A Season Of Cheer And A Happy New Year Ahead!

The management and staff of Osun Defender Newspaper wish our esteemed readers a fulfilling season of cheer and goodwill, as well as a prosperous new year ahead. Our felicitations go in particular to the people of the State of Osun for the stoicisms and understanding with which they have coped with a demanding year. Our indomitable Ogbeni Gomina Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola deserves special commendations here. He has with great gusto, creatively used the levers of the machinery of government to keep things going in a positive direction in spite of the debilitations of a quasi-federalism.

The year ahead will be pivotal in the State of Osun with a changeover of government. We urge the good people of Osun State to be resolute and steadfast in working towards a continuity of the progressive, innovative government which has continuously put the best interests of the people first.

Monarch Lauds Osun Govt On Development

The Olufon of Ifon Orolu kingdom, Oba Al-Moruf Magbagbeola has described the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the builder of new Osun.

He made this known in his palace recently when the Administrator, Orolu Administrative Office, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Councillorship candidates for the forthcoming local government elections in Orolu led by Prince Adekunle Benson and some APC stalwarts visited him and his chiefs to get royal blessings.

According to him, “Ogbeni Aregbesola has turned the entire Osun around in terms of unprecedented developmental projects in all the nooks and crannies of the state which are very numerous to mention, adding that his indelible achievements are very clear for everybody to see.

The monarch lauded Benson for his developmental stride in the administrative office, saying, his commitment has, to an extent brought development to the council area.

He said: “The traditional institution had visited the administrative office and we all confirmed that with little allocation got, Hon Benson has performed beyond expectations and constituted authority have seen it.

Noting that there is no iota of truth in the allegation that the council boss has not performed, he warned rumour mongers and politicians who believed in defaming others to score political point for cheap popularity to desist from such evil act.

The monarch then charged politicians seeking political positions to imbibe the culture of developing the nooks and crannies of the council in terms of developmental and capital projects that can easily turn the council around.
He also charged others to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in their quest for political positions.

While speaking on behalf of the councillorship candidates, Benson thanked the monarch and his chiefs for their support, promising that unprecedented development would be the watchword of the administration if elected.

He also assured that the people should expect massive empowerment and rural development, improved IGR for Wealth Creation, Social Welfare, egalitarianism, total dynamism and renewed partnership in governance, saying that they are coming as an instrument in the hands of God to turn things around in Orolu Local Government area.

Benson then eulogised the Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for transforming the state, adding that history would never forget him.

Odo-Otin North ES Lauds FG Over Cash Transfer To Vulnerable Households

The Executive Secretary, Odo Otin North Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr. Akeem Seriki has eulogised the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammad Buhari for the disbursement of huge amount of money to vulnerable households in the council.

He said, it is only a focused and selfless leader with a masses-friendly party manifesto that can touch the lives of the masses and the less privileged throughout the nation with such huge amount of money, despite the present economic situation of the country.

According to a statement by the council’s Information Officer, Adeyinka Adetona, the Executive Secretary opined that N10, 000 to the benefitting vulnerable households would go a long way to reduce poverty, increase and improve households’ consumptions and consequently improve human capital development index.

The council boss also commended the handlers of the programme, the National Cash Transfer Office (Office of the Vice President), the State Cash Transfer Unit and all the facilitators for the smooth and rancour-free disbursement of the money to the beneficiaries.

While charging the beneficiaries to also pay back to the society by supporting the government within their capacity, he said, that is the only way they could appreciate the government which has shown commitment to their well-being.

The beneficiaries could not hide their feelings as they showed gratitude to the government and the APC for the commitment to their welfare in spite of the noticeable economic hardship in the country.

MAGAZINE: Women Rise To Seek More Recognition

It was a gathering of women from three major political parties, namely All Progressive Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party in Ekiti and Osun States respectively. The mission was to appraise how women had so far fared in their parties, either as political appointees or as elected official in government.

Launched in 2010, the coordinating platform is the Community Life Project (CLP), a non-governmental organisation concerned about women participation in governance as a whole via all-inclusive participation in governance.

Majority of the women assemblage in Ado Ekiti for the workshop had been interacting in the last seven years under the umbrella of CLP and it has fostered the bond of sisterhood and friendship which transcend party line to forming a common front. The objective was to demand equal participatory of women in government not only to seek and contest for political offices, but also to participate in good governance by demanding from political office holders how public funds are utilised for the betterment of all and sundry.

