The Street Journal Forum, led by Wole Arisekola, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Europe Chapter and Publisher of the Street Journal Magazine, on Saturday donated 2 boreholes in the Akoko area of State.
The gesture was in fulfillment of Mr Arisekola’s vision for the year 2013 tagged “Provision of potable water for water deprived areas in Nigeria to help the masses”.
In addition to several boreholes already sunk in Oyo State by the Street Journal Forum, Arisekola, fondly referred to as “Uncle Wole”, by members of the Forum, officially commissioned and donated the boreholes with brand new generators to power them at Arigidi and Akungba in Akoko North West Local Government Area and Akoko South West Local Government Areas of Ondo State respectively.
While speaking at the two commissioning events which attracted a large number of chiefs, residents and sizeable number of WSJF Members, Arisekola, stated that part of his mission is to provide boreholes in some states across the nation. .
The NUJE, President disclosed that “what the WSJF does is to contribute individually and collectively for any project execution in our communities, because government alone cannot provide our needs”. Speaking further, he stressed the need for everyone to be his brother’s keeper. He drove the point home with the Yoruba saying, “enikeni ti iwo ba ni ‘pa lati se iranlowo fun, oun ni enikeji re” (whosoever you can help is your partner). He added that the donation is not for any political agenda, neither is it a government supported project. “I am not an Ondo State indigene, I am from Oyo State”, Arisekola said, to the surprise of community leaders some of who had thought he was a politician who would need help as regards conrtacts and mobization of voters when the need arises.
“It is our mission to reach out to Nigerians,In terms of social amenities like water, hospital and empowerment through skill acquisition training and others”, he said.
He also made it known that the WSJ Forum prioritizes communities’ needs out of which the most pressing ones would be picked.
“Your sons and daughters who are members of our great forum suggested these locations and they were done without the interference of any politician”, Arisekola stated. He thereafter pleaded with leaders of the communities to ensure that the boreholes are protected.
Wole Arisekola, convener of the Street Journal Forum which comprises of over 4,000 members on BlackBerry Messenger as well as thousands on Facebook, also called on the communities to continue to maintain the donated borehole.
Presently, 7 boreholes have been completed in two states by the Street Journal Forum, 5 in Oyo State and 2 in Ondo State. Two are also in progress in Kogi State.
While appreciating Wole Arisekola and the Street Journal Forum, elders of Arigidi and Akungba Akoko assured that the boreholes will be protected and properly maintained.
In 2012, he ensured that his Forum provided cash, clothes food items and other relief materials to the internally displaced persons at Makoko in Lagos while he also facilitated a free medical outreach in which seasoned Doctors held free consultancy sessions for residents of Ijero community at Ebutte-Metta in Lagos State. Free drugs were also distributed to as many as required them at the Lagos programme in 2012.
Members of the Forum have also attested that Arisekola has facilitated good paid jobs to hundreds of members. In December 2012, he instructed that a trailer load of bags of rice should be distributed to orphanages across the country.
Earlier this year, Wole Arisekola’s Street Journal Forum established a Multi-purpose Co-operative Society which was funded for take off with N 50 million. The establishment of the co-operative society is to coordinate young professionals and entrepreneurs in organising a pool of private funds to serve as a reliable source of credit and investment opportunities, which members can look towards as a convenient and more affordable means of personal and entrepreneurial development.
Apart from the elders and youths of Arigidi and Akungba, who were at the well attended commissioning, market women came out in large numbers to be part of the event. Members of the Street Journal Forum in attendance included: Wole Arisekola (Republic of Ireland), Yomi GCON (Lagos), KOKO (Lagos), Emerald (Lagos), Bashorun (Lagos), Adenike (Ondo) Don Dosmile (Ondo), Bosedeangel (Lagos), Alex (Abuja) .