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www.osundefender.org THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014 Out of Engineer Rauf Aregbesola’s State of Osun there is always s o m e t h i n g trailblazing. In setting the agenda through a list of initiatives, the symbol of good governance in the State of Osun never stops preparing the people for a better tomorrow. Tomorrow is key in the

PEOPLE FIRST

Front Page Comment Osun Technology Village thinking of the symbol of an alternative perspective. When Independent Newspapers Limited (INL), publishers of the Independent titles described him as such, they knew what they were saying. The alternative perspective is about making a people competitive;

it is about preparing them for tomorrow’s vastly different world. Initiatives such as the Opon Imo, the knowledge tablet attest to this. Key also is the coming into being of the state’s technology village. The reason for developing the village fits in into Aregbesola’s overall strategy.

The symbol believes very much in jobs creating development. This is in contradiction to the prevailing growth without development; for example the garment factory earlier set up in the state testifies to this policy thrust. Now fully operational, the factorysupplies uniforms to the public schools system. Continue on pg5

VOL. 9. NO.046

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Who Killed Chief Bola Ige, formerAttorneyGeneral and Minister of Justice?

IGE

Aregbesola Talks Tough •Says, PDP, Omisore, Adesiyan Are Too Small To Rig Osun Election •As He Commissions 15 Township Roads In Ilesa - See Story On Page 2

•The governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (on top of his SUV), acknowledging cheers from his supporters, during the commissioning of 15 Ilesa township roads in the state on Tuesday.

Osun Denies Obtaining N117bn Loan

- See Story On Page 4


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OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

Aregbesola Talks Tough •Says, PDP, Omisore, Adesiyan Are Too Small To Rig Osun Election •As He Commissions 15 Township Roads In Ilesa By KEHINDEAYANTUNJI

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HE entire Ilesa community was on Tuesday agog over the commissioning of 29 kilometres of township roads. The entire city went into jubilation, cheering the governor from Omiru junction to Ibala in Ilesa. The governor inspected the that my mother and I were 29 kilometre roads amidst chased out of Ilesa because of mammoth crowd before election and such trend will returning to Ibala Community meet serious resistance; they Primary School for the will be dealt with beyond their imagination. commissioning. “They picked the most His admirers were trooping out from every corner to violent candidate among them welcome the governor, old and to intimidate our people, that young ones were rushing to have time has gone; they said someone is Minister of Police a glimpse of the governor. Governor Aregbesola, Affairs; another is Minster of apparently exited with the Defence, thousands of them successful completion of the cannot unseat me because it is roads, assured the people of by the grace of God and the protection before and after the support of the people. “Out of the PDP aspirants, August 9 election, saying: “It will be practically impossible for Omisore is the least competent the Peoples Democratic Party but because of his criminal (PDP) or their agents to foment records and tendency, they any trouble in any part of the believe he is capable of unleashing terror on our people. state”. He warned those who are He lost his ward in the last planning to use federal might to election, his town and rig Osun election, cautioning compound rejected him in the that such groups or individuals last election, so Omisore is of will have themselves to blame. what value before the Aregbesola cautioned that his electorate? “ Aregbesola asked. “He lost woefully in the administration has the capacity to humble any trouble maker election and failed to challenge through the instrumentality of the election in court, now crying wolf against the state the law. He said: “The time of INEC Resident Electoral brigandage, violence and election Commissioner without any rigging in the state has gone for evidence to prove that any good, who so ever that makes manipulation existed during the such an attempt will surely last election. We are watching, regret it, this is the seventh year if INEC will succumb to their

Osun Gov Poll: PDP’s Violence ‘ll Be Resisted - Osun Speaker By KAZEEM MOHAMMED

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HE Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salaam, has said that any attempt to perpetrate violence in the August 9 governorship election in the state would be massively resisted. He spoke in Ejigbo, his have for Aregbesola away. hometown, on Saturday shortly “They are busy bodies that after participating in the All do not have anything to do, Progressive Congress (APC) other than to spread rumours governorship primary election and lies. in his Ejemu, Ward 4, Ejigbo “In a free and fair election, Local Government. there is nobody to challenge us The incumbent governor, in Osun, as we are fully on Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, ground, but we are entertaining unanimously emerged the a fear because of the activities candidate of the party through of the Minister of State for the primary election. Police Affairs who hails from Saying that the exercise was Osun. another testimony that the “If they can attack a former people of the state love Ogbeni governor within their party, we Aregbesola, Salam stressed that must be careful, as it shows it was also an indication that they want power at all cost, there is no amount of effort by even when people don’t want the opposition that could them”, he said. prevent the people from Salaam then urged the exercising their voting rights. security operatives not to be Reacting to the insistence of partisan, but provide peaceful the opposition PDP to take environment for the people to over government by all means, have free and fair election. he described the insistence as a Also speaking, a member of mere dream, just as he noted that the Senate, representing Osun there is no amount of force, West Senatiorial District, intimidation or harassment that Senator Mudashir Husain, can take the love the people maintained that the party have for Aregbesola away. would ensure that the election The speaker who also is peaceful, free and fair. described the comment of the In their remarks, some National Chairman of the PDP, members of the state House of Adamu Mu’azu, that it is a Assembly also said the difficult task to unseat Assembly would resist any Aregbesola as realistic, said, form of violence that any “whoever wants to come with politician or individual might violence will be resisted with all want to unleash on the the legal capacity that we have. electorate in the forthcoming “Some people are still gubernatorial election in the dreaming that they will take state. over and I’m sure that from their They opined that the slumber, we will wake them up election would be one man, one in August 9. vote, as the people of the state “There is no amount of force, have been enlightened on how intimidation or harassment that to exercising their franchise. can take the love the people

baseless and ridiculous sentiments “ He called on the people to be vigilant and exercise no fear ahead of the gubernatorial election, saying the ongoing good work will not be truncated. The governor said the commission of the roads would be extended to other six zones in the state and commended the people for their support. He said there is no town or community in the state that has not benefited from the road project and other infrastructural development in the last three years which was a complete departure from the PDP administration “which tenure was characterised with violent, hunger and poverty”. The selected roads are Tosho Obembe-General Hospital, Oke Opo Community, Irojo - Sabo

Junction, Ilerin/Leventist Obokun Avenue, Lejoka Abiola Imon Junctions, Omo Olupe Street and Old Omieran road. Others are Isokun- Osogbo, Ibala Idooko junction, Idooko junction, Oladokun Ibironke, Oke- Omiru and Otekunrin road. Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Engr Oladepo Amuda, said since assumption of office of the governor, he has been giving serious attention to roads and infrastructure across the cities and town in the state. He said the total cost of the roads is N3.7 billion. According to him, the road transformation is evident that the state has virtually become a mass construction site with the regular construction and rehabilitation of roads across the state.

Oba Adekunle Aromanlaran, the Owa-Obokun of Ijesaland, said Aregbesola has brought unprecedented development to Ijesaland and the state at large, adding that the people of Ijesaland are strongly behind the governor. He urged the governor to carefully look at the various communities’ requests for local government to prevent communal crisis and not also forget the welfare of the traditional rulers especially on mobility. Also, Mr Olalekan Salami, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Group 4, commended the governor for the construction of Ilesa township roads which, according to him, will aid commercial activities. The venue of the event, Community Primary School, Ibala Road, Ilesa, became a

beehive of activities as several entertainment groups and individuals added to fun-filled atmosphere of the event. Ijesas from home and abroad were sighted exchanging pleasantries with one another and guests from other towns from the state and beyond. Different society groups and individuals in Ijesaland thronged the venue to pay special homage to the Owa-Obokun of Ijesaland in commemoration of the landmark achievements of roads that were commissioned. When the governor got to the occasion, security operatives had a hectic time in controlling Aregbesola's admirers who milled round him as ants do to sugar. Both literate and illiterate parents were praying for Aregbesola for transforming Ilesa in terms of provision of infrastructural facilities.

•(L-R) Deputy Governor, State of Osun, Otunba (Mrs) Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman in the State of Osun, Reverend Elisha Ogundiya, during the Inter-Denominational Service commemorating end of the year 2014 Easter Lenten season at State of Osun Government House, Osogbo, last Sunday. Photo: GBENGA ADENIYI.

National Insecurity Demands Non-partisan Approach – Soyinka •Monarchs Commend Aregbesola On Peace By ISMAEEL UTHMAN

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OBEL Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has said that what Nigeria needs in the face of series of challenges facing her are competence and seriousness, apparently from the leaders of the country. Soyinka stated this just as he is a war situation and not a said the national insecurity partisanship situation. requires a non-partisan “We are in a war; and it is approach, as it is not a partisan internal war. It needs non situation. partisan approach. We cannot He stated this on Monday at continue to play politics with the opening of a three-day All- insecurity. Every day; every Comers Colloquium with the hour, is precarious for everyone theme, “Fundamental of us. Nobody should feel Imperatives of Cohabitation, unconcerned. Even if we are not Faith and Secularism”, held at the endangered, we need to feel for Centre for Black Culture and those that are falling victims of International Understanding the insecurity”. (CBCIU). The Nobel Laureate said it is According to Soyinka, who is time the religious leaders the chairman of the CBCIU, intervene in the challenges national insecurity is not a facing the country and in politics political matter, but a serious in general term. security challenge that has eaten “Religious leaders need to deep into the fabric of the nation. intervene in the crisis and Soyinka said: “Nigeria needs participate in politics. They competence, seriousness and not play significant role in the prayer. There should be non- society. We need them more partisan approach to the national than ever in this situation”, insecurity. It is strictly a security Soyinka said. matter. It is time we recognize Speaking on the need to the fact that what is happening understand the secularism is not unique to Nigeria and not nature of the country, Soyinka a partisan situation. said every individual must “All political parties must respect the differences in the accept the fact that insecurity is faiths of another. not a political matter. They He charged national leaders should stop the barrage of and parents to preach unity to attacks on each other. I had said their children, saying the it some years back that Nigeria children needed to be taught is at war. What we are witnessing tolerance right from childhood.

