By Kehinde Adejumo
Osi, an ancient town situated along Igoba- Isinigbo road in Akure North Local Government area of Ondo State is about 18 kilometers away from Akure, the State capital.
It has been in existence for over 600 years. It is an agrarian community, where they produce cocoa, kolanut and other food crops in large quantities.
Osi is one of the few communities in Ondo State that is blessed with a visionary leader.
The Iresi of Osi land, Oba Olajide David Okunato, a telecommunications technologist, who was installed as the Iresi of Osi in July, 2014.
In a space of four years, Osi that was in obscurity before now, has now become a household name, not only in Ondo State, but also in Nigeria as a whole.
Oba Okunato’s visionary Leadership has brought the community out of obscurity to limelight in less than five years on the throne as the community has witnessed tremendous developments some of which are: building of police station, construction of road from Osi to Owo express road, opening of over a hundred layout, building of a Central Mosque for Osi and the surrounding communities and Magistrate Court.
Not only these, there are several ongoing projects which include clearing of proposed site for a modern Palace, construction of a modern market, construction of residential houses for the Anglican Priest, building of both primary and secondary schools and the construction of factory where electrical materials will be produced.
Okunato, while speaking with Community Hope said all he thinks is how to make Osi a cynosure of all eyes and also to make it known to the whole world.
He said, among his developmental plans is to establish a private frequency modulation radio station. The purpose is to take Osi from obscurity to limelight.
“It is annoying that before now, even people from our local government, Akure North do not know us (Osi), but now, the story has changed but I am not yet satisfied, l want Osi to be a household name, not only in Ondo State, but in Nigeria and the whole world at large. “
I have taken so many fruitful steps to make this a reality. Among these steps include the establishment of Electricity Appliances Industry in Osi that will specialize in the production of items like, Streetlights bulbs, lighting protectors, household electricity bulbs.
The products will be circulated around the country and even across the sub-saharan Africa.
“I was not also pleased with the supply of electricity in the area. I embarked on erections of high tension poles so that we could have our own transformer, now Osi electricity is the best in the surrounding communities”.
As a telecommunications technologist, he went further to obtain customized prepaid meters for all the residents of the area, adding that he has partnered foreign firms to produce telecommunications equipment in the area that can be exported to other parts of Africa.
The Iresi of Osi, said the Royal Estate in Osi land is going to be the best estate in the state.
He revealed that several Obas and dignitaries in the country have purchased plots of land in the estate to put up befitting edifices.
“Among my developmental plans is the allocation of plots of land to Journalists in the state to build “Pen Estate” and many Journalists had responded, because the land is affordable, all in a bid to project Osi community to the world.
The Iresi of Osi , prioritises the issue of religion in the area. As a christian, he bought musical instruments worth several thousands of naira for St. Andrews Anglican Church in the area, and the mission house for the priests has reached 80 percent completion.
According to him, recently the Osi Central Mosque was completed and handed over to the Muslims in Osi and the surrounding communities.
Okunato did not stop at that, he built a befitting shrine for the deity called ” Oju Akin. ” he also relocated the deity from the old dilapidated building to the new building.
All these landmark achievements were 80 percent financed by the monarch, and the remaining percentage through communal efforts. He however commended the people of the area for their cooperation and support. “
” I was able to achieve these feats because of my people’s absolute support”.
The monarch said to complement government efforts in its development drive , thirteen hectares of land have been set aside to build modern market and work has commenced on it.
High Chief Akinyemi, the Asai of Osi land commended the efforts of Oba Okunato in bringing Osi out of obscurity to limelight. He described the monarch as a man with good foresight.
“This is a quality that a good leader cannot do without , he sees ahead of time.
He is a man that anticipates future development, he plans several years ahead of everyone of us.
“Without gainsaying. Oba Okunato is a visionary leader who knows what to do to take Osi to a higher height. “I can describe him, as another Awolowo of our time. Already, he has ten years development plan of Osi at hand, he has the ability to envision the future and acts as if it is a tangible reality”, Asai stressed.
He said, what surprised him most is the zeal with which he does the work of the community with his own money without expecting anything from anybody.
“He has committed several millions of naira to the various projects executed in the area from his own purse.
” Oba Okunato is God sent to develop Osi, the Ifa that chose him for us did not make mistake, no one could have done it better.
“lf Nigeria as a nation has this type of passionate leadership, we will compete favorably with the Americans and all the developed countries of the world in terms of economic development, infrastructural development and all round development.”
The major festivals in Osi are Opa and Imoriko festivals. Opa festival always comes up between July and August, Opa festival originated from Osi. “Every other community that celebrates Opa festival takes cue from us. It is a festival of brave. It shows how brave the sons and daughters of Osi are.
Another important festival is Imoroko, during which the people of the land present their requests to Akin Deity.
According to him, the people of the land always look forward to the festival, as that is the only period the god of the land comes down to take their requests to the Almighty the God.
“There is no one that goes to “Akin shrine” with faith concerning one problem or the other that does not come back with testimony”, Asai boasted.
The High Chief admonished the youth of the area not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs, saying that the children of those politicians are abroad studying in prestigious Universities.
Another resident, Mr Babatunde Adaramoye who just moved to the area commended the monarch sincerity on the issue of land matter. According to him, there is nobody that purchases land in the area that regrets doing so as there is proper documentation there is no land racketeering in Osi unlike in other areas where a plot of land is sold to more than three people “.
He appealed to the state government to help them rehabilitate the road that leads to Osi and the neighbouring communities as “the road is terribly bad”.
Please help us complement the good work our kabiyesi is doing, because if there is no good road network the infrastructural Development is not complete”.
He said Osi and Igoba should be included in the ongoing road projects in the next year’s budget of the state.