The Chairman of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) in Oyo State, Engr. Najeem Omirinde has revealed that the recent statement by former governor Rashidi Ladoja completely vindicates Governor Seyi Makinde in the ongoing crisis over drilling machines in the state.
Ladoja had, in a statement signed by his media aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, frowned at the statement by the State Government that no administration after 1995 bought a water drilling rig for the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) except the present administration.
According to Latinwo, during Senator Ladoja’s administration, two rigs were donated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a Japanese donor Agency.
“The rigs were launched at Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government by the then Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“The whole idea was to use same to eradicate guinea worm that was an epidemic in Ibarapa and some parts of Oke Ogun and Ogbomosho zones of the State then.
“RUWASSA formerly Water and Sanitation Agency (WATSAN) was an agency under the Governor’s office with a Project Director under the supervision of the then Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who was later Chief of Staff to Senator Ladoja, worked assiduously to make the government and people of the State proud with timeous eradication of the epidemic.
“The epidemic was eradicated in a little over a year with awards and recognition from/by Federal Government of Nigeria, Jimmy Carter Foundation and several other international agencies,” Latinwo said.
“It need be noted that the rig donated by JICA could drill up to 300 metres and was about the best in the West Africa sub-region at that time.
“When that is compared to the one for which approval was given, the latter can conveniently be referred to as a “toy rig”.
“If the administration could use it’s goodwill to get such a gift of two (2) complete drilling machines, why can’t your administration do same than to deride previous governments,”Latinwo said.
However, in his reaction to Ladoja, RUWASSA chairman, Engr. Omirinde, noted that the statement by Ladoja’s aide confirmed his earlier stand that no administration in Oyo State had bought any rig for the agency.
“As much as we will not want to contest the issue with such a respected politician like Senator Rasheed Ladoja, we are very much happy that the statement that purportedly signed by his close aide confirmed our earlier stand that no State administration since 1995 bought any rig for WATSAN or RUWASSA till the present administration decided to do that.
“There is no need for dragging the issue anymore, they said it was JICA that bought the rig in 1995 and that is exactly what we said, so we are right, so we have nothing more to say,” Omirinde said.