Ogbomoso Waterworks of Confusion?
Information reached ogbomosoinsightonline.com stable Monday afternoon that some men have been nabbed for attempting to cart away machines, pipes and other items at the Oyo State Water Corporation sub-station in Ogbomoso. A hayab truck was also found at the site.
The news further stated that policemen had been invited to come to pick up the suspected vandals.
Two men were arrested who happened to be staff of the Oyo State Water Corporation working at the Ogbomoso sub-station, simply identified as Adebayo and Ajala.
According to the corporation’s time-book three men reported for work that day however, one was nowhere to be found at the time of the alleged theft while the other two named in the preceding paragraph were alleged of involvement in the stealing.
Upon interrogations by the police, the suspects mentioned one Makadov whose real name is Mr. Festus Alade as owning the hayab truck.
The said Makadov, it would be recalled, earlier in August, had his men also apprehended by a vigilante team while loading items including pipes into trucks for onward haulage to Kaduna.
However, he was left off the hook after it was revealed he is the Oyo state auctioneer and handles disposal of discarded machines.
Though admitting committing operational error at the time, for not carrying stakeholders in the community along before attempting to cart away the items then, he not only apologized during a meeting at the office of Alhaji Sheu Babalola, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, and a respected community leader, he also promised to ensure pipe borne water is restored to Ogbomoso within two months.
He explained that the items he intended to move out then were surplus to the Ogbomoso Waterworks and that the plan was to bring in the needed equipment that would aid restoration of water to the community.
“What we normally do is that when items are auctioned in Ogbomoso waterworks as an instance, another place might need them and we will take the auctioned items there, similarly items auctioned elsewhere can be needed in Ogbomoso and so, will be brought here.
“If I had sat with the people in the community to explain the procedure, this wouldn’t have happened. Our mission is to convert waste to wealth. I told my boys not to go to the dam on Sunday or in the night to evacuate anything, as they were around since Friday. We only evacuate scraps that were auctioned. I promise water supply in Ogbomoso will improve in the next one and a half months. Some boarded items elsewhere will be brought here that will improve supply.”
But four months after he made that promise water supply to Ogbomoso has not improved, it is indeed probably non-existent and instead of more equipment and other items that might improve supply being brought in, there is constant suspicion that equipment are being moved out, this is no doubt raising questions as to what is really going on at the place.
However, the apprehended suspects claimed they knew nothing about the incident.
While water pipes are said to have been carted away, one Hayab truck and other equipment in compromised condition were retrieved from the scene and taken to the Owode Police Station.
When interrogated, Ajala, who suddenly became outspoken in the custody of the police said the Hayab truck belongs to “Makador.”
In the meantime, the police had begun investigations into the issue; it is hoped what the matter really is, will be unraveled.
When ogbomosoinsightonline.com called Mr. Alade, Makadov, on phone, he insisted nothing like unlawful evacuation is happening from his side at the Ogbomoso Waterworks.
He said what is happening is a routine work, the normal movement in and movement out of equipment depending on the needs of each water station.
“We had come to work at the place, we brought our hayab truck but we found out that the road leading to the waterworks is in poor condition, and we requested the chairman of Ogbomoso North local government, Hon. Kabir Akanji Ayoade, to assist us in grading the road. Our hayab was already there for the past four days.
“We want to bring pipes to be laid to Ikoyi, so, there is nothing like stealing. We are not removing anything now; the area revenue generation is highest in Ogbomoso district we want to lay pipes to the place. The allegation against us is meaningless. You can call the chairman of Ogbomoso North local government and he would confirm to you that we had spoken on our activities at the place. There is nothing as they are suggesting,” he narrated.
When contacted Hon Akanji admitted he was aware, simply saying, “He told me that they are going to carry out some repairs at the waterworks.”
The head of Ogbomoso kingmakers and who is head of Ilu chiefs, High Chief Sobalaje Otolorin, the Areago of Ogbomosoland, led some traditional rulers and chiefs to the scene when informed of the suspicious activities at the place.
Others who were in his company were High Chief James Ojo, Onipakiotan of Pakiotan; Oba John Ayanpoju Olounde 1, Alabaa of Abaa; High Chief Mukaila Oyedeji, Alabede of Abede; Oba James Ilufoye, Onikose of Ikose; and High Chief Suleiman Oyedola, Alaaroje of Aroje.
The Ogbomoso Waterworks was commissioned in 1963 by the then Premier of the defunct Western Region, (now late) Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola.
It served the community adequately well with regular water supply until some years ago when bad times caught up with the place and pipe borne water became a thing of the past in Ogbomoso.
Meanwhile, someone hinted that a giant generating set provided the place by former governor of the state, (now late) Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, might be a target for “evacuation” at the waterworks so vigilance is needed on the protection of that particular power source.
Ogbomoso Waterworks of Confusion?