Last Interview With Former Executive Secretary, Ikorodu LG, Mr Wasiu Adeshina on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, A Day To The Dissolution of The Caretaker Committee By The Lagos State House of Assembly
After months of requesting for an interview and reactions on some issues, the former Executive Secretary, Ikorodu Local Government, Mr Wasiu Adeshina granted our Reporter-in-Chief, Kunle Adelabu, an interview at about 10pm in his office at the secretariat. Unknown ho him, the Lagos State House of Assembly will be relieving him and other 56 other Executive Secretaries of their responsibilities. The former Secretary, among others was planning to review cost of burying corpses in Ikorodu from around N50,000 and N75,000 to N100,000. He also spoke on other issues.
Ikorodu Residents to pay More for Burying the Dead
Aside the agony and psychological torture of losing loved one, residents of Ikorodu should also brace-up to pay more to bury their deads as the Executive Secretary of Ikorodu Local Government, Mr Wasiu Adeshina stated that the cost of burying a corpse at the Ojokoro Cemetery will soon be increased to N100,000.
In an interview with our reporter in his office at the Ikorodu Local government Secretariat, the Executive Secretary also stated that ownership of vault in the cemetery has also been reviewed to make for revalidation every two years.
Our reporter had approached the executive Secretary to hear the council position on high cost of burying corpses. It was alleged by some residents that to bury a corpse at Ojokoro Cemetery being managed by the council, residents are being charged between N50, 000 and N75, 000.
While it was claimed that the council have privatized the cemetery which now cost N50,000 to get permission to bury the corpse, N25,000 is being charged for digging at the cemetery. This aside, there are other under-the-table demands by the council officials before space is allocated at the cemetry.
Reacting to the query on the high cost of burying in Ikorodu, Mr Adeshina did not deny these claims but stated that the high cost is necessitated by high cost of putting the cemetery in order and maintaining the standard being set.
“Did you make any comparism with other local governments? What is the cost of burying a corpse in Atan and other cemeteries in Ikoyi and other areas? Instead of leaving the cemetery in the dark and allowing evil doers to perpetrate their nefarious activities by exhuming corpses and making away with their parts, it is better to put it under proper management and provide necessary facilities. And to continue to maintain the cemetery we need a lot of money”
“We now have night guards at the cemetery which are paid every month to guard against intruders. The beautification going on when finished will be among the best you can find around. We have also done the electrification of the cemetery, provide borehole to make water available and also rehabilitated the cemetery office”
Despite the residents protest against what they termed exorbitant rate of burying the dead, Mr Adeshina insisted that the Ikorodu cemetery was still the cheapest.
“If you look around, ours is still the cheapest and very soon we are going to increase the cost. The era of N5000 or N10,000 is gone because you cannot leave your dead ones in the dark and allow intruders to exhume and severe their parts for whatever evil purpose. To provide adequate security and necessary facilities we need to fund it very well”, said Mr Adeshina
Mr Adeshina confirmed to our reporter that there were unoccupied spaces against the allegations that some corpses were being exhumed to pave way for others. He also stated that revalidation of vaults would be done every two years.
“Although we are looking in the direction of getting an expanse of land for another cemetery but it has been difficult getting lands to buy and the family will not even allow you to use their land for cemetery. But I know that some individuals are planning private cemetery. If the Ojokoro cemetery is properly maintained, there is still enough spaces there and part of our plan is to review ownership of vaults in the cemetery. By this, vault owners will have to revalidate their vaults with the council every two years to maintain their ownership and failure to do this implies that such person does not want the vault again and it could be allocated to another person” the Executive warned.
Our reporter also engaged the executive Secretary, Mr Wasiu Adeshina who also doubles as the All Progressives Congress (APC) Publicity secretary in Ikorodu on some issues and allegations among which were the neglect of old maternity centre land, rehabilitation of Oga statue, denying his party fund, among others.
Old Ita-elewa Maternity Ground
“The thinking of our government is to use the space for parking because the town lack parking space which is causing indiscriminate parking and chaotic traffic within the town. We want to discourage this act on our roads and very soon we are going to do embark on that”
Reconstruction of Oga Statue
On the claim that LASSA planned embarking on the rehabilitation of the statue, the Executive secretary denied any knowledge of that.
“The council has taken charge of the statue and we are embarking on its reconstruction. We did not know anything about LASSA’s attempt to do the rehabilitation before us and they did not communicate anything of such. We want good things for the people of Ikorodu which is why we have decided to rebrand the Oga statue. I am not aware that LASSA had the intention of doing the rehabilitation, but all I know is that LASSA has not given us approval on certain advert required on the statue. But I believe if they have such intention, they would have informed us”
Though, THE IMPACT gathered that the rebranding is being done in partnership with an indigene of ikorodu, but when asked about the cost of rebranding the Oga statue, Mr Adeshina said:
“I cannot ascertain the cost of rebranding the statue now until it is completed. Apart from rebranding Oga statue, Ikorodu local government is also planning to honour those Ikorodu indigenes that contributed money to the opening and construction of Ikorodu-Lagos Road. People like Owolowo, Oba Ladega and others. We want to remember them alongside the rebranding of the statue”
When asked if the rebranding of the statue is a priority to a council that lacks funds to finance projects, the Executive Secretary responded.
“The old Oga statue was not in good order and that was not befitting our status. The statue is the first thing visitors coming in or passing through Ikorodu would first see and on which they will make their first impression. The old statue had one of its arms broken, and touts and traders in and around Ikorodu garage have also made the statue their homes. The rehabilitation will be given a modern touch. The place is going to be guided and monitored”
Denying The Party Funding
Another allegation that has been hanging on the Executive Secretary is the claim by party’s structure in Ikorodu that he is using his ambition to starve the party of fund, more especially that some top shot within the All Progressives Congress Executives are also jostling for the number one position in Ikorodu
When put directly to him he stated:
“That is not correct. People should sympathize with us with what we get as allocation. The last allocation we received was N300,000 from the federation account and if we are to pay our staff half salary we need around N3.2million. So, where do you think we can get money to fund the party? As I am speaking with you I have paid the party’s monthly allocation up till March this year”
On His Ambition to Contest for Chairmanship Position
“If it is my people’s wish, I’ll be available to serve them in any capacity again but I’m still on state assignment and if at the end of the assignment, I am called or asked by my people to serve them I will not hesitate”
- Posted in: Interview