in the project, “we are expecting them to take the job to another level, Gospel Apostolic Church has also contributed, the bakery here has contributed, the Guest House along the road has contributed, prominent individuals have contributed, Ibukun Clinic has contributed, it’s an entire community efforts that we have put in place, but we have the privilege as a church to inspire it to be done.
“I must place on record the efforts of Osmark hotel, which has also opened up a second road, to link the same Ijoko road immediately after the NNPC filling station. This is joy to us that we in the private sector can assist the government because the government cannot do it all.
“For some time, we have not seen the presence of government. I have been here for 13 years and I have never seen the presence of the Local Government here, not to talk about the state government. That is the truth, I can be challenged. We are trusting God that the Ijoko road started by government to link Berger/Akute that God will provide money for the new administration to complete it. If government can do that, this corridor will be opened-up financially, it will be like an oil field to the state government.”
Chairman Ifesowapo CDA, Alhaji Femi Kuranga said what has kept the community going is the belief that wherever one finds himself, one should be able to make positive impact. “When we have good roads, the community will develop, there will be peace, security will be enhanced, likewise the well-being of the residents and the country at large.”
He appealed for government support on the provision of good drainage system. “For the past seven years we have been maintaining this road, but whenever it rains, it’s always washed away due to lack of drainage, if government can support us with good drainage system, the water will be well drained and we will spend less of our time and money doing this and we’ll focus on other areas to develop.”
Chairman, Isokan/Olunloye CDA, Kolapo Ojo, said they were able to execute the project because of the goodwill the CDA has with the residents. “We have got to a stage that the people are convinced that every kobo they pay for community development projects will be justifiably spent. We are also able to mobilise people of goodwill like the Foursquare Church and the Reverend. We have deliberated on this project since last year January, preparing the minds of the people.“We still need government support to tar this road to Dalemo, to take the traffic load away from the Express. We need constant electricity supply to uplift this community.”