Today, Sunday 22nd October 2023 marks the seventh anniversary of the installation of Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi and Yeye Asiwaju Dr Olubisi Fasuyi in office.
At a meeting in the Palace of His Imperial Majesty Owa Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II, CFR, LL. D on Friday, 6th March 2020, Her Excellency Dame Erelu Olusola Agbeja-Obada, CON in the course of her contribution to the proceedings of the meeting remarked as follows; “Baba Kabiyesi, you will recollect that about four years ago, when you proposed Mr Yinka Fasuyi, as he was then, as the Asiwaju of Ijesaland, I was one of the people that vehemently opposed the choice of Mr Yinka Fasuyi. But looking back today at what Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi has been doing since day one of his installation as Asiwaju of Ijesaland, I make bold to say that, Kabiyesi since your coronation and enthronement as Owa Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland in 1982, your choice and resolute decision to install Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi as the Asiwaju of Ijesaland is the best, I repeat, is the best chieftaincy conferment decision you have ever made to date………..”
What a prophetic statement made by an elder stateswoman, highly cerebral political juggernaut, former deputy governor, former minister of defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Erelu of Ijesaland 3 years, 7 months, and 14 days ago or 1,323 days ago!
Before they are congratulated on their chieftaincy conferment anniversary, let’s take a quick glance at their footprints in office.
1. Continuous Payment of WAEC Fees for Students of Public Secondary Schools in the six LGAs of Ijesaland=
2018= 250 Students
2021= 310 Students
Total to Date: 2,015 Students.
A scheme that at inception was misconstrued to be a strategic move by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi to venture into politics but which today has become the signpost of Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi’s unprecedented interest and commitment to the development of Ijesaland.
2. UNITY OF TRADITIONAL RULERS AND COMMUNITIES IN IJESALAND
Upon installation, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi discovered that there was no sufficient mutual relationship between the Traditional Rulers and Communities in Ijesaland.
Consequently, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi shared his views with His Imperial Majesty Owa Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II, CFR, LL.D and got his consent to organise the first meeting of the traditional rulers in Ijesaland, at Ifewara on 17th January 2019, and most of our Royal Fathers were in attendance.
The second edition was held at Ijebu-jesa on the 6th of November 2019.
It is insightful to mention that some of our traditional rulers met for the first time at these unity meetings organised by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi.
The subsequent level of camaraderie and social relationships amongst our traditional rulers in Ijesaland have affected and improved the relationships among our various communities in Ijesaland to date.
- IBEDC ELECTRICITY CUT-OFF & RESTORATION IN IJESALAND
An imbroglio between the Youths in Ijesaland and IBEDC on Monday, 18th March 2019 led to the destruction of vital electricity infrastructure. Consequently, the electricity supply to Ijesaland was disconnected from the National Grid. The disconnection was to last a minimum of five years if the community refused to pay for the destroyed infrastructure, a period considered to be more than enough to ruin the socioeconomic activities in the entire Ijesaland.To forestall this scenario, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi personally coordinated several meetings and consultations with all stakeholders which culminated in resolving the crisis in three months without paying any penalty to IBEDC.
As a dogged community leader, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi demonstrated uncommon enigma and patriotism in salvaging Ijesaland from the embarrassment of living without electricity for a minimum of five years.
- ESTABLISHMENT OF IJESA MINERAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FORUM (IMRDF)
On Sunday 10th May, 2020 Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi took up another leadership challenge in Ijesaland through the formation of Ijesa Mineral Resources Development Forum (IMRDF), a non-governmental body saddled with Community Advocacy and Enlightenment activities on Safe Mining Practices in Ijesaland.
The body comprised of top-notch Ijesa technocrats and compatriots has been relentlessly prosecuting this novel agenda across all communities in Ijesaland with members’ sole financing all its activities without recourse to the government or any external body.
- CONSTRUCTION OF OWA OBOKUN ADIMULA PALACE
After three previous failed attempts to reconstruct the Palace of Owa Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland gutted in fire in 2002, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi in his usual stride took up the gauntlet by conceiving, initiating, championing, and mobilising 102 illustrious and patriotic IJESA MEN AND WOMEN to contribute towards the construction of a magnificent Ultra-modern Palace of Owa Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland in 9-months within the peak period of COVID-19.
He astutely managed the project with other prominent Ijesa sons and daughters in the Project Management Team (PMT) and Project Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (PMEC) without a Kobo being paid to the Architect, Structural Engineer, Civil Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, and Quantity Surveyor (All the Professional Services, Designs, and Supervision were done Pro Bono).
An icing on the cake in the Management of the Owa’s Palace Project Fund under Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi was the saving of a surplus whopping sum of N36,000,000 (Thirty-Six Million Naira) from the financial contributions made by Ijesas.
