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TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014 A combination of modern educational facilities, new network of roads, better structured environment and empowered citizenry have led to the emergence of a new Osun under the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.This was the conclusion of the Bureau of
VOL. 9. NO.039
Front Page Comment A new Osun has emerged under Aregbesola –Bureau Communications and Strategy, This was the conclusion of the Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor in its release
on Sunday. The Bureau said the entire people of the state have seen remarkable difference in the rot inherited by the current administration on November 27, 2010 and
what the state has become in terms of social amenities, motivation of the people and above all, restoration of peace.This was just as Architects in Nigeria under the aegis of the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) Continue on pg4
Who Killed Chief Bola Ige, formerAttorneyGeneral and Minister of Justice?
Aregbesola Challenges Nigerian Universities On Job Creation •As UNIOSUN Graduates 1,186 Students
- See Story On Page 2
•The governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (middle); Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the university, Professor Gabriel Adesiyan Olawoyin (2nd left) and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adekunle Bashiru (right) during the 3rd Convocation for the Conferment of First Degrees and Award of Prizes at the university in Osogbo last Saturday.
Dwindling Federal Allocation: Osun Govt ‘ll Not Cut Salaries, Wages
- See Story On Page 3
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Aregbesola Challenges Nigerian Universities On Job Creation •As UNIOSUN Graduates 1,186 Students By KEHINDEAYANTUNJI
OVERNOR of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said on Saturday that Nigerian uni versities have not performed to expectations in their responsibilities of research and innovations to address poverty and national development. Aregbesola argued that cally in Nigeria. the Nigerian universities According to him: “Unihave deviated from the pri- versity is crucial to the somary objective of university ciety to make discoveries eduction as regards their re- and provide knowledge for sponsibility to the larger those who are blind to sosociety. cial development; that is The governor urged the why universities were Nigerian universities to re- organised into various dividirect their focus in their sions. address at the third Convo“Unfortunately, it appears cation Ceremony of the there are no link between Osun State University, held our universities and the at the Main Campus, larger society, part of the Osogbo, State of Osun. indicator is unemployment He said if the universities in the land, in a situation like scientifically and philo- this, universities are exsophically pursue their ob- pected to provide alternajectives, the challenges of tives through innovation unemployment and abject and discovery.” poverty will reduce drastiThe governor lamented
that it was sad that employers in Nigeria were rejecting Nigerian graduates and employing foreign graduates. He insisted that universities must produce best students who will be productive and be of benefit to the society which, according to him, is the philosophy of his administration. “We are committed to
education because it is our philosophy to build a new man that will be mentally independent, productive and be of benefit to the society,” he said. Earlier in his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Bashir Adekunle, said the university was graduating 1,186 students in the third convo-
cation with 20 students with First Class, 328, Second Class Upper and 660 Second Class Lower. Mr Oladipo Rasheed of the Department of Economics emerged the best graduating student with the cumulative GP of 4.73 According to the ViceChancellor, as at the end of 2013, the university had secured accreditation of its 32 programmes from the National University Commis-
Aregbesola Is God’s Gift To Osun - APC
ITIZENS of Osun should be grateful to God that they have an astute economic manager like Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at this critical point in Nigeria when the PDP-led federal government has run the country almost insolvent as a result of massive corruption unequalled in its history. According to the APC, in a strategic and disciplined statement issued by its approach adopted by the All Director of Publicity, Research Progressives Congress (APC) and Strategy,Barr. Kunle administration-led by the Oyatomi, and made available to governor, the federal the media in Osogbo, last government would have Sunday, “but for the smart, successfully ruined the
•The governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (right) at the Bola Tinubu colloquium, being welcome by Governor Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Governors Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Ibikunle Amosun at Oriental Hotel, Victorial Island, Lagos, recently.
economy of the State of Osun, and brought unimaginable hardship and social collapse to the state in the last nine months.” “Unknown to many people, a deliberate political strategy to strangulate the people of this country has been adopted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) –led federal government since June last year when revenue allocations to states progressively dropped by 40 per cent, leaving many of them stranded and unable to meet their obligations. “The State of Osun that had the third lowest allocation in the country would have been one of the worst hit, but for the quantum leap Aregbesola had taken in trying to grow the state’s economy and improve the lives of its citizens. “On the contrary, Osun is riding the crest of the waves of the PDP-led federal government imposed economic strangulation only because the person at the helm of affairs had the foresight to be prudent in his management of the resources at the disposal of the state to prepare it for the kind of onslaught that hit Nigeria’s revenue under PDP mismanagement.” The APC chieftain explained that those who are uninformed should now be told the details of what Aregbesola has put in place in the State of Osun, and
New Osun Has Emerged Under Aregbesola - Bureau •As Architects Understudy Osun’s Urban Renewal Scheme
combination of modern educational facilities, new network of roads, better structured environment and empowered citizenry have led to the emergence of a new Osun under the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. This was the conclusion state showed that the of the Bureau of administration is poised for Communications and the birth of a new society. Strategy, Office of the The Bureau, in its Governor, Osogbo, in its statement signed by the statament on Sunday. Director, Semiu Okanlawon, The Bureau said the noted that the completion entire people of the state of, at least, 39 mega schools, have seen remarkable completion of almost 800 difference in the rot inherited kilometres of roads across by the current the state, creation of better administration on November environment for healthier 27, 2010 and what the state living, empowerment of the has become in terms of various strata of the society social amenities, motivation have created a strong sense of the people and above all, of newness in all spheres of restoration of peace. life. This was just as “So, 39 schools Architects in Nigeria under containing over 1,700 the aegis of the Nigerian classrooms with modern Institute of Architects facilities have been (NIA) described Osun’s concluded. However, more urban renewal programme than that figure has reached as a good template to cause near completion stages and peer-review with other would soon be put to use states of the federation. by the pupils for whom they During a meeting with the are targeted. governor at the weekend, “If you place that side by the architects said the side the huge network of various restructurings newly-constructed, intertaking place throughout the city and intra-city roads
sion (NUC) and equally secured the approval of new 12 undergraduate courses. Professor Bashir also announced that the university is about to begin 10 postgraduate programmes which is under the processing of the NUC, adding that UNIOSUN will also commence part-timeprogrammes to provide opportunities for those who may not be able to engage in full time.
already completed, there is no doubt that this government has created a new Osun which is a source of attraction to people. Osun now offers a more conducive atmosphere for business and pleasure more than any other time in its 22 years of creation. “As the state with the least unemployment rating, the highest public school enrolment figures in Nigeria and as the 7th largest economy in Nigeria, Osun no doubt has transformed from its old self to a modern state with great potentials for more growth.” Meanwhile, the Nigerian Institute of Architects has said it was in the state to understudy Osun’s urban renewal programme of the government with a view to recommending it to other parts of Nigeria. NIA President who was represented by the body’s 2nd Vice-President, Arc Adibe Njoku, said: “The executive members and scores of members from all parts of Nigeria and from different spheres of practice
are here to see, study your urban development initiative and evolve ways to provide requisite supports to nurture pragmatic progressivism in the governance and genuine innovativeness in the administration as epitomised by your administration. “We do hope to establish some benchmark to assist other states in peer-review.” Aregbesola, while addressing the body of architects, said Nigeria must be rebuilt by professionals like architects as the responsibility for the rebirth of the society cannot be that of political leaders only. Aregbesola said: “Nigeria must be re-built by professionals like you who are selfless in the development of human society and humanity because political leaders cannot be generalists and therefore, need all other professionals to develop the nation’s socioeconomic sphere. “We have pandered too much on the failure of our
country, but we owe it a duty nevertheless, to try our utmost best to use our expertise to solve the problems of building and bridge collapse and other sundry issues related to our individual professions. “It’s puzzling though that Nigerian architects have not developed or built on the roofing sheets designed by the colonial masters, some of which are injurious to our health and other environmental hazards. “We don’t need university certificate to know that we are in danger of health crisis and need more environment-friendly roofing material that will support our claims to being part of a global village that preaches environmental sanity. “The mentality of our people is so subservient that we don’t even know that we are in danger by using the present roofing materials, and this is where the professionals come in who can distinguish between genuine building materials from fakes”, the governor said.
how the PDP has been trying without success to sabotage progress in the state. “When Ogbeni assumed office in 2010, the total salaries paid to civil servants was about N2 billion and for the first three months, he had to borrow N1 billion each time to pay salaries because the PDP left the state almost bankrupt. Today, however, monthly salaries of civil servants have risen to N3.6 billion due in part to negotiated salary increases across the board. “Secondly, owing to the scandalously meagre amount paid to pensioners by the PDP administration, Ogbeni Aregbesola raised the package almost four fold from N150 million to N600 million. “Thirdly, about 50 per cent more teachers were added to the wage bills. “This was made easily possible at the time when revenue allocation from the federation account to the State of Osun was oscillating between N3.9 billion and N4.8bn but since June last year, that amount has dropped by a criminal 40 per cent and the PDP-led federal government has not bothered to offer an explanation to anybody why such strangulation of Osun’s economy has become a federal project other than an excuse of oil theft. “Osun now gets from the federal allocation only an average N3.2 billion monthly. “Now, when you contrast the massive developmental programmes that are on-going in the state with this revenue shortfall; Osun’s economy should have collapsed six months ago with serious defaults on salaries obligation. “But because Aregbesola anticipated this disaster, Osun is not owing its workers,” the APC claimed. “Not only that, the OYES recruits, the Agba-Osun social security initiative, the construction of schools, roads and agricultural infrastructure continue in Osun, even if with some strains. This is a credit to Ogbeni Aregbesola’s unusual approach to governance and resource management. “In another contrast to what is happening in Osun, many better situated states in the country in terms of revenue allocation are in grave economic distress. Only recently, Bayelsa State has warned its citizens to prepare for serious belt-tightening measures. Benue and Cross River states have threatened to cut salaries by 50 per cent. There are more states in similar distress. Those who do not appreciate what Aregbesola has done and continues to do for the State of Osun are thieving opposition politicians and their collaborators who still live in the wicked illusion that government is about sharing public funds amongst a few criminals”, the APC said.
