Now the Ijesas Know they will not drink Portable water until Six (6) years
The ijesas know now that they will not drink portable water until 2023, about six (6) years after the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ilesa water project, which was carried out on the 19th of December, 2017. This was made known when the Osun government responded to the concern raised by certain stakeholders, who couldn’t afford to allow a $107million dollars project to be dragging forever, because of possible political considerations and the introduction of bureaucracies here and there. As a gatekeeper by proximity with a conscience and, who participated in the raising of the project funds, I can not but comment on the two write ups (the allegation by concerned citizens of Osun on one hand and the response from Funke Egbemode, the Osun Commissioner for Information on the other hand) as follows:
1. Madam Funke Egbemode did not tell us when Governor Oyetola, who was sworn in, on the 27th November 2018, approved or re-approved the appointment of Mrs Tawa Williams. This could have helped us to make judgement on the allegation of the concerned citizens. Why was it necessary to “thinker” with a process that started in 2017 for another round of approval. How long did it take? Can someone say the rigmarole didn’t contribute to the delay at some point, even if it is six (6) months, by crossing his heart and hope to die!
2. Osun government did not comment on the earlier completion date of March 2020, given by the commissioner of water resources and as alleged by the concerned citizens. Was it a frivolous promise by a government official or someone was just blowing off steam through his rear? Honestly, this should be a concern. So what’s the heck?
3. If the government will not praise the concerned citizens, who wrote the first piece, Osun people will always appreciate them, at least due to their concerns, we now have completion dates/Time table as released by Engineer Tawa Williams. We will hold her words in high esteemed as the Technical person, we will still be using our water wells in ijesaland, until then. I have printed that timetable and circulated them to my neighbors in Fadahunsi Avenue, ilesa. I have also explained to them in local parlance that the most critical process determines the final completion date among the various dates given by Engineer Tawa. So the water treatment plant’s design, build and operate works will be completed on the 18th of June, 2023 and with another six (6) month for balance of sites, test running and commissioning, we should be fine by Dec 2023, Inshallah!! My people believe me because they knew I was a community boy, sent to study first degree in engineering at Ife,
4. That Osun government will give Covid 19 as the reason for not meeting the March 2020 deadline promised by the Commissioner of Water Resources is “unthinking” because the shutdown due to Covid actually started in March 2020. So how can subsequent event determine the misses. At least we understand and we thank the concerned citizens for forcing the government to be answerable to the people, who elected them into office. If we have many people volunteering to hold government accountable, we will have a better Country.
5. Why creating ministry of water, when the global best practice is to grant the water corporation or agency, an autonomy to function and provide this essential service to the citizen. I can recall that the previous government has passed a water law, required to give impetus to this autonomy.
6. If a ground breaking ceremony was carried out on the 19th Dec 2017 and government mentioned two (2) years completion period and this was not achieved by Dec 2019, one could be Petrified. If by Dec 2021, completion is still not achieved, one could become paranoid and when the government is not addressing the near misses here and there, one could be disillusioned. So I agree with Madam Funke Egbemode, that the concerned citizens, who raised the issue of possible abandonment of Ilesa water are disillusioned but they are, for genuine altruistic reason and may God bless their souls.
7. It is exciting that the government of Oyetola is now turning over a new leaf on the projects of previous government and have suddenly see that non completion undermines the developments that such projects are supposed to bring to the people. Halleluyah!! But my amiable sister, Funke Egbemode didn’t address the Iwo Mega School, which the concerned citizens, claimed can be completed with only 200m naira or is it not for educational development, With the completion, Iwo students can begin to enjoy conducive environments that are very stimulating for learning alao.
Now a parting gift to the concerned citizens, please learn how to put your names on your write up, that is “autograph your work”. I am sure you are not ijesas, because we, Ijesas don’t reserve our identities. That’s why we are called “Arogun yo” and “ati gbongbon l’oju Ogun”.
Wale Bolorunduro, PhD
Former Commissioner of Finance, Economic Planning and Budget writes from 6B Lase Ogunleye Street, off Fadahunsi Avenue, Ilesa, State of Osun.