Mr Jegede’s Revamped Agenda: Queries on Transparency (1)
By Andrew Adesioye and Kenechukwu Okwunze
“We need transparency in government spending. We need to put each government expenditure online so every Brownite can see where their money is being spent” -Adapted from Marco Rubio’s speech.
In the wake of the power outage that occurred in ABH between 15th and 18th March, 2022, the hall was plunged into utter darkness. This was accompanied by a number of issues, the major being the problem with water supply- as power supply here is inextricably linked to the availability of water. Expectedly, the water tanks and taps dried up in record time and some Brownites were forced to relocate, while a few others endured some afternoons without a bath.
Beside the experiences of Brownites, the encounters of cleaners in the loos were exasperating and food vendors at the cafeteria could also not sell in plates due to the water shortage. In some quarters, the quest for water among brownites became a dog-eat-dog affair as buckets of water mysteriously disappeared from doorsteps.
To tackle this problem, Olaoye Jegede, made a plea for brownites to make donations on Thursday, 17th March, 2022. As seen in the WhatsApp BC that was circulated, the purpose of the donations was “to fuel a generator to pump water into all tanks in A block so people on A, B, C and D blocks can fetch from A block” and “to buy fuel for the Falase Hall generator so they continue to pump for us so that people on E, F and G blocks can fetch from there.” Whether or not Brownites responded to this call remains a mystery.
However, fuel was procured and ultimately, water was made available that same day but only for a period. The next day, power was restored to ABH, putting a relief, albeit temporary, to our problems.
However, there is another problem here. To hit the crux of the matter head-on, it’s been over a week since power was restored to the hall and outbursts of joy from Brownites pervaded ABH. But this has since then been followed by a deathly hush- a deafening silence. No account whatsoever has been given concerning how much exactly was donated, how much was expended, how much is left and what plans exist for what is left. It’s only proper that whenever collective fundraising is done in any community, account be given; at least if not for any other thing, for the sake of transparency.
“Transparency is not just about restoring trust in institutions. It is the politics of managing mistrust”. -Ivan Krastev
There have been echoes in many quarters within the hall about a lack of accountability in the health week spending, and the use of hall dues and its recent increase and the ABH Press is not deaf to those. Albeit, there are certain nuances when a project is crowdfunded. At the root of crowdfunding lie trust, transparency and a corresponding measure of expectations- all that this Revamped Agenda team have either failed to acknowledge or are ignorant of.
This is in sharp contrast to the crowdfunding activities of the previous tenure where Isa Folajomi and his ‘Transcending Limit’ team embarked on projects to provide for the families of ABH cleaners and other ancillary staff within the hall whose only means of livelihood were affected during the protracted lockdown of 2020.
This is, in conclusion, not to cast a shadow on anyone’s repute or soil anyone’s integrity but to point the executive leaders of the hall in the right direction as tradition has taught us.