A book on the Igbe road (Hon. Babajimi Benson Road) that was recently brought back to life after decades of collapse and commissioned by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, has been presented to the public by the community.
The book, titled, ‘Igbe Road: The Gateway’, was written by the Igbe Road Rehabilitation Committee (IRRC) and published by the LIB Global Media Limited, chronicled the phases of the road from when it was created by the administration of Late Alhaji Lateef Jakande in 1983 through it collapse and rehabilitation.
Hon. Babajimi Benson, who facilitated the rehabilitation of the road, an effort that the community so cherished to the extent that they renamed the road after him, launched the 78 – page book with 9 Chapters.
The chapters are: ‘In the Beginning (circa 1983 – 1999)’, ‘A synopsis of Igbe Road’, ‘The Collapsed Era (Circa 2011 – 16th , 2019’) and ‘The Resurrection of Igbe Road’.
Other chapters are ‘The Rehabilitation (June 17th 2019 – 22nd Sept. 2020), ‘Finance’, ‘Hon. Jimi Benson (MHR) – The Prodigy’, ‘What Next’ and ‘Appreciation’
Aside renaming the road after Hon. Babajimi Benson, the community also conferred the Community Builders’ Award on the young and vibrant Federal lawmaker in recognition of his meritorious and selfless service towards the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Igbe road.
Also awarded with the Community Builders’ Awards were – His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Hon. Nurudeen Solaja, Member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Builder Sesan Daini, Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA,Prince Adekunle Oduborisha and Alhaji Babatunde Rotinwa among others.
THE IMPACT Newspaper and the Channels Television are the only two media houses that were honoured with the same awards at the event.
Pastor Joshua A. Adeniyi, the Chairman of the lgbe Road Rehabilitation Committee (IRRC), which was formed by the nine communities that came together to embark on the rehabilitation of the road before the intervention of Hon. Benson, while speaking at the event, said that the road lost its glory about 20 years after construction as it collapsed and became terrible, thereby, causing residents so much pains and agony.
“After completing the road, it was handed over to the then Local Government. About 20 years after, the road lost its glory. It disintegrated into a rejected and dejected road, having lost its attraction due to the massive influx of people coming here to buy and develop their lands”, he said.
“As times went on, the road became so bad and impassable such that, passing through the road became a nightmare”.
He said that about N34million was realized when the communities in Igbe came together to resolve a common problem which he described as frightening and enormous but which they collectively battled and resolved with the help of Hon. Benson.
“But, as God would have it, the need to rehabilitate the road became so imperative that, a small group (Ife Oluwa CDA, Igbeyin Adun CDA, ItedoOliwa CDA, IgbeGateway CDA, Otitoloju CDA, Onolu CDA, Hilltop CDA, Peaceland CDA, and Odera CDA) came together to salvage the road, commencing from 17th June 2019, and I was appointed the Chairman.
“The Project Team, named Igbe Road Rehabilitation Committee (IRRC) began work in earnest, cummulating donations (cash, equipment, personnel, etc, all estimated to about N34m) from members, trudging through the sun and the rain, inside the trenches, working assiduously to salvage the dilapidated road.
“It was an enormous task, it was a frightening task, but we faced the challenges squarely. We did our best, and we made it motorable.
“Behold, Almighty God sent his son – Hon Babajimi Benson. We invited him to come and see how we spent his cash donations, and to his surprise, the work done beat his imagination and he made a statement that further triggered our zeal.
“At this point, he promised to partner with us to reconstruct the entire stretch of 2.2kilometers, asphalt it and even adorned it with street lights”, he said.
Mr Babatunde Gbolade, a community chieftain and the Chief Executive Officer, De Sleek Hotel, who commended the intervention of the representative of the Ikorodu Federal Constituency in making the road motorrable, said that his business, which was adversely affected by the collapse of the road, has picked up since its rehabilitation.
He commended the efforts of the media, especially THE IMPACT, in bringing the attention of the public to the state of the road.
Prince Oduborisha, who invited Hon. Benson to visit the road when the community was doing self – help rehabilitation through funds donated by residents and others, including the lawmaker, also described him as an outstanding lawmaker whose impact is felt across his constituency.
The foremost Environmentalist also thanked Governor Sanwo – Olu for coming around to commission the road.
Hon. Benson, while speaking said that he was overwhelmed by all the accolades and honour, while stating that he should be the one thanking his constituents for electing and supporting him.
The two – term lawmaker said that he is only doing what he was elected to do by initiating bills, representing and facilitating developmental projects for his people.
He said that he facilitated the rehabilitation of the road because he was impressed with the passion and commitment of the residents coupled with the sense of their accountability in handling donations.
“I facilitated the rehabilitation of Igbe road because I was impressed by the efforts of the community when Alhaji Oduborisha invited me to see what they were doing”, he said.
“I also read and saw news reports by THE IMPACT and Channels on the deplorable state of the road.
“The day that I first came to see the efforts of the community on the road, I saw a CDA that is not just sitting down and eating with what they have garnered but people that are committed in making a difference.
“I realised that I have to meet their expectations in bringing life back to the road and that is exactly what we did”.
He said that COVID – 19 pandemic and #EndSARS protest affected the timely delivery of the project but commended the contractor for not abandoning the project during these periods.
He also thanked the community for cooperating and giving him the much needed support.
He described the Igbe community as special because of the way that they handle things.
“This is a special community. They even published a book to document activities on the road and honoured us.
“I thank you for renaming the road after me, even though I initially rejected the idea but after consultations and also the insistence by the community, I had to accept it”, he said.
Chairman of the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Builder Daini, gave the council approval for the renaming of the road and assured the community that necessary actions will be completed in that respect.
He also thanked Hon. Benson for his intervention in his council while also commending the community in the way and manner that they handled the project.
“I am 100% in support of the renaming and by the authority conferred on me as the Chairman of Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA by the Constitution of Nigeria, especially the First Schedule, I, hereby, pronounce the road renamed as Hon. Babajimi Benson Road’, he said.
“I have gained a lot from Hon. Babajimi Benson’s service to humanity. I thank him for saving my face on a day like this because when the community approached me, I told them that we did not have the means to do the road and gave them my personal support.
“This is a project that he can divide into all the councils under his constituency by doing short roads and get commendations but he chose this long stretch road in Igbogbo”, he said thankfully.
“There is no council in the Ikorodu Federal Constituency that Hon. Benson is not doing three to four projects”.
He also commended the accountability and transparency nature of the IRRC.
“Accountability of the IRRC speaks for the community. The way that you accounted for every penny that you realized on a daily basis is very commendable. Other CDAs should learn from it”, Builder Daini charged.
The community at the event also inaugurated a Road Maintenance Committee for the Hon. Babajimi Benson Road.