How the Community Development Project of a Corps Member (NYSC), David Adeyemi, is reducing vehicle accidents in the 5th-most-populous state in Nigeria
Oyo state, created in 1976, has a population of about 6 million people, making it the fifth most populous state in Nigeria. The state is known for its legendary heritage of being the fragment of the ancient Oyo empire which was home to the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria.
The National Youth Service Commission (NYSC) in Nigeria allows youths from all over the country serve in various capacities in different parts of the country. For David Oluwatobiloba Adeyemi, his was to serve in Atiba University, Oyo West Local Government, Oyo Town.
David took this call to service dear to his heart and determined to make a difference, however little it might seem. CFS had a chat with him about his community development project that is helping Awumoro Area (Oyo West LGA in Oyo State) reduce vehicle accidents.
READ more About David Oluwatobiloba Adeyemi:
SEE ways you too can make changes during NYSC: https://changeforsociety.com/4-ways-to-drive-change-in-your-ppa-as-a-corps-member-nysc/
Orientation camp and relocation
“Initially I was posted to Nonwa-Gbam Tai Local Government Area, Rivers State and it was an amazing experience. I would never forget the ever loving company I had with the love of my life—Roast Plantain popularly known as “bole” with Fried fish and vegetable…. That made my stay in the camp Divine! I was in platoon 5 and participated in the inter-platoon drama contest and cultural contest.
Well, getting my posting letter went well because I was posted to the heart of portharcourt so I didn’t cry like majority did. But over time, somethings came up and I was forced to relocate.”
Experiences in the Primary Place of Assignment (PPA) and inspiration behind the specific community development project
“When I relocated to Oyo State, I was posted to Atiba University, Oyo West Local Government, Oyo Town. Oyo West is an amazing local government with beautiful sites seeing areas like the Old Oyo National Park. I was actually in a peaceful community, tarred roads but little or no electricity, beautiful and caring people and plenty of hot Akara “Beans Cake”.
On different occasions, I have been fortunate to escape from being a victim of vehicle causing accidents at this junction (Awumoro Area, Oyo West LGA, Oyo State) and this is simply because the road had no diversion, paintings on the road to indicate directions for motorists and all, so someone coming to that place for the first time would likely pass a oneway and collide with another vehicle or motorcycle coming from the other sharp end.
I took surveys and I got to find out that the issue came from the center of the road, there was previously an island there and it got spoilt over time so this inspired me to carry out a Community Development Project involving the construction of a “Safe Zone Intersection Axis” to help coordinate the flow of traffic, reduce the risk of accidents, promote the safety of the indigenes and also beautify the environment. And with the help of donations from friends, the public and other well wishers, I was able to carry out this project successfully.
The Safe Zone Intersection Axis consists of signs and Safe Zones Markings where motorists and people can safely wait in turns while another motorist is coming thereby reducing the 5 conflict points in that road.”
What was the whole experience like for David
“Epic, tough, frustrating, emotional but at the end of the day adventurous and lesson filled. The 5 days we spent working on this project was hectic.
We worked in the rain, under the scorching sun, had setbacks and all but what kept ringing in my head was the fact that this “Safe Zone Intersection” would go a long way in promoting the safety of the innocent people of the community so we had no choice but to keep on working till we attained the final result.
Nobody deserves to die because of the carelessness of other people and I am glad we have been able to effectively regulate the flow of traffic in that area.
During the course of this project, I learnt the art of effective leadership, perseverance, patience, decision making and critical thinking.
And I still want to give all credit to God and also say thank you to everyone who made this project a success. From the donors to the contractor to the workers to my fellow Corp members, family and friends.
I live by the words of George Bernard Shaw which goes does; ”I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”
Raising funds to carry out the project
“Family and friends [helped with the funds needed for the project] . I was just so frustrated with the failed promises of a lot of people and it was really slowing the pace of the work. A lot ignored my calls and infact did many many horrible things.
So, one morning I went on Facebook and posted about my project and still no turn up. Then, I went to my WhatsApp status and kept posting about my works and all and the funds started coming in and in less than a week, we got the money.