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OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Dwindling Federal Allocation: Osun Govt ‘ll Not Cut Salaries, Wages
HE Government of the State of Osun has said that it would not cut back the salaries and wages of the civil servants in the state, in spite of the dwindling revenue from the federation account. The government said wage, oil subsidy removal, though, the persistent drop mass retirement and in the allocation accrued to relativity, while the revenue the state from the federation of the state was dropping account was having direct from the federation account. effect on the finance of the He stated that the state state, but it would not government has been consider any option that augmenting salaries with would cut down the welfare N1bn on monthly basis from of the people. its savings since July 2013, State Commissioner for lamenting that the savings Finance, Economy and could not carry the state to Budget Planning, Dr Wale December 2013. Bolorunduro, stated this on Bolorunduro explained Sunday in Osogbo, while that while the state addressing newsmen on the government received financial status of the state. N4.8bn after mandatory Bolorunduro said: “Osun deductions in May 2013, the will not cut down salaries allocation dropped to and wages. It is not going N2.69bn in July, when the to happen. The promise of monthly salary bill of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola state has reached N3.6bn. was to reform civil service The commissioner stated to be better and efficient. that the shortfall in the The government will state’s monthly allocation continue to perform its was currently over 44 per socio functions. We will cent with a funding gap of continue to fund Agba over N1bn monthly. Osun, O’Meal, provide “There was initial drop of school buses for our school N500m from the accruable children and continue revenue to the state in running the government. March 2013. When the “What we will do is to revenue started dropping, further look for the we thought it was a joke. The loopholes that are gulping price of the crude oil was our money and block them. stable, so we believed that We are re-engineering our there was no reason for the finances and business. shortfall in our allocations. What we are witnessing is a “The commissioners of national challenge, but we finance in the states worked will not shut down out because the money on government and welfare of ground was not our the people. expectation. But the “The government will following meeting, the minimize new projects and Federal Government continue the existing ones, declared that it could not and cut down expenditure. argument the states “We will continue our allocations again, because developmental projects there is no money to do that because economy cannot anymore. grow without infrastructural “We were told that the development and revenue from crude oil has investment must follow dropped because of the physical infrastructure. The shortfall in the crude oil government will do production. We were told everything to keep faith with that some people are the pension payment and stealing the oil and the welfare of the people. vandalising the pipelines Bolorunduro said despite and thus there is no much the financial crisis facing the revenue for the federation”, country and affecting the the commissioner lamented. state directly, the State of Bolorunduro also Osun has been paying the lamented the delay in the salary of its workers and receipt of the allocation from also has no plan to reduce the federal government, salary of its workers while saying that the allocations continuing with the various were always made in arrears developmental projects which sometimes could be across the state. one or two months. . According to He said: “Of course, we Bolorunduro, the salary bill are all aware that states’ of the state was N1.6bn allocations from the monthly when Governor Federation account are Rauf Aregbesola took the made in arrears, the usual leadership of the state in delay in receipt of these 2010, while the salary bill allocations, which in most increased to N2.4bn in times can be up to one or November 2011, following two months . the implementation of the ‘This implies that Minimum wage for workers. mandatory expenditure of The commissioner the state such as security, explained that the agitation salaries and overheads of for the implementation of the government would be relativity for the workers outstanding until receipt of started in January 2012 and allocations. the state government “Given our desire for implemented the relativity in good governance, and May 2013, thereby borne out of our strategic increasing the salary bill of initiatives, our the state to N3bn in June administration has been 2013. meeting its numerous In September 2013, obligations by resulting to Bolorunduro said the salary its past savings and bill later increased to N3.3 application of “ways and billion as a result of minimum means” particularly to
finance salary payments at least twenty five days before receipt of allocations. “It should not be forgotten that as part of the current government’s resolutions to ensure that workers are well motivated to ensure robust productivity, prior the end of 2013, the state ensured payment of workers’ salaries on 25th of every month. “Having deployed this savings to capital expenditure, and with a view to save cost, the state has no option than to wait till some days closer to the receipt of its allocation from Federation account before prompting the regular spontaneous financing for
the salary obligations.” Speaking on the pension status of the state, the commissioner disclosed that the state’s monthly pension bill was N260m in November 2011 but increased to N600m due to the mass retirement of workers in 2012. The number of the retirees in the state in November 2010, according to Bolorunduro, increased from 9,781 to 14, 000, while the number of local government retirees increased from 6,600 to 11, 000, in December 2013. He stressed that the Aregbesola administration met N4bn pension liability in 2010, out of which it has
been able to pay N1.2bn. Osun pension bill, according to the commissioner, is higher than Ogun and Oyo states who are earning higher revenue than Osun. The commissioner appealed to the people of the state to understand the financial challenges of the state and continue their support for the government. Bolorunduro said: “Despite the fact that Osun ranks 34th on the revenue allocation table, and unlike states that are already looking at the option of salary review (such as Balyesa and Bauchi), the state of Osun has been
paying the salary of its workers without fail and also has no plan to reduce salary of its workers while continuing with the various developmental projects across the state. “Ironically, there is a trend (may be coincidental) that most of the states that are considering salary cut are PDP-led states. “I wish to use this medium to appeal to all the state’s workers and retirees to bear with the state government in this trying period, as the financial challenges are not peculiar to Osun, even as we continue to deploy our strategic initiatives to cope with the cash crunch.”
1,938 Police Officers Promoted In Osun, Oyo, Ondo States
O fewer than 1,938 Police officers in Osun, Ondo and Oyo states that form Zone 11 of the Nigeria Police Force have been promoted. The Assistant Inspector The promotion took off, just as no fewer than 516 General of Police in-charge officers in the State of Osun of the zone, Mr David Police Command have been Omojola, while decorating promoted to different ranks the promoted policemen, said the Inspector-General in the Police Force. of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, has approved the promotion of policemen in the three states. Omojola, who decorated the newly-promoted officers on behalf of the IGP on Monday in Osogbo, the capital of the State of Osun, said the Police Force was going through serious transformation. The AIG urged the newlypromoted officers to defend the ethics of the Police profession and work towards realising the vision of the IGP for the force. He also charged the police officers in the country •ABUBAKAR to be disciplined and defend
democracy, stressing the need for the officers to uphold the tenets of discipline and thoroughness in their duties. In the Osun Police Command, total of 307 officers were promoted to Corporals, 82 to sergeants, 67 to Inspectors, 47 to Assistant Superintendent of Police, two to Deputy Superintendent of Police, eight to Superintendent of Police, and three to Chief Superintendent of Police. The Commissioner of Police in the State of Osun, Mr Ibrahim Maishanu, who decorated the newlypromoted police officers in the command charged them to support the transformation programmes going on in the Police Force. Maishanu also challenged the police officers to key into the transformation vision of the
present administration by ensuring quick and efficient service delivery. He also warned police officers in the state to avoid tendencies that could act as blot on the image of the Police Force. The police boss also disclosed that the promotion has the approval of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubarkar and the Police Service Commission (PSC). “With your promotion and decoration today, the expectation on you is high. You are therefore, enjoined to rededicate yourself to the service of the Nigeria Police,” he advised. He also enjoined police officers in the state to exhibit greater intelligence, commitment, discipline and loyalty in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
Osun Gov’s Wife Calls For Cooperation In Maintaining Clean Environment By KAZEEM MOHAMMED
IFE of the Governor of the State of Osun, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola, has called for cooperation and collective action of the people in meeting the human development goals especially in reducing child mortality, enhancing maternal and women health, sustaining environment and combating malaria. Mrs Aregbesola who is well to various sanitation the Ambassador, exercise in the state, ranging Community-led Total from market, office and the Sanitation (CLTS) said all monthly exercise, but these would be greatly believe that the people achieved through should be motivated to do maintenance of clean and more. sanitary environment. “We should be aware that She spoke on Saturday in the ultimate benefit of good Ilesa, while taking part in the hygiene and sanitation monthly sanitation exercise, attitude among our people with the intention of will lead to better quality life. sensitizing the people to be This will also enhance our more alive to their economic growth. responsibility in keeping “Total sanitation will lead their environment clean at all to stopping open time. defecation and also ensure The sensitization exercise the use of hygienic toilets. which began at Ilesa Complete sanitation also roundabout, the centre of demands that we do not the ancient town was later dump solid waste taken to Ilesa-East Local indiscriminately. Government Area office at “It also demands that we Ogburu, Ilesa where the should stop throwing refuse governor’s wife addressed in drains and gutters. It the teaming participants. demands that we wash our Mrs. Aregbesola hands with soap after using acknowledged that, though the toilets, cleaning for the people are responding babies, before and after
eating as well as using public facilities among others. “Available data from the Development Agencies revealed that Nigeria is not on track to meeting the Millennium Development Goals target for sanitation and others. We need cooperation and collective action in meeting the human development goals especially those on reducing child mortality, enhancing maternal and women health, sustaining our environment and combating malaria”, Mrs Aregbesola reiterated. The Ambassador for Community-led Total Sanitation however charged the citizen especially women to be more active in keeping their environment clean. Speaking, the state Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Professor Olubukola Oyawoye, observed that the state is better off than what obtained in the past in terms of environmental sanitation, owing to the efforts of the present administration.
While promising that government will not relent in its efforts to ensure that the environment is kept clean and conducive for a living at all times, the Special Adviser to the governor on Environment and Sanitation, Mr Bola Ilori, warned that government would not pat the violators of environmental regulation on the back. He particularly warned refuse collectors who dump waste by the road side instead of approved dump site to desist from the act. Those who took part in the exercise include; Leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye; Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Hon. Folarin Fafowora and other members of the committee. Others include; the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Wale Adedoyin; the Executive Secretary of Ilesa East Local Government, Mr Lanre Balogun; the state Treasurer of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Kunle Odeyemi among others.