Soyinka said: “Children should be allowed to see each others as human beings by their attitude; faith and team spirit. God will never forgive anyone that denies the children the opportunity to relate with each other as fellow Nigerians and human beings. “Children should not be distinguished by their sartorial spectrum. It is fundamentally and morally wrong. Poisoning the minds of the children with religion or faith is barbaric. Children must be trained that they have equal right with one another. Schools should be allowed to unify faiths. “There should be a comparative religious course that will teach the understanding; the tenet and the imperative of religions. The children minds are being poisoned. The Boko Haram menace is as a result of the poisoned minds of the children. “The Almajiris and many of the Boko Haram soldiers are the set of people that their minds had been steadily poisoned when they were children. We need to let the children know that faith should not divide them”, he stressed. Soyinka suggested mandatory and compulsory subject of Comparative Religion to be taught in all school across the country, where history, philosophy and practice of the different religion would be

instilled into growing children of this generation. Speaking at the event, the Olokuku of Okuku, Oba Abioye Oluronke who spoke on behalf of other traditional rulers at the programme, described the colloquium as a right step in the right direction. Oluronke said the traditional rulers were embittered with the religious misunderstanding going on across the country, pleading with religious leaders to embrace peace and preach tolerance and accommodation. He, however, commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his impartial treatment on all religions, and his undying spirit to maintain and sustain the peace and oneness of the state in the face of religion and political differences. The monarch said Aregbesola has demonstrated a peace-loving attitude when he refused to take revenge on politicians that made him went through hell when he was struggling to retrieve his stolen mandate in court. In his opening remarks, the Director of the CBCIU, Dr Wale Adeniran, said the colloquium was conveyed as a result of the deep concern that the centre has on the peaceful cohabitation in the state and Nigeria at large. Adeniran said it would be irresponsible for the CBCIU to fold its arm in the face of religious misunderstanding, saying all hands must be on deck to fight the religious crisis headlong.

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OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

Iwo Standstill As APC Adopts Aregbesola For Second Term By KEHINDEAYANTUNJI

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HE ancient town of Iwo stood still for several hours on Friday as members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Iwo gathered with one voice to endorse the governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for second term. The playing ground of their several thousands DC Elementary School, gathered to express their to the Araromi, venue for the appreciation programme, was filled to governor. Speaking at the event, the capacity, as members and followers of the party in Ekerin of Iwoland, Otunba

Bayo Aremu, said that Aregbesola’s achievement in the last three and a half years is unprecedented and enough to earn him second term. He said: “Aregbesola’s government is incomparable. No administration in the history of Osun has performed as much as he has done, as he has transformed not only

Iwoland, but the whole of Osun. “For Aregesola to pick the Secretary to the State Government, the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs among others from our land shows that he is a man that loves our dear town so much and he should be supported to rule beyond 2014. “I have been out of Iwo

for many years, but I have decided to come back home having heard of the wonderful transformation that the state is witnessing under Ogbeni Aregbesola”, Aremu said. Also speaking, the Secretary to the State government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, urged the people of Iwo and entire state to continue to support

•A sea of heads during the All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship Primary Nomination Election at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo, State of Osun last Saturday. Photo: GBENGA ADENIYI.

Stop Blackmailing INEC - Osun APC Tells PDP T HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of otherwise of the REC, Osun has cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party Ambassador Toyin Akeju, to (PDP) to stop its serial blackmail of the Independent conduct the April 2011 general National Electoral Commission (INEC) that except the elections in the State of Osun. Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state is replaced, “An order preventing the the PDP will not consider the election result credible. REC, State of Osun, from According to the APC, the that: “The truth here is that conducting general elections in stance was a blatant attempt during the general elections in theth state was granted on the by the PDP to corrupt the April 2011, the PDP 28 March, 2011, an order, electoral process by arm- approached the Federal High which the INEC has appealed twisting INEC to replace a man Court sitting in Osogbo in suit at the Court of Appeal, Akure. “It is important to the PDP has found impossible No FHC/OS/26/2011 by way to manipulate to do its bidding of originating summons seeking emphasize again that the during the August 9 polls. for the determination of 5 (five) interlocutory orders granted by In a statement issued by its issues all relating to the the Federal High Court, Director of Publicity, Research competence/legality or Osogbo has been properly appealed against, and thence and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi, in Osogbo on Monday, the APC said, it is the PDP itself that stalled the court process which was attempting to determine the truth or By KAZEEM MOHAMMED otherwise of that party’s HE State of Osun House of Assembly has explained allegation against the state that the delay in the passage of the bill for the creation REC. of more local governments in the state was borne out of The APC called the attention of the public to what the efforts to make the processes acceptable to all. Chairman, House Committee Monday during a chat with it described as the truth of the matter which the attorney- on Local Government and OSUN DEFENDER in his general had earlier explained Chieftaincy Affairs, Honourable office in Osogbo, the state Wasiu Adebayo, stated this on capital.

put the enforcement and further proceedings in the case in abeyance pending the outcome of the appeal. “Curiously, it was even the counsel to the Plaintiff/now Respondent (PDP), against all known practices in law that approached the lower court for stay of proceeding. The practice which the court described as “curious and bizarre”, albeit, was granted and the proceedings stayed”. The party recalled that the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, has challenged

the PDP to produce proof that Akeju is compromised, otherwise he remains innocent of PDP’s allegation, noting that the PDP has not been able to provide such evidence. It noted that the PDP governorship candidate, Iyiola Omisore and his party’s insistence on a false allegation against the REC was a pure blackmail and an attempt to corrupt and manipulate the process to rig itself to power. “This nonsense must stop,” the APC said.

the government and the party, saying that, it is only the APC that can move the state and the country forward. Adeoti said: “Look at our roads, look at the new schools he is building, a lot of our jobless youths are now employed as a result of the OYES scheme put in place by our governor and he is feeding our elementary school pupils everyday.” He subsequently moved a motion for the adoption of Aregbesola for second term and was seconded by Alhaji Liadi Ganiyu with a loud applause from the teeming supporters of the party. In his response, Aregbesola expressed his appreciation, as Iwo was the second town after Modakeke to openly adopt him for a second term in office. While promising his continued delivery of good governance to the people of Iwo and the entire state, the governor announced that the road from Papa boundary to Iwo will be constructed anytime from now. Aregbesola said: “We promised and we are fulfilling our promises because we are not like the people who ruled the state for seven and a half years before us without anything to show for it. “At a time in this state, they were the occupants of the three tiers of government: the Federal, State and Local governments and they couldn’t do anything positive for the state. They should be ashamed. “We should all begin to tell ourselves that it is only the APC that can deliver good governance in the country; we should not leave the campaign to politicians alone”, he noted. The state helmsman urged the people to ensure that they keep their voters’ card intact, so as to be able to exercise their right as voters.

‘Why Osun LG Creation Is Still Pending’ T He spoke just as he hinted that more than 27 local governments would be approved by the Assembly as against the proposition in the bill. The lawmaker explained that when the Assembly members toured the designated headquarters of the proposed

Soyinka Warns Nigerians On Religious War By ISMAEEL UTHMAN HE Chairman, Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), Professor Wole Soyinka, has predicted that religious war is looming in Nigeria. Soyinka who warned the board, Professor Wale Nigeria against fighting a Adeniran, noted that religious war, said its activities in recent past in outcome might be Nigeria have pointed to the fact that religious war is devastating. He spoke in Osogbo on looming in the country. The Nobel Laureate said: Saturday at a press conference to herald a three- “Religious crisis in Nigeria day colloquium organized today is assuming a by the Centre for Black dangerous dimension. “The secularity of Nigeria Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), in is very clear, there is no collaboration with the State ambiguity about it. Should religion be allowed to really Government of Osun. Soyinka who was have impact on the Religion represented by a member of governance?

