THE ABH GENERATOR: A RELIC OF THE PAST?
“Will the generator ever come on?” While some Brownites went from repeatedly asking this question to considering it a forgone conclusion that it never will, some others are not even aware it exists since it has never come on since they moved in. Although in the spirit of realism and perhaps, dashed hopes, some Brownites have tried to move on, this era of blackout after blackout has had a lot of Brownites again wondering why exactly the generator is not serving its function as a backup source of electricity. However, in an interview with the Hall Chairperson, Mr Jesufemi Adeyeye, he revealed that all hope is not lost and the generator may come on again.
Brownites will recall that the ABH Generator never came on in the immediate past tenure, and since that time, the need for the generator has only increased. In the Jegede Olaoye-led administration two years ago, he had cited a lack of fuel as the reason for the long-standing disuse of the generator. At the time, he also stated that the generator had developed a fault due to rain entering the generator house. However, he assured that all repairs had been made by the end of his tenure. Regardless, the generator failed to come on in the David Salami-led administration, and he too cited the lack of fuel as the reason for this. He went further to say that letters were written to alumni to fund solar inverters for the pumps and positive feedback was received. However, whether it be due to a lack of follow-up, a paucity of funds, or a complete abandonment of the project, that plan did not get to see the light of day until his tenure ended.
Speaking with Mr Jesufemi Adeyeye, he reiterated, like those who have come before him, that nothing is wrong with the generators. He expanded that although it may require servicing as machines generally do after a lengthy period of disuse, there is no major fault with the small or big generator. He stated, when asked why it had not been put on for illumination during the blackout, that diesel which should be supplied by University of Ibadan has yet to materialise. In the absence of an estimated 4 barrels of diesel that used to be provided for specified durations, the Hall Executives and management have been unable to do much to change the electricity situation of the Hall. Thus far, all efforts to get the diesel have proven futile.
During the last tenure, as a result of this persisting situation, Brownites had to contribute money to fuel the generator. We will recall that a call for donations was made and a number of Brownites did donate. However, the generator eventually did not come on due to an unforeseen fault which has purportedly been rectified. At the time, the Hall Executives claimed that diesel was bought, but the gen failed to come on due to that fault. However, there have also been claims about how the diesel bought could not suffice to power the generator. When asked how much was raised and how the money was spent, Mr Adeyeye claimed that he was not privy to the nitty gritty details of that event. He added that he also contributed at the time but it was largely handled by the then Hall Chairperson, Mr Salami David, and as a result he did not have substantial knowledge to enable him to speak with any authority on the details.
The Hall Chairperson further revealed that in a bid to combat the lack of diesel situation, the Hall management intends to write a letter to University of Ibadan reiterating the need for fuelling. In addition, he wishes Brownites to know that, although blackouts may persist, basic amenities such as water will be made available with the aid of the small generator. When questioned about the possibility of the Hall contributing a quota towards diesel in especially dire situations as the University is not forthcoming at the moment, he disclosed that it was not feasible in terms of cost nor was it a good idea in the long run.
As the interview drew to an end, Mr Adeyeye concluded by saying that the Executive Council is ”working tirelessly” to ensure that the tale of the ABH generator is no longer a thing of the past. He added that he positively believes that it can be revived during this tenure. One can only hope, wait and see if this is but a fool’s dream. We do wish Mr Adeyeye and his council the best as they take on this task because if they fail, after his tenure ends, it appears there will no longer be any set in COMUI who has seen the generator come to life. It will officially mark the end of what used to be a better era, and one can only hope we do not regress in such a manner.