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
A new Osun has emerged under Aregbesola –Burea Continued from pg1 described Osun’s urban renewal programme as a good template to cause peerreview with other states of the federation. During a meeting with the governor at the weekend, the architects said the various restructurings taking place throughout the state showed that the administration is poised for the birth of a new society. The Bureau, in its statement signed by the Director, Semiu Okanlawon, noted that the completion of at least 39 mega schools, completion of almost 800 kilometres of roads across the state, creation of better environment for healthier living,
empowerment of the various strata of the society have created a strong sense of newness in all spheres of life. “So, 39 schools containing over 1,700 classrooms with modern facilities have been concluded. However, more than that figure has reached near completion stages and would soon be put to use by the pupils for whom they are targeted. “If you place that side by side the huge network of newly constructed, inter-city and intra-city roads already completed, there is no doubt that this government has created a new Osun which is a source of attraction to people. Osun now offers a more conducive atmosphere for business and
pleasure more than any other time in its 22 years of creation. “As the state with the least unemployment rating, the highest public school enrolment figures in Nigeria and as the 7th largest economy in Nigeria, Osun no doubt has transformed from its old self to a modern state with great potentials for more growth.” Meanwhile, the Nigerian Institute of Architects has said it was in the state to understudy Osun’s urban renewal programme of the government with a view to recommending it to other parts of Nigeria. NIA President who was represented by the body’s 2nd Vice president, Arc Adibe Njoku said, “The Executive members and scores of members from
all parts of Nigeria and from different spheres of practice are here to see, study your urban development initiative and evolve ways to provide requisite supports to nurture pragmatic progressivism in the governance and genuine innovativeness in the Administration as epitomised by your Administration. “We do hope to establish some benchmark to assist other state’s in peerreview.” Aregbesola, while addressing the body of architects, said Nigeria must be rebuilt by professionals like architects as the responsibility for the rebirth of the society cannot be that of political leaders only. Aregbesola said, “Nigeria must be re-built by professionals like you
Caution Over Political Decampees
OW that the political additions and subtractions are ongoing, the political parties I am certain would be smiling considering the number of political souls crossing the divided lines. While politics is greatly regarded as a game of numbers, great care must be taken because numbers or statistics at times can be deceptive as we have clearly seen in the case of Nigeria where what is on the book is quite different from what is obtainable on ground. That is exactly the truth and this is a warning because there are many factors behind the decisions of people to decamp from a political party and camp with another. Mostly, what obtains in Nigeria is the fact that some of these decampees are coming from the other political folds with loads and loads of frustrations and they earnestly desire to
remain relevant and not because of any ideological leaning or clear-cut political programme. This is where the political parties especially the All Progressive Congress (APC) should take note. Not all politicians pitching tents with the APC are indeed progressive and
have any ideology to perpetuate. All they do is just to swell the ranks of the APC and end up confusing things. Remember the popular saying, “too many cooks spoil the broth” and do effective screenings before admitting any politician coming in especially from the
drowning Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which ‘big’ umbrella is leaking seriously. Some of them have been sent on covert missions and with time, their political espionage mission would unfold itself. Take for example, the recent decamping of
former governors Ibrahim Shekarau and Attahiru Bafarawa of Kano and Sokoto states respectively. Though every human has a right to choose but only God knows their reasons for leaving the party they helped nurture and conceive. The reason is not far fetched as both still want
to remain relevant in the politics of their respective states and also because they perceived the APC is romancing with the incumbent governors at their own political expense. These are just two recent examples but my take is that the APC should be careful. It’s good to accept all political orphans into the fold but it must be done with tact and not just to offer them juicy posts and electoral endorsements so as not to also offend those that have been there and have sacrificed all for the survival of the APC. They should pass the ‘house style’ inhouse tests and with time, we wuill find out that those who don’t have the love of the party at heart would find their way back from whence they came. Time will tell! • I P O O L A OYEDOTUN, Akinlalu, State of Osun.
who are selfless in the development of human society and humanity because political leaders cannot be generalists and therefore need all other professionals to develop the nation’s socioeconomic sphere. “We have pandered too much on the failure of our country, but we owe it a duty nevertheless, to try our utmost best to use our expertise to solve the problems of building and bridge collapse and other sundry issues related to our individual professions.
“It’s puzzling though that Nigeria Architects have not developed or build on the roofing sheets designed by the colonial masters, some of which are injurious to our health and other environmental hazards.
We don’t need university certificate to know that we are in danger of health crisis and need more environment friendly roofing material that will support our claims to being part of a global village that preaches environmental sanity.
“The mentality of our people is so subservient that we don’t even know that we are in danger by using the present roofing materials, and this is where the professionals come in who can distinguish between genuine building materials from fakes”, the governor said.
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OSUN DEFENDER is published by Moremi Publishing House Limited, Promise Point Building, Opposite Guaranty Trust Bank GTB, Gbongan Road, Osogbo, State of Osun. All correspondence to the above mail address. ISSN: 0794-8050 Telephone: 0803-392-7286, 08033880205 Website: www.osundefender.com/index.php e-mail: email@example.com
Renaissance OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
THE OMOLUABI CONCEPT IN THE STATE OF OSUN
Humanizing Education Through Reclassification In the State of Osun, South West Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria, the general overhaul of the various sectors of life in recent times calls for commendation. The education sub-sector of the Social Services Sector, as a starting point, deserves our attention. Here, the entrenchment of the Omoluabi philosophy is currently being accorded its rightful anchorage and foothold. This glad trend of events has been on the trail of other intervention efforts earlier instituted by the Rauf Aregbesola administration. Glaring as these efforts are, cynics, detractors and unrepentant critics are still in the business of running the administration down; in clear preference for the old odd situation! In this series of exposition, NIYI OLASINDE chronicles the so far, so good of the journey into good governance; typified as "Government Unusual".
•O’CALISTHENICS, ONE OF THE INTEGRAL TENNETS OF THE OMOLUABI CONCEPT:A cross section of participants displaying calisthenics of ‘RAUF REVOLUTION’ and ‘OSUN A DARA’ during the Oodua Children’s Day celebration at Osogbo City Stadium in May last year. Inset: (L-R) The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; the governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his wife, Sherifat and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on the occasion.
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Humanizing Education Through Reclassification
•BOLD STEP IN THE DIRECTION OF SCHOOLS’ RECLASSIFICATION: The governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (arrowed), addressing his numerous admirers during his official commissioning of Baptist Central Elementary School, Ilare, Ile-Ife, State of Osun, recently. Contiuned from page 5
SIDE the free, functional and qualitative education programme of the incumbent administration in the State of Osun under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola; there are numerous other mutually reconstructive, integrative programmes, policies and packages that are not only in tandem with, but also complementary to the orientation and philosophy of Omoluabi which has formed the core value and bent of the overall exertions of the administration. In all its programmes and policies as well as the execution of all projects, the administration has so far been guided by fairness, justice, equity and fair-play; giving unto all strata and groups across the state as much as is reasonably required, in relation to what is desired within rational limits and within the affordable reach of available means. This is done with profound magnanimity; even in the face of dwindling monthly revenue allocation from the Federation Accounts. Today, honest analysts and unbiased observers would agree with OSUN DEFENDER Magazine that this administration has no equal among the ones that had come in earlier years in terms of contribution to the life of the state and the well-being of its residents in all ramifications. The immediate past administration, taken as case study only extorted from and sapped the economy of the state beyond the marrow, such that by the time the knell was sounded for its inglorious exit, the state had almost been dragged into an absolute state of insolvency. The case and fate of the state was as terrible as that! It is therefore shameful, disappointing and pitiful to hear insinuations peddled here and there; time and again by members of the leading opposition in the state: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) attempting to denigrate the giant strides of the Rauf Aregbesola administration and the tangible, visible and allencompassing achievements which are so glaring that they cannot be controverted. In pragmatic terms, the State of Osun has in the past three-and-a-half years shed off its old image. The state has acquired new name, new status, and new destiny – all to the extent that her fortunes have changed for the better! This development came as fulfillment to the predictions we made at the beginning of the launch of the new underlying philosophy in year 2011. During that time under reference, OSUN DEFENDER Magazine postulated that the state’s acquisition of new name, sobriquet, logo / coat of arms, flag, anthem and all the
rest transcended mere name-calling and or other superficial underpinnings. We predicted at that early stage that the names and other symbolic representations would speedily begin to speak aloud for the state; such that it would sooner than later be transformed into the envy of all other states around, both in Nigeria and yonder. We are glad today. We can stand tall and beat our chest that Osun is well on course to reaching the Canaan of her dreams. The promise to the effect of transforming the state into conforming to the old ethos, values and orientation of our forebears was first rolled out in the policy statement of the candidate for the Action Congress (AC) of the time. In his blueprint on his proposed programmes and policies, titled “My Pact With the People of Osun State”, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola made it categorically clear that he would effect overall transformation in the entire spheres of life of the state. To detractors and critics of all sorts, those promises appeared too good to be made true. Even upon the delivery of nearly all of these promises, these detractors still find it a hard pi;; to swallow – coming to terms with the astounding realities on ground within the short span of time the administration has spent in office. As early as February 2011, the rebranding process for the state had been in full swing. With this rebranding, the state shed its old name “Osun State” for “the State of Osun”. The state also took new anthem, coat of arms, colours and flag. Above all, the sobriquet of the state, which had hitherto been “the State of the Living Spring”, changed to “the State of the Virtuous”, translated in Yoruba to mean “Ipinle Omoluabi”. It is the whole range of issues, connotation and impact of this concept of Omoluabi that we shall take this series to unravel. We now start with running the background of events as they were met on ground by the incumbent administration upon its assumption of office. The State of Osun that we know today has a long and eventful antecedent. Its recent experience, exploits and achievements have been the most impressive and significant since its coming into being – even since its existence in the various forms it had been known prior to its statehood. It is the whole truth when it is asserted that the state has never had it as good as it is faring these days. Since its creation on Thursday, August 27 1991, the State of Osun, amply located in the South West geopolitical zone of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has had its own fair share of the good, the bad
