US-based philanthropist donates N5m to Igbotako community

A United States of America-based lawyer, Olufemi Phillips Ogunjumelo, has donated the sum of N5 million to the Igbotako community in the Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Barrister Ogunjumelo made the donation towards the development of the Igbotako community on Tuesday during the annual ‘Utako Day’ celebration.

Barrister Ogunjumelo, who was the principal guest of honour, in his short speech titled ‘Collective Participation: A Catalyst for Community Development,’ said, “No individual, no matter how wealthy or influential, can single-handedly develop his or her community.”

Represented on the occasion by Otunba Oluseyi Aba, Barrister Ogunjumelo said community development requires everyone’s input and commitment.

“To reinforce the importance of collective participation, I would like to borrow a peculiar phrase from our common dialect – Use ulu e se use one kan. For the benefit of those who don’t understand the language, here’s a close paraphrase of the expression in English: Developing a town/community is not one man’s responsibility, he said.

According to the philanthropist, community development is all about empowering communities to create positive change, saying, to achieve these goals, community development practitioners work with stakeholders and build partnerships to identify community needs and goals which might involve conducting surveys, holding focus groups, or working with local leaders.

“Once these needs and goals are identified, the community development process moves on to planning and implementing projects and programmes that will help achieve the desired outcomes,” he noted.

While commending the traditional ruler of the community and the paramount ruler of Osooro, The Rebuja of Osooro, Oba Gbadebo Bajowa, for superintending over the affairs of the community for the past 46 years, he also called on several other sons and daughters of the community to be more intentionally involved in the socio–economic development of the town, going forward.

“If you’re interested in making a difference, there are many ways to get involved. You can volunteer to help with any developmental projects in the community, you can support ongoing initiatives through financial contributions, or simply educate yourself and others about the important work being done. The more involved we are, the better for our community. Remember, the future of community development is in our hands. By working together, we can make our community stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive,” he said.

This newspaper can exclusively report that Barrister Ogunjumelo has since redeemed the financial pledge to the dedicated account provided by the Igbotako Day Celebration Committee.

Aside from Otunba Aba who represented the principal guest of honour, other dignitaries who attended the occasion were Olojas of different clans, Dr Bolu Folayan, a communication scholar and publisher of Ikake News; Babatunde Olamoju, a chartered accountant, and several other prominent personalities.

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