As the slogan of the NGO, “Reclaim Naija” is echoed the chorus “Na we get am” also reverberated in the air. The moderator set the tone for the women leaders in the three major parties that were represented at the workshop to give account of how far the women had been able to fare in the male-dominated arena of the nation’s politics and what can be done for the womenfolk to increase their participation in politics.

The coordinator of the CLP, Mrs. Ngozi Iwerre set the tone, that in 2015, it was on record that in Ekiti State, the number of women holding leadership positions with party structures went from 407 posts to 949 out of 8,409 positions.

She added that in the State of Osun, the number had risen geometrically from 533 posts to 2,173 out of 25,985 positions, saying, though women are gaining grounds but there is still the need to do more.

She said, “Nevertheless, in the nation at large, there is a decrease in women participation in politics, as statistics showed that there is 2 per cent decrease from eight per cent to six per cent in the number of women holding political offices nationwide, a trend that must be reversed, saying that though, there is increase in the number of women seeking political offices and this shows that women are not only enlightened but they are equally aware of their role in nation building.

Iwerre however noted that though, Nigerian women have not been given full opportunity due to many factors militating against their full participation in democratic governance which hinged more on cultural, religious and economic values and belief, but believed there is hope for the womenfolk, if they do not relent and if they believe that no matter the party affiliation, voting women into elective posts is the panacea to corruption and decadence that have engulfed all facets of the nation’s life.

Mrs. Sade Faparusi Akinromola, the Chairman of Gboyin Local Government in Ekiti State in her own remarks said that the increase in the number of women in elective posts cannot be associated with political parties’ ideologies in the nation but rather, the interest of the leadership or that of the leaders in those parties.

She adduced her success, as chairman of a local government to the womenfolk in the state, as the nation remains patriarchal in nature and politics is regarded as an undue exclusive right of the male, not minding that there are more women in the nation.

Honourable Romoke Edu Adewoye of the Labour Party in Osun State said that the economic recession had impacted women negatively, as most of them have no financial strength to vie for political posts.

The women leader of the All Progressive Congress in Ekiti state, Mrs. Omolara Bakare lamented that the male dominance at the National Assembly had stiffened Gender Equality bill and the 35 per cent affirmative action plan for women is a mirage.

Reports from the State of Osun, seem to be the most cheering of all, as the women leader of the APC in Osun, Alhaja Kudirat Fakokunde said that women participation in politics had increased tremendously since the assumption of the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in the political landscape of the state.

She remarked that in 2015, Osun had 10 women appointed into various political offices in the state, but as at today, 720 women are appointed into various political posts at the ward level; while they occupied 29 posts at the state level; 808 posts in various Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas and 13 posts at the Federal level, as political appointees.

She continued that women had not fared better in political history of the state than now and it is the interest the leadership of the party had in the womenfolk and the commitment to compensate them for their contribution to the development of the state that triggered the development.

Alhaja Fakokunde said, though women still want more, but it depends on the premium the leadership of the party placed on womenfolk and their development.

For women to fare better in the nation’s politics, particularly when the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections are approaching in 2018 and the nation’s general election coming up in 2019, women at the workshop agreed to network with other female politicians across political divides to exchange ideas and strategy on how women can use their numerical and mental strength in all political parties across the nation to secure elective positions for women in any of the political parties.

The gathering also discussed about seeking financial assistance for women who are seeking elective positions. It was also advocated that more workshops and seminars for women at the grassroot level will increase their participation, not just in seeking political positions, but as well pull votes for women who are seeking political posts.

The group also advocated mentoring for young girls and women who want to serve through elective positions, while calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to intensify voters’ education as a means to educate women aspirants and others women in politics. The participants also tasked political parties to intensify education of women on party ideologies and the need for women to be involved in nation building through effective participation in political activities by seeking to hold elective posts.

At the end, the workshop revealed that aside Lagos state, Osun and Ekiti states had taken the lead in ensuring increase in women representation and participation in political activities and appointments into various offices, which is not premise on party ideologies but the intuition and the interest the leaders have in the women development for nation building. This, they all agreed should be sustained and encouraged by all and sundry.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Girl Child Education: A 21st Century Necessity

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines Education as a process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools or colleges to improve knowledge and develop skills. It is commonly said that when you educate a girl child you educate a nation.

