Residents of Abeokuta have cried out to the Ogun State Government to resume the evacuation of refuse on major roads within the Ogun State capital.
There are reports that roads in Abeokuta have turned to dump sites, with heaps of refuse on all sides of the roads.
There are also reports that road medians are not speared as they now ‘play host’ to stinking junks that ‘welcome visitors’ into the Gateway State.
But, the State government said it was aware of the situation, saying efforts were ongoing to get it fixed.
From Lafenwa down to Adatan, Itoku, Ake, Itoko, Sapon, Isale Igbein, Panseke, Kuto, Abiola Way, Ijaye and others, the roads were ‘decorated’ with wastes, which are being blown here and there by the wind.
“We used to have government trucks that come to evacuate these wastes whenever they are dropped in designated places by the road side. That has been the practice since the last administration.
“But for like a month now, we have not seen those trucks. That is why you see refuse on the roads in Abeokuta. It keeps increasing every day because nobody is doing anything to dispose of the wastes. We don’t know what’s happening,” Oladimeji John said.
Also, Mrs Adebisi Salami, a trader at Panseke, feared that the failure of the State government to rid the city of refuse may lead to outbreak of diseases.
“Government should not forget that some people keep diapers in some of these things they drop by the road. So, leaving these wastes on the roads may give birth to diseases, especially now that the rains are here. Those concerned should do something about it,” Salami stated.
On his own, a governorship aspirant in Ogun, Segun Showunmi, said, “I have lived in the State since 1999 and I have never seen it so dirty. We have never had it so bad.”
Showunmi said he could not “accept that an educated and enlightened set of people will be so dirty and live in filth. I ask you, my friends, to help me rediscover our preeminence. We are the sophisticated people of Yoruba extraction, a people of many firsts.”
It has been reported that the Ogun State Ministry of Environment does not have a Commissioner since the sack of Hon. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, who was accused of sexually harassing a minor in Ogun Waterside Local Government.
But, the Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Ola Oresanya, said the government is leaving no stone unturned to resume the evacuation of wastes in the metropolis soon.
According to him, residents of the community where the government dumps the refuse are revolting.
He also blamed the problem on the hike in the price of diesel used in powering the waste trucks.
“We are aware of this situation. We just finished a meeting. We have a problem with the community where we are dumping refuse. The community is revolting and these are people encroaching on the dumps and we don’t want to use force against them. This is a democratic dispensation. We have to dialogue with them. This is the major problem.
“There are vehicles with refuse inside that cannot dump them. So, we are trying to resolve that. We are going to resolve it in the next few days and we will clear up. We are aware (there is refuse everywhere in Abeokuta), and we are working seriously on that. We are careful, we don’t want to force things on the people.
“Even now, we are not relenting; our people are moving the waste. We only have to travel down a longer distance to go and dispose of it.
“On the cost of diesel, we’ve apologized to the people about this critical issue. We have to pay heavily to travel a longer distance to dispose of waste because of the cost of diesel and no extra cost is coming into the government. These are things we are working on.
“Another issue is that most of the people that pick the refuse on the road, they are mainly Hausas, they are fasting. They are mainly Muslims. Many of them are not even working now. To get labourers to work for you now, you have to struggle for the few ones you can get,” Oresanya said.
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