Yesterday, Mandela Washington fellow, Olusegun Odunaiya was set unveil his solar power project. He had successfully powered 50 houses via solar energy in the Dakwa Community in FCT.
— Olusegun Odunaiya (@Victorsegnov) July 8, 2015
As the day inched towards success, there was a sudden change in fortune.
The project was supposed to be commissioned by the Deputy Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. As a matter of fact, he had already made his way into the Dakwa community before his convoy was asked to turnaround for security reasons by the Advance 1 security team that arrived minutes earlier.
Few minutes after our arrival, some guys from the community came around and started raging that the event will not hold. The attached banner was their issue
“Solar powered borehole and solar electrification of 50 homes”
They said we were there to commission a project we did not do. Truly, Olusegun Odunaiya did not construct the borehole. His project was the solar technology that now powers the borehole. According to the Chief of the community, the borehole has been there for over two years but it was not working because there was no electricity to power it and the community couldn’t continue to afford the 2000 naira to power it.
Since the completion of the solar system, the entire community has been enjoying water for over 4 months.How these youth suddenly forgot how useless the borehole was before the solar project is still beyond me.
After a bit of dialogue, we agreed to tape off the “borehole” on the banner and at least leave the “solar electrification of 50 homes”. They accepted and went on.
As they noticed the arrival of guests and inflow of all kinds of vehicles into their community, they surfaced again, but this time with another claim. They had been instructed by their chairman to ensure that the event does not hold until his arrival.
The advance 1 security team had a short meeting with them at the Chief’s palace in a bid to resolve the issue before the arrival of Anthony Blinken and his team.
At that point, the point man of the Advance 1 team had no choice but to instruct the convoy to turnaround for security reasons. Members of the press including NTA, TVC, and others were on hand and they interviewed the chief of the community.
The project initiator had a legal agreement with the community and the chief himself signed it.
So what went wrong?
The Chief and the villagers are livid at events that transpired. The villagers were already dressed in their traditional attires as they awaited the arrival of the Deputy Secretary of State and they had even prepared to perform all kinds of traditional renditions. The students of the only school also had things to perform and Mr. Blinken was supposed to donate some books to the school.
All that for nothing as a small group of young men had sabotaged the event.