Annual conference: Day Ilorin indigenes converged 

Again, sons and daughters of Ilorin Emirate congregated recently under one umbrella to re-evaluate the progress of the city. UMAR BAYO ABDULWAHAB reports.  

The 2022 annual conference of the apex body of all socio-cultural organisations of Ilorin emirate indigenes, the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) set a new tune for the development of Ilorin Emirate with the state governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq challenging sons and daughters of the emirate on community sponsored projects. 

Unlike previous years where the high-points of the conference had been the launch of an almanac, this year’s conference which is the 57th in its series focused on fund raising for construction of an ICT centre, an initiative the governor said is commendable and a good start for community-sponsored projects.

Governor AbdulRahman speaks

Speaking at the conference held at the forecourt of the Emir of Ilorin Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, the governor commended the traditional ruler and IEDPU for keeping the flag flying, saying a lot needs to be done to make the capital city the number one positive reference point in Nigeria.

“I especially commend the Emir and leadership of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union for keeping the flag flying every year. We thank you for keeping the legacy of Sheikh Alimi evergreen. Distinguished elders, brothers and sisters, our administration remains committed to inclusive growth. Our goal is to make Ilorin one of the most celebrated capital cities in Nigeria and beyond. This is what informs the focus of our projects,” he said.

“We need to commend the focus of the IEDPU. We used to come annually for the launch of calendar, but this year has changed and we are proud of that. The main focus for this year is the ICT centre. I dare say that we must support the IEDPU to make sure that by this time next year, the ICT project is completed. 

“I was in Kwara-south yesterday to launch a hospital project by Offa Metropolitan Club. Let’s also make Ilorin greater; we should take the lead. By this time next year, IEDPU should be launching another project. It is a challenge for all of us. We are all members of the IEDPU and we should support them to achieve the set goals. 

“By now we should be pointing to numerous community-sponsored projects in Ilorin. I am glad this has started already”. 

Speaking  further, the governor  had his speech punctuated by applauses and affirmation  as he narrated how the capital city Ilorin is wearing new looks following government’s delivery of new roads and execution of many giant projects that the public could easily relate with.

“On our part, we are trying to change the face of Ilorin. You can see interlocking pavements taking place all over the town under our urban renewal programme. We are dualising the Yebumot/Oloje road; we are fixing Adeta/Pakata road and Pakata/Oja-Oba road project; old and new Yidi road. We would  keep doing our best to make sure we transform Ilorin. 

“In terms of infrastructure, we are renovating different parts of the state stadium and we are building a new Squash Court. The Ilorin International Conference Centre would be the best of its kind in northern Nigeria outside Abuja. In terms of industrialisation and employment, we have just awarded a contract for industrial pack in Eiyenkorin. There would be another pack in Malete. And you know, the state is building its own Innovation Hub, which would run along with IEDPU’s Innovation Hub in order to empower our youths to achieve greater heights.

“Let us commend the Chief of Staff to the President Prof Ibrahim Gambari. He hardly has time to come to Ilorin but he has been doing a yeoman’s job in Abuja. One of the projects, which has not been announced properly is the protocol we signed of which work would begin soon. It is a brand new diagnostic centre worth $7million which would be located in Ilorin here. You have seen that during Maimartaba’s reign God is doing Ilorin favours. All Ilorin indigenes are progressing dutifully and rightfully.”

Meanwhile, the governor donated the sum of N25m as a support for the IEDPU’s ICT hub and promised to ensure quick completion of the project. 

Among other donors, Turaki Ilorin and APC Kwara Central Senatorial Candidate Mallam Saliu Mustapha also donated N20m, while Hajia Bola Shagaya donated N10m in support of the IEDPU project. 

Who’s who? 

At the event were the Emir of Ilorin Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari; permanent secretary Ministry of Interior and chairman of the occasion Dr Shuaib Belgore; Ilorin Emirate Council of Chiefs; Chief Imam Ilorin Sheikh Mohammed Bashir Soliu; and other Imams and Islamic scholars; Grand Mufti of Ilorin Sheikh Suleiman Faruq Onikijipa; Turakin Ilorin Mallam Saliu Mustapha; national president for IEDPU, Alhaji Aliyu Otta Uthman; registrar of JAMB, Prof Is-haq Oloyede; vice chancellor University of Abuja, Prof Abdulrosheed Na’Allah; businesswoman and Zaraniya Ilorin Hajia Muina Sagaya; former vice chancellor of University of Ilorin Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem; executive director for National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM) Engr. A. R Kamal; guest speaker Sheikh Abdulwahab Banni Afonta; and dozens of dignitaries and sons and daughters of Ilorin Emirate. 

The Emir on his part appealed to the descendants of the emirate to remain peaceful, united and be committed to the cause of growth and progress of the emirate. 

He congratulated the leadership of IEDPU and entire people of the emirate for devoting their time and resources for the overall development of the city. 

The monarch hailed Governor AbdulRazaq for taking a lead in the projects that continue to change the face of the ancient city. 


Before on his part said Ilorin is fast becoming a choice destination for tourism because of the proliferation of state-of-the-art facilities, which he noted has continued to promote development and bring about economic benefits to the residents and entire citizens. 

He commended the leadership qualities of Governor AbdulRazaq and how he uniquely contributed to the growth of the Emirate and turned the city to a tourism and economic hub. 

“I would like to say that it is encouraging that Ilorin city is fast becoming a choice destination for tourism, thanks to the proliferation of state-of-the-art facilities in hotels, resorts, other public facilities and chiefly the drive of the state Governor AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq,” he said. 

Belgore charged the people of the emirate to continue to exist in peace, unity and forge ahead in the area of career development. 

The national president of IEDPU, Alhaji Aliyu Otta Uthman, said the cultural activity was organised to converse, consult and harvest thoughts on issues of local, national and International dimensions for the good of the Ilorin community and the nation at large. 

The president, who clarified that the union is apolitical, called on political parties in the state to make their campaigns issue-based and devoid of violence, asking politicians to always caution their followers against what could threaten the existing peace in the city and the entire state. 

Otta praised AbdulRazaq for his government’s investments in road and school infrastructure and waste management system, including the flyover at Tanke and expansion of Yebumot/Ita-Ama/Oloje road project, asking the government to do more.  

“Crimes and criminalities are reducible if the youth are engaged in any sector of our economy or offered the opportunity to run their own enterprises. We owe our youth the duty of making a living and surviving notwithstanding the condition of our economy by drawing them away from political thuggery, cybercrime, scam of any sort,” he added.

One of the highlights of the programme was the Emir announcing Hajia Bola Shagaya as the Sarauniya (Queen of Ilorin).