-It is a shame to us as a people – Odofin Alajede
-We are working on it – Council Chairman
Three years after the Odoro Beach at Ijede in ljede Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in lkorodu division of Lagos State, was developed by the youths of the community, and consequently launched as a relaxation and tourism centre, the beach has now been covered with weeds, a situation which has been described as very disappointing by residents, tourists and other fun seekers who had fell in love with its strategic positioning.
Beside the abandoned beach is the Odoro Stream, a tourism site and one of the three gazzeted sites in Ikorodu Division, by the Lagos State Government, which is also in a sorry state and needs government’s attention. The stream, which flows into the lagoon, is currently being threatened by the collapsed walls and weeds which have covered it completely.
Our reporter received many calls from fun seekers and tourists that visited the Odoro beach after the viral story and video of it’s commissioning in April 2021, which THE IMPACT reported, on the current state of the beach, to register their complaints.
Disturbed by the level of deterioration of the two sites and the need to bring them back to life and rejuvenate there tourism potentials and make them contribute effectively to the social and economic developments of Ijede, residents have appealed to both the Lagos State Government and Ijede LCDA, to intervene before the two monuments deteriorate further.
At the moment, the lagoon has washed away major parts of the land reclaimed by the youths three years ago, to create the beach.
When our reporter visited the Odoro stream and beach, youths of Ijede were seen swimming in the stream which had served many purposes for the community from the time immemorial.
Speaking with one of the young fun seeker who identified himself as Oluwadamilare, he called on the Lagos State Government and Ijede LCDA, to intervene and ensure that the two sites are put back in good shape, for the relaxation of the people.
“First and foremost, the government needs to intervene by clearing the weeds that have covered the Odoro stream to make it clean. They should also ensure that dumping of refuse is not allowed in and around the place”, he said.
“If it can be properly monitored and preserved, it is going to be one of the best streams around. According to what I have heard from people, its water is very clean and good for drinking. It is something that government should look into and make efforts to preserve it, and make the water much more safe and useful for the people.
“For the beach, it was late in 2019 or 2020, that the youths came together to develop the place, but you can see now that the place is bushy. They have left it uncared for, while the maintenance is very poor.
“I am hoping that the Chairman of the ljede LCDA, and the state government will look at what can be done about. This is a proper place for relaxation. If you look at the other side of the (abandoned) beach, there is a hotel which is being used for relaxation. So, Odoro too can be used for same thing”, Oluwadamilare appealed.
Another youth, Ayomide also lamented the state of the beach and the stream, while stating that the lives of residents using the stream, may be endangered if the bush that has covered the two sites, are not cleared.
According to the concern resident, apart from the neglect by the government, lack of encouragement on the part of a section of the community, to use the sites regularly, is also reason for the present state of the stream and beach.
“Since the Odoro beach has been developed about four years ago, it has been left uncared for, and as a result, both the beach and stream are now bushy. If care is not taken, animals can attack residents making use of the stream”, he said.
“The youths of the community always try to clear the place, but they are always discouraged by some people not to do it. This has made it difficult for interested residents to intervene.
“The government should help us rehabilitate the place and make it better, so that people can come from Ikorodu and other places, to enjoy the Odoro beach and catch fun. They (government) should help us redevelop the place”, he appealed.
High Babatunde Alliu Ogunumuyiwa, the Odofin Alajede of Ijede, who commended the youths responsible for the development of the beach, attributed its collapsed to the lack of a traditional head in Ijede. He added that the situation has polarized the community and affected many things.
“I want to thank the Odoro Youth Forum, for the beach initiative some years back. They did very well. What you saw that day (the opening of the Odoro beach) was the work of these youths, but there is an adage that says, “A community that has been having a traditional ruler long before and now, find herself without a monarch, is like a person walking without an head”. What direction do you expect such person to go? That is the situation that the Ijede community is, and it is what has happened to Odoro”, Odofin Ogunmuyiwa said.
“The youths are divided because of this Obaship issue, and that is why the place is abandoned.
Odofin, who described the state of the beach as a shame to Ijede, recalled an incident when a fun seeker read about the development of the Odoro beach in THE IMPACT report online, and came with his girlfriend, but was disappointed when he visited the place to see it covered with weeds.
“Somebody came to me with his girlfriend and asked me to direct them to Odoro, but I responded that they have passed the place and he said that he did not think that it is the same Odoro that you (THE IMPACT newspaper) published on the internet is the same Odoro he saw on his way, but I told him that it is same water”, he said.
“It is a shame to all of us in Ijede, and as a people”, he added.
He called on the council authority to assist in bringing the beach back to life.
“We expected our local council to do something about it. Let’s give them more time to see what they want to do about it”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of Ijede LCDA, Alhaja (Hon.) Motunrayo Gbadebo – Alogba, has said that her administration is working towards reviving the beach.
Alogba, who spoke with THE IMPACT, in her office, revealed that the council is planning to make the beach bigger and better.
“The truth is that the place (Odoro beach) is now bushy and there is lots of work to be done there. We have had a major stakeholders’ meeting, on it. We intend to partner with people that can help us bring tourism back to life in that part of our council. We are not done yet, it’s a work in progress and you will see the result soon”, she said.
“We have also set up a committee on that, and we will be sharing the details when it’s about to come back to life. The most important thing is that we want it to be well known and better than it used to be”, Alogba added.