Location of the Local Government

LOCATION OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (www.modakeke.org)
HEADQUARTERS UP TILL 1976

The headquarters of the Local Government Council for the whole of Ife Division
was at the D.O.’s office. Modakeke until 1976 when it was moved to the Ooni’s
palace at Enuwa in Ife. All the Colonial district officers and their Nigerian
successors operated from D.O.’s office in Modakeke until 1976.

The year, 1976, was epochal in the history of the government administration in
this country. It was the year local governments were restructured and streamlined
nation-wide and in doing so a total of 301 local government areas were created.
Ife division was to be broken into three local government areas but the anti-
progress mentality of Ife people would not allow them to let it be.
It was the only old Divisional Council area that was not touched by the local
government reforms of 1976. Their singsong was what it has always
been-strangers should not be in control on our land…” other council areas were
broken into two, three, or more. Council according to their population. All the
zonal offices of government establishments for the Ife/Ijesha zone were until 1976
located in Ife. Ijeshaland was split into three Council areas during the 1976
exercise.

Rationally and justifiably the Ijeshas demanded that such Zonal Offices be shifted
to their territory because they had three local government areas while Ife had one
and the government logically granted their request. The old Ijesha Division began
to progress on tree fronts while Ife continued to stagnate on one. It was during
this period that Ifes removed the Local government Secretariat from D.O.’s
Office in Modakeke to the Oone’s Palace in Ife and it was there till 1991 when they
(Ifes) illegally grabbed the Secretariat building along Ibadan Road even though it
does not fall within Ife Central Local Government Area. There was nothing they
did not do to enable them move to this new building. They started telling the
entire world that the Secretariat was disturbing palace activities. they cut the nose
to spite their face in 1976 because they did not want “strangers” to be in control of
anything and they subsequently lost their status as a Zonal headquarters. to
makeup for the loss they moved the Local Government Secretariat from
Modakeke to their Oba’s palace and virtually turned it to an exclusive Ife
property. It was his same Council Secretariat which the Ifes grabbed with both
hands in
1976 that they said was disturbing their palace activities in 1991. The was
nothing they did not say or do to convince the world that they the Council
Secretariat was a terrible irritant at the palace of their Oba. They went to the extent
of renting a crowd of Ife youths to carry placards and give an ultimatum to the Council
Secretariat o move from the palace. All this because they wanted to grab the
Local Government Secretariat on Ibadan road. And with the connivance of the
people in government then in Ibadan they succeeded. They are still illegally
occupying the building. They must be lodged from it. It doesn’t fall within their
territory.
The question now arises–if the Local Government Secretariat was Such as irritant
at the Ooni’s palace in 1991, why the desperation to locate another one there in
1997? In the course of the drama of location and relocation of the local
Government Headquarters. Oba Sijuwade was said to have won the sympathy of
the powers-that-be by telling them that he had been seriously humiliated because
his palace had been placed under Modakeke. Oba Sijuwade and his subjects do
not want Modakeke to have an identity. They continuously distort history by telling
the world that Modakeke is part of Ife. If their position is to be accepted for the
sake of argument, the pertinent question that arises is – Why can’t a Government
institution be located in Modakeke if it is truly a part of Ife like Enuwa or Oke
Ogubo? Why have they now chosen Oke Ogbo, another location in Ife and not
another location in Modakeke? The fact is that the Ifes want to subjugate
Modakeke. They want Modakeke people to hew wood and carry water for them
while they loaf around.

Almost from the inception of Local Government administration till 1976 the
Local
Government Council Headquarters was at the D.O.’s office in Modakeke where
the Ifes dominated and used it to serve their interests. What humiliation did their
Obas suffer during this period? After turning their back on the positive change
brought about by the local Government reforms of 1976, and realizing that the age
of enlightenment had set in among the people of Modakeke, the Ifes removed the
Local Government Secretariat from Modakeke to their Oba’s palace. They
virtually appropriated it and converted it to a veritable tool for self-service.
Modakekes were paying the tax, Ifes were doing the spending. They filled the
Secretariat with kinsmen to the exclusion of the geese laying the golden eggs.

This is the background against which Ifes’ agitation in the current crisis is to be
viewed. They are desperate because their mission is sinister. They want a
freedom
in a country governed y laws which guarantee basic citizenship rights.

In 1976 the Secretariat was grabbed as a prized possession. In 1991, its presence
the same palace was pursued with a vicious desperation. It is a matter for deep
regret that a community can resort to such deceit and dishonorable conduct to
secure a political advantage.

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