ORIBA: A COMMUNITY IN SQUALOR, SURROUNDED BY RICHES





Kingsley Momoh

Lying by the Lagoon is a community blessed with lush green vegetation called Oriba. Guguru FM crew got access to the community via a canoe ride from Itokin along the Ikorodu/Ijebu Ode expressway near Ikorodu. Oriba according to the indigenes was founded in the 1600s. However, after going round the community with our cameras, taking pictures, it was clearly obvious that the community has suffered neglect due to so many indices. 
Oriba lacks every form of functional social amenities that dot the nooks and crannies of Lagos state; the centre of excellence. For a visitor who notices two electricity transformers located in the comunity, one would think that there is electrical power supply to the community. However, it was reliably gathered that the electric poles, cables and transformers were mere display of the seemingly slap on the faces of the members of the community. They say since the installation of the electrification projects which were done with fanfare, power supply to the village has been zero. 


Primary School
The community has a primary school which we visited and what we saw shocked us. The single block primary school of about four classrooms is dilapidated and unfit for humans to use as classrooms. The school is nearly part of a forest closely behind it and it was learnt that teachers posted to the community refuse to come to work there in Oriba as a result of the lack of social amenities. As noted earlier, the only access to the town for now is the water way which is poorly run by the locals. The canoe ride for Guguru FM crew was everything unsafe. The passengers and the operators were without life jackets and the ride took about 45 minutes to the village. The situation in the secondary school which was divided into the junior and senior isn't much different.


Only Source Of Water In Oriba Primary School
Oriba has a building neatly painted which is supposedly the primary health care centre is an empty building with farming going on in the compound. We were told that that the centre lacked equipment and staff. We were told that due to this fact,pregnant mothers patronize the local midwife andthose who try going ot the Epe general hospital end up losing the child, the mother or both due to the distance and access road.

We were also shocked to find out that the people of Oriba rely on the supply of pure water in sachet from neighbouring town of Itokin for drinking. And it is transported via the water ways. The well we saw near the primary school has dirty water in it.
As if adding insult to the injury is the fact that the only road that could have facilitated movement in and out of the community is not a path for normal vehicles. We sought to see the road that used to serve as the access way to the community via land and were taken to a swampy portion of the village. The only indicators of road are the double care tyre path that has been covered by tall grasses that leads to the 'swamp' which we were told is also part of the road that leads to Oriba to other places like Epe, Ibeju Lekki etc.

Most of the building are looking like shanties because of the impossible cost of transportation via the River from Itokin along the Ikorodu/Ijebu Ode expressway which is the only way to the community. Transporting building materials to Oriba is indeed, expensive.
The Baale, Chief Olisa of Oriba land, Mufutau Lasisi Alafin who was installed in 2005 has not received his official staff of office from the state government till date, a situation which hampers easy representation at the governor's office.
Oriba People During The Press Conference

It is a surprise that a community like this exists in Lagos state which is the cynosure of all other states in Nigeria. Oriba residents live like aliens in their country.

Speaking at a press conference organized by the community the Aare of Oriba town Adesegun Hassan noted that it is no longer a thing of doubt that Oriba village is being sidelined in the scheme of the development strides going on in Lagos state. The community has suffered neglect by various governments and he urged the present government led by his excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to come to the aid of the community which is in Epe local government area, the home town of the governor.


Speaking further, the chief pointed out that Oriba produces Palm kernel, charcoal, cassava, plantain among other food products which are in exportable proportions but with the absence of an access road, Oriba farmers are like those who wink in the dark. He asked that if it would be to the benefit of Oriba, they should be excised to another local government and removed from Epe local government which they say has not been of any beneficial to them. He claims that Oriba which has been in existence since the 17th century even before Epe has been a subject of neglect and disregard.

They described an instance when an empowerment program was held in Epe without the inclusion Oriba people as a recent pointer to the fact of the neglect and disregard of Oriba by Epe local government.


Going round the town, it is evident that the community is in dire need of many things to make them feel part of the centre of excellence.




















Primary Health Centre Without Equipment Or Staff

Oriba Secondary School

Dilapidated Building In Oriba

Abandoned Court Room In Oriba
Primary Health Care Centre Turned Farm
Supposed Road And Drainage
Passengers Waiting At The Bank Of The Lagoon For The Canoe To Take Them To Oriba

Typical Classroom In Oriba Secondary School



Rare & engaging interviews and some more by a team of experienced & hungry pen users.