and the ugly. Up till November 2010, the state had been witnessing stunted growth owing to the misfortune of bad, purposeless leadership. It is true that a new state has to undergo some years of planned developmental phases, yet in the case of the infant State of Osun, it was hardly offered the opportunity of making a headstart with meaningful phases of development. Safe for the period of time between May 1999 and May 2003 when the state came under the progressive governance of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), under the able leadership of Chief Bisi Akande, it had been having a wobbling movement that could not be rightly termed a forward march. The time of creation of the state was the military era of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, with Colonel Leo Segun Ajiborisa (rtd.) as the first Military Administrator. The democratization process started by the Babangida administration saw to the emergence of Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke in the saddle of leadership in the state. But that administration could scarcely afford the state the desired pace of progress it desired or deserved. The military interregnum between 1993 and 1999 brought it under the rulership of several military administrators – Colonel Anthony Udofia; Colonel Anthony Obi; and Colonel Theophilus Bamigboye took their turns to govern the state before the return to civil rule of 1999. As at the start of the return to civil rule in 1999, the state appeared to be battling vigorously with existence and survival. If anything, it had not been offered the best kind of governance required and requisite for its surge to its place of prominence among the comity of states. The emergence of the Alliance for Democracy (AD)-led administration of Chief Bisi Akande in 1999 came as a soothing relief; and the administration did make a proper start in the direction of making the state a model of excellence. But the administration did not last! The seizure of the South West by the conservative People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2003 polls in the name of aligning the zone with the government at the centre appeared and did eventually prove to have nailed the coffin for the young state. With the coming on board of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the state’s helmsman, the stage was set for another round of retrogression. As it eventually proved, virtually all sectors of life in the state went through the valley of the shadow of death and extinction. Contiuned on page 7
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Humanizing Education Through Reclassification Contiuned from page 6
Before now, OSUN DEFENDER Magazine had never been mute to conveying the true picture of situations as they unfold. It had been part and parcel of our creed, since the tome of the struggle for the reclamation of the stolen collective mandate of our people to always bring to focus the multiple damages with which the state was inflicted and afflicted under that inglorious administration – the administration of Brigadier-General Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The damages are beyond what could be reduced to writing or what series of editions of our Magazine editions could accurately approximate. What we can do; and that we have resolved to do; given the limitations imposed by the space at our disposal is to conduct a broad overview of the numerous damages inflicted on our state, its sectors of life, its infrastructure, its people and their entire living conditions; in terms of their extent and intensity. As we have always emphasized, the extent and gravity of the dastardly damages are of so large a magnitude that ordinarily, they could have required an upward of half-decade to remedy. But thank goodness! God has been so merciful and benevolent to us that He provided a way out of our numerous challenges. Fortune has smiled on us; such that today, like a piece raw precious jewel which has passed through the test of fire, we are emerging purer, more beautiful and more dignified. Thank God for giving us the privilege of progressive governance provided through the auspices of the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led administration of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. Today, we can proudly stand tall and beat our chest to sing praises and adoration to God Almighty, as we have clearly never had it so good. Since the focus of this series of editions is on the Education sub-sector of the Social Services Sector of our state’s economy; we shall concentrate greater focus to issues and events bordering on the education industry, most especially, as they touch on the public (government-owned) institutions at all levels, vis-à-vis the Schools’ Reclassification cum the Omoluabi concept. Expectedly, the reforms and reclassification which we take these editions to celebrate affect the public schools most directly. The effects they have on the private counterparts as partners-in-progress are spill-over. We shall begin to point these specific effects out in the fullness of time. But before we proceed, we intend to refer our readers to the specific portions of the pact which the Governor made with his people, the virtuous people of the State of the Virtuous, way back 2005. These promises rolled out were contained in the Six-Point Integral Action Plan of Mr. Governor. Relevant portions of the plan which have direct bearing
•AREGBESOLA: Governor, State of Osun
on education are here recapped: “My mission and ambition are to restore to the people, a state of peace, opportunity, for progress and room for the pursuit of prosperity in our time under a people friendly government. I give you Six-Point Integral Action plan, to the intent that they constitute my actions of faith concerning which I want to be held accountable at any time during my stewardship. SIX POINT INTEGRAL ACTION PLAN · Banish Poverty · Banish Hunger · Banish Unemployment (Create Work/ Wealth) · Restore Healthy Living · Promote Functional Education · Enhance Communal Peace and Progress” Further in the line of drawing specific reference, we have the following: CIVIL SERVICE REFORMS “There is the need for a civil service reform that will not lead to any loss of jobs as I Rauf Aregbesola do not believe in laying people off in the name of reforms. Our reform will make the work environment more conductive, stimulating and development oriented. Bonuses, incentives and regular awards shall be instituted to promote a culture of excellence in the civil service along with the prompt payment of salaries, allowances, leave bonuses and year end performance bonuses. Promotions and comprehensive salary reviews and increases shall be regular. Internal and external training, work exchange programmes and overseas training shall be actively reinstituted for comprehensive human development in the civil service. New Tutor General/Permanent Secretary Cadre shall be created for Teachers in new education districts for better school administration. We shall institute Home Ownership Scheme for public servants and also support and encourage their backyard food production business ventures. We shall do a comprehensive review of civil service names and conventions as part of our efforts to create a people- friendly civil service. Appropriate nomenclature will enhance accountability and promote public access to the services of the ministry. A citizen with a complaint of blockage of drainage will find a Ministry of Roads and Drainages easier to identify with than
Ministry of Works, a Ministry of Human Resources and Development will more appropriately communicate its services than a Ministry of Establishment.” WE now swing to the Education sub-heading of the Pact, which we quote as follows PROMOTE FUNCTIONAL EDUCATION Vision: Eradicate the frustration of youths caused by education that does not lead to employment. “To achieve this, the government of AC under Rauf Aregbesola shall: · Provide free education at all levels in Osun State. Focus on functional education. Education that makes one useful to himself and society. · Improve incentives to teachers and work with the NUT to restore the dignity of the teaching profession. · Restructure administration of school management and create Tutors-General (Permanent Secretary Cadre) from among Head Teachers in three Educational Districts which we will establish.\ · Fix all collapsed educational infrastructures in all the schools. · Support with modern teaching aids and well-stocked libraries. · Ensure cooperation with parents and teachers to improve discipline and morality. · Introduce non-partisan community-based governing boards for all schools. · Reduce number of students per classroom immediately. · Introduce home development plans for teachers who wish to build houses in their home towns, through access to special mortgage packages. · Promote mass adult literacy and numeracy programmes. · Promote and support Special programmes that give special attention to education of girls and women. · Establish institutions that impart life-long skills for all, in and out of formal schooling. ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND UNIVERSITY · I am committed to ensuring that an Osun State University takes off on a sound footing and becomes a first-class institution with linkages to renowned universities in the developed world. · I will make every tertiary institution in Osun State an independent degree-awarding one. Contiuned on page 10
•LAOYE-TOMORI: Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Education
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
At The Third Convocation For The Conferment Of First Degrees And Award Of Prizes At Osun State University, Osogbo, Last Saturday.
•The governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (middle); Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University, Professor Gabriel Adesiyan Olawoyin (2nd left) and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adekunle Bashiru (right) during the 3rd Convocation for the Conferment of First Degrees and Award of Prizes at Osun State University, Osogbo, last Saturday
•Governor Aregbesola; Professor Olawoyin; Professor Adebisi Balogun and Professor Bashiru at the event
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
At The Third Convocation For The Conferment Of First Degrees And Award Of Prizes At Osun State University, Osogbo, Last Saturday.
•Ogbeni Aregbesola (middle); Professor Olawoyin (middle) and Professor, Balogun (left) during the 3rd Convocation for the Conferment of First Degrees and Award of Prizes at Osun State University, Osogbo, last Saturday.
•Governor Aregbesola (right) and former PDP South-West Vice Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo on the occasion.
Wife Of The Governor, State Of Osun, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola, At Monthly Environmental Sanitation In Ilesa Last Saturday.
•Wife of the Governor, State of Osun, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola (holding shovel right); state Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Professor Olubukola Oyawoye (with broom) and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation, Mr Bola Ilori (holding shovel left) while participating in the monthly environmental sanitation in Ilesa last Saturday.
•Mrs Aregbesola (2nd left); Professor Oyawoye (2nd right) and the Iyaloja of the State of Osun, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade, during the environmental sanitation exercise.
