The mention of Ore town will send chills down the spine of so many people who can still remember the great battle that took place there in the late sixties. It is the town where hundreds of Nigerians lost their lives during the Nigerian Civil war.
Ore is the historical Yoruba town where the Nigerian troops and their Biafran counterparts confronted each other in a fierce battle during the three-year war.
The sleepy town of Ore was historically known as the battle ground where the Biafran soldiers’ advancement into Lagos was halted by the Nigerian forces during the civil war.
The battle was so fierce and it was a defining moment in the war history. Ore is a gateway town, situated in a vantage position between the Western part and the Eastern part of Nigeria.
Vestiges of the civil war are still evident in this town and in our history till date as “o le ku, ija ore” was coined as a Yoruba maxim in describing the great military battle at Ore during the Nigerian civil war.
In spite of the significance of Ore’s place in history and it’s strategic gateway location between the Western and the Eastern axis of Nigeria, Ore remained a very semi-urban town with poor infrastructure to support its huge population of Nigerians from different parts of the country who have found comfort in the town for trading and farming activities. Also, Ore’s potentials as a viable transit gate between the western and the eastern parts of Nigeria is another reason that make its population to be booming. The town has, however, been growing organically from its modest beginning after the civil war with no concerted effort after the war on the part of subsequent Federal or Ondo State governments to document and address this historic town as a souvenir of our civil war, and, more importantly, to develop it into a functional city with full options of infrastructural development that will support her ever teeming population after the civil war.
All that stories of woes have now become history, as Ore now enjoys the attention it deserves since the advent of the administration of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN. Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State has made true his promise of making Ore, a once theatre-of-war town into becoming one of the industrial hubs of Nigeria.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu gave hope to Ore town as it joins the league of industrialised areas of the country. It is a common-sight passing through Ore to see gargantuan constructions of massive overhead bridges and link roads on the express way to Lagos, Benin and Ondo town under construction. These will serve as infrastructural support baseline for Ore as an industrial hub.
When these multi-billion naira constructions are completed, it will put an end to the traffic jam on the popular Ore junction and adequately ease the flow of traffic on the notorious transit axis of Lagos-Benin-Ondo road in Ore town that was partially caused by the location of NNPC depot at the entrance side of the expressway in Ore.
In his determination to ensure the realisation of Ore as an industrial hub and as a solid economic base for Ondo State, Governor Akeredolu has embarked on an investment tour to China at the inception of his administration in 2017. That tour gave birth to an entirely new industrial park, now called Ondo Linyi Industrial Park, situated at Ore. The park is an offshot of Linyi municipal government of Shandong in China where Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Linyi Municipal government of Shandong province of the People’s Republic of China in 2017.
Since that MoU was signed, many investors from the Shandong province of China have made good their promise to set up different industries in this park. Already, Linyi Industrial Park in Ore is bubbling with life as human and vehicular traffic adorned the landscape of this once empty space in the woods. Different companies have set up plants and warehouses while many other companies are undergoing construction.
A paper mill, a textile company, an ethanol plant, a medium-density fiberboard, a high-density fiberboard and plywood factories, and a host of other agricultural based products companies have commenced production at the Ore Industrial Park.
With the completion of the paper mill, the ethanol plant, the plywood factory and other industries, these would provide a combined efforts in excess of over 20,000 direct jobs while many more double that figure are expected to benefit from jobs created down the value chain for the people living in the state. The choice of Ore as the nation’s industrial hub was apt and it is a decision well thought of by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the reason being that the town is strategically placed between the western and the eastern gateway of the country.
The people in the community are mostly settlers. The land is devoid of the activities of the notorious land grabber who often prevent ease of doing business in some other traditional settlement. The proximity of Ore to Lagos port through the proposed bridge by the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s government over the Atlantic ocean to Lekki in Lagos is the icing on the cake that makes Ore town the perfect location for the nation’s next industrial hub of the near future where thousands of hectares of forest land are in abundant and waiting for development.
Sooner than later, Ore, a once theatre-of-a-war town will gradually turned into an industrial hub.
Many, already, established companies in Nigeria are now taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the Ondo State government in assisting prospective businesses in securing land for free in establishing their factories upon request. More than fifty existing companies in Nigeria at the last count have made inquiries on how to relocate their companies to Ore and be part of the industrial revolution going on in Ondo State.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s moral ethical compass to genuinely develop Ondo State will surely speak volume to the hearts and the souls of the people in the coming gubernatorial election. No doubt, Arakunrin Akeredolu has through his performance indices across the nook and crannies of the state etched his name in the plaque of history as a visionary leader, one with inexorable desire for the growth and the development of his people.
The footprint of his great efforts will forever be recorded for posterity to assess as his legacy for service to the people of Ondo State.
•Steve Otaloro is the Director of Media & Publicity APC, Ondo State.