The Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Odundun II, and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, have called on the federal government to include Akure, Ondo State in the proposed railway route that is expected to pass through the Southwest region.
The monarch stated this while inaugurating the Odun Ulefunta/Oyemekun 2018 Committee at his palace. The route of the railway is said to be from Calabar-Uyo-Aba- Portharcourt-Yenagoa-Otuoke-Ughelli-Warri-Sapele-Agbor-Asaba-Onitsha-Benin-Ore-Ijebu-Ode-Sagamu-Lagos.
He said it will be a great disservice to the people of Ondo State and will equally place it at great economic disadvantage if the railway does not pass through the state capital.
Oba Aladetoyinbo said that the federal government cannot afford to shy away from the economic potentials of the state and more importantly, the strategic position of Ondo State and Akure in particular in the geographical setting of Nigeria.
He maintained that the inclusion of Akure in the railway route would also be in the best interest of national development. “As we speak, Akure remains a vital link between the North and the South. It is strategic to the proposed bitumen exploration and the seaport in the riverine area of the state,” the monarch said.
Speaking in the same vein, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, while commending the monarch for his love for the progress and development of Akureland as demonstrated by his speech, expressed happiness at the new crop of Akure sons and daughters who had shown interest in the development of the land, recalling years of his headship of similar exercises to bring development to the land.
While inaugurating the committee, Oba Ogunlade charged the members of the committee to be proactive and raise the festival to an enviable height like other renowned festivals in Nigeria.
The Head of the Osupa Ruling House, Dr Adebimpe Ige Ogunleye, urged the people to disregard the misrepresentation that the festival was idolatry and traced the celebration to Ile-Ife which had been observed since 1152 AD as a gathering of all the sons and daughters of Akure, both at home and in the Diaspora for the upliftment and development of the city and to equally unite the Akure people.
The MD/CEO of Farm Support Services, Mr. Olumide Origunloye who is the President of Ooye Development Initiatives, the sponsor of the festival, spoke on behalf of the committee members and promised to ensure that this year’s festival will be filled with fanfare and an opportunity to re-unite Akure people for progress and development.
The committee is chaired by Prince Adebisi Adeniyi and Prince Akin Falodun as the co-chairman while members of the committee include Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, Tunji Light Ariyomo, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Hon. Afe Olowookere, Rotimi Fasakin, Mr. Olakunle Ekundayo, Mr. Ayo Ajayi, Wale Akingbade, among others.