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SOURCE: Olowa's Palace


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am highly delighted to be in your presence today, and it is indeed a great pleasure for me. Permit me to acknowledge and appreciate everyone seated here today who has made this occasion a success. I want to also commend you for your steadfastness in coming together as a family.
Although, this meeting was scheduled for last July, where I have proposed to meet with every son and daughter of Igbara-Oke origin, clubs and associations of Igbara-Oke descendants and with friends of our town in the United Kingdom and Europe, but it was postponed till now. I regret the inconveniences this change of time might have caused you.
I would say this is my first visit to the United Kingdom as a crowned and revered monarch in Yoruba land. My previous visits as the then Asiwaju of Igbara-Oke, I have had the opportunity to meet with some of us seated here, and we are at different times discussed the issues of our country home, Igbara-Oke.
I am a familiar face here, and to the glory of God my coming this year is in the capacity of a monarch, the Paramount Ruler and Prescribed Authority, Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom, and I want to thank you for this honour and the privilege given me to address this gathering.
Before I move on, I would love to appreciate and commend you for your supports and contributions towards my ascension to the throne of my forefathers and the roles you all played towards the successful outing of my First Year Coronation Anniversary and Thanksgiving service. I also want to thank you for all efforts at ensuring better life for our people at home, particularly the young ones and the aged. I cannot thank you enough for all these and many more.
I bring you warm greetings from the Council of Chiefs and the entire indigene and non-indigene residents of our beloved Igbara-Oke kingdom and all her satellite towns and villages. I am glad to tell you that the people back home are proud of you and they pray for you always.
There is need for you to understand that every association, club or society of all Igbara-Oke descendants are an integral part of our community, Igbara-Oke kingdom, and must be so recognized.
Part of the reason for my visit is to unite every son and daughter of Igbara-Oke origin, and for everyone to participate in the development of our country home. Let us see this as a clarion call that requires our coming together to help champion a good course for the betterment of our country home.
I would not want to bore you with much word, but what I know is that whatever good initiative we conceive, it will be surely achievable. The love and the interest you have shown so far in rebuilding and transforming our beloved town to be the envy of other towns and cities are commendable. I have said this before at the National Convention of Igbara-Oke Citizens in the Americas, ICA Inc., and I will say it again that, more are expected from you.
As I stand here today, more are being expected from me. Not only as the father of the town, or custodian of culture and tradition, but I desire to see that our town becomes a pacesetter in all its endeavours.
In recent times, our town has caught the attention of both the State and Federal Governments, and without mincing words, our humble town is gradually taking back its original position and gaining attention in terms of infrastructure and industrial developments.
With your supports and contributions, we have been able to put our town on the global map. I have said it at the National Convention of Igbara-Oke Citizens in the Americas, ICA Inc., and I still need to brief you on this.
Let me commend the membership of Igbara-Oke Development Council, IDC, for their good jobs in sacrificing their time and valuable resources towards the development of our town and empowering our teaming youths. The leadership of Mr. Siji Ijogun in his capacity as the chairman of IDC has shown high level of commitment, transparency and integrity in the affairs of the organization. He has set the benchmark and I must say that I am proud of him and his team of executives. I also thank the Vice Chairman, Europe, Dr. Funsho Akanle, for the good works he is doing at bringing everyone on board in United Kingdom and Europe.
The Road Rescue Project that was initiated by the Organisation in which every son, daughter and lovers of Igbara-Oke, both at home and abroad contributed their resources was indeed a success. Thanks to the Ondo State Government. They have to look onto our direction and approved Five (5) Km township road within Igbara-Oke, and work is in progress on those roads.
Work is currently on-going at the site for the construction of proposed Rice Mill factory. The factory is expected to be producing over 39,000 metric tons annually. The project is a Public Private Partnership. We all know that this project will in no small measures help in the areas of direct and indirect employment opportunities for our youths, and the overall economical and commercial growth of our community and its environs.
Igbara-Oke as a nodal town is strategically located and borders two states, Ekiti and Osun. It is an entry point into Ondo State from these two states. With this, the employment opportunities associated to this industry when it commences operations will not be limited to Igbara-Oke, Ifedore Local Government Area and Ondo State alone, but migration of people from neighbouring states will also help boost the economy of our town.
With the location of our town, as a border town, there are many factors we have to contend with especially, migration of people into our town, security and boundary challenges.
Although, we have been able to check the numbers of migrants with the supports and cooperation of our Baales at their various Satellite towns, and Olori-Omos in every quarter, and we are looking at other measures that will soon be put in place to help check illegal migration of people into our domain.