The essence of the belief is that the girl child will grow up one day to give birth to children who will in turn reproduce younger ones and so on. Hence, education is important in the life of a girl child.

Education can prevent young girls from getting unwanted pregnancy and in most cases know when a man abuse their right without having to be subjected to ridicule in marriage.

Girls who attend primary and secondary schools are more likely to have a say in their choice of life partner and girls who attend tertiary institutions are also able to use more effective methods of family planning and therefore have fewer and healthier babies.

An educated girl and woman would have learnt about HIV/AIDS and know different ways to protect herself from the disease and many others.

Education also teaches young ones the importance of keeping themselves and their houses clean and safe, hence, as their families are healthier, so are the mothers.

Although, the cost of Education could be a bit challenging, but illiteracy is actually more expensive as education pays off in the long run.

At this point, I urge all children to face their education squarely which is paramount for them at their tender age.

I implore the parents to take care of their girl-child and make sure they are educated no matter how hard it is, since there are Government schools for their children to attend.

I therefore urge the government not to cease in sponsoring free education for the sake of indigent Nigerians for the betterment of the young ones.

National Assembly And Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Five months after the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo wrote to the National Assembly to correct the grave mistake it made when it refused to appropriate funds in the 2017 budget for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway rehabilitation, there are no signs yet that the two chambers are ready or even prepared to do the right thing.

On July 18, the then acting president had written to the National Assembly leadership, drawing their attention to the agreement made in the aftermath of the stalemate which ensued when the lawmakers, for reasons best known to them, slashed allocations on a number of major projects proposed by the executive. In the specific case of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the allocation was slashed from N31bn to N10bn even at a time the contractors had an outstanding payment of N15 billion for the work already done.
Under the agreement, the executive was to submit a virement proposal to the National Assembly for their consideration.

When asked about the status of the request for virement from the executive early in this week, a member of the Committee on Appropriation, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa was quoted by a leading newspaper as saying that “events had overtaken the process”, adding that “the 2018 budget was already being prepared and would soon be passed, leaving the 2017 Appropriation Act expired”.

“How can somebody even be talking of virement now when we have treated MTEF/FSP (Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper) and the processing of the 2018 budget is on?” he was reported to have asked.

A similar note would be echoed by chairman, House Committee on Works, Toby Okechukwu when he averred that the virement is no longer important: “How can we be talking of 2017 virement again now that we are on 2018 budget? The issue now is 2018 budget”, he
reportedly quipped.

We are certainly not surprised that things turned out this way. Clearly, the signs had been there all along, that the National Assembly had no interest in rehabilitating that vital corridor on which the entire economy depends, the sole artery connecting the nation’s port to the hinterland, whether north or east.

It started with the story by the lawmakers of an alleged counterpart funding said to have been entered with an unnamed private sector entity for its construction even when this appears to be known only to the lawmakers. We also heard – again from the senators – that it would be more prudent to channel public funds towards smaller projects that were necessary for the citizens but might not be commercially viable – a euphemism for their constituency projects.

Then came the heinous rationalisation by Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate’s spokesperson that what was “reduced from Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in the 2017 budget estimates was spread on Oyo-Ogbomoso Road in the South-West…to achieve equity,”

Not once did Nigerians hear a cautionary voice drawing attention to the billions of naira already spent on the project and hence the wisdom in bringing it to a final completion, or even the strategic importance of the road to the country as a whole.

That the lawmakers could leave the acting president’s letter – whose subject matter was brokered through an agreement – for nearly five months unattended to is not only the height of criminal abdication, it is as shameful as it is dishonourable. But even worse is that the lawmakers would dare to use the consideration of 2018 Budget to rationalise their ignoble dereliction.

We do not however consider it too late in the day for the National Assembly to redeem itself. To the extent that a framework on the understanding already exists to get the job moving, it seems to us as simple as working together with the executive to push things forward – either by treating it as a separate item or as a component of the 2018 budget. After all, what counts is not so much the nomenclature but the delivery of the project.