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should not be brought into public governance. “I pray this does not happen because this may lead to disintegration of Nigeria as no nation in the world has ever fought a religious war and remain the same”. Soyinka accused Nigerian leaders of consciously and deliberately using religion to divide the country for their selfish interest. The three days colloquium titled, All Comers colloquium with the theme: “Fundamental Imperatives of Cohabitation: Faith and Secularism” is expected to

bring Christians, Muslims, traditionalists to dialogue and discuss together on ways of preventing religious war in the country. Discussants at the event include; Professor Dawud Noibi who will speak on Primordial Spirituality as Agent of Development; Mr. Modupe Oduyoye on Religion and Development; Dr. Abiodun Agboola on Equilibrium that Adjusts the World; Mr. Mustapha Adebayo Bello on Quest for Peace and Dr. Michael Adekunle on Pluralism and Accommodation in a Democratic Society among others.

councils, it was discovered that there is need to amend what was brought before the house in terms of the number of new councils. “When we went round to feel the pulse of the people, we see that there is need to amend what was brought before us and that was what we are doing presently. “Some people were asking for more outside what has been given to them, but they must be convinced why they cannot be given more. What we are doing now is to ensure that, at least, the highest number of people is satisfied with the processes. “Definitely, we will have more than 27 new councils as against the projection in the bill, but we must make sure that certain nerves are calm down, so that the exercise will be acceptable to all”, he said. He further stressed that apart from the efforts to resolve all the issues arising from the exercise, part of the things hindering the process was the paucity of fund for the conduct of referendum as part of the processes required. Adebayo noted that the Assembly was about rounding off the consultations and discussions on the bill, insisting

that the council would be created before the August 9 governorship election. Urging the people to accept the councils and wherever they are located in good faith, he added that there is no way every community could be headquarters. He said that the new councils would not be burden on the existing one, as all the machinery have been put in place to make the council self-sustenance by tapping more potential for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The lawmaker also stressed that when the councils are created, they would be smaller in sizes and easier to finance, hence, bringing development to the grassroots, as all the projects being carried out would be easier to monitor. He further noted that the parliamentary system of government being proposed in the bill would reduce the cost of governance and bring about competitiveness which will in turn ensure development. “If this parliamentary system is eventually approved, it will reduce the expenses on political functionaries and we will have more money to execute developmental projects”, he added.


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OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

‘No Compromise On Religion Neutrality’ By KEHINDEAYANTUNJI HE governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf T Aregbesola, has said that his administration would continue to sustain its religion neutrality as a government and give equal attention to all religions in the state. He said, right to religion is a fundamental right of every citizen recognized by the 1999 Constitution and Universal Declaration on Human Right, saying it is criminal to discriminate against any individual on the basis of religion. The governor who spoke at the opening ceremony of All Comers’ Colloquium on “Fundamental Imperatives of Cohabitation, Faith and Secularism” at the Centre for

Black Culture and I n t e r n a t i o n a l understanding, Abere, State of Osun, said, religion must not be a parameter to value human being. According to him: “Accommodation and religion tolerance are exemplary character of Yoruba, and we must at all time recognize the right of others to religion. It is an alienable right recognized universally and that is why

this colloquium is important. “As government, regardless of individual faith or religion, we shall continue to maintain religion neutrality, as those who are accusing us of Islamisation or favouring a particular religion are ignorant or mischievous. “People must uphold their faith and not picking offence in what others are saying; you must not look down on others because they do not share your religious belief. Aregbesola who condemned the bomb blast at Yanyan Motor Pack in Abuja by suspected Boko Haram sect, said such gruesome attack is a treat to

Nigeria and against the doctrine of any religion. He urged the participants at the colloquium and the people of the state to, at all time, respect others’ faith, saying, religion must not be a tool of division, but strength. Chairman, Centre for Black Culture and I n t e r n a t i o n a l Understanding, Professor Wole Soyinka, expressed concern over increasing religion sentiment among the young generation and school children, which, he described, as a dangerous dimension. He said the religion crisis in Nigeria is not about the

•A newly-asphalted road at Odunitan area, Osogbo, State of Osun under the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as captured by our cameraman, ABRAHAM JESUDOYIN, few days ago.

existence of God, rather a perception of religion superiority which has terminated the lives of many innocent Nigerians. He said: “The painful aspect of the crisis is the instigation of school children against each other by making them to believe that a religion is superior while other is inferior. The situation has degenerated

Osun Denies Obtaining N117bn Loan By KAZEEM MOHAMMED

OVERNMENT of the State of Osun has denied a fresh N117 billion foreign loan. Gobtaining The denial came on the heel of an alarm raised by a former Head of Service (HOS), Mr.Segun Akinwusi, who is also a governorship aspirant of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), that a fresh loan of $692.3 (N117.69 billion) has been obtained by the state government through one Innerlex Financing Group, with a tenor of 10 years at a concessionary interest rate being negotiated for. In a swift reaction, the state Commissioner for Finance, Dr Wale Bolorunduro who described the issue as a trivial and pedestrian matter, not deserving of a serious attention, challenged Akinwusi to come up with evidence that the loan was

Osun Pledges To Immortalise Victims Of April 14 Poll By SHINA ABUBAKAR

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to keep them in perpetual penury and underdevelopment. He said the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola would continue in its strive to make life better for the people as it is presently doing and continuously build on the existing peace and tranquillity prevailing in the state. The commissioner warned those planning to take the state

back to an era of violence and instability to steer clear of Osun, as nothing would be spared to defend the life and properties of all its citizens. To those that suffered one measure of incarceration, harm and dislocation of economic activities, he promised that adequate compensation would be given to them, as a committee is working on the

HE government of the State of Osun has assured the relations of all victims of the April 14, 2007 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state that their death as a result of bravery would not be in vain. Speaking to reporters last people of the state to be wary Monday on the occasion of the of desperate politicians who are 8th Anniversary of the lurking around the corner again bloodiest election in the to deceive the people with history of the state, the State money and materials in other Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere said that everything possible “The schools at the three would be done to immortalize By SHINA ABUBAKAR levels are catalysts to learning them as heroes and martyrs of social organisation in the State of Osun, Movement for among the young children and democracy. Social Justice, has described the massive nomination of can be compared to anyone in He expressed hope that even Governor Rauf Aregbesola by members of the All the most developed countries of in death, the harmless young the world. That is children social men that were killed at various Progressive Congress as its governorship candidate as a reward rights and this government is polling units across the state for serving the people faithfully. A statement issued by the guarantee quality education that delivering it”, the statement while defending ballot boxes group’s coordinator, Comrade can empower the youth reads. from being forcefully hijacked Also, the group noted that it Sulaiman Alabi, disclosed that for irrespective of their social and carted away would not rest 269,631 party members to economic background. has noticed that traders and until free, fair, credible and endorse an incumbent governor transparent election is as a candidate showed that he entrenched as the order of the has actually made them proud. day not only in Osun, but all According to the group, APC By KEHINDEAYANTUNJI has shown the masses of the over Nigeria. state that it is really committed It would be recalled that OVERNOR of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf about twelve people lost their to the welfare of the people by Aregbesola, has called on the people of the state to nominating a candidate capable lives in Ikirun, Igbajo, Ila jettison religious disunity and uphold love and peaceful of providing good governance for co-existence among one another. Orangun, Ile-Ife, Ilesa and some teeming populace of the The governor stated this last poverty and ensure peace, other parts of the state during the state. Thursday while granting security and harmony which we the poll, while trying to stop It disclosed that from its political thugs from carting investigation across the state, the audience to members of League will continue to do as a away their ballot cast for APC candidate has virtually of Imams and Alfas and government, but you, as religious Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola at the touched all spheres of lives of members of the Christian leaders, must continue to ensure the people and impacted Association of Nigeria (CAN) that your followers co-habit in election. Ife-South Local peace and unity at all times. Akere said, financial positively on the state economy. from “Our concern as an Government who paid him a “Government will continue support, employment visit in Osogbo, the to work and collaborate with opportunity and educational organisation is to ensure that our courtesy state capital. religious leaders to ensure peace scholarship have been people get their social rights He said that it was only love in the state, because hardship and of the party in provided to the families of irrespective government. We have been to all that can stop violence, hatred, those he described as fallen the Senatorial Districts in the adding that, the prayers of insecurity can only be eradicated heroes, noting that no effort state and have seen that the religious leaders in the state could through cooperation, love and the governor stated. would be spared to ensure that government is working on our only be answered in an prayers”, Aregbesola then urged the they are immortalized and their objectives. environment where there is religious leaders to help reduce names written in gold. “The school projects the peace and harmony violence in the society, saying He also used the government embarked upon from He said: “The role of one of the primary aims of his opportunity to admonish the our point of view would government is to alleviate

financial details of the white paper on the Justice Uwaifo Truth and Reconciliation Commission as accepted by the state executive council. He was optimistic that the August 9, 2014 gubernatorial election in Osun would be more peaceful and rancour-free than the April 2011 Elections, as the principle of one man one vote would be upheld.

Osun APC Primaries, A Reward For Aregbesola - Group

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to the extent that when a child with a particular religion is coming others will run away. This is dangerous for the system. “The sense of difference must be minimal, and school children must allow associating with their peers and we must recognize the fact that every child has religion potential”, Soyinka said.

artisans have all benefited from the present administration, while those affected by the separation of building were compensated for their loss without much pressure. The group further commended the party for presenting a candidate who is well-prepared for the task of governance

drawn. “This issue of Innerlex Financing Group with the purported loan amount of 692million dollars is hereby declared in public domain as a trivial and pedestrian matter, not deserving of a serious attention. “The group was introduced by the SSG and with referral from Ekiti. They argued that the minimum they will support is 100 million dollars. The letter given to them was a normal letter of request that does not amount to any commitment or drawing. “Those making the allegation should produce evidence that there was an offer letter and that we draw the funds. We didn’t proceed with them. “An intention to use a seemingly opportunity of long tenor to take out bond facility of seven years should not be misconstrued as loan disbursement. It is an “invitation to treat”. If opposition has evidence that we drew the loan, let them publish it”, Bolorunduro stated. Boasting that the present administration has been able to develop the state to a point of envy within and among other states in Nigeria, the commissioner said that the government is careful about how it commits the resources of the state, inspite the fact that the state is seriously denied of the mandatory federal allocation.

