Makinde’s Radical Approach To Waste Management Is Yielding Results – Engr Sunday Gbenjo President, Omo Ajorosun Club

    Engineer Sunday Gbenjo, right, with Olayinka Agboola...during the Radio Show on Splash 105.5fm, Ibadan...
    Engineer Sunday Gbenjo, right, with Olayinka Agboola...during the Radio Show on Splash 105.5fm, Ibadan...

    The newly elected president of Omo Ajorosun Club, Ibadan, Engineer Sunday Gbenjo was our guest on our live radio show anchored by Olayinka Agboola on Splash 105.5FM recently. During the interaction, he shared his visions on how to take the club to greater and enviable heights among many salient issues… Excerpts:

    How did you become interested in the politics of Ibadan, despite being a professional in the engineering field?

    We are all politicians – the difference is where we play our roles as politicians. While my own politics is currently being played at the Ajorosun Club, yours is being played elsewhere, we are all politicians. In my club, I saw a gap that needed to be filled and because of that, I got myself prepared, indicated interest to solve the problem and God willing, I was elected.

    What did it take to become the president of elitist Omo Ajorosun Club?

    Omo Ajorosun is a socio-cultural club where we have different professionals such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, politicians and many more. What qualifies one to be a leader over such prominent people is the requirement to know your salt, be very humble and follow the constitution of the club. In our club, we have no favourites, if you can comply with the laid down rules, you are good to go and it is absolutely an open thing to be elected into office in our club.

    How will you generally describe yourself?

    I am a complete gentleman, a serial investor and a Rotarian who derives a lot of pleasure putting a smile on the faces of people. I always want to do good wherever I find myself.

    With the hope of inspiring Ibadan-youths, can you talk about some of your achievements in life?

    Firstly, I am a Rotarian and one of the cardinal points in the club is the youth program. Before now, I have donated funds to support youths in many areas.

    In addition, at the Ajorosun Club, we have a series of programs for the youths that will be unfolded in 2-3 months’ time, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youths in Oyo state and the NDLEA. Substance taking has become prevalent amongst our youths these days, so we are making a move to start a campaign in all secondary schools under the 11 local governments of the state against such a life-wrecking act. The program will include the NDLEA giving orientation to these young adults on the effect of drug and substance consumption. Our club will also continue to provide scholarships for the less privileged around us.

    What of some of the successes you have recorded as a business man?

    The name of my core company is Total Telecomms and we are involved in security and telecoms. Actually, I was a Lagos-based businessperson but one thing led to another and brought me back to Ibadan. It was when I got here that I discovered that apart from telecommunications, opportunities lie elsewhere in waste management and that is what birthed the company ‘Manasseh Engineering’ with about 87 functioning staff members.

    How true is this speculation that the politics being played within Ajorosun club is deeper than the ones played in party politics?

    Just as I said earlier, politics is played everywhere. We have more than 500 members in our club, with 356 being active, which is a lot.

    Can you share some of your plans as the newly elected president of Ajorosun Club?

    We have many incubated plans, one of which will benefit the members of the Ajorosun, you know charity begins at home. As members of the club, the people must enjoy the dividends of being a member and we are planning to promote more sporting activities like ayo games, table tennis, lawn tennis amongst others. One of the reasons we are doing this is because of the benefits and effect it has on our collective health.

    Also, we have plans to improve the power supply of the clubhouse and its extension. We will equally empower our club members who are into different professions with needed information in the form of seminars on how to grow their businesses. Health insurance will also be provided for our club members.

    We will as well be involved in community impact programs such as providing water supply for communities that are in need of water supply; scholarships for the less privileged and orphans; provision of loans to business people among us, empowerment of market women; provision of health care facilities to  pregnant women and many more.

    As an active member in the waste management sector of this state, why is Ibadan still not as clean as desired?

    Ibadan is a very large city, a mega city, the third most populated state in Nigeria. Considering the size and the population, it is not very easy to implement a policy and start fulfilling its purpose immediately including that of waste management, it takes time.

    We cannot but thank the state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, for his relentless actions to make things work; before now, we had just one waste management consultant, but now it has been increased to about 15 consultants of which my company Mannaseh engineering is one of them.

    We are currently monitoring the Egbeda local government, if you have any issue concerning waste management in that local government, it is my duty and this is a very bright move from the government, which I will implore those in positions of authority in the state to be consistent. I will say that Governor Makinde’s radical approach to waste management is yielding results.

    We as citizens need to have a positive and progressive mentality towards waste management in this city, because a negative mentality will always make the efforts of the government to be futile. As citizens we should also keep our wastes at the appropriate places and not on the streets or on the roads. All the NGOs in Ibadan should as well support the government by giving sound orientation to the residents on waste management. All hands must be on deck to stop improper disposal of waste in Ibadan and Oyo state.

    Will you too wish to join the government in the war to re-orientate the ubiquitous ‘Area Boys’ in Ibadan?

    There is an annual program in our club called “Omo Ajorosun Day”, during this program we always ensure that seminars are organized in order to reduce thuggery in Ibadan.

    We also educate them to learn a skill and for those who have what they are doing before, we empower them with funds to pull them out of the streets.

    We also give orientation to skilled workers to imbibe the spirit of integrity and faithfulness in their job because the reason why people are moving outside the country to sort of ‘import’ technicians is because we believe most of ours lack integrity.

    Most of our youths these days are not interested in learning handiwork again; they are trooping into Okada business, what do you think we can do?

    One thing I want to stress is that those youths doing Okada business are adding value. My only plea to the government is to make sure all Okada and Keke NAPEP riders have identity cards so we can know which union they belong to. The government cannot totally eradicate okada riders because they have a role to play in the transportation sector.

    What advice do you have for your fellow Ibadan citizens?

    Foremost, I would like to thank the executive council members of the Omo Ajorosun club and its members for the privilege given me to become their new president. I equally appreciate the whole of Ibadan, because whatever happens at Ajorosun Club somehow always affect Ibadan generally. Thank you all.

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