It was prayers galore on Thursday, February 10, 2022, when royal father, religious and political leaders, shop owners, residents and members of the Ikorodu Plaza management board gathered to rededicate the edifice for economic prosperity.
The construction of the imposing edifice, located at Ita – Elewa, the centre of Ikorodu, which is collectively owned by the Ikorodu Local Government and other five Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), was started during the administration of Late Engr. Dele Kuti as Chairman of the Old Ikorodu Local Government.
While the construction works for the plaza experienced challenges due to lack of funds, it was completed during the administration of Alhaji Junaid Owokodu, with the intervention of the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.
However, since its completion and commissioning, the complex has suffered different crises such as conflicts between facility managers and shop owners, abandonment, failure of stall owners to operate their shops and lack of patronage among others.
In order to breathe life into the facility, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, the Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government, in conjunction with other Chairmen, constituted a new management board on October 16, 2020, to administer and make the business edifice achieve its intended objectives as a source of revenue.
The new team, since its inauguration, has embarked on many actions to bring commercial activities into the plaza and in furtherance of that, an interdenominational prayer event was organised to rededicate the structure.
The Rt. Revd. Samson Olu Osundina, the Methodist Bishop of Diocese of Ikorodu, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Patriarch Bolaji Johnson Cathedral, Ikorodu, led the Christian prayer and rededicated the premises and the plaza with salt, water and anointing oil.
Grand Chief Imam, Ikorodu Division, Alhaji Sheikh Sefiudeen Ademoritan Olowooribi led His Eminence, Sheikh Yahya Olorunoshebi Oshoala Ajagbemokeferi, Ameer ul Muhminina As-Samadaani and the Chief Imam, Oriwu Central Mosque, Ikorodu, and other Imams, to officiate the muslim version of the prayer.
The third prayer session by the traditionalists was led by the Apena of lkorodu, High Chief Kareem Ore, with other Osugbo chieftains.
His Royal Majesty, Oba (Engr.) Kabir Adewale Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, in his royal remarks, said that he wishes to see the plaza become economically viable to contribute meaningfully to the social and economic developments of the Ikorodu Division.
“I want this place to bring forth good fruits and prosperity for Ikorodu Division”, the royal father asserted.
“I pray that those prayers that we have offered today will lead to the turning – around of this plaza.
“Henceforth, there will be positive changes as this plaza will start to be viable. These are my wishes and that’s why we are gathered here today to offer prayers and rededicate it for profitability and prosperity.
Speaking with THE IMPACT, Chairman, Ikorodu Plaza Management Board, Prince Adio Jamiu Saka, said that the gathering ought to have come ten years ago but that it’s never too late to seek divine intervention.
He added that the inter-denominational prayer was aimed at bringing about the rebirth of the plaza and making it achieve its desired objectives.
“It is the rebirth of the premises that host the Ikorodu Plaza, which is an investment for Ikorodu Division”, Saka said.
“It was built with a loan from the First Bank and the loan has been paid back and we have to make this facility serve the purposes it was built for.
“Unfortunately, it has been unable to achieve this, but today, we are gathered to pray for the plaza to serve its purpose and turn to a good investment for the division and become a place that tenants/shop owners will make good sales and profit in their businesses.
“We want this place to be a model in the state; a place where businesses thrive. It is a well-constructed structure and edifice that Ikorodu Division will be proud of.
“Today, we are showing to the world what we have and that we are ready to do everything to make it great through the power of prayers and commitment.
“We are proving the efficacy of prayers as key to success and our gathering has been a huge success”, he said.
Builder Sesan Daini, Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, who spoke on behalf of other chairmen at the event, thanked the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, his chiefs and Board Members of the Ikorodu Plaza, for initiating the rededication of the edifice.
“I pray that prayers offered today will be answered and that we shall start seeing its positive effects soon”, he said.
“I am happy that those that own the division are gathered here today to take action and pray for the success of the heritage and development in the division”.
Bishop Osundina, in his sermon titled, ‘Ase Oro’ (Power of Words), said that positive words have the power of manifesting and added that the decision of the entire lkorodu Division to come together and pronounce new life into the plaza will come to reality.
“We are here to assert the power of words and bring prosperity into this plaza. Today, we are pronouncing new life into this place and making it bear good fruit”, he said.
“Words have the power to bind and unbind; kill and give life; lift up or hold down, but today, we are here to speak of positive development.
“The royal father and stakeholders in Ikorodu division have resolved that it is time for a turnaround for this plaza and make it bear good fruits of prosperity and improved businesses.
“Because of this resolve by the entire division, this year will not just bring good life and patronages into this place, but this year will be a year of transformation, deliverance, prosperity and positive developments in Ikorodu”, Bishop Osundina added.
Alhaji Olowo-Oribi, in his remarks, recalled that there was a prayer session by eminent Islamic scholars decades back at the Ikorodu Central Mosque which, according to him, aided the development of industries and commerce in the division.
He also stated that the development of businesses and industries in Ikorodu have encouraged residents to trade within the town instead of going to Lagos Island where they used to go on a daily basis to trade back then.
He commended the initiative by the management of the plaza and the royal father to seek spiritual intervention in making the plaza economically viable.
“This plaza was built as part of efforts to improve commercial activities in Ikorodu but despite the fact that it is located in the centre where we have economic activities, it is still facing some difficulties”, Imam Olowo-Oribi said.
“We are here today to pray for improve commercial activities and business growth and I have no doubt that we will start seeing more activities that will bring prosperity to Ikorodu after these prayers like it happened decades back when special prayer session was held at the Ikorodu Central Mosque, for economic development of Ikorodu”, he recalled.
Members of the management board of the plaza at the prayer sessions were Mr. Adebayo Kazeem Babatunde, Board Secretary, Alhaji Junaid Owokorodu, Mrs. O. T. Benson, Mr. Odusoga, Mr. Shakirudeen Ajibade Ajala, Hon. Olugbenga Oshin and Mr. Adewusi Sulaimon.
Among eminent personalities that attended the interdenominational prayers were Hon. Adeola Banjo, Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Hon. Segun Aluko, Vice Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA who represented the council chairman, Mr Fatai Lasisi, former Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State, Sir (Otunba) Ayodele Elesho, the Agbaakin of Ikorodu, Prince Jimoh Ogunmuyiwa, former Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Alhaja Kudirat Lamina, Proprietor, Lamina Schools, Oloye Oye Solebo, former Chairman, Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG) and Mr Ajala.