The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
SPECIAL REPORT: Over 200 Years Without Commercial Banks In Osun Community, Residents’ Want Linger
This is a special report on the unheard pain of some Nigerians, unnoticed for decades. Conducted by Enoch Oyedibu for PIJAlance Magazine, the report is into a three-part series and is published for three days. This is the second part of the series and it focused on Ada, a town under Boripe Local Government, Osun State.
Unlike Ikirun that was once in residence of commercial banks, Ada has never sniffed the presence of any of them for more than two centuries.
Ada, a town in the Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State, Nigeria, is believed to have been established since the 19th century and until the 21st century, no branch of commercial banks has been established in the area.
A town, headed by Oba Oyetunde Olumuyiwa Ojo (The Olona of Ada), Ada has the biggest market in the Local Government Area of the total landmass of 132 km and it generates the highest revenue for it.
It is surrounded by major towns like Iree, Iragbiji and Ikirun, among others. Residents in the community are crossing over 200,000.
Some of the compounds that make up the town are Ile (house of) Oba Oludele, Ile oba Adeitan, Ile oba Olugbogbo, Ile Aro, Ile Alagbaa, Ojomu Oteniola, Alade, Eesa, Jagun, Osolo, Oke Baale, Asasile, Oluode, Agba Akin, and Ile Odogun. There are hotels and a hospital in the town.
The time Ada has spent without banks must have been more than 200 years compared to Ikirun. Founded in the 19th century, until today Ada, despite its serene environment and blessed market benefits for commercial banks, has never the heyday of banks.
Though there are two Microfinance banks, none of them are as active as expected to serve the Community.
Olona of Olona, the king of the community had in his might tried to liaise with any of the commercial banks through different means to establish their branch but all efforts snapped into an emasculating abortion.
The people of the community are described as ducks to water banks to visitors. Enoch Oyedibu explained how they entreated him on his first visit. As a matter of fact, he spent his first night in Ada during the course of the investigation.
The whole settlement is peaceful, though still wallowing in some traditional beliefs, none of these can affect the establishment of a commercial bank.
For them, over 200 years of existence there were never been heavily armed robberies. “Just a menial robbery from house to house burglary to just that…,” a resident said.
Any of the commercial banks willing to establish itself in Ada will have it as a gold mine, as in the whole Local Government, such may be the first and the most patronised ever. It is a kind of community with different people in need.
The painful part is there are more than these types of communities in Osun State without commercial banks, good roads and access to good water supply or good electricity.
However, all of these communities have polling units to vote and every time of election, the Independent National Electoral Commission will always find its ways to them.
So the question is, why is it that politicians can only visit these communities with campaigns for their votes and have never visited them with good innovations to increase their wellbeing?
You can get the first part of the investigation, here.