EDITORIAL: PDP In Osun After The Convention Debacle

Are the Yoruba in the PDP just discovering that they have no place in that
party? From the moment Obasanjo left office in 1999, the Yoruba elements in the party were consigned to the dustbin With eggs splattered all over their faces, the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] players in the Southwest now have to find a new line in order to shore up whatever is left of their tattered credibility.

Incredibly, the new face-saving propaganda is that, “The vice presidency is going to be zoned to the Southwest”. Anyone who believes this fantasy is liable to believe just about anything including the proposition that pigs can fly.

It should by now be very obvious that the PDP has nothing to offer the Southwest. Niyi Akintola SAN, a Yoruba progressive, seminally observed few days ago in the aftermath of the Abuja debacle that, “Are the Yoruba in the PDP just discovering that they have no place in that party? From the moment Obasanjo left office in 1999, the Yoruba elements in the party were consigned to the dustbin… The stand of Governor Wike and his co-travelers that the Yoruba matters not in PDP is nothing new. It is simply a continuation of the segregation of the Yoruba from the mainstream of the PDP and its activities.’’

At best, the Southwest is just there to make up the numbers, much like the substitutes bench in a football match. Occasionally, they could have their usefulness, but that is just about it, very much like extras in another person’s movie.

There are valuable lessons to be learnt here, particularly in the State of Osun which has a governorship election coming up on the 22nd of September, 2018. It’s just round the corner, and it will be pivotal. The [divided] Osun State wing of the PDP with less than a year to go cannot be described as a government-in-waiting.

First of all, the party, organisationally is in disarray. They cannot even agree on a delegate list. If they cannot work out a give and take formula to harmonise a list of delegates to their own national convention, how on earth can they handle the increasingly complex mechanism of the government of the State of Osun?

The PDP clearly has nothing to offer the Yoruba at the center and is ill-prepared for governance in the state of Osun. The election is pivotal because Osun needs continuity.

There is a need to build upon the sterling progress made by seven years of dedicated work by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and his team. It will be tragic to throw it all away by handing over the State to a fractitious, disheveled team with no clout at the center and no programme worth talking about to continue the rejuvenation and reconstruction of the state.

The debacle last Saturday has clearly put the State of Osun on notice. The PDP has nothing to offer the Yoruba nationality and its Osun wing is completely out of sync with the tremendous pro-people elevating progress made in the last seven years. The advance in every sphere is real, if you seek to know what Aregbesola has achieved, do come to the State of Osun and look around you.

The PDP which is clearly unfit to govern will reverse the gains and Osun will be back to square one. There is clearly no alternative now than to consolidate the gains through continuity. This model has worked admirably in Lagos and is vitally needed in Osun. You have been forewarned!

G21 Elects New Officers

A group within the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the State of Osun, the G21 has elected a new set of leaders to pilot its affairs for another term.

G21 is made up of APC stalwarts who believe and work assiduously to ensure the success of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in power.

The new executives recently put in place include the Chairman, Hon Ademola Ajibola; Vice chairman, Mr Saliu Adebayo; Secretary, Mr Lawal Adebowale; Treasurer, Alhaji Adepoju Folawiyo; and the Public Relations Officer, Mr Rasaki Salaam.

In the post-inauguration speech, the new chairman, Hon Ajibola promised to make the
organisation more effective, relevant and project the image of the government.

“We shall mobilise the electorate to ensure that they vote massively for the APC in the 2019 governorship election in the state”, he stressed.

Court Remands 21 Year-old Man For Robbery

A 21 year-old man, Awodeji Aderanti, was on Tuesday remanded in Ilesa prison custody over alleged armed robbery.

Aderanti is facing a two-count charge bothering on armed robbery and theft.

The Magistrate, Mr. Ashiru Ayeni, ordered that the accused be kept in prison custody due to the magnitude of the offence committed.

The prosecutor, Inspector Mustapha Tajudeen, told the court that the accused committed the offence on March 14, 2016 at about 2:00 a.m. at Ido-Osun area, Osogbo.

Tajudeen said the defendant robbed one Folakemi Alonge at gun point and carted away some valuables which included the following: one laptop, one LG phone, one BlackBerry phone, Tecno phone and a pair of shoes.

Other items include; Two hard disk, three sacks and ONTV I.D card with two Samsung phones among others.

