By SAYO AKINTOLA
Palpable fear of possible outbreak of contagious diseases has struck the residents of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State as major streets in the ancient city have been taken over by refuse. SJ reliably gathered that refuse dump sites across the city have not been evacuated for days as residents lined up the median of the major roads with garbage and corpse of destitute.
Many visitors to the ancient city during the last Christmas and New Year festivities, it was gathered, were taken aback at the sorry state of the political capital of the Yoruba race. Investigations revealed that major markets where edibles are being sold were not left out of the filth contest. A visit to Oja’ba, Oje, Bodija and Aleshinloye markets revealed that both the residents and relevant government agencies were guilty of dereliction of duty and responsibility.
At the various markets, particularly, Oja’ba and Oje markets, heaps of refuse as high as the popular ‘Sapati’ hill in the metropolis dotted the nooks and crannies of the markets as both buyers and sellers carried out their businesses unperturbed. The entire stretch of road from Challenge-New Garage to Mapo, all the way to Iwo road was filled with filths when our correspondents drove round the city on Monday.
The median along the Iwo road towards Olodo area of the city was an eye-sore, according to WSJ reports. Heaps of refuse were already spreading towards the main road causing traffic inconveniences for motorists and passers-by. In some instances, like Oja’ba, Bodija and Oje markets, refuse has taken over the motorways, thereby constituting a menace to road users.
At Isale-Ijebu near Oja’ba market, corpse of a destitute has been lying on the road for days without being evacuated by the concerned government officials. The already decomposed body of the dead lunatic has become a cause for worry by the residents and shop owners in the vicinity.
A top government official who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity disclosed that the situation in Ibadan as regards refuse management became worse during the last festive season because of the long holiday declared by the government. He said both the private operators and local government council staff saddled with the responsibility of clearing the refuse observed the public holiday, hence the resultant heaps of garbage all over the city. He however, said the concerned officials would return to their duty posts as work resume on Tuesday across the country.
It would be recalled that the concerted effort by the Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi in giving Ibadan a face-lift during his first term in office was instrumental to his success at the 2015 governorship election where he broke the age-long second term jinx in the state. It was however, gathered that the government literarily went to sleep immediately after the victory at the poll in 2015 as the beautification sites across the length and breadth of the city have become dilapidated barely two years after completion of work.
Many observers of events in the state condemned the attitude of the residents in refuse management in the city. They said many residents dispose of their refuse indiscreetly thereby causing untoward menace to others. Other respondents however, blamed it on the government’s negligence in entrenching a sustainable refuse management model that would solve the problem once and for all. Many of the government workers clearing the refuse complain of poor pay and inadequate welfare provision for them. ‘’How much are we collecting as salary that they will be owing us seven- month salary arrears?, said one of the staff of the Oluyole Local Government Council area who would not want his name mentioned.
Investigation revealed that many of the workers while clearing the refuse usually constitute themselves to public nuisance as they always beg for money from passers-by under the guise of government’s failure to pay them as and when due.
It was however, gathered that the Sanitary inspectors, popularly known as ‘Wole-wole’ who should be arresting defiant residents are comprised. It was gathered that they seldom go out on inspection these days; and when they do, it is usually not for altruistic reasons.