- CONSTRUCTION OF IJESALAND GERIATRIC CENTRE
Immediately after the completion of the Ultra-modern Palace of Owa Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland, the N36M saving was used as the seed fund for another initiative conceived by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi
THE 2021 IJESA HEALTH IS WEALTH PROJECT.
With the support of other eminent Ijesas in the Project Management Team (PMT), Project Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (PMEC), and Project Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC), the construction of the largest community-funded N1B (One Billion Naira) project was delivered in 10 (Ten) months and commissioned by the former Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola on Thursday, 31st March 2022.
The massive financial contributions mobilised by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi were donated by 124 INDIVIDUAL IJESA MEN & WOMEN; 6 PLATINUM IJESA MEN & WOMEN; 20 IJESA FAMILIES; 11 CORPORATE DONORS; AND 62 EQUIPMENT SHIPMENT DONORS.
The crowning stroke of the IGC project is the judicious management of the Project’s Fund under the able and exemplary leadership of Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi which again resulted in the huge saving of N109,344,878 (One Hundred and Nine Million, Three Hundred Forty-Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Eight Naira) only. A sum of N80,000,000 (Eighty Million Naira) of this surplus has been set aside to finance the Ijesa Youths Vocational and Entrepreneurship Development Program being packaged by the Ijesa Development Council (IDC).
- ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILESA
Previous attempts were made by Societies and Individuals in Ijesaland to have a University in Ilesa between 1978 and 2019 under 16 different Administrations in Osun and Old Oyo States but unfortunately, the efforts were not successful.
Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi reopened this drive with his personal meeting with the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Wednesday, 10th April 2019 in the Governor’s office in Osogbo.
Even though former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola believed in the desirability of a university in the cultural, traditional, and economic headquarters of Ijesaland, Ilesa, the State Government’s major challenge in acceding to the conversion of Osun State College of Education, Ilesa to a full-fledged University was due to the scarcity of funds to sustainably run a university which the government believed could not be undertaken without the support of other stakeholders.
Consequently, he was not initially willing to yield to the systematic strategies and pressure designed by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi.
Such strategies included but were not limited to the following activities conceived and initiated by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi: Request for a university for Ijesaland during a One-on-one meeting with the Governor in his office on 10th April 2019 Public demand for the University in his address to the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola at the Official commissioning of the Ultra-modern Palace of Owa Obokun Adimula at Ilesa on Saturday, 26th December 2020.
Initiated, conceived, assembled, established, and inaugurated the University Project Consultative Committee (UPCC) on Sunday, 18th April 2021.
UPCC was the body that eventually designed and packaged the University Proposal that was publicly presented to former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his Cabinet on Friday, 6th August 2021.Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi also led the 3-Man Proposal Presentation Session to the Governor and his Cabinet.
Other Distinguished Presenters were Chief Akin Akinola (Baba Sawe) and Prof Isaac Folorunso Adewole.
Galvanised, and Prepared a Letter of Request for the University in Ilesa which was signed by His Imperial Majesty Owa Obokun Adimula, most of the Traditional Rulers in Ijesaland, Presidents of Ijesa Societies and Clubs, and notable Ijesa Leaders.
The letter was thereafter submitted to the former Governor on Wednesday, 5th January 2022.
Finally, the odds toward having a University in Ilesa were broken when former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his Cabinet arrived at the venue of commissioning of the largest community-funded N1B (One Billion Naira) Ijesaland Geriatric Centre on Thursday 31st March, 2022.
The IGC suddenly became a game-changer that instantly convinced the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and his Cabinet that Ijesaland truly merits and deserves a University in Ilesa with obviously proven unprecedented feat and capacity to self-finance two heavy and monumental development projects back-to-back without any support from government or external bodies.
No wonder, this record-breaking magic wand of Ijesaland in self-development prompted the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to take advantage of the IGC commissioning event to announce to the whole world, his government’s immediate upgrade of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa to a full-fledged University of Ilesa in the presence of His Imperial Majesty Owa Obokun Adimula, Traditional Rulers in Ijesaland, and eminent Ijesa Sons and Daughters.
There lies the birth of the University of Ilesa!
During the commissioning, former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola openly commended and recommended the Ijesa Community and her leadership to other Communities to emulate.
The feat of delivering the two monumental Community projects initiated, conceived, and championed by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi, the former governor further remarked was the final reason and conviction for yielding to the yearnings of the people of Ijesaland.
The University of Ilesa was therefore finally a reality with the set of activities listed above.
Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi hosted a Post-University Proclamation final strategy meeting at his Ilesa residence where the strategies for speedy passage of the University of Ilesa Bill at the Osun State House of Assembly, as well as the Executive Arm Processing of subsequent steps, were thoroughly discussed.
In attendance at the strategy meeting hosted by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi on Sunday, 24th July 2022 were the former Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Timothy Owoeye; Chief of Staff to the former Governor, Dr Charles Akinola; Baba Sawe, Chief Akin Akinola; Former Chairman Osun State House of Assembly Committee on Education, Hon. Wale Adedoyin; Former Provost Osun State College of Education, Ilesa Prof Kola Kazeem; and the hostess, Yeye Asiwaju of Ijesaland Dr Olubisi Fasuyi.
Precisely 15 days after this strategy meeting hosted by Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi, on Monday 8th August 2022, the Bill for the Establishment of The University of Ilesa was passed by the Osun State House of Assembly under the illustrious leadership of Rt. Hon Timothy Owoeye. With the ingenious works of the University Implementation Committee under the erudite scholar, Prof Olu Aina, the ever-supportive former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola signed the University of Ilesa Bill into Law on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.
8. SEED FUNDING OF IJESA YOUTHS’ DEVELOPMENT FUND
Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi facilitated the birth of Ijesa Youths’ Development Fund through a stakeholders’ meeting called at his instance and hosted at his Ilesa residence on Wednesday, 7th September 2022. A meeting, that was well attended by our esteemed Traditional Rulers in Ijesaland who endorsed the initiative and promised to support it through the donation of land in their respective jurisdictions for the use of the Youths for their various agricultural-related enterprises. Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi followed up his commitment to the IJESA YOUTHS’ DEVELOPMENT FUND, which Ijesa Youth Forum (IYF) was expected to use to drive its development fund mobilisation by pledging a sum of N12,000,000 (twelve million Naira) during the meeting. The pledge was fully redeemed to IYF on 18th October 2022.
9. HEROES OF IJESA UNITY: RESPONSE TO ILARE-IJESA ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER
On Friday 27th January 2023, a windstorm was experienced in Ilare-Ijesa with attendant damages to many of the community’s infrastructure. Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi championed the clarion call to all Ijesa sons, daughters, societies, and communities. This culminated in the entire Ijesas’ coming together for the first time as one family and proving that the plight of one, was the plight of all. The financial contributions from 182 Individual Ijesa Compatriots; 16 Ijesa Societies, Clubs, and Community Associations amounting to N16,616,267:89 (Sixteen Million, Six Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty-Seven Naira, Eighty-Nine Kobo) only was contributed within three weeks. The HEROES & HEROINES OF IJESA UNITY were birthed with this camaraderie.
10. SCHOLARSHIP EMPOWERMENT OF 250 IJESA YOUTHS WITH TECHNICAL & VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
Our Youths in Ijesaland represent our future, hence our invaluable assets, which we must invest heavily in to secure their contemporary value and relevance in the future.
Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi investigated and discovered that less than 100 candidates (10%) of the total school enrolment of 1,300 Students at the highly equipped Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Ilesa came from the six LGAs in Ijesaland.
The remaining academic seats (about 90%) were occupied by students from outside Ijesaland. This did not sit well with Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi, he therefore initiated a meeting with the FSTC Management.
The meeting revealed that Ijesa students were not forthcoming in enrolment due to their inability to pay the school fees.
Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi thereafter mobilised the indefatigable and committed Ijesa Community, through the FSTC Scholarship Management Committee (FSMC) to sponsor 250 candidates of Ijesa origin in the 3-Year courses at the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC), Ilesa.
The school fees/total value of scholarship for the 250 students who have already resumed for their studies on Monday, 9th October 2023 amounts to N150,000,000 (One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira).
The Almighty God shall continue to bless and prosper the 78 Ijesa Compatriots who paid for the sponsorship of these 250 Scholars drawn from all the six LGAs in Ijesaland.
With the array of historic, landmark, and monumental developmental interventions that were either never conceived before the coming of Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi or those interventions that were unsuccessfully attempted, it is very evident and obvious that the entire Ijesaland has good cause to celebrate two of their own, Asiwaju and Yeye Asiwaju of Ijesaland, who have positively changed the course of history for good in their fatherland due to their ability to garner the needed support from the well-meaning and highly committed and patriotic Ijesa sons and daughters and their uncommon ingenuity at approaching sustainable development agenda.
Fondest Congratulations to the First Asiwaju of Ijesaland, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi and the First Yeye Asiwaju of Ijesaland, Dr Olubisi Fasuyi on the seventh anniversary of your respective installations to the highly revered and esteemed office in Ijesa Kingdom.
1. MayeloreOluwa Adewumi
2. Ojuolape Meshack