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How a Vibrant Nigerian, NYSC member constructed Road in Ido Local Government

     
       VIBRANT Oluwole Gabriel(left) with caretaker chairman, Ido Local Government(right)

Members, take the great salute, put the nation first in all, with service and humility, NYSC for the noble youths, make Nigeria a great nation.” This second stanza of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) anthem aptly describes the effort of a member of the 2015 batch A stream 1 of NYSC, Owokoniran Gabriel Oluwole.

The Biology graduate from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, as his CDS project, led in the construction of an almost impassable bridge linking several communities in Ido Local Government area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

 The road, linking Asaka, Idi-Awun, Oritamerin, Araromi, Elebu, Aba-Ido, among others, according to Oluwole, was a problem for the residents. But by last year after a heavy rain, the serving corps member, while taking a stroll on the road decided to do something about it.

On that fateful day, one of the residents had her documents defaced after same had slipped into puddle.
 
Oluwole, who hails from Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, said “I decided to embark on the project because of what I saw when I was working on a video projection. A particular woman was coming with her family and their car broke down in the middle of the water. In the course of finding a way out, an envelope containing some of her documents fell into the water. She picked it and found out that vital document which included that of her landed property had been soaked in water. The woman could not control her emotion as she wept openly.

“Also, some school buses do break down there. And with no alternative, the pupils have to come down right inside the water with their socks completely soaked in the puddle.

“So, I felt it is something I could do, because I believe my office as a corps member can be used to network within organisations and some individuals to raise money beyond what an individual person can do.”

With that determination, Oluwole swung into action by fulfilling the official bureaucracy of presenting the project before NYSC coordinators, got an approval and commenced work on the project.

Though he never thought the project would cost so much, he said over N800,000 has been spent on the project.

As a youth corps member, raising that huge cash was challenging.“I wrote letters to corporate organisations and some individuals with the Oluyole area to help fund the project. Some responded, some with tokens, others who loved to contribute but could not prayed for us, and with joy while others didn’t believe in the project.

“When much was not coming from them, I introduced ticketing option to the elders and landlords. I thank God they believed in me. At the end of the day, it worked out.”

Spurred by the seventh line of the national anthem ‘To serve with heart and might”

 Oluwole said the proceeds from donations and ticketing were used for the project. He said that the current status of the road is a big relief to the residents of the area, noting that he is also happy seeing people with less stress accessing the road without stress.

 “We’ve completed the first drainage on the left side-the inlet by which the water will cross the road. There was an existing culvert that was completely blocked. We cleared the culvert and discovered that another one was also blocked and broken. We removed the rings, unblocked the blockages and removed the broken pieces before replacement. We also filled some portions of the road to a great extent, graded it with the help of an escalator made available by one of the landlords while what it is left at this moment is the second phase of the drainage which is ongoing.

 “What that means is that we did another channelisation across the road. We now have two channels through which the water can cross to the other side freely. All these were done within my period of service, before 14 April, 2016.

“After this, I discovered that the second side, if left undone, will affect the side we did.  So, I had to stay back to raise money to complete it.”

Oluwole also said that he worked with more than 20 workers to realise his mission. Two people were employed to collect money through ticketing on the spot from motorists, and were paid on a daily basis from the income.

One of the elders from Asaka community, Mr Wellington Kayode Adebanjo was full of praises for Oluwole.

 “That corper is a nice boy. When he showed interest in the project, we rallied round him and I thank God today that he did it according to our directive. When he came to me and we discussed the issue, I never imagined he could be so hardworking. On the issue of the ticket to raise fund for the project, unknown to him, I monitored him closely so that he won’t trick us on the money realised, but he was faithful to the cause. I really appreciate his doggedness. I think we should appreciate him. I can recommend him to anybody or organisation that might need his service. He is a nice boy.”

Also, Chief Rotimi Olagunju admitted that “God has used him to alleviate the sufferings of residents’ on the road.”

“Today, our people are enjoying the road. If not for that corper, only God knows what we would have been experiencing now that we’re in the rainy season again,” Chief Olagunju said.

But because the ambitious young man was unable to complete the project by the end of  his service year, after passing out on April 14, 2016, he decided to stay back and ensure its completion.

“When I told them that I would be leaving, they all appealed to me to stay back that the project was yet to be completed. I was happy because for them to tell me to wait, that means they appreciated my effort. In addition, majority of them do pray for me from the bottom of their hearts. I am really happy that last year, I saw the problem and this year, it is no more.”

On completion of the project, Oluwole said “We’re now operating within the context of what we have. It is my dream to see the project commissioned any moment from now.”

Suprisingly, the young man is not perturbed by his finances with no offcial ‘allawe’ again.

“I have prepared for this challenge during my service year. Then I was doing private lessons till around 7.00pm to rake in money in case I had to stay back. I was able to save sufficiently for a time like this.

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