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Humanizing Education Through Reclassification
•PROMOTING THE ETHOS OF OMOLUABI THROUGH MASSIVE YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: The governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (with fez cap), leading thousands of OYES cadets in the endurance trek. With him are his deputy, Otunba (Mrs) Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori (right) and other dignitaries sometime ago. Continued from page 7
· Encourage use of services of retired, but not tired dons and administrators, from reputable institutions.” The promises contained in this pact were made in swift and timely response to a situation which was in every way far from good and positive. The spate of decay, rot, abandonment, devastation and neglect which characterized the dark era under reference is indescribably huge. So huge that if we devote time to its description, space will rob us more interesting task of documenting the numerous achievements of the government of the day: the Government Unusual of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. However, we shall not fail in our duty to succinctly paint the picture of what things looked like exactly at the time of change in baton of leadership on Saturday, November 27, 2010. E challenge our numerous readers to cast their minds back to the old glorious era when education was the pride of the South-West geopolitical zone of the federation called Nigeria. It is the genuine and well-directed activities and concerted efforts of our forebears, our illustrious ancestors that earned us the topmost ranking of the most educationally advanced region of the country. Then, at that time, parents committed fortunes of their hard-earned resources to get the best quality education for their wards. And the quality was greatly assured; in all its ramifications. The teachers, textbooks, notebooks, instructional materials and reaching aids and infrastructure – all were present in adequate quantity and quality. As we found it, so we fondly remember it! The teacher-training programmes of those days were simply superb. Though the syllabuses and curricula of those olden times later came under serious criticisms as being alien in nature, bookish and cumbersome in their contents and colonial (imperialist) in their thrust, aims and goals; they are today proven as not only adequate but also complete in producing the total man, well educated and morally well-shaped. The teachinglearning environment was conducive and well-enabling for aiding effective learning. In the classrooms, the teacher-pupil ratio was properly planned. The out-ofclass environment was friendly, well-kempt and beautiful. The person of the teacher and that of the pupil was given priority in terms of decency in dressing, appearance, neatness and personal hygiene. It was indeed a glorious era. The essence of tracing this background shall soon W
come to fore when we begin to underscore the devastation we witnessed in the years of decay. During the Oyinlola years, it was claimed that the kind of education provided was free, qualitative and functional. But what operated in actuality and its product negated and falsified this claim. Education was claimed to be free; yet parents were made to pay exorbitantly for it through their noses! It was claimed to be qualitative; yet what was being paid exorbitantly for was substandard and offered disservice to its products, their parents and the entire society. At the end of the day, none of the parties went scot-free. A case of adding salt to injury! Our school environment became grossly unkempt and untidy. We were never tired of exposing these odd situations at all levels of education in the state. Students and pupils were made to take farm implements to school almost on session-by-session basis; while actually no meaningful farming or clearing activities took place in schools. Anyone who is in doubt of the true situation of public schools’ infrastructure is advised to approach the offices of the State of Osun Schools’ Infrastructure Development Committee (O’ SCHOOLS); as it was the committee that collated the statistics of haphazard structures in public schools as part of its very first set of assignments upon inauguration. But we shall do our own bit of duty in reminding readers of the true state of infrastructure inherited from the ousted administration in the state. The condition of infrastructure in schools was horrible, distasteful and terrible. Most school buildings, legacies of the earlier better eras were dilapidated due to a combination of old age and poor maintenance culture. What became of the annual running grants of the time could not be far-fetched. It was a downward extension of the depth of corruption, subterfuge and profligacy perpetrated at the peak of leadership in the state. We also remember that the schools that were initially outcome of community or missionary (Christian and Muslim) efforts had been taken over by government right from the 1970s; say precisely, September, 1975.. This development, which was initially well-intentioned, became a misfortune due to the fact that governance became profane, desecrated and ridiculed. The justconcluded series of OSUN DEFENDER Magazine edition featured many picture slots of dilapidated structures which were then ugly features of our schools. Most of the school structures which the Oyinlola administration bragged to have provided, and which execution and official commissioning gulped
huge amount of money; with official commissioning done with fanfare, pomp and pageantry, turned out to be death traps. No sooner were they completed than they started giving the most dangerous signs of imminent collapse. Remember the haphazardly executed structure on the campus of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa. The project was expected to be a lecture theatre, designed and constructed to house several tens of students at a go. What a mass killer those trap would have proven in the hands of the ritualistic, sit-tight power-hungry elements that held sway of those days! It took the perpetual vigilance of our eagle-eyed reporters and the ever-resilient and irrepressible nature of Great Nigerian Students to effect timely identification of impending doom; and that forestalled the doom; saving the lives of our teeming promising youths (the greater tomorrows) thereby. The main intent of the sacked People’s Democratic Party (PDP) power hijackers in the state was to get their members, admirers, supporters, boot-lickers and cronies inordinately enriched. That fact could be the most reasonable and rationally justifiable reason why a government that prided itself as Ore Ara Ilu (PeopleFriendly Government) should defy all procedures and tenet of due process in the award of most of its contracts. That was why a carpenter’s job was being awarded to a plumber! In most cases, the lion’s share of the contract sum would have gone into the coffers of party stalwarts and other functionaries of the administration as settlement sums as kickbacks and percentages. The ensuing effect was that the remaining sum could not meaningfully fund the project through its various stages of execution without tampering adversely with the project quality. The situation with school furniture was pathetic, horrible and saddening. Furniture for both teachers and students were in sorry state; and in most cases, they were simply not just there! What business do teachers and pupils have to conduct in a school where seats are missing? As a result, parents were made to bear with utmost discomfort the burden of providing chairs, desks and lockers for their wards; if je must benefit from the strange, erratic brand of free, qualitative and functional education of that time. In addition to this extra burden, various forms of unaccountable fees were indiscriminately introduced at will either centrally by the government or internally by the respective school administrators. This was why at the very inception of the incumbent administration; one of its Continued on page 11
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Humanizing Education Through Reclassification
•Oyeduntan: O’School Chairman Continued from page 10
very first steps was to stop the imposition of all forms of levy on students in the state. We also wish to recall that school fees regime at both secondary and tertiary levels in the state as of then was exorbitant to the extent that education wa far-becoming unaffordable for the poor and the average. Even the rich was compelled to create preference for private schools, due to simple cost analysis couples with other factors hinging on quality decline and such others aforementioned. The issue of quality of instruction cannot be jettisoned simply with the wave of the hand by any seriousminded government. But that was simply what the Oyinlola administration did. By the time he was through with his mission of plundering, practically all public schools in the state had become understaffed. Without the intention to cast aspersion on anyone, it is placed on record that the quality of teachers selected into public primary and secondary schools in those days through the various recruitment and selection exercises could not be guaranteed; and the consistently poor results of instruction on yearly basis, coupled with the abysmally low indices of performances of the candidates of the state’s origin in public examinations were clear indications to it that something was terribly wrong with quality of instruction. In most cases, teaching was seen not as a vital social service infrastructure under the ousted administration. It was considered as the dumping ground for all categories of scholarship-bankrupt and academic liabilities; so far they could avow their loyalty to the ruling party or pay the price for the job slot or both. In a nutshell, the recruitment selection exercises of that era were marred with gross misconduct and irregularities. They were fraught with scams of malpractices. No doubt, all classes of lower academic qualifications could be found on the teaching roll of every public school at all levels. All manners of unacceptable standard of managing quality education were the order of the day. It was not the concern of that administration to prepare the society’s youth adequately for bracing up competently with the increasing challenges of the ever-dynamic contemporary world. We have once clarified that the degree of difference between Oyinlola and Aregbesola; their mission in governance, their motives, drive, mindset and attitude to genuine people-oriented service cannot match, since the latter possesses doses of these attributes in larger magnitude than the former. We also have reflected that in the opinion of the former, education should be made the exclusive preserve of the rich, the high and the mighty. Oyinlola made this declaration loud and clear during one episode of his monthly audienceparticipation propaganda programme, entitled
•AWOFISAYO: SUBEB Board Chairman
Gbagede Oro. In his response to a particular question bordering on the high school fees regime introduced by his administration, Oyinlola pronounced that whoever demands quality education for his ward must be prepared to spend exorbitantly. He corroborated this stand with a popular Yoruba proverb that runs: “Obe t’o dun; owo l’o pa a”, meaning, sumptuous stew requires lavish spending. To Aregbesola, education should be genuinely free for all without any blinkers, discrimination or deprivation; such that its free nature must not tamper adversely with its functionality and its quality. To Oyinlola, public schools, of which he was all along a beneficiary should be killed outright; or rather should have their doors shut forever for all he cares! This adamant position came out during another in the long list of episodes of the programme referred to above. In his response to whether teachers wage demand should not be met to forestall an impending industrial action and its attendant problems; Oyinlola shrugged in defiance and blatantly told then teachers to proceed on strike, so far they did not forget to lock up doors of the schools and get the door keys submitted to appropriate quarters and offices! In his own vein, Aregbesola views education at the public schools as a cherished legacy that must be jealously preserved and profoundly enriched. To this man of action, his position as the incumbent helmsman of the state places upon his shoulders the onerous responsibility of being proprietor to all public schools in the state. While wishing proprietors of privately-owned institutions well, he made it boldly clear that he would not hold back any means at his disposal and that of the state to rekindle the dwindling fortunes of public schools in the state, so that together with their private counterparts they shall function and cooperate to revive and revamp the lost glory of the education sector in the State of Osun in particular, and Nigeria as a whole. So it is a whole lot of difference, hinged on attitude and disposition; coupled with the afore-mentioned components of mission in governance, motives, drive, mindset and attitude! Our next point of duty is giving priority consideration to the environment in which teaching-learning activities took place. The environment is here considered in terms of its suitability, befitting status,, sanitation and hygiene. This vital sub-sector is of high essence if lasting health and well-being are desirable anywhere. This is because a healthy mind resides in a healthy body, which is in turn domiciled in a clean, healthy environment. In the past, Osun was a victim of a grossly degraded environment; with incidents of pollution and indiscriminate refuse disposal being very rampant. This ugly situation by extension, took its tolls on our public schools. We cast our minds back to the ugly sights of the past, the perennial flooding and erosion that
•KOLABALOGUN: Social Welfare, Youth Sports and Special Needs
threatened the residents of the state with extinction and the undulating terrains which our roads had been turned into. We remember in particular the flood of July7, 2010; which inflicted serious damages of incalculable value on people in Osogbo and other parts of the state; and in which many lives and inestimable property perished. We remember similar incidents which occurred in earlier years during the time of the immediate past administration. We remember those terrible stenches occasioned by huge refuse heaps which dotted our streets; even within the metropolis of Osogbo, the state capital. We remember the pollution that continuously characterized the adjoining communities to the State Hospital, Asubiaro; where mortuary pollution nearly made the people prone to attendant dangers of epidemics. We remember how carcasses of animals and even corpses of lunatics simply littered the streets and were watched to complete processes of decomposition there without proper disposal or burial, thereby threatening the health and good living of the people. The list is long indeed! Specifically in reference to the decay in the public education sub-sector, we remind readers of how our schools were turned into refuse-dumping grounds and public toilets. It is only recently that the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is turning things around positively for our public schools and for the prospects of their pupils and students. The nefarious activities of hemp smokers, hoodlums and criminally inclined miscreants who used our public school buildings as hideouts thrived under the close watch and supervision of that ousted administration. As a matter of fact, the Government of the State of Osun of today still has the big task of combating hooliganism and gangsterism among students. In today’s State of Osun, there are confirmed incidences of pockets of violence and mayhem, obviously orchestrated by the captors of yesteryears – the brood of “do or die politicians” in the drowning People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Today, the Aregbesola administration has made all these ugly sights and smells a banished outcast that no one dare harbor in our midst. Right from the inception of his administration, Aregbesola took the bull by the horns when he declared a 90-day emergency on environmental sanitation. He took the decisive step of introducing bi-monthly and weekly environmental sanitation exercises as the case may be to execute rapid transformation of our towns and cities into decent places of abode for healthy individuals, and to sustain the culture of cleanliness, which, according to sages, is next to Godliness. Today, sanitation and safe health practices have so much become internalized in the lives of our people that clean environment has become their creed. What this implies is that people now troop out Continued on page 12
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Humanizing Education Through Reclassification
•BEFITTING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUNG OMOLUABIS: An aerial view of Baptist Elementary Central School, Ilare, Ile-Ife, State of Osun, recently commissioned by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Continued from page 11
en masse to observe sanitation willingly without being coerced or instigated. People now abide by simple laws of decent refuse disposal, a feat hitherto considered unrealizable by pessimists! By extension, this innovation has worked wonders in our schools. At the appropriate segment of this write up, specific references shall be drawn to the impact of the sanitation / hygiene drive of the incumbent administration on our public schools system. For now, let us dwell a little on the events, activities and developments which served as antecedents to the ongoing redesigning, reorganization and reclassification exercise; which we roll out this series to laud and celebrate.
