Ondo Development Committee (ODC)
Consequent upon the political emancipation of the country from colonial tutelage to independence, a process of transforming the multi-social and cultural communities in the federation was set in motion by the various government aimed at providing social and economic devolvement security and good government for the people. The Ondo community was not left out in this process. The most striking development that touches on the life, peace, tranquillity, progress and security of our people was the re-organisation of the local government system throughout the federation resulting in the creation of 17 Local Governments in Ondo State among which is the Ondo Local Government.
Whilst the noble intention of the government in re-organising the local government system is to usher in posterity and progress to the people the reverse is the case with our people due to undue hostility by our neighbours. We never saw peace with our brothers and sisters in the neighbouring local government area who are bent on driving our people from their farm lands and economic trees, if possible to Ondo town.
The Osemawe-in-council had tried all within its powers by instituting legal action in the courts to protect our rights but all to no avail.
However, issues and developments that concern the progress and status of the Ondo community within the larger context of our State as well as the grave and deteriorating relationship between us and our neighbouring towns and villages have made it imperative that Ondo community should set act in concert as a people using all our human, material and financial resources towards the upliftment of our community so as to leave a dignified, honourable, befitting and proud legacy to our children. It is in pursuance of these lofty goals that the Osemawe-in-council, after discussion at “UGHA”, decided to set up a special committee, designated Ondo Development Committee, on a broad base that cuts across age, generations, professional groups and traditional functionaries.
The inaugural meeting of the committee, chairmaned by the then Oba R. I. Adekolurejo, the late Osemawe of Ondo Land, took place in Ondo on the 25th of October, 1986 during which problems facing the Ondo community were highlighted and discussions centred on ways and means of tackling them. Since its inception, the committee has been meeting once a month. The undermentioned subcommittees were established with specific terms of reference:
1. Commerce and Industry
2. Works, Development and Environment
3. Political and Strategic Planning
4. Youth and Culture
6. Finance and General purposes
7. Editorial Board
These sub-committees have submitted various reports which have been adopted for implementation by the main co-committee up till date.
Ondo Development Committee: Evolution
T here was an attempt at the creation of a development body to see to the improvement of the lives of the Ondo people and promote their heritage at about 1977. The late High Chief Samuel Akinbolaji Oladapo, the then Lisa of Ondo land, a man widely reputed for his great depth of thought, had discussed that idea with some indigenes of thed Community. This was during a meeting he held with some members of Ondo Club 75. He had, at that meeting, expressed his concern about the various challenges the town was faced with. He suggested to the meeting the possibility of forming a body which would deliberate on a development plan for the Community.
However, a more ardent consideration was given to the formation of a body to look into the developmental needs of Ondo Community in 1986. These issues and developments that concern the progress and status of Ondo Community within the larger context of Ondo State, as well as the grave and deteriorating relationship between it and its neighbouring towns and villages made it imperative that Ondo Community should now act as a people, using all its human, material and financial resources for the upliftment of the Community, so as to leave a dignified, honourable, befitting and proud legacy as well as avoid possible condemnation by succeeding Ondo generations.
It was pursuance of these lofty goals that Oba R.I. Adekolurejo, the 43rd Osemawe of Ondo and High Chief S.A. Oladapo, then Lisa, were briefed by some concerned Ondo sons of the need to set up a Committee that would operate outside the traditional Ugha Assembly. After due discussion at Ugha, the Osemawe-in-Council agreed to this proposal, and that the committee would comprise representatives of Elegbe Chiefs, professional groups, age groups and some prominent Ondo Clubs. The Chairman of the Ondo Local Govemment would be an Ex-Officio member of the committee. Also, all the High Chiefs were technical members of the committee at its inception.
The Inaugural meeting of the Committee was held on 25th October 1986 with the Osemawe as Chairman, supported by all the High Chiefs. Problems facing Ondo Community were highlighted, and ways and means of tackling them were discussed. After that, the Osemawe named the Committee. ONDO DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (ODC), and appointed Chief Ebun Olawoye, the Odofin of Ondo and President of Ondo Club 75, as the Chairman.
Thus, the Ondo Development Committee was born on 25th October, 1986. A letter by the Osemawe himself to all Ondo indigenes captured the need for the creation of the body, the challenges as well as the objectives before the new Committee. Kabiyesi had encapsulated in his submission a resonant appeal to the patriotic instinct of all Ondo sons and daughters, to join hands in lifting the land and its people to greater heights.