Over the years Ikorodu has experienced relative development but still remains essentially rural in official minds and critical quarters beyond our borders. This perception has both slowed us down and robbed us of certain privileges that should rightfully be ours. IKODASS can do so much in helping right this wrong by repositioning Ikorodu for better perception. Our intention is to run a very inclusive administration that will cater to the greater interest of Ikorodu and help us rightfully take our place within Lagos IBILE set up. The greater interest of Ikorodu will be our overriding concern. If it is not in the greater interest of Ikorodu, this administration will not countenance it; do not bring it to us.
For any community to really develop to its full potential, everyone, government and citizens alike, must apply their shoulders to the task. In this clime, it is commonplace to saddle the government with all responsibility. While government doubtlessly has so much to do, citizens equally have responsibilities in community development. Our goal is for citizens to take ownership of their community. Lack of such ownership is the reason why infrastructure provided by the government in the communities gets destroyed with no one batting an eyelid. It is also the reason why criminality tends to succeed in some of our communities. This ought not to be so. The first line of defense and development for any community is the people and their disposition. To this end, we shall engender a robust mutually benefitting engagement with the local government administrators through the establishment of the Community Relations Committee, C.R.C.
The C.R.C. shall organize the Citizens Assembly once every quarter and an annual awards ceremony to honour performing Local Government Authorities. Citizens Assembly shall serve as a veritable ground to curate problems and needs facing the different parts of Ikorodu. Such findings shall be conveyed to the concerned administrative authority. Importantly, C.R.C. through the Assembly will equally encourage citizenship participation in community building as government alone cannot deal with all the challenges confronting the people. Citizens Assembly shall draw upon existing CDA structures and member clubs of IKODASS.
As a means of encouraging local government authorities to do more, the committee shall annually organize an awards ceremony at which performing Local Government Authorities shall be rewarded with recognition in various categories viz: [i.] Infrastructure. [ii.] Education. [iii.] Health. [iv.] Administration of markets and motor parks. [v.] Security.
Beyond these two principal activities, committee shall:
- Liaise with the local government to mobilise support for their activities and convey citizens’ concerns to them as it affects them.
- Maintain a mutually rewarding relationship between communities and LGAs.
MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMY
Unemployment has become endemic in Nigeria. Majority of our young people are just drifting with nothing tangible to do. Employers of labour complain of the unemployability of fresh graduates because of the deficit in education. The arguments and counterarguments are endless. In the midst of all that, our youths suffer. When the largest percentage of the population suffers, society invariably suffers. Add to that mix the pungent negative perception of Ikorodu outside the town which has earned us sobriquets like Baddoo land, den of cultism, unsafest part of Lagos etc. and you realize the gargantuan size of the challenge we face. This negative perception must change. We must find solutions in Ikorodu. We cannot let this continue unabated. Our administration shall therefore adopt a multi-pronged approach to tackle this problem. This includes training and retraining; employment facilitation; deploying literary power to change perception; strategic intervention in food cost and festivals among others.
TRAINING AND RE-TRAINING
Our training program christened Life Changer Training Series, LCTS, is aimed at equipping our youths with cutting edge life skills that will position them for leadership. Clearly this is a must do because we necessarily need to equip our youths for significant roles in the emerging world they would find themselves in tomorrow. We cannot continue the current trend of breeding servant stock for the competitive world of tomorrow. To achieve this, we shall mobilise leading resource persons from across the world to train, inspire and impact our teeming young people. In consonance with present realities, LCTS shall hold both online and on-site for wider reach and impact. Mindful that the youth population is not a monolithic demographic as people are wont to think, LCTS shall be target driven. Specific bracket of our youths shall be mobilized to attend as relevant and appropriate through schools and various youth groups respectively.
This requires a two-way approach which shall be data driven. First is to identify all unemployed job seeking young people in Ikorodu along skill set lines and appropriately profile them. Second is to curate all existing and emerging employment opportunities along requirement lines. Once these two databases are established and are regularly updated, it will be possible to point our youths to jobs and employers to our youths. An analysis of these data will feed into LCTS as areas requiring augmentation in the lives of our youths that make them unsuitable for employment will be targeted in trainings. Thus trainings become practically market driven.