He said the total sum of the items stolen worth about N702,500.

The prosecutor said the offence contravened sections 6(b),1(2)(a)(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provision) Act Cap vol. 14 , laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The plea of the accused was not taken as he had no any legal representation.

The Magistrate, however, adjourned the case to January 30, 2018 for mention.

 

APC Chair Bemoans Party Chieftain Over Comment On Osun West Election

Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of Osun, Prince Gboyega Famodun has declared that an APC chieftain in the state, Alhaji Fatai Oyedele Diekola has compromised his own integrity by admitting to be instrumental to APC losing Osun West Senatorial seat to the PDP.

The party chairman, in a statement said, “Diekola had boasted on a radio programme in Osogbo on Monday that he was committed to helping the Adeleke brother (Ademola), who had jumped ship to PDP because (he) Diekola and others he did not mention, wanted to secure the late Adeleke’s legacy. So, he had to work against his own party to make the opposition win”.

“If that is not betrayal arising from deep seated disloyalty, what is it?’, Prince Famodun queried.

According to the APC chairman, “Diekola in that radio programme, exposed himself and his co-travellers that their inability to influence the governor’s decision to favour their own ambitions was why he sabotaged the APC.

“Once you have openly admitted to sabotaging your own party, you cannot, in good conscience, still claim to be a member of that same party.

“In the circumstance, it will be patently dishonourable for Diekola to continue to claim that he is still in APC. He doesn’t need the party to tell him to fall out”, the APC Chairman told Diekola.

Prince Famodun further stated that, the party was aware that the question of succession was the basis for a few over-ambitious party men insistent on having one of their own succeed Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

“In the process, desperation has set in for some who are prepared to sabotage the party, even if it resorted in them cutting their nose to spite their face.

“It is a pity that some politicians who one would have thought were matured enough to know better, still exhibit culpable ignorance on this question of succession”, stating that it would be a grave mistake for anybody to think that he could force the governor not to be interested in who succeed him.

“That’s the grave mistake these saboteurs are making’, the APC chairman concluded.

Gani Adams Will Be A Social Aare Ona Kakanfo If He Fails To Visit Igbajo – Lejoka

By Shina Abubakar

There is a new development ahead of the formal installation of the National Coordinator of Odua People’s Congress (OPC), Chief Gani Adams, as Aare Ona Kakanfo in Yoruba land (Yoruba Generalissimo), scheduled to hold at Oyo town in January.

A Yoruba High Chief, Chief Sunday Akerele, the Lejoka of Igbajo, an historical town in Osun State, has said that the final rite for Gani Adams as Yoruba generalissimo would be completed only at Igbajo, which was popular in Yoruba history as the theatre of war during the 16-year Yoruba war of 19th century and not Oyo, else he would only be a social Aare Ona Kakanfo, like his predecessor.

Akerele made the disclosure while taking members of the Osun NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel round the historical war site, as part of the activities to mark the 2017 Press Week.

He said all the past Aare Ona Kakanfos, including the former Premier of the Western Region, Chief Ladoke Akintola were in the ancient town for their final rites.

Akerele added that the late business mogul turned politician, Chief Moshood Abiola, who was the last Aare Ona Kakanfo was the only one that did not visit the town for his final rite.

“Historically, this is the domain for the final rite of any Aare Ona Kakanfo(Yoruba Generalassimo) because the traditional regalia of that office is here in Igbajo.

“You know, Aare Latoosa, who was the generalissimo during the Kiriji war, and the 12th Aare Ona Kakanfo died here after the end of the war, and left the regalia behind for future Aare Ona Kakanfos.

“Gani Adams can only be a real and authentic generalissimo only if he comes here to perform his final rite”, he said.

In the same vein, the former Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Sunday
Akere, who hailed from the town, opined that the town played a significant role in the advancement of Yoruba society.

He called on government to develop the war tourist site the way sites of that nature in Cuba, South America, were turned around and made viable for economic development.

Akere also called on the Yoruba nation to shun politics of bitterness and focus on issues that could foster development in the region as well as bind the nation together rather than separating the folks.

He added that it is time for the state government to acquire the site from both Boluwaduro and Obokun Local Governments, who rather than using the site as an element of unity, has been involved in acrimonies to divide the unity of the communities.