Aregbesola Preaches Religious Harmony

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administration was to ensure that people continue to live in peace and harmony. Also speaking, Co-ordinator of the Quick Impact Intervention Programme(QUIP), Mr Dele Ogundipe, highlighted the various government interventions in Ife-South especially in agric sector, which include RAMP projects going on in the area and women empowerment programmes among others. In their separate remarks, the President, League of Imams and Alfas in Ife- South, Alhaji Soliu Alesinloye, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ife-South chapter, Pastor John Oladimeji, expressed appreciation to the governor for taking steps towards having religious harmony in the state.

Oladimeji said: “Since the inception of the present administration, the various religions in Ife-South have never had it so good in terms of religious harmony, as Muslims and Christians which are the two major religions have been living peacefully since this government came on board and that is why we have decided to come and show our appreciation to the governor. Alhaji Soliu also saluted the governor’s courage and drive which has placed Osun on global map. “Your various efforts to move the state forward are very clear for all to see and we pray that Almighty God will continue to grant you the strength and wisdom to move the state forward beyond 2014”, Soliu said.


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OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 10, 2017

Osun Technology Village Continued from pg1

The same process will soon see durable and affordable telephone handsets churned out of the technology village. Partnership between the state government and a Chinese firm has already produced 23,100 Opo Imo computer tablets. Not just jobs are being created here but there is also a process facilitating transfer of

skills as well as technology.

be brought into effect.

For the state, it is a winwin situation. Jobs are being created, there is also a sense of heightened economic development and crucially the taxbase is being widened. There is of course bound to be a multiplier effect arising out of all of this.

More of course will have to be done to sustain the pace. Some of which is not within the preview of the state government. These include a tariff regime to protect infant industries against unfair, often subsidised foreign competition. ‘Dumping’ is the correct trade term here. Another area to look at is of course the supply

This is because auxiliary industries and commercial processes will

of power. This is key as it will help to bring down the cost of production. The state government of course has its own commercial power initiative and should be encouraged to see it through. The technology village also offers an historical possibility for a forward thrust based on linkages producing a synergy. The synergy possibility here is to link the unfolding developments in the public

Osun LG Creation Is Commendable

I

want to use this opportunity to bear my mind on the bill for creation of additional local government council areas presented by the governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to the State House of Assembly for approval. There is no gainsaying the fact that local government is the closest to the people and any administration that deems it fit to create more local governments should be seen as one that is committed to the development at the grassroots. I could recollect that a former governor, Chief Bisi Akande, had proposed to create

additional local governments before the expiration of his tenure in 2003 due to his commitment to the development at the grassroots, but unfortunately, the administration of Olagunsoye Oyinlola

that came after him cancelled the whole process. However, now that the present administration of Aregbesola has sought the approval of the state Assembly to create addition 27 local government council

areas, it must be commended. Beside, there is the need to implore the state Assembly to show proactiveness in the passage of the bill, so that the purpose for which it was proposed can be fulfilled.

see the bill approved, because that is what they have been waiting for. In considering the bill, however, the Assembly should not forget that there are grouses on the choice of coverage and locations of the proposed councils which must be addressed before passing the bill into law. Also, the people of Osun should accept the local government headquarters wherever they are located in good faith, and remember that not all towns will be headquarters of those local governments.

I understand that the bill has passed its second reading, but for the benefit of the generality of the people, the lawmakers should expedite action on it. • I B R A H I M They should bear in mind the fact that people BADMUS, Ikirun, are anxiously waiting to State of Osun.

schools sector We must therefore, with the technology acknowledge the imvillage. port of the technology village. The By linking the schools government of the with the technology State of Osun is village, a skills-based once again on the educational system can right lines here. be brought into play. This What is needed for will help to nurture the the future is being pupils to acquire the addressed. The seed technological skills to that is been sown compete in the future. here will bear great For in today’s world fruit in the future. paper qualifications are Here the great initianot enough. Today’s tor of an alternative world is skill driven. It is perspective through therefore the skills his initiatives, the acquired and not paper State of Osun is getqualifications alone that ting the people will determine who is fit ready to face the futo get tomorrow’s jobs. ture.

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OSUN DEFENDER is published by Moremi Publishing House Limited, Promise Point Building, Opposite Guarantee 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: osundefender@yahoo.com


6

FEATURE

OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

Osun Education Policy Reform I

N his lecture delivered to the Nigerian Union of Teachers under the title “Education As A Means to National Freedom” in 1974, the late sage – Chief Obafemi Awolowo, defined education as a “process of physical and mental culture whereby a man’s personality is developed to the fullest” To Awolowo, “ a man whose personality is fully developed never fears anything, he cringes not, and never feels inferior to anyone no matter the colour, stature, or strength of such a one; he is self-reliant and will resist any form of enslavement, he may be an employee or a servant, but he is a self-confident and courageous servant who does his work with efficiency and probity, but with no thought of servitude”. Campaigning for the 2007 governorship election in the state, Ogbeni Aregbesola gave what was called Six-Point Integral Action plan. The education sub-heading of the pact promise “ to promote functional education”. The “Vision” is “to eradicate the frustration of youths caused by education that does not lead to employment”. He promised “to provide free education at all levels in the 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 Tutor- General (Permanent Secretary cadre) from among Head Teachers in three Educational Districts; fix all collapsed educational infrastructure 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; ensure 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, make every tertiary institution in the state an independent degree- awarding one; encourage use of services of retired, but not tired dons and administrators, from reputable institutions. The current Osun Education Policy was brewed at the Osun Education Summit, which held February 7-8, 2011, at the University Auditorium, Osun State University, Osogbo. The summit, chaired by Prof. Wole Soyinka, had the theme ‘Resolving The Educational Crisis in Osun State: Bridging Analysis and Implementation Gaps’. It also had subthemes viz: Resolving the Education Crisis in Osun State, Quality Assurance and Capacity Building, Role of Stakeholders, Early Childhood and Basic Education, Funding Approaches, Curriculum Implementation for Functional and Entrepreneurial Education and Special Education and Language in Education: The policy emanated from the summit’s communiqué and observations. The summit established the following challenges as fuelling the crisis in education that necessitated the reforms: infrastructure neglect- basically in collapsed school structures; crowded classrooms; poor funding; teachers’ low morale; high fees in tertiary institutions; low bursary rate and poor performances of students in both internal and external examinations among others. These serious challenges, therefore, inspired counter strategies, starting with a complete restructuring of educational

•An aerial view of Baptist Elementary Central School, Ilare, Ile-Ife, State of Osun, recently commissioned by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. the loss of identity especially for mission schools re-classification system; By PROF. A.S. ASAJU schools and the problems of how workable standardized school uniforms to rebrand the new model will be. Osun public schools as well as create administration for a turn around. The government gave reasons for employment for designers, tailors and allied Since the critical success factor for any reform is sound management and welfare, wanting to change the way public education artisians- the biggest of such employment at the heart of the new education reforms is is being conducted in the state probably in West Africa; innovative teaching a restructured education administration forever. According to the government, the materials and learning aids; good nutrition modality. This involves creating specialized new grade system is the global trend and to fully develop the physical and readiness agencies to address key components in approach to modern education for effective of children for life – long learning the public schools management. To this end, teaching and learning. In adopting the grade schools feeding system for the elementary the old Teaching Service Commission system, pupils of the same age bracket are cadre, in the first four years of school life; (TESCOM) was decentralized into three grouped together with fewer students in co-curriculum- physical education drills for a sound mind in a sound body; and Education Districts, with territorial classes. The government also claimed that educational competitions in quiz and jurisdictions covering the three senatorial multiplicity of schools had decayed debates; games and sports; technical and districts in the state. Right from the onset, the government infrastructure over the years, leading to poor vocational education which caters for knew the change will generate controversy. funding, shortage of teachers and training and retraining , particularly outside So there were series of meetings with the inefficiency. The new policy, the formal school walls with no age barriers, stakeholders. Materials explaining government said, will reverse the rot and who can then set up their own microgovernment’s position were produced and make quality education available to all businesses to earn a living; entrepreneurial distributed, while the Ministry of Education children without discrimination, making education as presently designed. public school comparable to the private The above are the major pillars of Osun continued to engage the public. education policy but these cover the formal Under the new school policy, the primary schools. The government made some promises in education school years from Age 6. The preschool system gave way to the grade system with the former Primary 1-4 with the the new education policy. In moving school period, from birth to Age 6, comes age range of 6-9 years merging into what is students from different schools together with a strong stress on parent- government now called Elementary School, in Grades 1- under the same roof, the government cooperation and collaboration. For starters, 4. Primary 5 and 6 junior Secondary 1-3 promised to build 170 mega schools the policy does not invest in nursery and merged together to become Middle School throughout the state. While elementary will other pre-school activities because the and now to be known as Grades 5-9 with have 100 school middle we have 50, while government expects parents and guardians the age range of 10-14 while the Senior 20 high schools will be built. These mega to contribute their own quotas to preparing Secondary Students are grouped together buildings will have laboratories, libraries, their children for school readiness. Essentially, the policy is tailored towards in Grades 10-13, in what is now known as clean toilet facilities and ICT centres. These new infrastructure will complement other making the Osun public schools system High School. In the new policy, the elementary schools schools that would be upgraded to produce the complete child, to become the will have a minimum capacity of 900 pupils acceptable standards under the complete youth and grow up to become the in a purpose built state of the art school. reclassification policy. The government also complete citizens to prepare the youths for Other features will be provision of school promised to feed all students in elementary generational change that will be technically uniforms, books and balanced diet meals. schools under what it called the O’Meal competent and economically motivated to The schools were designed to be within programme. About 3000 food vendors were be ready made entrepreneurs that will not neighbourhoods for easy access for all contracted throughout the state and the need to roam the streets for jobs that are students followed a regime of nutritional not available. pupils. It was a historic moment for Nigeria and For the middle school, the maximum meals. Under the reclassification, all public capacity will be between 900-1000 students, schools in the state will be free while Africa on Wednesday, 22 January as the All with the provision of state of the art government will also supply books and Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in the House of Commons, London, United educational infrastructure and catchment to uniforms to the students. Osun deserves a comprehensive and Kingdom commended the Osun Elementary be between 2-3 kilometres, while the high schools will have a maximum capacity of holistic educational policy taking into School Feeding and Health programme as a 3,000 students with hostel facilities. consideration the fact that the state and successful model to be copied worldwide. However, the curriculum did not change. people were part of the first revolutionary Governor Aregbesola received loud Rather what changed were physical educational policy in Nigeria anchored by applause as he made statistical presentation infrastructures and more conducive the late sage- Chief Obafemi Awolowo and before the parliamentary body during which his Action Group’s (AG) free primary he advocated the use of biometric environment. The announcement of the policy was education policy, which started in the old registration of beneficiaries of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme Worldgreeted with fierce opposition immediately Western Region in 1955. Osun’s education policy under Wide to guarantee transparency. He called it was announced. Though the government could have anticipated some resistance, it Aregbesola seeks an integrative approach for the adoption of the programme across probably underestimated how organized the to the education of children and youth. This Nigeria to guarantee sustainable future with opposition will be. Questions were raised spans: education infrastructure; massive appropriate legislative backing and about the merging of students from different building of new school structures to replace extension for the first nine years of schools and backgrounds under one roof, dilapidated ones, within the framework of Continued on page 14


OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

PHOTOTALK

Commissioning Of 15 Selected Roads (29.71km) In Ilesa Township By Governor Rauf Aregbesola In Ilesa Last Tuesday.

•Governor Rauf Aregbesola leading the State Executive members to inspect the 15 Ilesa Township Roads before the commissioning in the State of Osun on Tuesday

•Another commisssioned road in Ilesa

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PHOTOTALK

OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

Commissioning Of 15 Selected Roads (29.71km) In Ilesa Township By Governor Rauf Aregbesola In Ilesa Last Tuesday.

•Governor Rauf Aregbesola acknowledging cheers from his supporters, during the commissioning of 15 Ilesa Township roads in the state on Tuesday.

•Governor Aregbesola leading the State Executive members to inspect the 15 Ilesa Township roads before the commissioning in the State of Osun on Tuesday.


OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

PHOTOTALK

9

Commissioning Of 15 Selected Roads (29.71km) In Ilesa Township By Governor Rauf Aregbesola In Ilesa Last Tuesday.

•OSUN TRADITIONAL RULERS AT THE ROAD COMMISSIONING: The Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, the Owa-Obokunland of Ijesaland (3rd right); the Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Olawale Adedeji II (4th right); Oba Abioye Oyebode, the Olokuku of Okukuland; Oba Oladunjoye Oyedele (5th left), the Olunisa of Inisaland; the Oloyan of Oyanland, Oba Kilani Adekeye, Oba Qudus Lamidi Oke, the Alayegun of Ode-Omuland; the Oloogi of Ogiland, Oba James Adeleke Orisakaye Akande III (Oba ti o kere); Oba Adeloye Ajibike, Oloja Igbodi, Igbodi-Ijesa, at the commissioning of 15 selected roads of 29.71km in Ilesa township by Governor Rauf Aregbesola last Tuesday.

•Another commisssioned road in Ilesa. INSET: Governor Aregbesola acknowledging cheers from his numerous admirers on the occasion.


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OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

More Pix On APC Congress And Governorship Primary Election In The State Of Photo: GBENGA ADENIYI. Osun Last Saturday.

•A cross section of delegates at the governorship primaries where Governor Rauf Aregbsola emerged the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, held at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo, State of Osun. Inset: Governor Aregbesola (2nd left) displaying his Certificate of Return, after his emergence as governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) through the party’s primaries election. With him are, Chairman, State of Osun APC Primary Nomination Committee, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (left); Secretary of the Committee, Sir Emeka Akamukali (2nd right); member, Hajiya Ramatu Aliyu (right) and other dignitaries last Saturday.

•Another cross section of delegates at the governorship primaries where Governor Aregbsola emerged the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, held at Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Osogbo, State of Osun. Inset: (L-R) Former Federal Capital Territory Minister/Chairman, All Peoples Congress in Osun Governorship Primaries Election, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai; Osun Deputy Governor, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governor Aregbesola; interim State Chairman of the party, Elder Adelowo Adebiyii; member of the committee, Hajiya Haliyu, last Saturday.


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FOR THE RECORDS

OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

Remarks By The Governor Of The State Of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, At The Official Commissioning Of 15 Selected Roads In Ilesa Township, Held At Community Primary School, Ibala Road, Ilesa, On Tuesday April 15, 2014

On The Road Again WE have come together again to witness the completion of another set of our road infrastructure development projects. Today’s ceremony is one of those events that serve to reassure us as a people that we remain firmly on course on the path of socio-economic development we have charted for ourselves. When we came aboard, we made a promise to our people to progressively transform their condition of living for the better. We have since been driven by a passionate desire to fulfil that promise. As part of that fulfilment, we made a commitment to change the physical landscape of Osun in a manner that will facilitate progress and prosperity for our people. The development of our road infrastructure in the state is our chief means of actualising this commitment. The reason for this is not far to seek; in our part of the world, roads are simply the most important means of transportation for humans and materials. There is also a linkage between roads and our health. Bad roads cause accidents and travelling on bad roads makes one sick. Bad roads also hinder physical interaction between people. Unfortunately, this is the same infrastructure that has suffered unspeakable neglect and underdevelopment. However, since our own desire as a government is the socio-economic development of Osun and the well-being of our people, we have devoted unparalleled attention to the development and modernisation of our road infrastructure. Our road development plan is ambitiously unprecedented in the history of the state. It covers township roads, intra and inter-city roads, as well as inter-state roads. The extent of our commitment to changing the face of Osun through the construction of modern road networks can be seen in the huge amount of road construction going on simultaneously all over the state. It would amount to no exaggeration for us to re-state that Osun is currently a massive road construction site. We are constructing new roads, extending existing ones, and rehabilitating those that have gone bad. We are deliberately concentrating on those roads that have very high impact on the socio-economic lives and existence of our people. As I speak to you, road projects are going on in the cities and towns spread all over Osun. Most of these roads are in advanced stages of completion.

•AREGBESOLA

In Osogbo, a total of 21 township roads are being constructed or rehabilitated and have gulped N4.095 billion. In Ede, 13 township roads have been repaired through direct labour, at the cost of N873,817,458.85. Most of them have now been completed. In the different Federal Constituencies in the state, 79 kilometres of intra-city roads are under construction and rehabilitation. Similarly, most of them are now completed. In addition to the intracity roads, 20 other roads traversing the cities, and covering a total of 294.27 kilometres, are also at advanced stages of completion. They are worth N10.62 billion. We are also constructing six selected roads, covering more than 74.1 kilometres, in the six geopolitical zones of Osun. They cost the government N17.5 billion. We inherited eight road rehabilitation projects of 144.29 kilometres from the previous administration which we have almost completed. There are of course four more gigantic road construction projects that we have embarked upon. These are: the reconstruction into a dual

have adequate consideration and coverage for our rural areas. It is our belief that opening up the rural areas is of vital importance to the success of our development programme, especially with agriculture in focus. Our road projects in the rural areas have been so impressive that even the World Bank could not help noticing. The Bank accordingly gave its commendation to our high-level performance in the Rural Access Mobility Programme (RAMP), and enlisted Osun for participation in RAMP II. This comes with the opportunity for the state to access about USD 79 million (N12.64 billion) in World Bank/AFD credit. Today’s commissioning is part of the township road development projects for Ilesa. The 15 township road rehabilitation works have been completed to the glory of God and for the greater good of the people. On these roads, totalling 29.71km, we have expended N3.7 billion. I must let you know that these are not just roads that catch the fancies of government officials or the ones leading to the homes of their girlfriends. These are the roads that impact most on the social and economic lives of the people. The ring road for instance encircles the entire town and it is now possible to enter and egress Ilesa without getting into the centre of the town as was the case in the past. Our dream indeed is to put every carriageway of the 36.85-kilometre road in the best possible shape and road from Osogbo to Ila-Odo on the make driving on them a pleasure. We state’s border with Kwara State; the are happy, however, that we have Gbongan-Orileowu-Ijebu-Igbo Road, taken the right steps and on course to which is also a dual carriageway. the destination. The third is the construction of the We are convinced that the huge Omoluabi Motorway, a dual-carriage amount we have committed into these road from Akoda to Gbongan road infrastructure projects is money Junction, with its Bisi Akande well-spent. With what you are Trumpet Interchange. The witnessing, you can all testify to the construction was officially launched prudent and judicious use to which on the 15th of June last year at the we have deployed the resources of cost of N29.23 billion. the state. Of course, the Osogbo East For us, governance is about making Bypass Road is in the list of our major a commitment to the people and going road construction undertaking. The all out to fulfil that commitment. It is East Bypass is a 17.5-kilometre road the only way to earn the trust and that will have a railway underpass at confidence of the people in order for Ofatedo, an interchange at Ataoja, them to continue to trust leaders with and two bridges across the Osun their sacred mandate. River. The government is investing As a responsible and progressive N14.5 billion in the project. government, we have committed In continuation of our road ourselves to the development and development plan for Osun, we have progress of our people. We will since January last year embarked remain true to our commitment and upon the construction of 218 we will stay on course for its kilometres of road in all of our local actualisation. governments council areas, including I thank you all for your warm the Area Office. reception. Because these road development Osun a dara! projects are aimed at achieving socioeconomic development for Osun, we


