Ikorodu is a home to many great people who has excelled in various fields, most importantly, the successful indigenous people do not only know how to excel but also, they know how to give back to the society.
An epochal philanthropic act was recorded on August 8, 2020, when ladies elite club, the Golden Dames Club, donated an acre of land (six plots of land) to the developing Oloye Estate of the Eruwen district in Ikorodu. This noble act was done by a group of fine intelligent women with large hearts, under the leadership of Mrs. Oluwagbemiga Benson (President), Alhaja Bisi Ladega (Vice President), Mrs. Tokunbo Obafemi-Adegbola (General Secretary cum Treasurer) and Mrs. Joko Ajasa (Social Secretary).
The parcel of land which stretch on the slope of Oloye Estate, Eruwen, was purchased by the Golden Dames Club nineteen years ago. The club members had something else in mind for acquiring the land as they had thought of building a vocational centre for youths. But the fact that the land was surrounded by bush hampered their initial plans. There was a time PZ Cussons Company approached the group through our late patron, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosito help build the proposed vocational centre, but the transnational firm backed out after seeing that the land was in a developing area. Obviously, it didn’t fit into their publicity goals at that time.
However, things changed and the club executives found a more rewarding purpose for the land. The executives reasoned that the mega-community of Eruwen which comprises of seven different sub-communities, had no secondary school. The only public primary school the adjoining communities have is the only public primary school built and commissioned in February 2019. Till now, the communities have no secondary school. The closest public primary and secondary schools is about 10 kilometers away. It was reported that when children miss morning bus to school, they will remain at home for the rest of the day. Upon this background of the community plight in the area of secondary education, the prestigious Golden Dames Club decided to donate the six plots of land to the Community Development Association of Oloye Estate.
After concluding the paper work between lawyers of both the CDA and the club, the official handing over of the Deed of Gift was set for August 8, 2020. The event was witnessed by politicians, traditional leaders, CDA executives and press members.
By 5 minutes past 1 pm, the compere, Mr. Adebisi Adewunmi, cordially welcomed the dignitaries. Among the guests were President of the Golden Dames Club, Mrs. Oluwagbemiga Benson; chairman of Oloye Estate CDA, Dr. Dosumu Jubril; Baale of Balogun Jaiyesimi, Chief Musiliu Onimale; Chairman of Ikorodu North LCDA, Honourable Adebisi Banjo, and other politicians from Ikorodu Division.
The opening prayer was taken by Alhaji Mohammed Janyu with praise to Allah for the good deed by the graceful women.
The Ikorodu North chairman passionately pleaded with the event organizers to allow him make comment before leaving to attend another crucial meeting at the Ayangbure’s palace. The group agreed and the chairman thanked them for their magnanimous gesture. In his brief speech, the chairman appreciated the leadership of the club for their thoughtfulness towards the betterment of the communities.
The formal signing of the documents by the club executives, CDA executives and witnesses, was covered by pressmen who took pictures.
Delivering her speech, President of the Golden Dames Club, Mrs. Oluwagbemiga Benson, gave a brief background of the club and what they set out to achieve in the society. She explained that they founded the club in 1995 and incorporated in 2005, to bring like minds together with similar social orientation and philosophy of pursuing the happiness of members and assist the society in creating social harmony for growth and development.
The club which believe that humans are the biggest asset to drive peace, progress, growth and societal development, is making efforts to invest in people. One of the key contributions of the club in recent time, had been partnering with the state government in making annual visit and donating tothe Majudun Rehabilitation Centre in Owutu, Ikorodu. “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen and those that are present here; the acre of land which our club is giving to the Oloye Estate Community Development Association through this ‘Deed of Gift’, for the state government to build a public secondary school here in Ewu Oloye, Eruwen, was bought by our club in 2001 with an elaborate plan to build a youth centre. Our plans to build the Centre were adjusted in line with the need of the community where this property is located. We observed upon visit that the community is in need of a public secondary school.
We observed further that the closest secondary education facility to this community is about 10 kilometers away. Consequently, in line with our organisational objective of service to humanity, we met and decided to heed to the need of this community,” she narrated.
The president made it clear that handing over the land to the community is not the end in itself, while she enjoined all and sundry to join hands to ensure that the secondary school is built for the communities.
After her formal speech, the club’s General Secretary cum Treasurer, Mrs. Tokunbo Obafemi-Adegbola, delivered an extemporaneous speech.
Mrs. Obafemi-Adegbola spoke about the group’s ideology to support community with development projects, “Some had joined the club and left the club because they argued that we should focus on socializing and buying flamboyant materials, the rest of us who favoured community projects over Aso-ebi remained.”
She made a passionate plea to people to focus on building Nigeria for good.
According to her, we are all guilty as long as we are not doing our social duties in the society by raising decent children, being our neighbour’s keeper and contributing to the common good “No country can accommodate Nigerians if the country breaks up today, because we are too smart and cunning for them. For these reasons, we must build our nation. Let us all play our civic duties not blaming Buhari or any other persons for our national problems. We must learn to respect our neighbours, and realise that our egocentricity has to stop if we desire to grow. We urge people to replicate what we have done here today,” she urged the audience.
In response to the kind offer of the club to the community, Chairman of Ewu Oloye Estate, Eruwe, Dr. Jubril Dosumu, thanked members of the club for their selfless service to the communities.
The chairman described the Deed of Gift as support to the common good of residents and encouraged everyone to contribute in building the proposed school.
“This ‘Deed of Gift’ is for the entire community and we must all play our parts. It is an ‘Ajumose’ (collectively owned project) which the community, government, individuals must strive to achieve. We are also using this medium to announce that the street leading to the proposed school will be named ‘Golden Dames Avenue’. Like the name of the club, this particular gesture is nothing but golden,” Dr. Dosumu concluded. A special guest of the occasion, Professor Abiodun Morohunfolu, encouraged the community to crowd-source for fund to build the proposed secondary school for the people of Eruwen.
Good will messages from the CDA secretary, Mr. Lawal Wasiu Ayinde and another executive, Mr. Maxwell Olowosoke assured the club that the street will be named Golden Dames Avenue and they will do all they can to kick start the building project as soon as possible.
“We are happy for this development coming to the community, this can only be the beginning of many good things to come into our community.” Lawal commented.
Olowosoke described the club as not just golden club but an Emerald-Golden club.
The general secretary of the Osho-Sholu Royal Family, Erunwen, Alhaji Kosebinu Ismaila, said that the family members are happy about the new development. He explained that, though, the CDA had not given them prior notice on naming the avenue after the Golden Dames Club, the Osho-Sholu Royal Family is not against the mutual kind gesture.
Also, Mrs. Oluwagbemiga Benson, an active member of the club, encouraged women at the event to join the club. She also gave a brief background on how they started, what they set out to achieve and how they have grown.
According to her, the club was started by wives of the members of the doyen social club in Ikorodu, the Oriwu Club. The women are educated and highly placed women in their fifties, a golden age, hence they adopted the name, Golden Dames Club. The club’s focus revolve around laying the foundation of building a decent society for the common good. Then they were holding Youth Forum in secondary schools.
The parcel of land donated to the community was officially unveiled by cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the proposed name of the Golden Dames Avenue.
Many individuals praised the club executives for their integrity, they said the executives could have sold the six plots of land and split the money among themselves. But they didn’t and instead, chose the path of honour by donating the land for the community