HE recent efforts of the incumbent administration in the State of Osun at bringing back the long-lost pride and glory in the Education sub-sector, especially in the public domain now attracts our attention. The efforts of the administration, which kickstarted with the introduction of free, functional and qualitative education upon the ascension of the administration barely three years ago, had metamorphosed into the introduction of free school uniforms to pupils and students at all levels up to Senior Secondary three, free school feeding programme for pupils up to Primary Four in the elementary rung of the school ladder under the State of Osun Schools Free Feeding and Health Programme (O’ Meals) and had culminated into capital intensive programmes such as the State of Osun Schools Infrastructure Development Programme (O’ SCHOOLS) and the introduction of the broad-based jet-age instructional support package, the Tablet of Knowledge, known in our tongue as Opon Imo. This is not to talk of other programmes like the Osun Schools Calisthenics and the drastic increase in the subvention and grants to our schools. Also in addition are the massive recruitment and selection / placement of qualified, competent and experienced
teachers into the system. All the foregoing are undoubtedly laudable pluses for any administration anywhere, especially in the face of the present spate of rot and decay witnessed in the sub-sector in this part of the globe. The most recent of all is the ongoing schools reclassification programme. For its relentless auspicious and invaluable efforts, the Government Unusual of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has become the envy of other states, especially the adjoining ones from which battalions of students cross daily to reap the benefits of good, sound academic and moral instruction. In spite of all these innovative intervention efforts which have so far impacted positive turnaround in the terrain of public education in the state, there still subsists a reasonably large cross section of people and residents, who are yet to see, recognize or appreciate the good works of the administration in the afore-mentioned regards. Most unjustly and ingratuitiously criticized of all these laudable programmes is the reclassification programme, which classifies our schools into Elementary, Middle and High schools. Concerning this policy, my personal take is that even in the highest heavens, the first law is order. The classification of schools as such is even in order with the reclassification earlier carried out by the Federal Government under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Education, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and other stakeholders. Under the Federal Government reclassification, modifications were done to the 6-3-3-4 system of education which was introduced in 1987/88 academic session throughout the federation. The earlier modalities comprised for each child, six years of primary education (between the ages 6 and 11); three years of junior secondary education (ages 11 to 14); three years of senior secondary education (ages 14 to 17); and four years of tertiary education. In the schema presented above, the double three in
between covers the whole range of the student’s secondary school career spanning six good years in all. In the reclassification of the government at the centre, introduced in 2001/2002; and which hardly ever went beyond the demonstration stage, the six years of primary/elementary education and the first three years of secondary education, called the junior secondary school years in the 6-3-3-4 system were joined together to form an expansive period of nine-year basic education; while the remaining three years of secondary education – the senior secondary years stand apart. As it proved, the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme presented a farce at the end of the day. The stage at which the incumbent administration met the public institutions of education in the state was such that barely was up to 5 per cent of our secondary school leavers matriculable into any institution of higher learning. The performances of candidates of the state at public examinations; be it those of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) recorded below 2 per cent of credit passes in five subjects, with the inclusion of English and Mathematics. The situation was so terrible and abysmal that the state’s ranking among the comity of states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) numbering thirty seven in all was that of a laggard. The state took the backward position in the thirties! Now that the Government Unusual of Ogbeni Aregbesola has in its wisdom resolved to fin lasting panacea to all lingering issues which had hitherto plagued the sub-sector, it would not only be wise and appropriate; but also complementary and supportive to give it free hand to approach the hydraheaded albatross confronting the industry head-on. In the new classification, the naming of education stages as Elementary, Middle and High schools is not entirely new. What could be new are the positive approaches and strategies; and these are necessarily so.
In the new classification, the first six years of early education of the child, called the Elementary stage, comprises children of ages spanning between 6 and 11 years. The Middle School entertains products of the Elementary schools for about three years, till they reach ages about 14 years; after which they proceed to the High school. At the highest, an average student is ready, armed with brilliant academic performances evidenced by good results to proceed to his choicest tertiary institution at the age of seventeen in the maximum. The new classification, apart from removing the misfortune of bad results after the whole career of about twelve years; also seeks to make parents more alive and amenable to their God-assigned role by deemphasizing pre-primary education. In our days, pre-primary education was a complete rarity. Yet students who started solid primary education at the age of six or thereabouts coped effectively with the challenges of their sudden transition from home to school. Another issue which bothers the minds of genuine stakeholders is whether many of the agitators against the new classification, the teachers inclusive really have their wards in the various public schools on which these vital far-reaching decisions are being taken. To me, anyone who is not a stakeholder to the extent of having a ward in the public institutions should not even contribute to; not to talk of kick against any reforms fashioned out for them. I proudly add that in our days, teachers took pride and glory in having all of their children pass through their same sphere of influence i.e. the schools where they taught. The trend today is shameful indeed! Teachers who make the loudest noise of dissent against every reform in the sector hardly have any of their children in the public schools. I am sure that if all had been well with the system, they would have had no reservation in making their children pass through the system. To be continued.
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Saving Nigeria - Share The Truth About Health Condition To Raise Awareness XPERIENCE, they say is the best teacher. All of our experiences play significant role in the way we make sense of our world. I grew up believing lots of myths as they float around me, I was not alone, millions of Nigerians were in the same situation. We were told to never question our adults as they know best, we were cautioned at a slight mischief and made to promise we would never be mischievous again. Many a times our adults succeeded in suppressing the natural instincts that we were all born with, the ones that push us to do the forbidding, not because we wanted to be bad but just because our curious mindset were alert, we wanted to see how things would turn out if we did a given task differently from the norm. However, sometimes the exaggerated stories of our myths were too powerful that we indeed forget to be adventurous, too scared to push against the boundaries because all in all we just wanted to survive, to live would be added pleasure but to survive is all that we ask for.
the local teaching hospital the same evening but lost his fight for life after a couple of weeks. He died because one or two of his vital organs were badly infected and perhaps the medical practitioners weren’t able to get to the heart of the matter on time, either way, it was bad news for the family.
I was right there again the evening that Mayo went for a hair cut, he came back and we all teased him about the number of ‘contours’ he had on his head. In the middle of the night he complained of headache, mother gave him a dose of Phensic. Mayo as we all knew in the family had a history of nose bleeding, for this he would usually sit still when it occured with efinrin leaves held close to his nostrils, he also complained quite a lot of headache aches, and for this usual pain relief medicine always worked. But this night he was restless and complained of sharp pains as if something was eating away his brain cells. My parents took him to the nearby clinic. Early next morning, news came that Mayo had been transferred to the teaching hospital, the same one that his brother died at 3 years prior, needless to say, I was horrified. I remember my mother coming home to get more money, buying more drugs, most of which would be rejected shortly after the purchase by yet another doctor, basically Mayo became a guinea pig. He received different diagnosis by several different doctors that my parents were confused whom to listen to. All along, his symptoms remained the same - massive pains inside his head and his deterioration was apparent. Mayo’s cause of death remained heavy load in my mind wherever I went, until I found a plausible explanation in 2005 - 22 years after his death.
As we grow older we sometimes move away from our comfort zones, we make new friends, started working perhaps with a totally different group of people who were raised and grew up with their own very different views of the world. At this time it is inevitable that the beliefs that we held dearly would be tested to the limit, we would have to re-examine all those stories that were fed to us without much efforts from our elders, now it would require more than a mere talk or cheap threats to believe a concept, we require more evidence to support our beliefs, again not because we wanted to be difficult, it is just that we have experienced the world in a different way, all those untested stories now are no longer valid. We have found a perfect, more plausible explanations for them. “No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience.”John Lock Sitting at a UW Physicians reception in Seattle Washington, I was relaxed and really did not anticipate much as all I was at the clinic for was to get my name on their register ‘just in case.’ The fact that a country and employer cared enough about me and encouraged I did this was enough of excitement. At 28 years old I have never visited a doctor and the only time I was near to a health professional was 15 years prior at a Health Centre at ObafemiAwolowo University for a throat infection, which didn’t take long as the examination by the nurse only took a few seconds and she didn’t really need much from me in terms of any history of allergic reactions or family health history, I was given a course of antibiotics and left the clinic, luckily the medicine worked. UW Physicians experience took an unexpected turn when the doctor noticed half of the questions on my form was left blank, she called me in and wanted to discuss why that was. She wanted to know my family health history, the ones that I was unable provide. She wanted me to tell her about my siblings health, to see if there were anything she could put in the form in order to help me faster and better in case of an emergency. I was dumfounded and just starred at Dr Grace (not her real name). My whole life flashed right in front of me, not because I didn’t know what to say but because I was juggling between two versions of my family health history - the made up version and the real one. I was not sure which story I should tell. Here was my dilemma, I did not know any of my grandparents. They were all dead before reaching 60 years old. None of them was killed by thunder, auto accident, not even endless ethnic crisis or any other physical attacks that I could point to. They all died after some sort of illness. It was only my maternal grandmother that made it to the hospital, she died anyways as her illness was at a critical stage before taking to the hospital. The cause of her death was nothing the family wanted to talk about. Dr Grace asked about my siblings and their health history, I told her that my two brothers were deceased, she sympathised but her curiosity grew stronger, she wanted to know how they died as this might provide crucial health information for my records. This should be a simple question to answer for anyone, but it wasn’t for me. The version of the cause of my brothers’ death that I grew up with was completely different from the version that I have come to terms with. My oldest brother, Tope was killed by my mother’s sister in-law because she didn’t have a boy of her own, at the time she had five girls and was very jealous of my mother’s good fortune of 2 male children. And on top of this Tope was doing really well academically, he was 19 years old and at his final year at a Catholic Grammar School Ipetumodu - a very good local school at
•ILORI By FOLAKEMI ODOAJE the time. On the weekend he stays with my uncle to help with business. Because of all these ambitions he had, my mothers’ sister in-law could no longer take it, so she killed Tope. How? That would be great if someone could give insights. Now three years down the line, my family again ran out of luck as Mayo, the only other male child in the family died. Only that this time there were slightly more people involved in the killing, depending on who you listened to. If you hear my paternal side of the family, the killer was my mother because she had enlisted her son for a sacrifice, otherwise how come the only boy left in the family died. Mayo was 14 and an articulate school boy. He went to Seventh Day Adventist Grammar School Lagere, Ife - one of the few good schools to attend in the early 80s. These were the explanations that floated around me as I grew up. These was supposed to be enough explanation for my brothers’ death. I had so many unanswered questions. I was lost, completely. Then it dawned on me that no one could help. I have to find reasons among all these confusion on my own. My family were blessed, we all sleep in one big room so it was easy to carry out a few of my missions. Tope’s killer lived about a mile away so I did not bother about her however, my focus was on my mother, how dared she ‘ate’ Mayo? The only person in the whole wide world that understood me, the only person that supported my mischievousness towards my overbearing older sister. My mother cried for years and lost all will to do anything. While I sympathised with her, I was adamant I was going to break her wings. I have heard that witches go to meetings in the middle of the night, so I set to wake up and watched her with hope that she would get up, she never did. I heard that the physical bodies was usually left in bed but their ‘spirit’ would have left the vicinity so if you hit a witch hard in the middle of the night, that may knock them unconscious as they would have to rush rush back to life from their meetings. I tried this, but each time I really didn’t have to ‘hit’ my mother, she was already awake with teary eyes sobbing, whispering to herself that she was supposed to die and not her children, she really wanted to die, I knew this. Throughout this time there were lots of other measures that my extended families were taking to determine who the male-children eater was, none of which involves getting detailed medical records of my brothers’ illness. It was all spiritual, I was told. It was impossible to make sense of any of the stories that I was told as I knew that none of the explanation coincide with what I saw. I was only a child, I wasn’t supposed to know any better so I mourned on my own and started on a journey to discover the truth, the way that I could be set free of heavy burden of unknown.
