Newly installed Elerunmu of Erunmu Oba Oyesola Akanji Oyerinde, in this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Akintunde Yusuf, reveals a bigger dreams he wants to pursue for the benefits of the ancient town of after many years of not having a King due to an internal crisis.
Historically, Erunmu is located at about 16 kilometers East of Ibadan, and formerly under the Ibadan East Native Authority, later Lagelu Local Government before the creation of Egbeda Local Government in Nigeria political system. It is largely an indigenous area, in terms of population of the town in Egbeda Local Government of Oyo State with more than 22,000 people (ESDA 2020) and with most of its inhabitants and dwellers being farmers, market operators and traders.
It should be noted that on Monday 24th May, 2021, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji Aje Ogunguniso I, installed the new Elerunmu. Excerpts below:
Can you brief us on the journey to the throne?
Once again, l am Oba Oyesola Akanji Oyerinde, the new Elerunmu of Erunmu, l am from Idi-Omo Compound, one of the members of Adeniyi Ojo of Erunmu town. I want to show gratitude to the Almighty God for making it possible for me to emerge as the Elerunmu of Erunmu after some years of contest between my family, Adeniyi Ojo and that of Iyiola family, on who should ascend the throne of our forefathers. I pray that God should use my emergence to bring peace back to our dear fatherland Erunmu, after many years of crisis that deprived the town of genuine love and commitments from its citizenry to transform the ancient town to its rightful position.
I will not forget to appreciate the efforts of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji Aje Ogunguniso 1 (Kabiesi o) for standing firm for truth, peace and justice on the Erunmu traditional issue that has been a subject of discussion for years and for deeming it fit to lay all those crisis to rest.
The warm reception and atmosphere that the good sons and daughters of Erunmu home and abroad have given me further shows that they have been expecting this good development and it is a new birth in the town.
Where was Erunmu when you assumed the throne as Elerunmu of Erunmu in the area of development?
There is no doubt that the town has lost many things in the area of development, due to the Obaship crisis. There has not been the deserved recognition and honour the town merited from all and sundry due to lack of recognized leader or King.
Maybe I should state it here that Elerunmu has a big role to play in Egbeda Local Government, and a leader of the traditional council of Egbeda Local Government of Oyo State, Nigeria. That is to tell you that Erunmu has a big position in Yoruba history, and commands much respect and what have you than what has been presently seen. By the grace of God we are going to restore all the lost glories of the town.
I have foreseen many developments for the town, and which l have already started, most especially in the area of Security; I have started with this by opening up the town through clearing of bush to avoid hideouts fir hoodlums and harbouring troubled herdsmen in the town.
The clearing is to make the town more visible and accessible for visitors as to further attract investment to the town.
I will be setting up plans, and in due time I will be raising and giving responsibilities through volunteers to the sons and daughters of Erunmu, to work out more developmental plans and ideas on how to improve properly and raise the standard of Education of our future generation, repositioning the standard of both primary and secondary schools in Erunmu.
And on accessibility to good roads network, I have raised concern on the status of our roads to the necessary and appropriate authorities. And I will be following them up. The road will be done from the entrance of the town to Egbeda Local Government express. And as well linkage to other small villages under my jurisdiction as Elerunmu of Erunmu.
On the issue of Electricity supply as well, I understand that, the status of Erunmu power supply is abysmally low, discouraging and as well unfortunate. But I have been sending our displeasures on that to the IBEDC, and for them to find out a way where they can help in increasing the power supply, and at the same time attracting more transformers for the use of the town and her environs.
On Health, I will be calling on the Egbeda Local Government Chairman, Hon. Sanda Sikiru Oyedele in due time on how our Health Care Centers can be refurnished, equipped and maintain for the benefits of the public health system of the Erunmu. I want to also congratulate him on his election as the new ALGON Chairman of the state.
On the moribund Post Office, we will work with the appropriate ministries and agencies to bring it back to life.
(Cuts in) Still on the development, Kabiesi, what is the status of the Inland Dryport, and how do you think that can help in the area of industrialization of the town?
The Inland Dry Port is still there, I have been briefed by the community elders that have been working on it over the years. I will as well call on them to know where I will be coming in to actualise the commencement of operation on the site. I have also being clarifying the rumour that the dry port has been taken away from Erunmuland to somewhere else. It was just a rumour as the dry port is still on the Erunmuland.
Still on Erunmu Economic Development Kabiesi, the popular ‘Te’san Erunmu’ market, do you have any plan to see if it can be modernized?
Thank you, thank God we all know that, the market is an ancient one that we all grew up to know. And also a property of the Egbeda Local Government, as we know, markets are under the management of the local government. It is the function of the LG to build more stalls and warehouses in the market as well as building of toilets for the welfare of the traders. Thank God, the LG Chairman, Hon. Sikiru Sanda is a friend of the town, Erunmu, and I will invite him to see how the town and the local government can partner to lift up the market for economic gain of both the government and Erunmu.
I also want to further encourage the traders to not relent in paying their dues to the Local Government as this would help in facilitating prompt development of the market.
Let me also bring this up as well, we have the Garri Processing Industry in Erunmu; Better Life Garri Making Industry, and also the Palm Oil Industry.
I am appealing to the government at all levels to help the town in boosting her economy by providing agricultural-aid funds and grants as the town has been blessed with fertile soil that can in turn boost the agricultural production of the country and increase the food bank of the nation.
In conclusion Kabiesi, any advice for the good people of Erunmu and environs?
My people have welcomed us with their two hands. And I have been receiving homages from other neighboring communities and their Baales and other community leaders. All I want is for us all to build a new Erunmu on unity, peaceful coexistence and love as those are the bedrocks of development.
I also want to enjoin the people of Erunmu to give total cooperation with the government so as to make the town a developed one.