12

FEATURE

OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

Osun State 2014: Beyond Political Noise-making RITING about the two major candidates in the August gubernatorial elections in Osun State is a daunting task for me, given one’s background. The incumbent, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has known me since I was a boy. An activist and strong believer in social justice, Rauf, as he was known in those days believes passionately in a developed human being as the tool with which to change our sociopolitical space. As an undergraduate, one has had cause to also rally round him in a fight against social injustice, which he represented during a period many were afraid to stand up for their rights due to economic reasons. When a senior colleague, Mr. Segun Babatope, described me as a Yoruba irredentist towards the 2003 general elections in Lagos State, it was with an inner laughter Rauf immediately came to my mind. Ogbeni believes an emancipated Yoruba race is the light out of the Dark Tunnel that the African continent and indeed, Black people in the Diaspora, have been waiting for. He will not give anything in exchange for his Yorubanness. He might have picked Oranmiyan for his campaign theme, which to me, is like a pledge to restore practical Yoruba values, I suspect that Oodua would have been his first choice, if the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) had not been in existence. But if kinship is to be measured by ancestry, former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Iyiola Omisore, should naturally be my uncle. An Ile Ife son, the former Osun State Deputy Governor is from the land where my ancestor left as a reigning monarch to settle with his chiefs in Ijebu Ife upon a directive by Ifa to do so. Olofin Ogbolu sleeps till tomorrow in Okeliwo, where my parents were born. Beyond a possible kinship, Omisore is a close friend and almost a brother to a very special Egbon, Senator Lekan Mustapha, who until recently was representing Ogun East Senatorial District in the National Assembly as a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker. One’s knowledge about Omisore, beyond occasional discussions with Mustapha, is limited. What remains in my head are issues that revolve largely around his tenure as deputy to former Osun State Governor, Chief Bisi Akande, and the events leading to the assassination of former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige. Yes, a court acquitted Omisore. But the events of those heady days are issues that a sane mind will not readily throw away as it is common knowledge that with proper connections, anything is possible in Nigeria. What with the manner the old man, who was a serving minister at the time, was treated in the palace of the Ooni of Ife? Moving on, I have had cause to criticize some positions taken by the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, especially on the eve of the Nigerian civil war. But Papa’s target to develop Yorubaland through Human Capital Development is an objective that any sane lover of these parts should adopt without batting an eyelid. Awolowo worked on infrastructure. But his priority was the human being ahead of any other consideration. Equip the man with knowledge almost from the cradle using Western education; make healthcare services accessible to him; work towards ensuring that food is readily available through development of agriculture; and endeavour to W

•AREGBESOLA By WALEADEDAYO

encourage gainful employment where he can get daily bread with dignity for his needs. These are issues which voters in Osun State should look at dispassionately towards this year’s election. Both contenders for the gubernatorial seat should campaign with records of what they have offered Osun State, either currently or in the past, along the lines laid down by Awolowo. For instance, Omisore being a past holder of such a very powerful committee position in the senate (Appropriation), which approximates almost 30 gubernatorial positions, should tell us the projects that he facilitated for either Osun State or the South-West during his tenure. Without approval from this committee, there is no Federal Government project that can take off, or continue. It is the committee to lobby when you need any federal project in any part of the country. It is the Appropriation Committee of either the Senate or House of Representatives that will activate

funds for such a project. Of course, the projects one expects Omisore to talk about should be in the areas of Education, Healthcare services, Agriculture & Rural Development and Employment Generation. The Awolowo template remains the scale upon which the Yoruba regularly measure performance by politicians in office. It is not enough to claim one can do it better, the past remains a veritable method of measuring how the future will look like in a political contest. It is also a waste of time canvassing the ownership of multiple university degrees as proof that an office holder will deliver if elected. Baba Kekere, I am very sure, does not have a B.Sc. Yet, his four years in office as Governor of Lagos State has also remained another standard scale for measuring performance in office. This is more so when Omisore had served as a deputy governor also. What did Osun State and its people benefit from Omisore during his tenure as deputy governor? As a chairmanship aspirant under PDP platform in Ijebu East Local Government, Ogun State in 2012, a

“For instance, Omisore being a past holder of such a very powerful committee position in the senate (Appropriation), which approximates almost 30 gubernatorial positions, should tell us the projects that he facilitated for either Osun State or the South-

major item for me was free lunch for primary school pupils. My campaign team at the time also insisted we include free school uniforms. Aregbesola has already done this, and more. A confident child, in a healthy school environment being fed a balanced diet along with a contended parent, who has no fear of school fees or what the child will eat and wear, is a sure guarantee for a solid sociopolitical and economic foundation in every respect. During my brief stay in the United Kingdom as a student, the attitude of their primary school pupils often amaze me. It is as if there is an injection they give them in school, which set these children apart from their peers in Nigeria. Confident and innovative with little or no fear of tomorrow, the can-do-spirit in them is infectious to the point of making you afraid. They see themselves as offsprings of the state, thus have nothing to fear. Properly handled, Osun State seems set in this direction with the policy about these kids. With the current wave of an intolerant version of Christianity and Islam in Nigeria, Aregbesola intervention on the side of African Traditional Religion is a welcome development in a polity fearful of the influx of Boko Haram elements. But his media aides need to inform the public more about the fact that all public schools in Osun State are 100 per cent owned by government despite the religious names attached to such. Yours truly was angry at some point that children of other faiths were being forced into schools belonging to others, not knowing that these institutions have for more than 30 years been owned by the Osun State Government, only that the names were retained. Agriculture and self-employment have been given a facelift by the Aregbesola administration. But in a typical Awo fashion, many may not observe the linkage between the free school feeding programme and a boost in agriculture in the state. Those involved in animal husbandry in Osun State and its neighbours are currently smiling to the banks courtesy of regular supplies to those feeding the children. Poultry farmers, who were almost wrecked by a glut in the market due to Boko Haram activities, are a joyful lot today. In addition, newly-elected President of the Nigeria Tailors Association, Otunba Wasiu Taiwo (Wessy Creations), recently lamented in Abeokuta, Ogun State, that standards were becoming a thing of the past among artisans in the country. But he singled out the garment factory producing school uniforms in Osun State, Sam & Sarah, as a veritable signal that Aregbesola wants a restoration of standards among tailors, confirming that the outfit trains young persons to become acceptable experts in dress-making. This is very good. Along with the foundation being given the children concerning their education, the adoption of Afenifere’s anthem, for me, is another signal that an Evangelist of Yoruba values is currently at work in Osun State. The anthem remains a sacred affirmation that whosoever imbibes its words will forever work for the upliftment of his/ her space in Yorubaland. I will still write more about both candidates. But, for now, Aregbesola is it, until Omisore is able to present the scorecard mentioned earlier.


13

FEATURE

OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

Espousing State Of Osun’s Government Unusual

I

T does not matter from what part of the State of Osun you come from or in which part you reside; as long as it is within the confines of its boundaries, government presence will get to you. In many other states in the country, governance usually revolves around the state capital. But in the unusual governance style in the State of Osun, the government is pursuing the development of the state capital, the other urban centres and the hinterlands side by side. The governments policy is that development will be evenly spread out throughout the state. Thus, development will not just come, it will also come evenly throughout the 30 local government areas as the State Government seems to be pursuing an even development strategy in the State. The Ogbeni Rauf Aregesola-led government in the State appears poised to spread development evenly across the State of Osun. Whether it is in the area of road construction or construction of schools and other infrastructure, the state government operates a sort of what is good for the goose is good for the gander approach in citing infrastructure. For instance, the state Government is presently constructing over 280 kilometres of road throughout the state spread out at approximately 10 kilometres per local government, Hon. Ajibola Bashiru, the Commissioner for Rural Integration and Special Duties argued that prior to the coming of the Aregbesola administration, indigenes left the hinterlands in droves in search of greener pasture in the urban centres. He said the implication of the massive rural- urban drift was not just communities on the road to extinction but an impending population explosion in the urban centres with all the vices that accompany such drift. Bashiru, argued that the strategy of spreading out development “is actually aimed at killing two birds with one stone. Apart from halting the rural – urban migration, which occurs when there is lack of development in the rural areas, developing the hinterlands could reverse this trend and promote urban to rural migration. The urban – rural migration will thus ensure that the urban areas are not congested and that there is not much pressure on the infrastructure because when the infrastructure in the urban centres are the same with those in rural areas, there will be no need for the migration. “The circumstances of Osun people will not allow us run a usual government. The difference between what is going on in the State of Osun and what is going on in some other states is that we went into government prepared. He said the policy strategies responsible for the developmental projects going on in Osun State are based on what is popularly referred to as ‘The Green Book’. ‘The Green Book’ is actually a document entitled ‘People Friendly Government: (Government that Exist Solely for the Welfare of the People)’ My Pact with the People of Osun State; Land of the Living Spring, written by Aregbesola in 2005. Bashiru said The Green Book is “the reference resource that the current leadership follows. It provides a peek into the development direction envisioned by the governor and his team.” In the document written two years before he was elected governor, Aregbesola regretted the prevailing situation whereby the ruling class have not improved on the security and welfare of the populace. He had written that “my

