PHOTO: Acting NITP President, Luka Bulus Achi (left) with Chief Goke Adediran, the last surviving founding father of the Institute.
The entire leadership and members of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) stormed the historical capital of Ibadan in Oyo state on Tuesday, the 6th of September to start the much anticipated week long activities of its golden jubilee.
NITP’s roots are firmly tied to West Africa’s largest city as the association’s founding fathers first sowed the seeds of its formation in this ancient city back in September 1966. Activities for the day which was ably anchored by Kola Lawal the chairman of Oyo State chapter of NITP, rolled off with visits to the home of late Pa Oladele Tokun.
Fellows and members of NITP were warmly received by the family of the legendary town planner, led by the surviving sister and now matriarch of the family, Mrs Ajijolola Abiara, who was introduced to the visiting delegates by Mr Olatunji Tokun, the second son of the deceased.
Tpl. Lukas Achi, the Acting President of NITP, while addressing the family remarked that there’s much to celebrate as the seed which was planted through the organizational wisdom of Pa Tokun has grown to 50 years and is still being built upon. Speaking further, the president announced that NITP as a body has set aside the 6th of September as Founding Father’s Day of the Association and that Pa Tokun’s family should look forward to visits from NITP yearly on that day.
The NITP train then moved to the house of Chief Goke Adediran in the same vicinity to pay homage to the last surviving member out of the Nine founders of the body. The retired but not tired seasoned town planner took the visitors on a journey down memory lane, giving insights to the birth, early challenges and eventual growth of the Institute. An obviously elated Chief Adediran, fondly called ‘the last man standing’ by fellows and professional members of NITP later feted the delegation to sumptuous meals and drinks as gratitude for being celebrated while alive by a baby he helped nurtured to adulthood.
The day’s activities were rounded off with a courtesy call on the rector of The Polytechnic Ibadan. In his welcome address the rector ably represented by his deputy Mr Bayo Oyeleke, emphasized that ”Without Town Planners it will be difficult for the human race to live an orderly life, so the importance of each and every practicing town planner to the society cannot be over emphasized”.
He further advised members of NITP to join active politics so that they can further influence government policies from the inside to the glory of the noble profession.
From the conference room of the institution, the train moved to the Urban and Regional planning department of the school where a well laid Gazebo built and donated by the NITP was commissioned by its Acting President Achi and his national executive members.