In my late teens, things were a bit calm in my family, I started nursing the idea of reincarnation. I have heard stories about dead people at Igbeti Market in Oyo State. I heard that most of the produce sellers turned their backs to their customers so as not to be recognised, this like many other myths did not pass me by, I held on to it. I started imagining Mayo walking down the road with me, especially when I were alone, I dreamt of him, recited all the good times we had had together. I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating heavily, I could only tell my mother half of the story, as any parents would testify, children are much more observant than we give them credit for, so I never mentioned I dreamt of Mayo to my parents, I knew enough that any mentioning of his name would open a whole lot of cans of worms that would lead to more confusion and possible distraction to my goal. Reincarnation thoughts had to be laid to rest as it was just causing too much headache. Now that the reincarnation beliefs proved to be too difficult for my young mind to bear. I continued my journey of finding inner peace, as time went by I no longer mourn for my deceased brothers, I had accepted they were gone to the place beyond, they remain only in memories, however, I was burdened not by absence but the unknown reasons behind their untimely deaths. I could no longer feel at ease alienating everyone around me as their killer, I needed solid facts. Here is how it all happened. I was about 8 years old, mature enough to absorb all the information leading to Tope’s death. Tope was at a grammar school. He lived in the town and only came home on the weekends, stayed longer during exams, and when he did, he stayed with my uncle so I barely knew he existed. On this fateful evening, he was brought home by his friends - Brother Femi, to my parents’ house. Tope was weak and had to be carried inside. He hasn’t been in town for three weeks as it was exam period. According to Femi, Tope and his friends went to play football two weeks prior, and on their way back to the hostel Tope was jogging and accidentally tripped and fell forward, flat on his face. His left knee cap was dislocated to the side and injured the tissues around, also he felt really sick inside and he could barely keep anything down afterwards. Tope did not go to any clinic, he was determined to stay at school to ‘tough’ it out and so he could finish his exams. After about a week, the bruises on his left knee area got badly infected, he was physically weak not only from the knee infections but also from his aching stomach, he had hurt one or two of his vital organs perhaps his kidney during the heavy fall. After he was carried in, he had wee in a potty and all I could see was blood, a sign of an damaged kidney. And for his oozing infected knee, I made my peace in coming to terms with the fact that the sore were infected with some sorts of dangerous bacteria. He was admitted at
Glued to BBC page following every news from Ivan Noble - a BBC Online Science and Technology writer at the time who was diagnosed with brain tumour in 2002 and went through series of treatments. I read all his entries with outmost interest. I wanted to learn more about this horrible cancer that causes so much pain in the brain. Reading Ivan’s column provided me with so much knowledge that I have craved for so long. It was emotional in different ways for me, on one side I was happy for Ivan that he had a good fighting chance, he was able to communicate how he felt with his loved ones and carried lots of people along by sharing his experience living with brain tumour, lots of people felt him and prayed for him. Another part of me was filled with resentment towards the doctors who attended to Mayo during the few weeks he was at the hospital. Mayo wasn’t given a slightest fighting chance. He probably died that quickly due to the mis-diagnosis in the first place. Ivan’s generosity of sharing his story helped me enormously to finding a plausible explanation to the cause of my brother’s death. Now I have laid it all to rest, no more burden or confusion. I am free. Nigerians has found more ways of concealing the truth about the nature of our illnesses, if you were poor and could not afford travelling abroad, the common assumption for ill health was witches’ spell and the nature of illness is never known or only known to a few people even within the family. If you were rich and could afford to travel abroad for treatment, then you would come back telling us fables, that it was God who healed rather than disclose the nature of the illness so we could all learn. Such is the case with Prof Dora Akinluyi when she was recently confronted about her health, Nigerian people adored Prof for her work with NAFDAC, I was expecting someone like her to be more open about the nature of her illness in order to raise awareness. The truth is, underneath all of our outward acts were ingrained myths that has proved hard to shift with many, famous or otherwise. Health tourism has increased in Nigeria significantly in the last few years, everyone who is someone gets their health problems sorted in Europe, North Americas, Middle East, Asiaparticularly India - everywhere and anywhere as long as it’s not Nigeria. Do we really know the true cost of health tourism? I think the cost of HT is far greater than what we thought it was if we factored in the fact that these foreign nations are more aware of the type of illness that we are prone to. How will the nation’s medical professionals improve if we all die of the same illness that could have been easily prevented simply because we were too intimidated to share? I would think bringing awareness is a great gift Prof Akinluyi could have given to the country, this would have been much more appreciated than sitting at the National Conference.
•ODOAJE wrote in from London.
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Aregbesola Has Transformed Osun - Alagbada Ismaila Adekunle Jayeoba Alagbada is the Osun State Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment. In this interview with journalists, including CORRESPONDENT Gbenga Faturoti, Alagbada speaks on the efforts of the state government to boost business enterprises, youth empowerment and resuscite the moribund Cocoa Products Industry, Ede. Excerpts: extent has the state government TO what boosted the small and middle scale business enterprises and business potentials in the state? When you look at the state before Ogbeni (Governor Aregbesola) assumed office, they used to call Osun a civil servants state because there was nothing to trade with. We looked at this when we came in; considering how to stimulate commerce in the state. How do you encourage investors and what are those things that need to be put in place? At present, you will discover that the current administration headed by Rauf Aregbesola has put in place policies and programmes to stimulate commerce in the state. One; for you to bring investors to the state, security is paramount. Can any investor go the northern states or any of these Boko Haram terrorised states? The answer is no. So, we thank God that in the state as of today, in terms of security, the administration of Aregbesola is performing well. How do you expect investors to invest when there are no basic infrastructures? Massive road construction is presently going on in the state alongside various infrastructural and developmental projects. If you look at the position of Osun, you will discover that it is central, its’ close to and surrounded by economically active states, so the best way to make use of these opportunities is to link up with these states through infrastructure and these are the kind of infrastructures we need to encourage investors to come in and invest. Now all these things will lead to the development of small and medium scale enterprises. Another thing we did is that we invited the National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and asked what their challenges were, and even some of the companies that closed down. They gave us some reasons, which they claim that there was no adequate training, and there was no succession plans, that once the owner of the business dies, that is the end. We venture to address these challenges so that commerce can move forward in the state. We asked them what we can do to encourage our people and business owners in the state is to have training workshop and office for small and medium scale enterprises. The building has been completed and adequately furnished. The building serves as day care clinic and centre where entrepreneurs will be able to receive training. The state government constructed the building in collaboration with the national body of the small and medium scale enterprises. I am happy to inform you that the first batch of entrepreneurs we trained is over 300 entrepreneurs and it is continuous. Most of the entrepreneurs you see out there, there is no difference between their personal account and the account of the company. They just get things mixed up. Some of them don’t even know how to manage the business. They need training and that is what we are giving to them. So that is part of the strategies we are using to develop small scale enterprises in the state. What do you say considering the business potential, given that the packaging of the finished product leaves much to be desired and that the type of product would not be able to compete with other products? We are working on that as well. The other strategy we are using to stimulate business enterprises is development of infrastructures like airport, electricity, good network of roads among others. Efforts are on to eradicate poverty, reduce unemployment, banish hunger and functional education in line with the Six Integral Action Plans of the present administration. Many people live around Osogbo but work in Lagos and the state government moves them to and from especially during festive periods. So free rail service has helped transportation, or what do you think? Beyond that, people are able to know what was happening before and what is happening now. Then there is communal re-union among their families and that is very important. Many people will not believe what is happening in the state unless they come to the state. This is part of the ways to stimulate commerce. That is how people will get to know that this is what you are producing. Also before now, there was no organised
market in the state. What we were having before now was street trading and it is dangerous considering the lives of people. The current administration established three international markets they are Ayegbaju market, Aje market and Dagbolu international market. If you will remember that Ayegbaju market was originally a completed market before the creation of the state in 1991. It was when there was no place to use for secretariat that it was converted to secretariat and that is why we need to give kudos to Chief Adebisi Akande for the wonderful job he did there to give the state befitting state secretariat when he was the governor. How does it compare today? As we speak, you will discover that things are gradually changing. Rome was not built in a day. We cannot say that we want to get 100 companies in a day or 50 businesses at once. It is a gradual process. There is a lot of development going on in the state. The only thing we were having before the current administration was the transmission centre that transmits energy to the national grid. Whether we like it or not, Osogbo will be able to benefit at least 12 hours of electricity supply in a day unlike Lagos which is very populated. So when you look at infrastructures, the market that we are constructing and the effect of the airport that is under construction, it is going to have a lot of impact on the business potentials. What are the benefits we should expect from the ongoing international airport constructed by the state government? The international airport being constructed by the state government would definitely change the status of the state in terms of industrial development. When you have an airport here, it would decongest the airport in Lagos. The airport will make this state a hub. People would come and clear their goods from Abuja and things would be cheaper here. By the time they come to clear their goods from wherever, this would increase economic activities in the state. Some of them would not go that day, they would stay in the hotels and this would bring business for our people because they cannot go without spending a dime. This will then stimulate commerce just like in Dubai which is even more like a desert in comparison with our state. So the administration of Aregbesola must be commended. Railway station is also attracting attention, what is government doing in that aspect? Look at what we did at the Osogbo Railway Station. The very first day we got there, the place stinks and we were all shocked but with what is happening there now, we are happy. Of all the stations of NRC, Osogbo station is the best. All these are to stimulate commerce. If you look at the efforts of Aregbesola, it has built the confidence of our people. Gradually things are changing. The small scale enterprises have been boosted and we will still boost their activities. The government is constructing markets for the people, is that part of commerce stimulation? The market that is under construction will still contribute and boost commercial activities. Immediately those two markets start operation and more are still coming, people will be happy because they can take their products to those markets. This administration encouraged farmers to go back to farm most especially plantation of cocoyam through its quick intervention programme. How do you encourage people in this area? The state government has empowered 332 cocoyam farmers with N32 million. Apart from that, we empower the people of the state through co-operative societies. So we have about 31 cooperative societies that are benefiting from the state. We started this empowerment programme in 2011with N153million with different cooperative societies and about 77 cooperative societies benefited from it. Between 2012 and 2013 we empowered additional 600 cooperative societies with about N600million. All these money will continue to circulate within the cooperative societies. There are three markets that the present administration is developing at the same time and when exactly will these markets be operation for the people of the state? On the issue of market development,
