I was preparing for afternoon schedule at work when I received this text as question from a citizen of Osun state and a youth advocate who believes that government should not only finance projects to relieve the burden of the masses but they should ensure that these projects survive the test of time and be accessible for the people to use. It is not in the destiny of Osun leaders to engage in projects that would outlive their tenures.
Truly, I noticed the sudden disappearance of these Omoluabi buses across the state but what could have caused the sudden disappearance? Were they sold off to settle dying pensioners or the state is now so broke that these buses could not be fuelled again? Have you read about the PHCN’s debt or how waste trucks were abandoned because the state is broke to run the waste agency? Either a beer parlour talk or not, where are the Omoluabi buses?
In my quest to know more about the shocking disappearance of these buses, I consulted people and I felt so bad about answers I got. Although two Omoluabi buses are parked at the APC Secretariat in Osogbo, the capital of Osun state but where are the remaining buses?
An apologist of the government told me that most of these buses are parked at the ministry of Transport, Osun state secretariat, Abeere. They have not gone into thin air, an ardent supporter of the government revealed. Why would a financially crippled state park buses for months? Atleast if these buses can not convey students to schools again, they can be properly channelled to transportation business.
I have not been to the ministry of works and transport to fact-check if these buses are truly parked there. It would be a high taste of mediocrity, absence of foresight and Executive carelessness for the ministry of works and transport in extension to the state government if these buses are truly parked.
I wake up everyday to see students of public schools trekking far distances everyday and the adjustment in Osun school settings has made things worse. I have seen pupils leaving their villages to another community because they want to be educated. There is no better adjectives to qualify stress and risks these pupils subject themselves too because they have a government who has no listening ears. Instead of the government to extend the transport system which will also serve as employment opportunities, they buried it.
While I take this as a way of bringing education closer to the doorsteps Aregbesola vowed in 2015, it is my believe that Oyetola is also consolidating the efforts of his former boss and emerging political competitor. As a fellow citizen of the state, I was disturbed that this project could also join the league of failed projects in the state. I consoled myself with the sorry state of two international markets, airport scams, the sad narratives behind Igi-Iye projects and many untold projects that did not survive the tenure of their architect.
Where are the Omoluabi buses? If they have not been sold, what are the plans of the government on these buses? Will these buses return to the roads or they have turned to properties of the ruling party? Will these buses continue to convey students to schools or they will be used during state functions or public officials personal ceremonies.
Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo writes from Osogbo, the capital of Osun state. He is a columnist at WITHIN NIGERIA and can be contacted via [email protected]