The sleepy town of Lisa in Ifo Local Government area of Ogun State came alive recently as the Baale of the community, High Chief Oladele Odugbemi, played host to a three-in-one event on April 13.
Lisa gained local and international attention following the Bellview flight crash in the agrarian community years ago.
Though the federal and Ogun State governments promised the community infrastructural development as a fallout of the incident, Lisa bears the scars of the crash till date, as the only road leading to the community is an eyesore. For residents and visitors, it is hellish connecting the community from the nearby Ijoko. Only motorbikes ply the route, with the attendant safety and security risks.
However, this did not take the shine off the recent conferment of the Kwame Nkrumah/Nelson Mandela award on the traditional ruler by Top Leaders International Magazine. The Baale was also garlanded as the first patron of the Lagos State chapter of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN).
During the event, the Oladele Odugbemi Foundation gave scholarship awards to 20 undergraduate students of different tertiary institutions within and outside the country.
The Lisa traditional ruler told the guests, made up of obas, chiefs, residents, prominent Nigerians and foreigners, that the foundation was set up as a way of cushioning the negative effects of the harsh economy
Said he: “Looking at our environment, one would discover that our society has continued to witness a downturn in the standard of living of the higher percentage of our population occasioned by the harsh economic situation of our country.
“It is against this backdrop and my spirit of philanthropy and conviction that a foundation, which will give back to the society by way of empowering students, artisans, traders, market women and elderly was given birth to.
“The foundation has been able to spread its tentacles through the building of a police station in Lisa, a health centre in Lisa, a market in Lisa, full financial support to students in tertiary, secondary and primary schools, empowerment of market women, commercial motorbike operators and the elderly in the society. With God on our side, we will continue to do more.”
Director, public affairs of Nigerian Top Leaders Magazine, Mrs. Mercy Ajayi said the Baale was given the award for his visionary leadership, contribution towards community and socio-economic development of Lisa as well as the peaceful co-existence between the community and others.
“He is a leader with visionary foresight and mindset of uplifting the standard of life of the people socially and economically, including unquantifiable contributions to Lisa.
“It should be noted that the Baale and his Council of Chiefs played a formidable role during the air crash in Lisa some years back to evacuate dead Nigerian heroes and rescue the survivors.”
Lagos FIBAN chairman, Mrs. Tokunbo Babs-Olurinde, who also lauded the Baale, promised that FIBAN would use their privileged position to continually draw government’s attention to the bad state of the road leading to Lisa.
A scholarship beneficiary and undergraduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Miss Suliat Odungbemi-Tinuosho, who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries, thanked the traditional ruler for the gesture. She promised to make the best use of the opportunity.