Ikorodu born Rotimi Akeem Erogbogbo is the current chairman of Ikorodu Oga Development Association (IKODASS), a former civil servant at the Lagos State Ministry of waterfront and infrastructure and also commerce, Industry and cooperative. He is the founder of Rhodas Youth Centre (which has produced over 2,000 skilled youths in Ikorodu division), and an entrepreneur.
In a close circuit interview session, INN sat with the versatile leader and chairman of the elite association to tap from his approach to propel the goals and objectives of IKODASS.
INN: Coming in as the new chairman of this elite and prestigious association at the heart of Ikorodu division, what is your approach?
Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo: Projecting Ikorodu Division as the new face of Lagos state is what my tenure as IKODASS is all about. I looked at our portfolio and called our excos together for a thorough review. Knowing that the negative narratives about Ikorodu are false, I envisioned works and documented them for others to preview in the process.
“The media has played a contributing factor to that negative publicity we receive by totally ignoring the development side of things. We have families and people relocating to Ikorodu every week now based on internal research which means Ikorodu is an ideal destination, We have to change the negative narrative”
“It almost seems like we don’t have stories for the press, and what they see are cultism and social vices, so now it is time to give them good stories to talk about, my leadership is taking that approach to also redefine that perception of Ikorodu division”
INN: Ikorodu Oga Development Association (IKODASS) going beyond the normal festive stretch of presentations to playing inclusive roles in supporting the government to create a better community and society at large, What is your standpoint in that current notion?
Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo: Yes! That is our position currently. It is about creativity, it is about orientation and empowerment. We have moved beyond the normal festive mode to ensuring we play a key role in the developmental process of this great region of ours.
“We are not the government but our agendas are set to have good collaboration with them for the better good of our communities. We looked at axis like education in Ikorodu where institutions are lacking behind (in areas of properly nurturing the child to make good of their academic practices). We called for different stakeholders meeting even as far as education district 2, And the prospects are getting higher now because we are presenting solution measures to help the system thrive better”
“We issued a communique to the commissioner for Education in Lagos State on the need to grow and add more value, we had a meeting and realised the state is working very hard too, But at the end of the day, it takes a collective effort to elevate and gain effective overhaul success”
“We’re fashioning out a structured strategy to address every challenge with the solutions in our wardrobe and partner with the respective stakeholders involved. What about the part of our older folks here in Ikorodu? What are we doing about them? Most of them are not mobile anymore, what are we doing to aid their longevity?”
“Our older folks are not impressed with what we’re offering them today because they have invested in us but what is happening around has nothing to offer them, and they’re just watching in dismayed. It goes beyond buying them clothes and food items, it goes beyond sending money. It is about engaging them and letting them know that they are still very much relevant”
“We’ve organised an Octogenarian program for age 80 upwards, we didn’t take them to a hall, we converged them in a resort-like atmosphere where they felt free and open, playing old skool music for them, making them dance in excitement while reminiscing their yesteryears of adventures. We also used the program to enlighten them on the kind of food they should eat for health purposes”
“Giving them good health tips on eating food with protein and not all carbohydrates. We also took them out of the shores of Ikorodu to make them see what’s happening in Lagos. Segmenting the programs to different stages and also taken them in batches, we’re doing this to let our old folks know that they’re not forgotten for all they did to get us to this point”
INN: What’s the idea behind the IKODASS Indoor Youth Game Championship?
Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo: Most of the problems we face today from the areas of cultism and social vices are majorly from the young ones out there, It made us focus on the youths, implementing ways to engage them to evolve a better representative in our communities. And also we targeted the young ones who are not fully polluted by the negative effects.
“The IKODASS Indoor youth games championship targeted young lads from 17 years of age downwards with plans to expose them to science, creativity and sports. We thought of the fact that there are games they can be engaged in that would even make them become breadwinners to the families instead of allowing them to be captivated by either scamming people or doing yahoo”
“The IKODASS Indoor games is meant to expose them to the outside world not just within our confines, to strengthen them for greater stride ahead. Some of them have embedded skills which they don’t know yet until they are stretched with games like this, So we looked at discovering talents with the games”
INN: What should people be expecting in this year’s Ikorodu Oga Development Association (IKODASS) Day celebrations?
Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo: In the past, the celebration has been very exciting and fun, most especially that of my immediate predecessor (Otunba Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru). As new leadership emerges, new responsibilities also arise in varieties of ways.
“But you can note it here that Ikorodu Oga day celebrations will not be business as usual, we’re changing the narratives under my leadership. I only pray that my people will understand and listen. The celebration will feature a food festival, Oro day will still stand but with an intellectual discourse inserted to present the cultural activities in Ikorodu for people to understand adequately (thereby creating handouts from it to send to schools for students to know more about our culture and tradition)”
“There will also be changes in the mode at which will give out our awards to elite personalities. Due to the situation, we have to ensure that we apply wisdom and still achieve our goals. You saw the ambassadorial ceremony we organised and also the Indoor youth games championship. Those activities are expected by all to be lined up during our Oga day celebration period, But as you can see we’re already achieving those programs. It also shows you the dynamism in our current leadership going forward“