The search by mokins to for an umbrella organization that will champion their cause and chart a course Ilara Mokin ended 3rd of February, 1979 with the founding of Egbe Ilara Mokin. Egbe was thus put on its mark for the race of a life time. The adoption of a constitution, a ten year plan of action, the election of first set of officers and the constitution of the maiden executive’s council on 24th March, 1979 signified the takeoff of the Egbe from the blocks.

All eyes were therefore set on Chief Samuel Adegboye Bakare led executive council to perform a miracle at turning around the fortunes of Ilara Mokin and its people in a jiffy.

GUIDING POLICIES

Knowing fully well that an organization with its objectives cannot conscientiously insulate insulate itself from partisan politics or traditional/chieftaincy matters, the Egbe enacted some guiding policies;

On politics they resolved that their involvement shall be objective and realistic; its partisanship shall be with due respect and regard to the rule of majority.

Owing to delicate nature of traditional matters such as Obaship and chieftaincy , the Egbe also resolved that; the prescribed authority the Amobajes shall be left to perform their duties without hindrance from the Egbe, however if the Egbe is formally invited  or considers it  incumbent for her to intervene such interventions shall be positive and realistic.

The foregoing policies have guided the Egbe ever since a violation of one of them regarding politics boomeranged.

FORUM OF CONCERNED MOKIN

The maiden set of officers worked as a team having one destiny, one purpose and one God, The team was thus able to lay very solid foundation and structures unprecedented in historyof Ilara Mokin. Hence, the team spent years instead of four due to the people’s erroneous notion of its indispensability,

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETINGS

Meetings were held quarterly and as the need arose. For identification and involvement, the meetings were held in Lagos and Ibadan with Ilara – Mokin having the larger share at least in the first three years in the life administration.

The team wasted no time in putting in place various committees for the implementation of the Egbes plans of actions, the result was;

  1. Printing and publishing of the Egbe constitution in English and Yoruba.
  2. Inauguration of Egbe branches Ile ife, Ibadan, Lagos, Ilorin etc.
  3. Completion of work on the new post office building; payment of staff salary and allowances including footing of the training courses in Akure and Benin city.
  4. Reception (cocktail party) on 14th December, 1979 in honor of five Mokins; Chief G O A Fasalojo General manager, Ondo State Agric and Credit Corporation, Mr M Ade Ojo Director African Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Chief J A Famuyiwa Hon Member, Ondo State House of Assembly, Chief Dr R A Senior lecturer University of Ibadan and Chief Frederick Jaiyeola Falodun Director, National Population Bureau.
  5. Publication of an Almanac.
  6. Annual grants and aid to primary and secondary schools in Ilara Mokin.
  7. First annual convention of the Egbe on 8th, December 1979.
  8. Embarking on a new town layout.
  9. Financial assistance to deserving okin Students.
  10. Construction three bedroom post masters quarters.
  11. Maintenance of police station building and construction of a police barrack.
  12. Institution of Mokin Day on 8th November, 1980 for raising funds for the execution of programs, projects and activities of the Egbe.
  13. Acquisition of land for community use; new market site, Nepa office etc.
  14. The construction of a bank building within 32 days, this was commissioned on 27th March, 1981 by Chief Akin Omoboriowo Deputy Governor, Ondo State. It was handed over the to the United Bank of Africa.
  15. Construction of Mokin Comprehensive Health Centre its foundation stone was laid on 10th April 1982 y Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin Ondo State Governor.

 

CHALLENGES

 

The first was on the reception held for five Mokins attainment of some feats in their respective area of calling, One regrettable but inadvertent omission was Dr I A Odeyemi who in 1979 was appointed the first director of the computer center University of Ife. This was not known to the Executive Council of the Egbe hence the exclusion of Dr. Odeyemi from the honorees list. After the reception Dr Odeyemi drew attention to his exclusion and decided to withdraw his services to the Egbe. It took a lot of apologies and years to bring him back to fold Dr Odeyemi later became the president of the Egbe 1994 till 1996.