The security of lives of our people and their properties are very paramount to us and we are doing our best at ensuring the safety of every citizen, both old and young. I know we often read from the tabloids and other online media the rate of kidnappings and all sorts of social vices being perpetrated by the people of the underworld, particularly the Fulani Herdsmen. It is of this, I want to commend the efforts of one of our sons, Engr. Dr. Niyi Ijogun who facilitated the deployment of Police Monitoring Team, PMT, otherwise known as X-Squad posted to Ondo State to be stationed at Igbara-Oke, and provided for them different equipment for their smooth operations.
This team of Mobile Police Force reports directly to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, in Abuja on the security situations in Ondo State and they ensure that all perpetrators of evils are brought to book, and they have been doing a wonderful job since their deployment last year. Also, other security agencies in our town are working day and night to ensure safety of all and sundry. On security, we are always on top to act fast.
You and I knew that the issue of boundaries is the duty of the government, both the federal and the state, and Igbara-Oke being a progressive town is working with the governments, and efforts are on-going to regain our lands without any kind of communal clashes or bloodshed.
Let me at this point charge you to come together and do more, and to emulate our sons and daughters in the United States of America. They have been channel their resources towards enhancing the health care delivery of our people back home.
They have at different times supported and donated medical equipment to the Igbara-Oke Health Centre. This gesture has gone a long way to help improve the standard of health care delivery at Igbara-Oke Health Centre, otherwise known as Igbara-Oke General Hospital, and other Primary Health Centres.
The medical ward I donated coupled with different equipment the members of the ICA Inc., donated have been of tremendous help to that centre. That is why, at the recent ratings of hospitals in Ondo State, Igbara-Oke General Hospital was adjudged the best on two different occasions. This is indeed a morale booster for everyone who have participated in the process of the face-lifting, and for all to continue to put our best to help in the service of our people and mankind.
As a reminder, let me mention briefly the issue of Wema Bank Plc in Igbara-Oke. I want to appreciate your efforts at making it possible for us to retain this bank at our domain for now. Permit me to say this, I want us to work out some modalities that will best fit at retaining this bank and have another commercial bank at our domain for easy access. If we can come together, I believe we can also work towards the establishment our own microfinance bank. This will go a long way in helping our people, particularly the aged.
I will not also forget to mention our proposed higher institution, we have all done great job, and we have received different commendations from people that visited the town and Palace, and from average people passing through the town to Ibuji or Igbara-Odo. I know we can do more for it to be completed and by working on our contacts in the government for its adoption.
On my own part, I have made series of efforts at ensuring the commencement of academic programmes at the institution, and at different occasions had the privilege of meeting with the Minister of Education and have written to the National and State Assemblies to help consider and sign into law the adoption of the structure which is suitable for a higher institute of learning. The Federal University of Technology, Akure has been approached too to commence a programmme. I am glad to let you know that the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure and his team have come to inspect the structure and were pleased at what they saw.
Although, the institute is being occupied by the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba for a sandwich programme, degree in education. The centre is now refers to as College of Education, Igbara-Oke Campus. The institute had their maiden Matriculation in June.
While I round-up my address, I want to charge you to continue to live in love with one another. I am aware that we have some of our sons and daughters that are not here today. I want to appeal to you to help reach out to them. Let us endeavour to have an umbrella body of Igbara-Oke Citizens in the United Kingdom and Europe as they have it in the United States of America. I want you to know that, although, they may not see and believe in your cause and belief, but help reach out to them. This is in the interest of our beloved Igbara-Oke. Let us continue to live in love, peace, unity and harmony.
There is need to design a developmental road-map and template for our country home. We need everybody to come on board and put heads together for this cause and set up a yearly agenda and achievable goals for the sole of building a viable Igbara-Oke that will continue to be an envy of other towns not only in Ondo State and Nigeria, but in Africa and the world large. I see a bigger picture for our homeland. There is nothing bad if we can have Igbara-Oke registered in the heart of the world via our industrious and technological prowess.
In conclusion, I would love to remind our citizens, particularly parents living abroad to encourage and train their children on the norms, values, histories, cultural heritages, language and dialects of our beloved Igbara-Oke kingdom, so as to ensure that they do not forget their ancestral home.
I will continue to count on your supports and contributions in the course of this journey at making our own Igbara-Oke great again. Igbara-Oke belongs to us all, and it requires our collective responsiveness and participations to the matter of her growth and development. Once again, I want to thank you for this opportunity and your rapt attention. Thank you and God bless you all.

His Royal Majesty
Oba Dr. Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede FCIM, MBCIM
Ilufemiloye, Ogidi III,
Paramount Ruler and Prescribed Authority,
Olowa of Igbara-Oke kingdom