IGBOLOGUN: So Close, Yet Far From Government
IGBOLOGUN is an Island community in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, popularly called Snake Island, which can only be accessed via water transportation, from Coconut end of the Tin can Island area, Apapa.
It is a densely populated community that serves as gateway to other two communities, Igboeseyore and Igbosu communities, which were offshoots of Igbologun. It is an eight to nine minutes journey with canoe, while with a chartered speedboat, it is less than five minutes. The community is a mixed of the major tribes in Nigeria, due to the influx of visitors’ settlers from across the country, but the major occupants are the Aworis and the Eguns.
The high population is as a result of the presence of a company, Nigerdock located in the community, which attracts job seekers to the area. The company has about six shipping companies operating under it.
According to history, Igbologun, which was coined from Igbo Ologun (Forest of Warriors), came into being over 400 years ago, when their forefathers were coming from Dahomey. They were predominantly farmers and fishermen, before venturing into white-collar jobs, company works and trading.
The community boasts of a Primary School, Secondary School and a hospital but in terms of electricity supply it is a different tune.
The Guardian learnt that the community has been in darkness for the past seven years, due to electrical problem. It also lacks motorable roads, good drainage system and potable water.
The first image that attracts one’s attention while on shore is the sandy nature of the road, which makes it difficult for commercial motorcyclists conveying passengers to maneuver their way to residential areas in the community. It was gathered that this situation is aggravated whenever there is heavy downpour, which give the roads a mud-spattered look. Coupled with this is the lack of drainage system to channel erosion away from the road.
The absence of power supply has almost paralysed commercial activities within the community. Though majority of the residents had left for work, when The Guardian visited last Wednesday, the hairdressers’ salons, restaurants and other shops that make use of electricity were deserted. Majority of the homes rely solely on fuel, which could only be purchased from Apapa. Artisans like welders, refrigerator repairers, among others have sought alternative means of livelihood pending when power would be restored.
But for the generosity of Nigerdock, though inadequate, considering the population, the residents wouldn’t have had any access to portable water.
In a chat with the Baale of the community, Chief Amisu Alaso Gegeiyawo, he told The Guardian that the community has enormous challenges confronting it. One of it, according to him is the incessant land dispute with Oluwa, a popular family in Lagos on one hand, and Nigerdock, on the other, over ownership.
Others are issues of electricity, bad roads and lack of potable water from government. He lamented that after seven years in darkness, power supply was restored two weeks ago, but got spoilt again, noting that the community is “back to square one.”
He noted that on different occasions when opportunities avail itself, he has always voiced out the desire of his people on the need for more dividends of democracy in the community. “We have three polling units here. All the politicians know here, even the former governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola was here on two occasions and I spoke with him on the issue of development. Though they built schools, hospital and Jetty for us, but we still need other social amenities to make life bearable for the residents.”
He called on the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to provide them good roads, drainage system, streetlights, technical school, constant electricity supply and other developmental projects.
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