•JAYEOBA there are three of them, we have Ayegbaju, Aje and Dagbolu international markets. Aje market is having about 650 open and locked up shops and by the special grace of God, it will be ready for use on or before June this year. Ayegbaju market too will be ready. When you talk of the expenses incurred on the two markets, it is not government that committed the huge resources on them; it is being done under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements because in developed countries if you want any business to succeed, the best model is the PPP. That is why you can see lot of rapid development going on in the two markets. If government had taken it fully, we will not be where we are today. For Ayegbaju market, it’s about 80 per cent completion and if you get there now, you will see the type of quality of work going on there. The construction of roads, fuel station, fire station among others. So I believe that by June, the two markets will be ready. Looking at what is happening all over the world, if any government wants to build a market, for that market to be ready on time it has to be under PPP arrangements. When you go to London and other advanced countries, most things that you see there are owned by group of people or companies and that is why they are efficient. The government gave 600 cooperative societies N600million, is it in the range of N1million per cooperative society. Clarify this? When you talk of empowering farmers, it depends on the carrying capacity of each of cooperative societies and what you want to embark upon. Don’t think that we were sharing N1 million to each farmer. It depends on the acres of farmland that you want to cultivate. There are some people that do not need more than N250,000 to start off. If you want to go into fish rearing, those that want to do one thousand cannot get the same as those who want to do five thousand. For those that want to go into piggery, the person that wants to rear five hundred is different from the one that wants to rear one thousand. So it was shared according to their intentions, needs and their capacities. So don’t think that N600 million was shared among 600 cooperative societies at N1 million each. How does your ministry supervise and recover loans given out to the people and how much is being owed the government? As regards supervision of loans, the ministry gives out according to your needs and to make it more successful, we partner with the ministry for agriculture. This is because we have discovered that our people once any money is coming from government, they think it is part of the national cake and they may not the project serious. We met a debt of over N1billion left by the previous administration from
loans that people did not pay back. The state government has given them the last notice now reminding them of their indebtedness. By the special grace of God, we are giving them till ending of March and by then, whoever refuses to pay his/ her debt will be sanctioned by government because it is money that belongs to the state, not an individual. I want to use this opportunity to tell you that Aregbesola has approved the establishment of microcredit agencies in the state to empower everyone. By the special grace of God, before the end of March or by early April, the agency will be launched and it is going to be autonomous. The government wish to assist the people financially at a reduced interest rate in order to empower them and the money is going to be managed by professionals, so that we can get value for our people. All these are part of the efforts of Aregbesola to empower the people. If the people we are governing are happy, then the government will be happy but if they are not happy, the government will not be happy. What will be the legacy that the government is going to leave behind? The only legacy any government can leave behind is to make the people happy. The present government has touched people through various programmes such as education, health facilities, road construction and rehabilitation and employment opportunities. How much has the state government committed to Moshood Abiola Airport in IdoOsun? The government has committed so much into the project and it is aimed at boosting the economy of the state. Despite the paucity of funds, when Aregbesola made a statement, considered it done because before he speaks, something must have been on ground.
•Culled from DAILY INDEPENDENT
OSUN DEFENDER Tuesday, April 1, 2014
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LL known antics are often employed in battles of wits with a view to weakening opposition; this becomes more germane when affinal bond is absolutely nonexistent. With people of common heritage however, such desperation breeds systemic dislocation that may likely engender suspicion and polarity on the long run, especially when the innocent bear unnecessary brunt in a similitude of suffering grasses in the duel of two elephants. The disequilibrium may, for long, be a spell that is likely going to remain a clog in the wheel of progress after the raised dusts have settled.
By ADE OLUGBOTEMI
APC Vs PDP: Starvation As A Tool For Capitulation?
Road to freedom is always thorny and hard; as those who are now seen to be free from our peculiarities will have a lot to say if they are asked. Peradventure, the present generation of those concerned may not have much to say experientially, available documentaries must be able to elucidate on the endurance brunt their generational precursors have borne. We must therefore sit down, think and make concrete decisions about where we desire to be and how to get there. One fact that remains incontrovertible is that people’s decision today predominantly determines what their tomorrow will be.
It was speculated to be a temporary scenario, when in July 2013 the allocations to some states in the Federation were down by 40%. Many of us questioned the rationale behind the new development and no satisfactory explanations were given to that effect. I specifically asked some questions to which answers capable of assuaging agitations could not be provided. Many aspects of our national lives have continued to suffer; we all know that when the constituent units suffer, the whole will also not be at peace. It is now a matter of a fowl that perches on a rope, in which neither the rope nor the fowl is at peace. We are all waiting to see where this will land us, but the damage may be too much to rectify on the long run. The volatile nature of our togetherness as a country has again come to the fore for the whole world to ex-ray and the constitutionality or otherwise of a tier to discretionarily reduce or withhold what is due to other tiers as allocations should be a matter for reconsideration. It has been discovered that the party in power at the centre is only interested in the instrument of power that can be wielded to frustrate the people to bring them down on their knees if they choose not to fly their kite. We cannot claim to have essence of living if we don’t have the exclusive right to determine the way we intend to be ruled and under what umbrella. The current situation whereby the ruling PDP believes that staying under their tricuspid umbrella that neither provides shade against scorching sun nor immunity against being soaked on a rainy day, but which sharp-edge springs pierce our skins and inflict pains is to say the least the highest level of dehumanization. To me, this is absolutely unacceptable and this remains a ploy that must be vehemently repudiated. I believe we are rational Human Beings that we claim to be; but our rationality should remain a licence to pilot us to a direction where actions are
states. The Federal Government controls the greater percentage of national resources, but can we beat our chests that the positive impact they are bringing to bear really commensurate with the volume of resources in her kitty? This is a pertinent question that must be asked persistently as we journey towards a bay of decision-making as to have those to be in the saddle for another four years from November this year. We must rationally examine how our lots have fared in the dispensation spanning 1999 to date when PDP has been in control of our National Life.
Political dissidents are again smarting for the prowl. We all must be on guard to prevent political
taken at will to better our lots and run away from dangers when they are sensed. PDP as a party has reduced Nigerians to puppets that have no right to modicum of rational decisions. It is under this god-damn party that a serving minister that is involved in financial impropriety will be spared, not minding the sweat of tax-payers’ right to good leadership that exhibits unfettered transparency.
economy of the state. PDP beneficiarymembers only see the fund as monthly subvention that represents their own share of the proverbial national cake. People must now see that it is a deliberate effort by the PDP to stifle and strangulate the states under opposition that the 40% reduction came to force. Means of survival now remains a daunting task for states like Osun, Ekiti, Rivers, and a host of states that chose to free themselves from PDP’s debacles. Governors in these affected states are now left with the option of rationing the limited available resources in the best way possible to ensure systemic survival. It is now left for the people in the affected states to either subscribe to belt-tightening process or fall into the antics of corruption-endemic PDP government at the center.
PDP is known to reprobate and approbate at the same time, as they openly engage in flagrant divide and rule that only affects the people that are not in the states under their control. Many states that are equally subjected to allocation reduction now get solace in the buffers that SURE-P fund creates, the situation is different in the State of Osun where PDP man is saddled with the responsibility of (mis)managing the are in the best position now fund. The fund is disbursed to PDP to People compare what is happening at the members without engaging in any centre with what is happening in their functions that can add values to the
brigandage and enslavement. There is no gainsaying that the governments in power in non-PDP-controlled states are not without their shortcomings. The appropriate thing to do at the moment is to keenly observe the loose ends and handle the corrigenda in such a way that frayed nerves will be assuaged. All Progressives Congress governments in the State of Osun and Ekiti State must do more of listening now, so that pockets of grey area can be tidied up to fortify the current strength. With this effectively done, no amount of antics of financial muzzle from PDP-controlled Federal Government will do anything to prevent people’s rational decision in ensuring that the resourcefulness of the moment is adequately maintained.
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