I.D.U Will Now Pursue Ikere Dam, Higher Institution and Road construction With Vigour – Bayo Raji
The Chronicler newspaper had a brief chat with the newly sworn-in President of Iseyin Development Union (I.D.U), Comrade Bayo Raji, who is an astute manager of resources, union leader, as well as the local government administrator. Issues relating to ways forward to nagging developmental discourse were raised. Enjoy the conversation:
The Chronicler: Congratulations on your election as the new national President of I.D.U, the mother-society for all Iseyin indigenes at home and in Diaspora. What spurred you into coming out to hold this post?
Bayo Raji: Actually I feel that Iseyin is an ancient town that ought to have developed that what we have now and I feel that we should not allow things to remain as they are, because if we keep on doing things the same way, we shall be having the same result. We have to change. We have to be proactive so that we shall not be eternally deprived of our rights, and that is why I think that we should not wait indefinitely and incidentally, the moment I was nominated, I saw it as a challenge. It is a call for sacrifice, a call for service and I feel that i am up to the task and this time around, we have to be involved.
The Chronicler: Sir, we would like you to pick on specific areas where you think your regime could make solid impacts as you assumed office.
Bayo Raji: The very first area that I want to address is on this issue of higher institutions of leraning. A big town of Iseyin’s calibre that does not have any higher institution is unfortunate and we have to press to accomplish it. Whatever extent that we can go, whether to lobby the State or federal to achieve it, we will do it.
Secondly on the issue of Ikere George Dam, we were informed that the dam is one of the three largest in the country and has been abandoned since 1978 and we learnt that even then, it was on 80% completion as at 1978. Government has to be made to do something about this. So we want to have an impact on that.
Number three, we feel that the road network that leads, both to the entrance and out of Iseyin, that is Iseyin to Oyo, Moniya to Iseyin and others that lead beyond Iseyin far into Oke-Ogun should be addressed. Oke-Ogun has been largely marginalized and we feel Iseyin is the gateway that must have better roads and other facilities like Ibadan, Ogbomoso and others.
The Chronicler: All these points highlighted were also touched upon by those before you, though we may say they did not make expected success from them. What are those things you think you can do different from your successors to achieve them?
Bayo Raji: Strategy differs. We have to move out. We will not give our people arm-chair leadership. Those before us have tried, I just want to ass my own little impetus so that we can move forward. We cannot perpetually be giving our people excuses. Those people that are willing to do something must be forced or coerced by all means to do it.
We want to see what our new generation can do differently, so that those coming on behind us can make a difference, therefore with the cooperation of our people, we will get there. But we need unity.
The Chronicler: Looking at your position as a career person in the local government system, one will fear it will affect your goals and dreams you set out to achieve. How will you actualize them with this?
Bayo Raji: I also thought along that line but what I felt is that, like Wole Soyinka said “The Man Died in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny.” Whether I am a civil servant or a business man, the fact is I am a citizen and indigene of Iseyin and some people must be ready to speak up in the interest of their own towns. It is pertinent to we start doing same.
It must happen in our generation. It is time. If not now, when? We must be ready to do something, in fact I am being challenged, otherwise left for me, I would have also agreed that after retirement, I will go into personal business. So people nominated me because they have confidence in me and I feel I should not betray their confidence.