This is an account of an event that made water ran down my cheeks through my tribal marks to the bottom of my jaw.
I was about putting my head on the sofa when my phone rang, it’s unknown number and I hate ignoring any call.
In Yoruba language “Salam alaekum comrade, please our father would like to see you at Ode Adana”. My response was dressed with consciousness. ” Ode Adana! Hope there’s no problem”. I summoned courage, called my cousin that always carries me with his motor cycle anytime I’m in town.
A young man in his late 20’s who must have known me, waved at our Okada and led us to two elderly men sitting on a platform used by Aso-Oke weevers and facing a field flooded, covered with grasses and littered with junk and debris.
My son, can you see what our environment has turned to? This is handwork of your people, you promised to help our sad situation but left us with this environmental hazard that’s killing us silently….. I quickly interrupted. “Sir, I don’t understand you. I didn’t know anything about this until I arrived here….” Before I could finish my statement, the young man that led us helped me out. “Alhaji, Comrade Bolakale didn’t come with them, he’s not among them but a man that would help us to convey our plight to the appropriate authority”. In my innermost, I have a big problem to tackle. Who is CB? Which authority do I have the weight to speak to? Several questions conceived in a minute.
Alhaji, in a change feelings that appeared more friendly stated further; Bolakale – pointing finger to different directions, we have a water log (Ikudu, as the man called it in Yoruba) at that place, very close to where the govt packed their equipment and whenever it rains, the water extends to those areas.
Until months ago that some people came from Constituency office of Bukola Saraki as one of them introduced the team. The man is an indigene of Ilorin, dark in complexion, tall and has much hair. He explained what they want to do but some of our sons who also understand the work better advised him otherwise. That tall man spoke with authority and seemed to have concluded the plan on what to do. Days after, they came with their machine and the result of their job is what you (referring to me) see my son.
This poor job has made some families abandoned their houses and fled away, children are now visiting hospitals and clinics often than before and every parent has to keep eyes at their wards so that they won’t play close to the water.
The water has divided us from our family at Asunkere, we would need to walk miles to see people living very close to us.
Before we could finish the discussion, about six other residents had joined us and everybody has different stories to tell. A woman was crying while analysing how the water almost sent her only son and his wife away from the area before her uncle provided the family with a room to manage. Help us tell the govt to either return us to our former situation or they should kindly come to our rescue.
However, the plan is ongoing to bring environmentalist and health officers to the area to evaluate and access the level of health and other hazards and the associated risks coupled by the vulnerability to unsuspected diseases.
On behalf, of the people of Oda Adana/ Abata Asunkere, I want to call and appeal to the Constituency Office of the Senate President to urgently respond to the cry of these people and do the needful. Health is wealth and only the living enjoy the dividend of democracy.