By Omotunde Alawode
It is often said that for any state to enjoy meaningful development as well as thrive, the governed have a major role to play. It is based on this premise that Green Field Estate in Ago, Okota, in Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos, has taken giant steps in financing the interlocking of at least 19 roads and donating vehicles, among other equipment, to the police.
The estate, which came into existence in 2005, prides itself as a progressive partner of the LCDA in ensuring all within its boundaries enjoy basic amenities, not necessarily waiting for government to step in.
Said to also house several captains of industry, business moguls, and high-ranking civil and public servants who have carved a niche in their respective professions, the estate recently added another feather to its cap, as it hosted its first Leadership and Gala Night to celebrate the outstanding and exceptional performance of some occupants and pioneer members who have bettered society.
The event, which was celebrated amid glitz and glamour, honoured five individuals: Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) John Ogbonnaya, Sir Nnanna Nwakanma Achiugo, Prince Nixon Ndubuisi Okwara, the late Chief Monday Onyebuchi Imo and Chief Superintendent of Police Ladi Tarpaya.
In his address, chairman of the estate, Chief Monday Akunna, expressed tremendous joy, saying the decision to recognize the awardees was meant to challenge them for greater works and motivate others to be outstanding.
“The fundamental essence of this event is to unite us in the estate and further strengthen the restored peace among us. Thus, it is rare for anyone to code-name this event a peace and unity gala-night.
“The awardees have been carefully selected to be celebrated due to their contributions to the estate and beyond the gates of the estate. Your roles and achievements, which already align with my goal and vision for the estate, will help to create and give a solid facelift, value and recognition to our estate.”
On the personalities of the awardees, Akunna said: “First, I would want to say a big congratulations to all the awardees, for outstanding performances in their various leadership and professional roles. AIG John Amadi is at the top level in the hierarchy of the Nigeria Police, he is still humble and contributes to the development of the estate. He pays his dues without being reminded. He contributes immeasurably to the security of the estate and, of course, to the nation at large. He is a man of discipline and honour, he deserves our recognition.
“Chief Achiugo, who is the immediate past chairman of the estate in particular terms, started the Green Field infrastructural development revolution. A man who built men and has so many followers. Prince Okwara, who I will refer to as the lion of the tribe of Green Field Estate, inherited an estate at a time when the thought in the minds of most landlords was how not to lose their land to grabbers and LSDPC. He focused more on this and, today, we all live in peace without fear of losing our properties. The win he championed over LSDPC is one strong case in point.
“The late Chief Imo was a visionary leader who saw the need to start organising landlords in a once swampy, bushy and almost formless environment. He gave our estate the name Green Field Estate. He saw the vision that the inhabitants of the estate will one day live in a green, serene, secured and comfortable estate.
“Tarpaya, a CSP and Divisional Police Officer, Ago Police Station, needs no introduction. Her achievements are loud. Loved by those who want sanity, order and a peaceful environment, hated by those who want to take laws into their hands and behave as they wish. Madam DPO is tough, disciplined, focused, upright and can be strict. As tough as she is, she will not tolerate any of her men harrassing any innocent citizen.”
The event also had the LCDA chairman, Honourable Babatunde Olasoju, in attendance.
Olasoju, in his remarks, said Green Field Estate had become a model for others in the LCDA and the state in general.
He said: “It feels great because Green Field is about the pioneer of good things in my local government area. They have done several projects and about 19 roads have been interlocked by the estate, a fantastic estate.
“The lesson to be drawn from this is that everybody should not just wait for the government; we can do our part and the government contributes her path and that is the only way forward.”
One of the award recipients, Tarpaya, in her speech, called for more cooperation from residents within the Okota police jurisdiction.
She noted that crime prevention was the business of every peace-loving citizen, hence, the need to collaborate with the police by giving useful information.
She said: “I appreciate Green Field Estate because, when I became the DPO in 2020, I met friendship particularly from the estate.
You have been very supportive. The Inspector-General of Police has said it is better to prevent that investigation, so we are proactive and here to serve all. What matters to me is that crime is reduced to the minimum.
“In areas where we fail, do not hesitate to tell us where to make amends because we are humans and, above all, be a law-abiding citizens.”
Also, the chairman of the central planning committee of the event, Chief Afam Chukwuma, said the award, which is the first of its kind in the estate, would further unite residents.
He said: “You have demonstrated your commitment to the development of this estate by taking time in your very busy schedule to celebrate with us today.
“This certainly is advocacy for peace and unity. It is certainly thought-provoking that an estate like ours has won several CDA awards in the past in a metropolitan city like Lagos. It is indeed evidence of the calibre of individuals who make up this estate. It is no exaggeration, therefore, to assert that GFE CDA is the pride of Isolo LCDA.”