•AREGBESOLA By CHUKWUDI NWEJE

mission and ambition are to restore to the people, a state of peace, and 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 articles of faith concerning which I want to be held accountable at any time during my stewardship.” These action plans included: Banish Poverty; Banish Hunger; Banish Unemployment (Create work/wealth); Restore Healthy living; Promote Functional Education; and Enhance Communal Peace and Progress. This Six-Point Integral Action Plan has since become the economic and infrastructural blueprint of the state, even as they seem inter-looped. For instance, in embarking on the re-classification of schools, the Government of the State of Osun not only delivered functional education but also generated employment. According to Bashiru, “In February 2011, the Education Summit held in the state had revealed that only about 3% of the students from the state were qualified for tertiary education. The reclassification of schools is already yielding results as the state has moved up the ladder from number 34 to number 8 within three years of the Aregbesola-led government. 10, 900 teachers have also been employed within the same period.” The reclassification policy also led to the introduction of uniform dress code for all elementary, middle and high school students in state owned schools. However, with this has come employment creation as Sam & Sara Textile Company, has established one of the largest textile industries in the sub region in the state. It has also employed about 3,000 tailors, indigenes of the State of Osun, thus

“Nobody had ever done that but we did.” According to him the vacancies was widely advertised in the newspapers and posters. He said nothing was hidden about the scheme they were told that they will be trained in community and social works; they were told they will sweep streets and cut vegetation by the side of the road and that they will do all sorts of jobs. Incidentally, the scheme also exposed the level in the country. State Government officials said the first major challenge the administration faced was when 250,000 applications were received for the 20,000 O’YES openings. “Mind you these applications were from people who had a minimum of OND and above. We did not want to tale those with secondary school certificate because we want them to still struggle to further their education. “We also had the challenge of selecting 20, 000 out of the number of applications. So we had to select based on merit and best practise. We also discovered that there was a difference between planning and implementation. We did not anticipate that there was no place in Nigeria where that number of people could be brought together for three weeks to be trained. There is no facility in Nigeria that could hold 20, 000 people for three weeks. We know because we contacted the military and the police. The best there was at that time was for 5,000 people. Finally we had to change our approach and posted them to their local government areas and gave them money for feeding and to commute themselves. Incidentally, this became a noble idea. It was interesting to see youths dressed in all white doing community and social service,” and official of the State government said. From the simple idea of engaging youths in a productive venture rather than leave them ideal and destructive since they say “an ideal mind is the devils workshop”, O’YES has become a revenue machine for the State of Osun. Today, the youths who underwent the O’YES training have become a reservoir for the manpower needs of the state. 15,000 of them have been employed. While 5,000 of them are employed as teachers and another 3,000 employed in the civil service, the remaining are been engaged in the private sector. Dr. Wale Boluwaduro, Commissioner for Finance in the state also disclosed that an estimated N200 million enters the economy of the State of Osun every month through the O’YES. An official in the governor’s office said the unusual governance in the state of Osun is because “the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is determined to play its role of giving meaning and purpose to the lives of the people. “Our human development programmes are based on the provision of the constitution that says the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government . Osun has grown to be the 7th largest economy in the country from the 34th we met when we came into office. “We have rebranded the state by giving it an emblem and identity but unfortunately, some people think it is controversial, but it is not. This country is not just Nigeria; it is the Federal republic of Nigeria. These four words are important. A federation is a setup in which the constituent units are autonomous. It may shock some people but up till the second military coup between 1967 and 1970, all the states had their emblem,” the official said.

reducing unemployment. State Government officials say that as a means of achieving unemployment reduction, 80% of labour force for all projects going on in the state come from the state. Under the new school system; the state is targeting building 100 Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 20 High Schools as first phase and is poised to commit a whopping sum of N30billion to the school infrastructure upgrade under this phase. The High School will have facilities such as boarding, staff quarters, standard laboratories, food courts, standard sporting facilities, school hall of 1000minimum sitting capacity and school managers for proper facility management. As at last count, the state has committed a sum of N14.41billion into school construction of 39 elementary schools, 14 middle schools and 12 high schools while a sum of N1.6billion was expended on renovation of dilapidated and reconstructed schools together with a sum of N2.5billion spent on the purchase of school furniture. Incidentally, all these schools are built to the same standard and specification. According to the State Government, building the schools to the same specification not only ensures that the same facilities are available in both the urban centres and rural areas, it also ensures that construction cost are not inflated as all the materials are got from the same source. Also in the process of engaging its youth population, the state government established the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O’YES). Adelewo Adewunmi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Integration and Special Duties explained that O’YES was in response to the administration’s promise of creating 20, 000 jobs within its first 100 days in office. •Culled from DAILY INDEPENDENT


14

FOR THE RECORDS

OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

PDP Can’t Unseat Aregbesola - Osun Speaker The Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salaam, had a chat with journalists in Ejigbo, his hometown, shortly after participating in the last Saturday governorship primary election of All Progressive Congress (APC). He spoke on the primaries, the August 9 governorship poll and the advantage the incumbent Governor Rauf Aregbesola has above other candidates. OSUNDEFENDERman, KAZEEM MOHAMMED, was there:

Q

UESTION: What can you say about the governoship primaries just held across the state? Salaam: The exercise, organised by the APC in Osun is another testimony that the people of Osun love Aregbesola and show that there is no amount of efforts of the opposition that can take the love of the people for him away. The developmental programmes of Aregbesola tells the whole story and for this, people can not even wait for August 9 to come to cast their vote for somebody they have tested and trusted. What we did was quite different from what other parties have been doing in the state, as we did not stage-manage anybody and we did not sponsor any alien from Oyo, Kwara and other states outside Osun. This is basically from the ward level, the grassroot and this tells us that people love Aregbesola from grassroot and they want him to continue. That is why they cast their votes enmasse for him. Question: But the opposition PDP is still insisting that they will unseat this government? Salaam: They are just dreaming and I am sure that from their slumber, we will wake them up in August 9, which is the election day. It is only those in perpetual blindness that can not see what is going on in Osun, but those that can see well will know no amount of force, intimidation or harassment can change the love the people have for Aregbesola. Question: The opposition are saying that for over three years now, your government has not commissioned reasonable number of projects, what is your take? Salaam: I had said it earlier that commissioning of projects for some of the past government is another means of siphoning public fund. Is it not true that we are constructing roads and building schools? Is it not true that we increased the car and housing loans for civil servants? Is it not true that we have several projects completed and ongoing in the state? Every nook and crannies of the state, we have completed and ongoing roads. Whoever

that care to move round the state should do so independently and confirmed the impact this government had made. We are ready to be challenged objectively as far as our achievements is concern. The candidate of the other party that is challenging us is an expired candidate and to tell you that he is an expired candidate, he cannot even withstand the crisis within his party. They are just busy bodies that do not have anything to do other than spreading rumours and falsehood. If we want to be commissioning, we will be doing that from now till August 9, but what we are saying is that there is no such money to waste, because a lot of money would go into it. We are not saying we will not commission some projects to proof them wrong, but we cannot commission all the projects we are doing in Osun, because they are too many. Question: Some people allege that the rating of Osun in education sector had dropped, what is your take? Salaam: If you have your data correctly, you will see that in the whole country now, the school reclassification has facilitated the growth in the education system in Osun. The enrolment in our public schools has increased geometrically now and this tell you that the system has improved in the state. The use of Opon-Imo alone has enriched the knowledge of our students and when they go to any examintaion now, you will see the positive impact of what we have been able to put in place. I am aware that the educational system of Osun under this government has been rated higher and it has become a toast of all, even in the United Nations. Don’t listen to them, they will be spreading falshood, rating us with their own measurement, but people that are reasonable and know the meaning of education will tell you that we have made a lot of headways. Question: Do you entertain any fear as regards the election, considering the alleged bringandage by the Minister of State for Police Affairs? Salaam: Free and fair election, there is nobody to challenge us in Osun, because we are fully on ground, but we are

•SALAAM entertaining some fear because of the involvement of the minister who hails from this state. The recent activities, where the first executive governor of this state was attacked was a testimony. If they can do this to themselves within their party, it is a red signal to the whole state and we need to be careful. This people want power at all cost, even when the people don’t want them and this is our fear. We are now cautioning that the Federal Government should not allow anybody to misuse the office, because we know that the Omoluabi ethos that we are preaching is not in the system of these people. It is not that we fear them, but what we are saying is that we do not want the issue that happened during the Western Region to repeat itself. We don’t want what happened in 1965 that led to the event of 1966 to start again from our region here. Question: The national chairman of the PDP had said that it would be difficult to unseat Aregbesola, but the PDP candidate insisted he is up to the task, what is your

take? Salaam: The national chairman of the PDP, Mu’azu Aliu, has given an objective assessment because he knows that for anybody to challenges Aregbesola in Osun, it is going to be difficult. When he latter said it is possible, the implication is that they want to engage in violence, but we will resist that. We will use all the necessary legal capacity that we have to resist whoever wants to bring violence to Osun again. Violence has become a thing of the past in Osun and we will not welcome it again. Question: What is your advise to security operatives? Salaam: We advise our security operatives not to be partisan, they have to be up and doing and abide by the oaths they swore to. They are to serve the public interest and public safety must be their watchwords and this must be their conccern. The election has to be monitored independently and they have to provide environment for us to have a free and fair election in Osun.