IKORODU DIASPORA DAY
A day shall be set aside to interface with sons and daughters of Ikorodu extraction in diaspora. To be known as Ikorodu Diaspora Day, IDD, it shall be a day to celebrate our illustrious sons and daughters doing great things and making us proud in foreign lands while at the same time bringing them up to speed with happenings here at home so that we all can be on the same page in terms the continued development of our dear homeland. IDD will hold both virtually and physically. It will inspire and help us accelerate our march towards a modern contemporary society as we leverage them and the positive experiences they have garnered from their various host countries over the years for our forward leap. Of course, we necessarily shall first compile a comprehensive data of them all.
IKORODU LITERARY INITIATIVE
“Perception is everything” so the saying goes. Truth to tell is, unfortunately, the perception of Ikorodu is negative and continues to slowdown the pace of our development. Just think where we could have been with a more positive perception if despite the present torrid perception we have, we have been able to come this far! This is perhaps the biggest fight for our generation if we intend to hand our children a wholesome lasting legacy. A good name, our elders say, is better than riches. We must quickly remember that ‘name’ is what you are called by others not necessarily what you call yourself. To get people to call you what you want, you must model that thing for them. The goal of Ikorodu Literary Initiative, ILI, is to change the general negative narrative about Ikorodu through the publication of literary works focused on Ikorodu and raise funds for IKODASS through sales of the works.
IKORODU THROUGH YOUR LENS
This is another fast track program that will greatly influence the narrative around Ikorodu. ‘Ikorodu Through your Lens’ is simply a creative photography competition that markets Ikorodu globally while empowering young people. Through this competition the world will see Ikorodu afresh as winning entries shall emerge through both majority popular votes (online) and professional assessment (judges). Our themes per time will determine the focus of the entries each year thus giving us ample room to shape the narrative we want about ourselves. The broad objectives are however not limited to that. Others include positively engaging our youths; show them the immense opportunities available in the world of photography and promote tourism and development within our communities. There shall be two categories – the professional and amateur categories. Each of these shall have male, female and overall sub-categories. Each category shall have a winner, a 1st runner-up and a 2nd runner-up. All winners shall receive prizes as pre-determined.
FOOD BASKET a.k.a. Oja Oba
Periodically we shall host the sales of food items at the cheapest price possible for citizens to buy. This is aimed at cushioning the hardships faced by our people within the present inclement economic dire straits the country has been plunged into. This will require strategic engagement with manufacturers, producers and farmers. In all, this endeavor shall be known as Oja Oba in honour of the obaship stool and in connection with the historical market of same name.
Festivals and carnivals have grown beyond mere vehicles for cultural display and heritage promotion. In various parts of the world, they have become key economy drivers and industry growers. Their tourism potential is massive. It is from this prism that we are taking a fresh look at Oga Day Celebration and Ikorodu Traditional Food Festival. We believe we can grow these to become cynosure of all eyes that not only puts Ikorodu on the global tourism and cuisine maps respectively but become significant catalysts for the economy of Ikorodu.
Security is the responsibility of all. The first line of security for a community is the people. A secure community is a community that is ready to develop. We must therefore re-orientate people to be security conscious in order to usher in envisaged development and remain on the upward trajectory. We shall pay security the serious attention it deserves. We shall effectively collaborate with the local vigilante, the Nigerian Police and other relevant organizations for a more secure Ikorodu.
Funds will be mobilised for Security Watch at all identified ‘black spots’ and designated commercial areas. We shall periodically organize Neighbourhood Security Seminars to educate CDAs and citizens on security matters.
The reason we exist as an association is the continued development of Ikorodu. We must continually innovate and re-invent ourselves. To rest on our oars is to be left behind by other communities and associations. As an administration we clearly understand this and whole heartedly embrace it. We equally believe that projects should not be undertaken for just the sake of it. Whereas we have come on stream with many fresh developmental ideas, we shall however not jettison laudable projects started by the previous administration. To this end, we fully commit to building the IKODASS Civic Centre and moving forward with Ikorodu Economic Summit. Celebration of our annual Oga Day shall be re-invigorated.