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Sunday, July 21, 2024

 OYO:Petrol stations compete for space with houses

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BY SOLOMON ADEWUNMI
station traffic
The ownership of  service stations is now the trend in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state. Most major roads in the state capital are characterized by the presence of these stations, located either between residential areas, office buildings or at junctions unsuitable for such.
The wish to make hyper-profits has been the major factor encouraging the proliferation of the filling stations. Indeed, the M.K.O Abiola way, New Garage/Orita/Challenge, Molete/Idi- Arere/ Beere, total garden,Oje/ Gate and New Ife roads are infested with a great number of these filling stations.
Sadly, those saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that structures are erected in line with town planning regulations, are yet to come up with convincing explanations on the increasing number of these stations at odd locations.
Interestingly, investigations reveal some unscrupulous officials in government, have overtime issued fraudulent approvals to unsuspecting members of the public for yet to be determined fees.
Although a cross section of residents have expressed fears over the effects of the continued construction of these stations in and around residential  areas, owners of the stations insist that they have taken necessary safety precautions during construction.

Curiously, most of these stations do not have fire fighting equipment, should there be fire out break.
However, the mouth watering offers to owners of buildings, converted to  service stations, have been too tempting for the owners to resist.
Expectedly, indigenes and non-indigenes alike have continuously sent protest letters to the state government on the development, as they wait patiently for a response.
Majekodunmi Aborode was the commissioner for Enivronment and Water resources in the immediate past administration in the state. Aborode confirmed that several petitions was received by his office concerning the ”indiscriminate and obnoxious ” approvals by the state Urban and Regional Planning Board on the citing of petrol stations and erection of GSM network masts on unsuitable locations.
”We listed about 200 illegally cited filling stations throughout Oyo state. Ibadan constitutes about 70%. I have a duty. I have a job to do, because I have promised members of the public that these illegally cited filling stations are going to be demolished. But nothing has been done”.
The Commissioner lamented then that he had already given the board the go ahead to embark on the demolition and stressed ” but now they have not been  forthcoming”.
‘And I am really disappointed in them. And members of the public are saying a lot of things, negatively. And that is why I have taken over the responsibility. I am going to embark on the demolition exercise. Any filling station that is being cited without the approval of the Ministry of Environment is subject to demolition. And that is the truth. Any filling station that is not approvable, I would make sure it is demolished without delay or any further notice”.

But today, the situation still remains the same, as the political will to do the right thing is not there.

Waliu Adekunle represents Atiba constituency in the state House of Assembly. Adekunle insists that a lot has been put in place by the Ajimobi administration to show that it means well for the people. 

Oyeniyi Oyeniran is the majority leader in the same House. Oyeniran amplifies Adekunle’s statement. ”there has been  a  lot of development. It takes time to change bad things to good. What we met on ground was very bad.  This present   administration has done very well, I am  proud of the Governor, everybody is proud of him”.
However, Sat Guru Marahaji insists that Nigerians need a leader who will care for their needs.
In his views, Rafiu Adekunle, the minority leader in the State House of Assembly, who represents Saki west constituency, discloses that the Ajimobi administration should be given 65% in terms of performance in the last 12 months.
The lawmaker laments that dilapidated buildings characterize the structure of  schools in the state, in addition to the shortage of  teachers.
For the lawmaker representing Iwajowa constituency in the State House of Assembly, Adeniyi Farinto, the past one year has been a sweet bitter experience.
”Bitter because  one is serving in an opposition government, where it is difficult to realise unfulfilled ambitions that we could have loved to achieve, so that has been the experience in the last one year”.
Farinto, who is the secretary parliamentary caucus states  that inspite of the meagre salaries and allowances some of the lawmakers collects including himself, he has been able to bring succuor to the peole of Iwajowa.
For the opposition, a lot still has to be done by the Ajimobi administration.
 YES O cadets are paid N10,000 monthly, of this amount N1, 500 is deducted as tax.The cadets were engaged by the state government as a part of its job creation initiative. But crime involving youths are on the increase in the state.
However, Fatai Salam, who represents Iseyin/Itesiwaju constituency points to the prevailing peace in the state as one of the outstanding achievements of the Ajimobi aministration. ”In the past one year there has been no case of arson and assassination. There is peace, it is what we can feel. It is about reality”.
Even though  a security guard of  a former Secretary to the State Governement, Ayodele Adigun was murdered in cold blood recently.
Salam is the Chairman parliamentary caucus.
Salam’s views are supported by Sikiru Alli, who represents Ibadan South East II constituency. Alli, in addition,states that the people’ sanitation habi s are changing for the better. ”The peoples’ habits are changing for the better.  My people have changed from what we used to know them to be”.
Sadly, most Commissioners and Special Advisers have for long been operating behind the scene. Indeed, majority of them are allergic to defending the administration’s performance so far. Why ?
One of them speaking incognito provides an answer:  ”In a company, you have the Managing Director, if he does not give approval, you as a subordinate cannot do anything”.
No doubt the story in the past one year 11 months,  has been that of different strokes for different folks.
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