FEATURE

Osun Education Policy Reform Continued from page 6 schooling. All the four speakers at the occasion including Professor Donald Bundy, the Lead health and education Specialist of the World Bank; Mr. Peter Rodrigues, the Chief of School Feeding and Chronic Hunger Unit of the World Food Programme (WFP); Ms Boitshepo Bibi Giyose of NEPAD and Professor Josephine Kiamba, the Senior Technical Adviser of the Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College, London, lauded Governor Aregbesola for successfully implementing the feeding programme despite the challenging financial situation of the state. According to UNESCO, basic education development remains the most strategic area of intervention for the development of the world’s future workforce, and moreso for developing nations like Nigeria. This explains the focus of global development institutions in this education sub-sector. The reason for this is fairly easy to comprehend; the foundational knowledge a citizen requires to pursue a literate and

informed life is acquired at the basic education level. So important is basic education that “The Achievement of Universal Primary Education by 2015” was drawn as the Number 2 Millennium Development Goal ‘. In truth, once a child acquired sound basic education, he/ she is better positioned to excel in further learning endeavours, be they vocational, tertiary or specialized. Thus, in the face of limited resources, one would expect this very critical area, within public education, to enjoy some priority by any government determined to secure the future of its people. Literacy is the foundation on which an edifice of sound education may be securely built. To cultivate courage, strength, knowledge, and a sense of spiritual values, education is a most potent weapon. Education, of course, does not mean mere literacy – the mere ability to read and write. A man may be educated without being literate and a literate person may be very ignorant indeed. The education of every citizen, to the limit of his ability, is a fundamental right. To deny it or treat it as a

privilege is deprivation, and an assault on human dignity. The cardinal aim of education is not to teach a man to read and write, to acquire a profession, to master a vocation, or to be versed in the liberal arts. All these are only means to the end of true education, which is to help a man live a full, happy and triumphant life. In other words, any system of education which does not help a man to have a healthy and sound body, an alert brain is dangerous. Educational development is imperative and urgent. It must be treated as a national emergency, second only to war. It must move with the momentum of a revolution. If we are to keep Nigeria one- and harmoniously so, and if all sections of the national groups in Nigeria are to have equal opportunity for contributing to our high-level manpower needs, the yawning gulf in education must be closed without further delay. An arrangement under which some are educated and some are not is inhuman, unjust and in the long run anti-social. It gives the educated an unfair advantage in

economic, political, and other social activities over their uneducated fellow citizens. Apart from enhancing the socioeconomic status of the individual, education, if it is the right type, also helps to eradicate such negative processes as superstition, fear, envy and hatred which often lead to strife and sometimes to the commission of serious crimes. It is a truism to say that when, to a great extent, the mind is free from negative thoughts, and is dominated by positive thoughts, a man’s ability to produce, and his chances to live a full and happy life, are at the same time considerably enhanced. A truly educated citizenry is one of the most formidable deterrents to dictatorships, oligarchy and feudal autocracy- secondly, an educated and healthy individual- with a sound mind in a sound body- is the strongest single factor in the rapid economic and social advancement of any nation. •Professor Asaju wrote in from Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).


OSUN DEFENDER Thursday, April 17, 2014

15


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THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014 In what amounted to stern warning against any form of electoral heist, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun Tuesday evening said neither the Peoples Democratic Party, Police Affairs Minister, Mr. Jelili Adesiyan nor the party’s candidate on the August 9th governorship election, Iyiola Omisore, has the capacity to rig the election. Before Aregbesola dropped the warning, the entire Ilesa community had gone agog when the governor commissioned 15 Ilesa township roads. The governor, before the commissioning, inspected the newly constructed 15 roads in company of mammoth crowd before returning to Ibala Community Primary School for the commissioning. Governor Aregbesola while speaking assured the people of protection before and after the August 9 election saying " It will be practically impossible for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to forment any trouble in any part of the state".

"?Today’s commissioning is part of the township road development projects for Ilesa. The 15 township road rehabilitation works have been completed to the glory of God and for the greater good of the people. On these roads, totalling 29.71km, we have expended N3.7 billion". The governor stressed.

Aregbesola talks tough over electoral fraud; says PDP, Omisore, Adesiyan Can Not Rig My Election

He stressed that the administration genuinely feels the pulse of the people and thus committed to attending to their legitimate needs?.

He said" The time of brigandage, violence and election rigging in the state has gone for good. Whosoever that makes such attempt will surely regret it. This is 7th year I was chased out of Ilesa because of election and such trend will meet serious resistance. They will be dealt with beyond their imagination."

Amudah's said," I am happy to inform Your Excellency that all these fifteen roads with a total length of 29.709 Km have been practically completed about a year ago and had been put to use before this official commissioning. "What we are witnessing in terms of quality is an attestation to the fact that RATCON Nig. Ltd. who is also working on the construction of Gbongan-Akoda Dualisation ?project will give the state a high quality of standard and universally accepted road". Amudah pointed out.

Aregbesola reiterated that ?the extent of his administration’s commitment to changing the face of Osun through the construction of modern road networks can be seen in the huge amount of road constructions going on simultaneously all over the state.

In his own address, the paramount ruler of Ijeshaland, the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba Dr. Adekunle Aromolaran on behalf of other Oba's commended the administration of Aregbesola for the giant stride he is taking in Osun.

?He pointed out that the administration is deliberately concentrating on those roads that have very high impact on the socio-economic lives and existence of the people.

"We are marveled by your doings because we have not had it this good since the creation of Osun, we traditional rulers, not only in Ijeshaland but the whole of Osun gives you a ten over ten scorecard.

He also added that Osun road development plan is ambitiously unprecedented in the history of the state, having covered township roads, intra and inter-city roads, as well as inter-state roads.

"In the different Federal Constituencies in the state, 79 kilometres of intra-city roads are under construction and rehabilitation. Similarly, most of them are now completed. In addition to the intra-city roads, 20 other roads traversing the cities, and covering a total of 294.27 kilometres, are also at advanced stages of completion. They are worth N10.62 billion. "We are also constructing six selected roads, covering more than 74.1 kilometres, in the six geo-political zones of Osun. They cost the government N17.5 billion. We inherited eight road rehabilitation projects of 144.29 kilometres from the previous administration which we have almost completed," The governor told the gathering.

The governor revealed that the huge amount committed into road infrastructure project is money well-spent, adding that the commissioning of roads being witnessed. With what you are witnessing, you can all testify to the prudent and judicious use to which we have deployed the resources of the state. Speaking earlier, the Special to the governor on Works, Engr. Sabitu Oladepo Amudah noted that the 6-point Integral action plan of the governor which revolves round the existence of man.

He warned those who are planning to use federal might to rig Osun election saying such group or individuals will face the wrath of the Osun people.

According to the g overnor,? "In Osogbo, a total of 21 township roads are being constructed or rehabilitated and have gulped N4.095 billion. In Ede, 13 township roads have been repaired through direct labour, at the cost of N873,817,458.85. Most of them have now been completed.

He held that his administrations dream is to put every road in the best possible shape and make driving on them a pleasure, noting that the state has taken the right steps and on course to the destination.

•AREGBESOLA

Aregbesola added that government has embarked on the reconstruction into a dual carriageway of the 36.85-kilometre road from Osogbo to Ila-Odo on the state’s border with Kwara State; the GbonganOrileowu-Ijebu-Igbo Road, which is also a dual carriageway. He also added the construction of the Omoluabi Motorway, a dual-carriage road from Akoda to Gbongan Junction, with its Bisi Akande Trumpet Interchange at the cost of N29.23 billion. "The Osogbo East Bypass Road is in the list of our major road construction undertaking. The East Bypass is a 17.5-kilometre road that will have a railway underpass at Ofatedo, an interchange at Ataoja, and two bridges across the Osun River. The government is investing N14.5 billion in the project.

"Your administration has been able to accomplish various transformational and developmental projects within the available but meager resources through prudent management of fund and budget discipline". The monarch stressed President of the Market Women Association in Osun, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade, added fresh dimensions to the various economic advantages of the new roads network. She said the new roads would enhance commerce and reduce cases of laboring women experiencing complications. She said, “The construction of these roads is for the market men and women. We move from one market to another market in different parts of Osun. But whenever I think of the hitherto deplorable states of roads, I oftentimes stay away from visiting markets. But now, with these new roads, traversing the length and breadth of this state for commercial purposes has become a pleasurable experience Also, many laboring women who are taken through bad roads experience difficulties as a result of bad roads. But now, the smooth roads can guarantee save delivery of their babies when they go to hospitals on these smooth roads.

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 Managing Editor, KOLA OLABISI, Telephone: 08033927286 (kolaolabisi@yahoo.com); Editor, KAYODE AGBAJE, Telephone: 0803-388-0205, E-mail: osundefender@yahoo.com, kayodeagbaje@yahoo.com. ISSN: 0794-8050.Website: www.osundefender.org.

Osun Defender - April 17th, 2014 Edition  

Aregbesola Talks Though .Says, PDP, Omisore, Adesiyan Are Too Small To Rig Osun Election .As He Commissions 15 Township Roads In Ilesa

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