Youths in Ijare community in Ifedore local government area of Ondo State on Saturday disrupted the yearly Ijare Day ceremony.
The youths, who are mainly students, were angry over the alleged failure of Ijare Development Committee (IDC) also known as “Ijare Elewobi” to account for the funds received in previous Ijare Day ceremonies.
They said since the community has been holding the event yearly, those in charge of the funds had refused to spent the money garnered judiciously.
They lamented that the community lacked all social amenities such as water, good roads, schools, hospitals, banks among others.
However, as at the time the committee was preparing for this year event, the youths were said to have held a meeting few weeks ago and vowed to prevent the ceremony, which is meant to raise N100million from holding.
Unknown to the elders and members of the IDC, the youths, numbering about 150, as early as 7.30 a.m stormed the entrance road to the community and prevented motorists, particularly dignitaries, who are expected for the event from entry the community
Elders and chiefs, who wore a uniform ankara for the event were seen appealing to the protesting youths to allow the ceremony to hold.
The President of Ijare National Students Union (INSU), Comrade Olalekan Adu said the Ijare Development Committee members have failed the people of the community.
He said, “since they have been set up, this committee has not been doing anything for us in the community and each year, dignitaries donate money for the development of this community.
“You can’t believe that as big as Ijare is, there is no bank here and if we want to make a transaction, we must travel to Akure.
“Also, if you want to withdraw just N1,000 you must go to Akure and use the ATM and this is ridiculous.
“So, we don’t know the usefulness of that group because they have not been functioning except on Ijare Day.
“We are only asking them to account for the previous money they received before holding this year Ijare day.
The Chairman of Ifedore local government, Hon. Sola Adu, who was at the scene of the protest with officers of the Nigerian Police, described the incident as unfortunate.
Adu, who is also an indigene of the community, noted that many people are ignorant of happenings in the community.
According to him, “I was called this morning that there was a protest at Ijare and when I got here, I spoke with the protesting youths on why they are disrupting the peace of the community.
“They complained that the previous money received on Ijare Day had not been used judiciously.
“I told them that a lot of pledges are made on such occasions and at the end, those who made such promises will refused to fulfill their pledges.
“We have been pleading since that they should allow the event to hold but they are saying no.
“As for peace to hold, I have told the organizers that Ijare Day for today is cancelled”