I also partnered with Good Governance Initiative, an NGO involved in promoting grassroots projects like mine and they also contributed in raising an handsome amount of money for the project as well.”
We’ve seen some stories about individuals wanting to help improve communities but either members or the leaders of such communities frustrate such efforts. And David did encounter such difficulties.
“Yes i did and infact it demoralised me completely. I was linked to an influential member of that particular local government and when I got to share my idea, I was insulted and shouted upon.
Infact, the person threatened to query the Ministry of Works and Transports for giving me the permission to go ahead because the construction was going to take place on a state road.
So, all through the construction, I was in fear. Fear of the unknown. But I am grateful for the grace to overcome. I am grateful to my wonderful and every long Aunty Mrs Babalola AKA Mummy Tee Boy who stood my me through all those times.”
David’s advice to New Corp Members who have mixed feelings about their PPA during their service year
“The service year was developed for you to make an impact wherever you find yourself. If you find yourself in a place your heart, spirit and mind doesn’t go with then you can change. Because happiness really plays a vital role in productivity and self awareness. But you can always transform that PPA you feel bad about to an entirely different place with just your contributions. I have friends who did that.”
David thinks the NYSC scheme and Corps Members are vital tools for effecting the kind of change Nigerians want. And here’s why…
“Yes, Yes, Yes. This scheme was created for corp members to serve their father land. Serving your fatherland doesn’t mean working in a place for the whole 1 year but finding a problem, a challenge, a niche in your communities and raising the voice for change, development or rather taking the big bold step and action yourself.
It starts from us. The leaders we want to be years from now, starts from now. If as corp members, we fail to identify challenges in our respective communities then even as leaders years to come we would also fail to identify the need of the people. If as corp members, we fail to take any step towards the development of communities we find ourselves then in years to come we still wont be able to perform.
The NYSC scheme is best way to make a difference and utilise opportunities. The uniform gave me the respect and free access to any office I wanted to go.
Know what you want, then go for it.
I am indeed grateful for this opportunity and to do more in the future. I hope to serve my people better. It was what I was born to do. Find problems and solve them.”
If David has 12 months to lead Nigeria, this is where he hopes to lead and what he hopes to resolve…
- As Commissioner or Minister for Environment
In this cabinet, i would ensure we as a community embrace circular economy. We cut out the general cultivation of manufacture, use and disposal, then replace it with the reduce, reuse and recycle policy. This policy will expel the current paradigm of lineal economic model which has contributed to serious environmental issues and health conditions in individuals.
We minimize production to a bare minimum, and when it’s necessary to use the product, we will have to go for the reuse of the elements that can not return to the environment. With such, production prices are reduced, sale prices lowered, thereby benefiting the consumer; not only economically, but also in social and environmental aspects.
- As Commissioner or Minister for Youth Development
The youths need to be inspired to get them to work. They are the most powerful assets of the Nation and if they are found wanting, that nation is doomed to fail. As the commissioner or minister, I will need to increase the rate and level of engagements, participation and active citizenship in the young population. All these can only happen by Identifying The Issues That Hold Them Back, Connecting with them, Providing Ownership to the Youths, Giving Encouragement and Feedbacks, Creating A Conducive Work Environment, Providing Professional Development, Promoting Entrepreneurial Skills and most importantly the Use of Social Media.
- As Commissioner or Minister for Public Works & Development
There are lots of infrastructural and structural deficits that need to be worked on. But first i will ensure training opportunities are provided to equip public works officials (public works directors, superintendents, water and wastewater managers, sanitation directors, engineers, and managers in other public works related fields) with the knowledge and skills they need to provide outstanding services to the people in today’s government setting.
Participants will learn skills within the context of the public works environment. and also, encourage University faculty members to deliver leadership and management program, while qualified public works practitioners provide the technical side of training. Continuing education opportunities will also be available. Lastly we would create a well structured communication channel where the people can pass their complaints and hold meetings with community leaders on the challenges in their communities that need to be attended to as soon as possible and we discuss on how we can go about it and the role all parties have to play to make it a success.
My administration is all about togetherness, corporation, innovation, transparency and foresight. Because Together, We Can Do More.
David’s website www.innovativedavid.com