Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
Adetutu Sobowale & Kehinde Husseinah
Residents of Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun state have lamented how lack of government presence in their communities forced children out of schools in the area .
The residents disclosed that they suffered deprivation of education, good roads, water supply, healthcare facility among others .
The residents told PLATFORM TIMES, that the deprivation of these basic amenities have increased the number of out-of -school children , adding that they are being forced to cater for their needs.
Speaking with PLATFORM TIMES exclusively, the Ogunwest Youth Forum Leader, Mawunti Deji said the children are forced out of school due to lack of infrastructural and economical development, adding that parents are also subjected to abject poverty.
He added that majority of the residents have resorted to smuggling as their source of livelihood so as to cater for the needs of their children.
He said, “From the inception of democracy in 1999, I will say, we at Ipokia Local Government Area have nothing to praise the government about. We have no dividend of democracy coming to our side.
“It is as though our Local Government Area has been neglected. It is as if it has been ceded from the country to the neighbouring country, the Republic of Benin.
“Come to education, students are seing sitting down under the sun, no bench to sit and write on. The building is none existent . Majority of the people are left to sending their children to private schools which they can’t even afford.
“Here, there are lots of out-of -school children as the learning environment is not conducive, there are little to no teacher to engage the learners.
“The learners are demoralised. There is no motivation to learn anymore.”
The youth leader maintained that the little source of education present in some of the communities came from individuals who deemed it fit to help the situation.
He said, “There is this organisation we linked up with to help about 150 children to school.
“The man had helped about 150 children to school through us. He wants to be kept anonymous for now.
“Through the organisation, for the past three years, we have been empowering people, sensitizing students to at least struggle to get funds to sponsor their education, even though the governemt is not helping at all.
“And economic state of our LGA is not helping the parents to afford to send their children to school. The empowerment is to assist them to at least struggle for themselves to make a meaning to their lives.”
Deji who said lack of infrastructural and economic development had forced the residents to resort to smuggling said, “the state of economy of our LGA and the neglect has made our people to see smuggling as a means of survival.
“And this has even brought so many harm to us than good. The crux of the issue is that our local government only serves as home to the majority of the parastatal that are manning South western border of Ogun west.”
According to him, as a border community, we are supposed to have the presence of the government infrastructural wise, so that we can be like a point to woo other neighbouring countries to our country.
“But the reverse is the case in Ipokia local government and the Ogun western border line entirely.
“For the past three years till date. We have been using mechanical source to generate electricity, we haven’t enjoyed government electricity power supply. When we complained, we keep getting reports like it was due to vandalism of transformers etc. But this their responses are not feasible to us. We have no water.
While speaking on the state of healthcare facility across the local government area, Deji said, “Our public healthcare facilities are in shambles, we have nothing.”
Mr. Asokere Taiwo, a resident of Tube axis of Ipokia, reiterated that there is no government presence in Ipokia.
He said the little children in school are benefiting from the generous acts of some individuals in their communities.
He maintained that several attempts to seek help from the government had always been abortive.
“They abandoned us here. We do try to get to the government through various chanels yet no change.
“Our individual philanthropist are trying their best for our local government. We need the government to help our situation.”