The little sleepy town of Ijero-Ekiti in Ekiti state of Nigeria has produced an armored vehicle, the armored vehicle which was designed and built by two brothers is reported to have been crafted by hand using locally sourced materials.
The building of this armored vehicle brings to mind the dream that led to the setting up of Alaja Steel Industry, there was a time when vehicle assembly plants like Peugeot and Volkswagen were in production in Nigeria, there was a time when hopes were high that with the completion of Alaja Steel complex, vehicles will begin to roll out of a totally Nigerian assembly plant, but today, all those hopes and aspirations all fizzled into nothingness.
Alas, the two Nigerian brothers from Ijero-Ekiti, High Chief Johnson Obasa, and Victor Obasa have shown to the world yet again that Nigerians are resourceful people by building the tough-looking, all terrain ‘Tekowi’ from locally sourced materials and beating the vehicle into shape with their hammers and anvil.
The two brothers run an automobile company called Obasa Specialty Vehicle (OSV), and it is under the umbrella of OSV that ‘Tekowi’ was manufactured, the company which has its assembly plant in Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti State, is reported to be specialized in the manufacture of armored utility vehicles.
According to insiders, a popular distributor for Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), late High Chief Joe Oluware Obasa, commissioned OSV far back in 1980, then Obasa Specialty Vehicle was later upgraded by the late distributors two sons to a manufacturer of armored vehicles for security companies and civilian usage.
The brothers claim that they derived the name of their latest version of security vehicle ‘Tekowi‘ from a word in the Ekiti dialect. “te oko wi” in Ekiti local dialect is sandals or protective boots worn by farmers and hunters to the bush, according to the brothers, “te oko wi” ensures protection for the wearer. They assert that Tekowi is, therefore, a combination of ruggedness and luxury.