From several persons in the Jibowu/Yaba axis of Lagos, accolades poured forth recently for the chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the area, Femi Akinboyeku, otherwise known as J-Pron.
Many people commended the road transport union leader for his humanitarian activities in the area. Akinboyeku had recently embarked on massive community development projects in Jibowu, Fadeyi and environs.
The projects, including boreholes and security gates, were spread across different locations in Fadeyi, Dabira, Magbon, Ogati, Soyinka Ogati, Ayodele, Oyebajo, Shiro, Adenekan and Adenuga streets, among others.
Explaining why he decided to support his community, Akinboyeku said he was convinced that spending money to impact on society was a far nobler endeavour than spending such money on frivolities. He said he believes in touching the lives of the poor and indigent in his immediate environment. The NURTW leader added that the responsibility of community development could not be left in the hands of politicians or government alone, so it is the responsibility of everybody to make society better.
“It is my duty as the chairman of the NURTW in Jibowu/Yaba to do everything within me to impact my immediate community positively.
“I have a strong belief in empowering the youth; it is all in the interest of our community, so that our youths can eschew violence and lawlessness. That is why you see me engaging the youths in various human development and empowerment programmes. I also cater to the needs of widows and other vulnerable people.
Secretary of Fadeyi Community Development Association, Mr. Muiz Adenekan, told the reporter that Akinboyeku has done well for the community even more than the elected representatives of the area in terms of community development projects.
“All the community leaders have genuine reasons to pray for him, because, at the moment, residents of Fadeyi, Somolu and other areas within the vicinity are enjoying the benefits of these community development projects. For instance, the gates he constructed in the community have helped in reducing crime rates in our area. Residents of Fadeyi, Shomolu and Bariga areas of Lagos State are now living peacefully without fear. Acts of violence have greatly reduced,” he said.
Mrs. Adejoke Adio was one of the widows that benefitted from Akinboyeku’s philanthropic activities. She said, since she lost her husband seven years ago, she has found it difficult to cater to the needs of her five children. But life has now become much better for her, courtesy of Akinboyeku’s philanthropy.
“I want to express my appreciation to the young man for taking it upon himself to help his immediate community. Many of us, especially the widows, are always in need of help. But he singlehandedly took our burden and sorrows off our heads. We now have reasons to find our feet and begin a new life. We are grateful to him,” she said.
Apart from engaging in community development and humanitarian services, Akinboyeku also gives scholarships to indigent students in the community. Many primary and secondary school pupils in the area are now enjoying the good education, courtesy of Akinboyeku.
Mr. Lanre Jimoh, a resident of Soyinka Street, said regardless of whatever that anybody says, J-Pron is still a man of the people, insisting he was not a cult member but the chairman of the NURTW in Jibowu/Yaba: “He is easy-going and accommodating. For instance, the most interesting thing about the projects he constructed is that he has put in place an enduring measure to maintain all the projects.”
“He bought generators to power all the boreholes. He also gives stipends to some youths who take care of the maintenance. For instance, now that Muslims have started observing the mandatory fasting in the month of Ramadan, he always supports the clerics financially. That is what he does for the Christians, too, especially during the festive periods. If we have a few other people and philanthropists like Femi, our community and the society at large will be better for it.
“I was told that some people accused him of involvement in cultism. That is quite ludicrous. I think that must have been sponsored by his opponents who see him as a rising force within the NURTW. But all those lies won’t stop us from loving him in the Jibowu/Fadeyi area, because his philanthropic activities are a blessing to us in this axis,” he said.