 

Another inadvertent omission which the Egbe suffered for was the un-challenged caution by Dr R A Fakuade that his role in the search for an umbrella organization should not be disclosed because of his past involvement in party politics and chieftaincy matters in Ilara Mokin. At the first Annual Convention of the Egbe  on 8th December, 1979 the President then Mrs. S A Bakare eulogized only those he knew had participated in the process leading to the emergence of the Egbe ; but Dr Fakuade was not listed. The latter reacted saying that he was being side lined. He decided to walk out of the convention against all entreaties. The truth was that Mr Bakare was not part of the meeting where Chief Fakuade had issued the said caution in Ile Ife early in 1979 and those of us who were part of it had in g=faithfulness kept to caution. It was at this convention after Dr Fakuades reaction that we revealed the secret for the first time. This revelation thus exonerated the president from any act of commission or omission on the alleged sidelining. It took a couple of years to bring back Dr Fakuade to the Egbe. He has since stood as a rock of behind the Egbe a pillar of support indeed.

 

ALMANAC: one of the much touted avenues for raising funds for the Egbes programs was through publication of an almanac. With much enthusiasm, the Executive Council of the Egbe deployed the sum of N4, 670 (made up of a loan of 4,570 and N100 donation) to the publication of the maiden and the only edition till today. A Lagos based professional photographer went round Lagos, Ibadan and Ilara Mokin to capture photographs of some national officers and the Alara, Oba Solomon Ojopagogo. A neat black and white almanac was the result.

On publication, the almanac was well received at its formal launch o 8th Dcember 1979 at first Annual Convention of the Egbe. People present bought copies and branches were given copies for sale to their members, however, the hope of raising funds through publication turned out to be a day dream. Unknown to the Executives Council, the late Chief Ayo Omole the Lisa of Ilara Mokin was displeased with the almanac because he wasn’t among those in the in the edition, He immediately launched an assault on the almanac, using his position as Oteru Oba Ode the second in command to the Alara he dissuaded the people from buying copies of the almanac and thus it didn’t sell has projected. After two years the president and treasurer wrote off the balance of debt vowed. The Egbe has since not published a second edition, though Ibadan and two branches have published their respective versions,

 

Internecine crisis between Ile Ife and Modakeke in 1981 and 1982 necessitated the shifting of the venue of the Egbes general meetings to Akure and Ilara Mokin from July 1981 to June 1982.

 

Land Acqusition for the public use posed a serious challenge to the Egbe as many people  erroneously believed that the land belongs to them. The Egbe despite it appeals to mokins as to the desirability of release of land for use of the community;

 

We had to contend with late Pa Amos Ibikunle Olatunbosun on the release of part of his land along the express way where the new nine market day is now situated.

 

A land bequeathed to the community by Alara Okerukusoro for the release of the land, but some of the Obas grandchildren didn’t want that. Thank God, reason prevailed

 

One sore point was Idowu Olosisa who had effrontery of removing and carting away survey pegs used for demarcation on the new town lay out programme.

 

The very long distance that attended the relationship between the defunct Ilara Mokin Development League and the Alara, Oba Solomon A Ojopagogo was replaced was replaced with cautious parley at some distance between the Egbe and our Oba. Aside from attending the Annual Conventions of the Egbe held on the soil of Ilara Mokin, Oba Ojopagogo did not for once attend the general meetings of the Egbe held three times yearly In ile ife throughout the six years the Adegboye Bakare led the Egbe, the Egbe was the de facto government in Ilara Mokin for the first 20 years of its existence.

Crisis between Oba Ojopagogo and some of his chiefs including those who were very close to him also posed a challenge. Through divine intervention amicable solutions were however reached.

The national general elections of 1983 saw the Egbe at its wits end , first was the intra party crisis within the UPN on nomination of candidates for the Ondo State House of Assembly. A war of attrition ensured between Chief J A Famuyiwa the then incumbent House member on one hand and its attendant uproar which resulted in burning of some twenty houses and maiming of political opponents. For days thugs took over Ilara Mokin, to his credit Oba Ojopagogo was able to restore calm. In all of this, Egbe remained neutral, but played a mediatory role. Therefore it came out unscratched and thus maintained its dignity.

The Egbe was able to surmount these challenges all at a cost that included three separate meetings in one day, over night meetings with stakeholders , insults , affronts and the likes.