InterviewLife Style

We Exist As Viable Alternative To Age-Groups In Ijebuland -Giwa Egbe Tobalase (ISOKAN), Azeez Adebanjo

As the socio-cultural groups otherwise known as Regberegbe in Ijebuland continue to wax stronger in rank and file, Adeola Azeez Adebanjo, the Giwa Egbe Tobalase Okunrin (Isokan) Akile Ijebu, has expressed confidence that the Age-Group he leads is designed to make an outstanding path in Ijebuland and serve as a viable option to similar groups.


He speaks exclusively to Ijebu News Xtra Society Editor in this interview. Enjoy…


How would you describe the emergence of your own led Age-group?

It was borne out of a desire for a strict adherence to the principles of age-group as well as a viable alternative to qualified Ijebu sons to participate in the promotion of our cultural heritage.


What is the relationship between the Tobalase you are leading and the existing one?

The relationship is in the commonality of purpose to Ijebu sons of the same age group. However, ideology and approach in fulfilment will differ.


Let’s have an insight into the Tobalase Okunrin age-group you serve as the Giwa?

The group is quite unique in its diversity as typically expected of age-group. Members are across socioeconomic strata as well as educational and professional standing. It depicts what the age-group represents as an ideal


Some critics described Regberegbe as an avenue of merrymaking. In your own opinion, what are the importance of age-groups in Ijebuland?

Whilst I cannot say they are right or wrong, I believe it is more than that. There are internalised and externalised benefits. Benefits to members from one another as well as benefits to the society through CSR and philanthropy which are developmental in nature. Beyond this, there is the retention and sustenance of our cultural heritage.


What are the immediate targets of your age-group in giving back to the immediate community?

First is to continue to provide a viable alternative for Ijebu sons within our age group and secondly, to embark on the execution of community-based projects that will bring direct impact across different spheres of life such as education and health.


What should your members be looking forward to in your leadership?

We started on the notes of transparency and accountability, and we hope to sustain this. So we welcome those who abide, appreciate and share such values.


What is your message to the Awujale as well as sons and daughters of Ijebuland on the 2023 Ojude Oba day celebration?

My message is one of gratitude and appreciation to our Royal father, HRM, The Awujale of Ijebu, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona (CFR), Ogbagba II for his sustenance of the Ojude Oba festival and re-emergence of the Regberegbes.

To all Ijebu sons and daughters, I wish them a fun filled celebration of the 2023 Ojude Oba Festival, our unique heritage and do more to assist their immediate communities at all times.


Lastly, the conditions of internal roads in Ijebu are unmotorable. What is your advice to the government on this?

Whilst I do not have any experience in public governance, I can only imagine the enormity and complexities of governance, drawing from my experience in the private sector. One thing that is certain, be it private or public sector, is the scarcity of resources and in particular funds (and ideas). The state of the roads should therefore be addressed in a more proactive manner, to better utilise the limited and scarce resource and funds. Like the old saying goes, a stitch in time, saves nine. With respect to the state of the roads, it usually starts with a small pothole, which gradually becomes a gully and finally, a total collapse of the road structure. A larger and more sustainable approach will be to create an enabling environment for the private sector to not only thrive but drive commerce and the economy within the towns and state overall. This will in turn increase revenue generation amongst other benefits to the citizens. More importantly will be the private sector participation, concessioning and as well as public-private sector partnership in maintaining and developing our infrastructure.

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