By Omotayo Ayanda
Mercy Land Community in Reke town, Asa Local Government Area of Kwara state, stands as a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives. Established six years ago, the Mercy Land Community Development Association has been instrumental in fostering growth and unity among its residents.
The association’s primary objectives revolve around contributing to the community’s well-being, aligning their efforts with government initiatives. The community’s commitment to security, collective projects, and overall development, showcasing the strength that arises from unity.
A notable achievement for the community has been the electrification project, where over 30 electric poles were purchased through collective contributions. This initiative, costing over N3 million, resulted in connecting a second phase of electricity to the community, a significant milestone in enhancing the residents’ quality of life.
The annual carnival, a tradition spanning six years, serves as a unique expression of gratitude for successfully navigating another year. Despite challenges, the community has persevered, adapting the celebration to January to accommodate the travel patterns of its members during the festive season.
The Chairman of the Community’s association, Elder Gbenga Falade and the treasurer, Hon. Dele Ogunbiyi shared more insights into the objectives and history of the association, highlighting their commitment to community development.
Elder Falade said that the primary aim of the association is to complement government efforts in fostering growth within the community. Their initiatives include enhancing security measures and undertaking various projects to improve the overall well-being of residents.
Speaking with Community Voice Network, on the significance of the annual event organised by the association, scheduled for Saturday January 27, Hon. Dele Ogunbiyi, who is the chairman organising committee, explained that the celebration serves as an expression of gratitude to God for allowing the community to navigate another year.
“The anniversary, originally intended for December, the celebration was rescheduled to accommodate the travel patterns of community members during the holiday season,” he said.
The anniversary, now in its sixth year, traces its roots back to the establishment of the association. Inspired by community leader, Pa Ade Akinnawonu, the association was formed to address security concerns and engage in communal projects that make life meaning for the people. Over the years, they’ve achieved notable milestones, including the purchase of electric poles and the connection of a second phase of electricity to the community at a cost exceeding N3 million.
Hon. Dele said that this year’s anniversary promises to be distinctive, with notable guests expected, including Senator Saliu Mustapha, representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, and the Hon. Commissioner for Energy in Kwara State, Hon. AbdulAzeez Abdulganiy, who is also from Reke town. Additionally, community leaders from Reke, Obondoroko, and Chairmen from the ten communities within Reke town will add colour to the event.
Hon. Dele added that, “The festivities will include prayers, addresses from community leaders, goodwill messages, and opportunities for socializing. While explicitly not a fundraising event, the association may seek support from guests for essential community projects, such as acquiring a transformer, addressing water scarcity, and repairing damaged roads”.
Hon. Dele emphasized the need for community members to actively contribute to development efforts. He urged those not attending meetings to reconsider and participate in discussions that shape the community’s future.
In a heartfelt plea to the government, he called for the fulfillment of promises, particularly regarding road construction from Obondoroko to Reke town.
He also appealed to the government to provide the community with some essential amenities like transformers and motorized boreholes. “The community’s hospital, equipped with modern facilities, requires staff and a perimeter fence for security purposes”, he said.