In the brown-roof city in Africa most populous country, a Constituency is blessed with many things in both economic and political aspects – in term of economic, it has an ancient market where most African costume such as Aso Oke, Adire, Ofi, royal crowns and beads are being weaved, designed and sold by experts, not only for the benefit of Yorubas but all tribes. Many African nationals travel down to this local market to purchase wares and other materials. And at this same market, farm products and local herbs are also being exchanged for cash. The market is not far from Agodi Correctional Centre and Western television station.
This constituency is politically adorned – which had produced notable Kings and Chiefs for the brown-roof land. The late former Governor whose administration ran between 1999 and 2003, and other top politicians came from this Constituency. Besides, the above local market is surrounded by royal houses and a long river.
However, majority of the households in this constituency cannot finger the position of their restrooms and recycling bins. One would have thought maybe the residents of this constituency are evil-spirits that do not excrete. But, where and how do they defecate?
Temiyemi, 62yr-old Aso Oke seller and resident at Aderogba Community – an area closer to the above local market, has one wife and four children. His wife, Ojuotimi sells oranges at wholesale price. Both husband and wife’s shops are not too far from their rented apartment. Two of their children are in secondary schools while younger ones at neighboring primary school.
Many a landlord at Aderogba community have found relief from the nearby river, and made-up their mind to avoid constructing or renovating toilets for tenants. Temiyemi, other residents have tired of the attitude of these deaf-ear house owners. He encouraged his family to continue defecating inside nylon or go inside the river to do so.
Houses are too close to one another, and whenever Temiyemi’s children spread nylon to defecate, neighbours in other house often protest and shut their windows because of bad odour. The children would tie the nylon of their feces and drop it inside a bucket. Ojuotimi would carry the bucket and empty its contents in the river every time it is full.
As her name implies, Ojuotimi has never felt any timidity in carrying the bucket of her household feces. Though she do implore her husband for relocation from this local community but Temiyemi proves adamant. “We need to bear all these consequences, don’t you know that we pay cheap rent here? Temiyemi questioned his wife
Temiyemi holds a membership of Umbrella Political Party and also one of the core followers of Honourable Ajelojuonile Money-Carrier in that particular constituency. The constituents find it difficult to pronounce the name, “Hon. Money-Carrier”. Instead, they translated his name in Yoruba language which is now “Hon. Agboworin”.
During 2019 election, in that constituency, Temiyemi led many residents to their various polling booths with the hope to secure victory for Hon. Agboworin who had promised heaven and earth for the community. Apart from lack of public toilets, erosion often affect houses closer to the river in raining seasons. Majority of two-storey buildings from Temidire to Alafara are affected by downpour which resulted to vacation of the ground floors’ occupants.
Hon. Agboworin emerged as Federal Representative for the Constituency, Temiyemi thanked his residents and assured them that his political leader would find lasting panacea to the problems of the community. He even told Ojuotimi that she would no longer carry feces again, saying that Agboworin would construct community toilets.
Despite monthly Federal Constituency fees, Agboworin failed to construct a public toilet and control the river for Aderogba and Alafara communities in his first four term in Abuja. Temiyemi felt guilty for the disappointment of his political leader. It was not easy for him to persuade people for the failure of Agboworin in the community.
Optimistically, Temiyemi used the profits from his Aso-Oke business to drum-up support for Agboworin’s second term in 2023 general election with that same hope for rescuing his community from its weaknesses. However, the election was competitive but Hon. Money-Carrier emerged again. At this time Temiyemi tries hard to get face-to-face interaction with Honourable without involvement of party’s leaders but to no avail.
Recently, Oyo State Government in conjunction with the United Nations for Children Emergency Funds, UNICEF, is trying to ensure appropriate implementation of Open Defacation Prohibition Act 2021 – which is aimed at securing disease-free society and apprehension of perpetrators. This simply means the State Government through Ministry of Environment will soon begin to pack all the Agboworin’s constituents in their buses for open defecation. No politician can deny Agbe-igberin constituents as prime suspects.
In addition, Temiyemi makes use of the nearby river to ease himself day and night. If the State Government apprehended him, would they fault him or settle the matter politically?
The motion sponsored by the State Honourable representing this Agbe-igberin constituency for the construction of public conveniences confirmed the fact that Hon. Agboworin and State Government have slacked in their statutory duties to the residents of Aderogba and Alafara communities. They are just about to detain and fine innocent people.
It is worth noting that prior to implementation of any public policy, there ought to be necessary provisions in place. You cannot secure a healthy environment when the downpour is yet to be control. You cannot restrict people to cease in throwing nylons of human feces when they are lacking toilets.
‘Ilera Loro’, it begins from the policymakers. To avoid untimely death of residents, the Ministries of Health, Environment and Works need to collaborate and ensuring the vision of the State Government to its people come reality.
Ipinle Oyo Ko ni baje o.
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The post Oyo Defecation Act: Any Hope for Agbegberin Constituency? -By Toheeb Babalola first appeared on Africans Angle.