Ife Master Plan - An Essential Tool To Fast Track Ife Development

Ife Master Plan - An Essential Tool To Fast Track Ife Development

(A Clarion Call for Ife Patriots)

By Niyi Murele

Niyi Murele

I have the privilege of being the speaker at the recent IFE DAY 2022 at Atlanta, Georgia courtesy of the dynamic Ife Ooye North America (IONA). The event witnessed the convergence of Ife sons and daughters all over the United States including Canada. The two-day programme featured many activities and deliberations mostly centred around the betterment of our community and our people. 

The passion for a better and greater Ife was undeniable. Ife sons and daughters in the diaspora are willing to do anything to see “The Source” rightly positioned in all ramifications. They are willing to sacrifice their resources and time to see our city truly reflecting our history as the cradle of the Yorubas. With the type of energy exhibited during the two-day event, I was able to re-affirm that, Ife diasporans have strong roles to play in Ife development, and they cannot be ignored. Let me seize this opportunity to commend the efforts of the executives of IONA and the event committee for putting together such a phenomenal event.

The central focus of my presentation during the event was a call for IFE MASTER PLAN, without which our community will continue to crawl developmentally. I emphasised a silent generational gap that exists within our community. The Ife we see today is not the same Ife that some of us knew when we were growing up.

Unfortunately, the difference is that of regress, and not progress in all ramifications. Once upon a time, Ife was captain of cities economically, socially, and cultural wise. You can walk from Moore to Mayfair, and both sides of the road filled with all kinds of commercial activities. Our markets were packed with people coming from different parts of Yoruba lands to patronise our local traders. Our infrastructures were resaonably maintained by the local governments. Our farmers enjoyed seasonal incomes during which the entire community will feel the impact of their revenues. We witnessed all kinds of businesses in Ife from motor dealers to insurance brokers. 

You can take a taxi from Mayfair, and it will take you down to remote streets of Oke-Atan or Iloro because most of our streets were motorable. Ife was safe. I trekked several times from AP to Iremo or Ehindi in the night seasons without any anxiety of lurking danger. But over a period of four decades, we have witnessed a progressive decline due to many reasons, the principal one been the community crisis with our neighbours.  Ife indigenes aged forty years and below will have no clue about all that l’ve described above. They have to go and verify from older ones in the community. This is what l call the generational gap. 

We must give great kudos to His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi in his efforts towards cultural revamp of our city since his ascension to the throne which by default is turning to economic gains in the city most especially within the hospitality sector. His effort in cultural re-awakening is a good ground with infinite potentials to monetise our culture for economic development for the benefits of our community at large. 

We cannot also ignore the efforts of different Ife social and non-governmental organisations in their efforts in giving back to the community. Organisations such as Ife Legacy Foundation, Ajilesoro Foundation, Ife Ooye North America (IONA), Ife Ooye Elegant Women, Akodi Ife UK, Egbe Omo-Ife UK, Ife Heritage Investment Company Ltd, and many others numerous to mention are all involved in giving back to the community as a form of support to His Imperial Majesty’s efforts and for the benefits of our citizens in general. 

Our political representatives are not left behind in giving to the community as they deem fit during their tenures. However, the impact of all these efforts are not harnessed to the maximum due to lack of central coordination of a developmental plan, which is essential for such a community like ours. This is the reason why we need an IFE MASTER PLAN.


The master plan will be a corporately agreed developmental agenda of our community, focusing on our short, medium and long-term developmental objectives and goals, taking into consideration our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, with consideration to available resources, including harnessing our human resources and personnel, required capital, and developmental logistics.

The master plan will create a rallying point for our community, unifying all efforts and thereby creating a concept of synergy. We become more impactful with better outputs in working together than working individually. Our master plan will become a tool in our hand to negotiate from position of strength with politicians, corporate organisations in our community for corporate social responsibility, and culturally from those seeking chieftaincy titles. 

Community development becomes easier to attain with a blueprint in place corporately agreed and endorsed by citizens. It helps to measure our developmental progress. At the moment, we lack such blueprint and therefore we are left with scattered developmental initiatives from groups and organisations which would have been more impactful via corporate master plan.

I concluded my presentation at the event by identifying areas where through a master plan, Ife can thrive in all realms of human endeavour. These are Agropreneur, Tourism, Education and Mining, looking at what is available, what is needed, and strategies to mobilise resources to achieve the gap, details of which are beyond this submission. 

An accurate diagnosis of ailment and right prescription are essential for healing to take place. It’s time for us all to come together and work towards IFE MASTER PLAN, if we truly desire progress and development of our community. The absence of a plan is a plan to fail. The absence of master plan creates a vacuum that will continually be exploited by opportunists in all facets of leadership in the community who will always prioritise personal interests above community interests. 

You just have to drive around neighbouring towns to see how far they have moved forward in the last four decades while our story is opposite. Since 1999, Ife has nothing to show forth as dividends of democracy apart from abandoned state and federal government projects. The local governments have become totally dysfunctional despite huge amount of resources from monthly federal allocations without any significant project or even maintenance of existing infrastructures in the city, and no accountability. 

For our community to move forward and for us to have a legacy to leave behind, am appealing to all Ife patriots to come together and fashion a master plan for our development. It’s important we firmly demonstrate our position as the cradle of Yoruba not just in words but other realms of human lives. May Ife become great in our lifetime. Amen.

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