Being a Presentation at the Symposium Organised by Ifaki Youth Council, scheduled to hold on December 26th, 2020

Let me first appreciate you my kinsmen for requesting that I should be your Guest Speaker at the Symposium hosted by Ifaki Youth Council (IPC) during 2020 Christmas. Apparently, IPC is driven by a vision and this is why I deem it a great honor to be associated with your progressive activities.

I was touched by the theme of the Symposium – FUTURE: TO BUILD OUR DILAPIDATED ANCIENT WALL and in particular for asking me to speak on the causes and solutions.

Consequently, I put the dilapidated ancient walls in perspective by trying to define it philosophically beyond physical wall, but in relation to our peculiarities as a people, our lasting culture, enduring tradition and timeless values which made Ifaki to be unique and an outstanding community in Ekiti.

Before highlighting the causes and solutions to the dilapidated ancient walls, let’s first relate the visionary IYC to Nehemiah in the Holy Bible. “When Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem were still broken down more than a half-century after the completion of the rebuilding of the temple, he “sat down and wept,” fasting and praying before God” (Nehemiah 1:4).

I see Ifaki Youth Council from this perspective because they must have seen the need for Ifaki people as a community to take stock, brainstorm and plan for the future. Implicitly, IYC took the challenge to initiate formulating a plan that will contribute to finding a lasting remedy to the situation in Ifaki. This is commendable and apt on the part of Ifaki youths because the future belongs to them. It is the right thing to do by rising to the occasion because if they don’t do it now, they will face the consequences in future.

Spiritually speaking and quoting from a commentary on Nehemiah 1:1-7:73 with respect to the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem “Both the sacred and the secular were necessary to fulfill God’s plan to restore the nation of Israel. If the walls were unfinished, the temple was unfinished too. The work was of a single piece. The reason for this is easy to understand. Without a wall, no city in the ancient Near East was safe from bandits, gangs and wild animals, even though the empire might be at peace. The more economically and culturally developed a city was, the greater the value of things in the city, and the greater the need for the wall. The temple, with its rich decorations, would have been particularly at risk. Practically speaking, no wall means no city, and no city means no temple. In essence, the temple and the wall are mutually dependent. The wall is an integral part of the city’s protection, yet so is the temple wherein dwells the Lord”.

Yes, Ifaki-Ekiti is our Jerusalem. If we put our acts right, consciously review some of the ways we go about our affairs, be sincere with ourselves and deliberately chart a lasting progressive course in unison as the early builders of modern Ifaki community, then we will have a city that we will all be proud of and be at peace with God too.

Just as Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king (Nehemiah 1:11), who had immediate access to the king as the one who tested and served his beverages, as a trusted advisor and a high-ranking Persian official, Ifaki youths constitute the heartbeat and engine room of Ifaki community.

They have the capacity to make things happen and actualize the larger dreams for our Jerusalem with the support of other stakeholders in Ifaki. Our youths have the energy and good vision. Therefore, with the right attitude, they can build on the professional experience of the older generation and position by deploying collective resources to a great advantage as we embark upon the work of rebuilding the ancient walls of our Jerusalem, Ifaki-Ekiti. Once we put our trust in God coupled with sincerity of purpose, the task ahead is surmountable.

Ifaki is a distinct community that’s why it is located in the centre of Ekiti-State which earned it the title of Abuja Ekiti from me. We are also peculiar as a people 1Peter 2:9. Rev D. O. Ayorinde was among the first set of priests to be ordained before 1930 in Anglican Communion in Ekiti. Rev D. A. Omotunde was the first graduate Methodist priest in Ekiti and Ifaki is the Headquarter of the church in Ekiti. The first African Principal of Wesley College was Chief J.O.O. Ojo while the first Ekiti man to lead the Nigerian Union of Teachers was Chief D.O. Adetunmbi. Ifaki has also produced a governor and a senator, yet God is not done with us. Okorobo festival remains the biggest cultural event that naturally pools the hugest crowd from all over in the history of Ekiti.

The causes of dilapidation generally include neglect, indifference, lack of planning, self centeredness, double standard, old age without succession plan and good maintenance culture, lack of fear of God, insensitivity etc. Our ancient walls have broken down because we allow our values and cultural heritage that made us unique people to be eroded away. Apart from our location advantage, it was our forefathers who brought greatness to Ifaki community because they were people of excellent character and huge intellect who loved the town with a passion and selflessly too. We must not render our community desolate by our actions and inactions either through internal strife or by allowing foreigners to infiltrate us for selfish sectional gain that devour shining or rising stars among the inhabitants. Isaiah 1:7, 24:6.

To continue to make the difference as a community and rebuild the ancient walls on a lasting note, Ifaki community must not leave things to chances. We must plan deliberately in order not to fail and prepare adequately for the future.

“Aso ko ba da fun igba na i lo fun igba”. For instance, if Okorobo festival could be repacked, it can graduate to a state carnival that will attract people all over the world without losing its traditional touch.

Reward every good deed no matter how small. Rejig our corporate motto as a community. This will encourage people to do more for their community and prompt the undecided ones to act positively.

In essence, Ifaki community will standout to the admiration of all if we are committed to ethics, as basic principles. Integrity must not be compromised while taking
responsibility for our actions individually and collectively. Our people must continuously respect laws and regulations. We must respect one another as well as respect individual rights and of course give honor to whom honor is due. Our people must love work and be diligent at it, it is the way to productivity. The culture of saving and investing is imperative, wastage and squandering must be avoided like a plague. In all whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well and it should be done with dispatch. Procrastination is the thief of time.

In ku ajodun o, as’eyi s’eremurin rin o.
Ajuse o l’ase Edumare.

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