By Ishola ‘Layinka
When Government of the State of Osun announces its usual ‘Free Train’ service for this year Eid-El-Kabir celebration, divergent opinions greeted this development as some believe it is a good policy for the progressively minded government to put in place. And, others felt it is out of place considering the economic period in the state.
With the rising cost of living in Nigeria today, wouldn’t it be gross insensitivity for any government to suspend a programme that has direct impact on the people? After all, what is the ultimate design of any government, if not people? One of the main thrusts of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s cause-of-action was the enthronement of people’s welfare above anything else. He has promised that his administration would not relent and set about doing just.
The families in Lagos who could not afford the high rate of road transport fare to Osogbo do not care what those against the policy are saying or by all accounts economic challenge. The hundreds of students who enjoyed this free train service do not concerned themselves with what economic theory dictates.
Since commencement of the ‘Free Train’ ride over six years ago by the Aregbesola’s administration, the policy has been a boost to the economy of the state and has facilitates the easy movement of the citizenry wherever they are, particularly those in Lagos, Osun, Ogun and Oyo axis.
The testimonies below can attest to this truth;
‘Yin ni yinni, ke eni ole se mi’, meaning, ‘praise someone for what he has done, so as to do more’. Aregbesola has done me and my family well because I don’t know how much transporters would have charge me, my wife and two children traveling from Lagos to Osogbo. I had initially thought the free train programme will not hold this year because of what we read in the newspapers about the state but Aregbesola has disappointed his enemies for continuing this programme. I pray God to give our governor, Ogbeni strength and wisdom to leading the state to glory. Thank you, Ogbeni.
~ Mr Samuel Ojo
The opportunity this train ride has afforded me cannot be explained. I have been enjoying this ride since 2012 when I lost my husband. Left with four children and always desire to visit my aged mother in Osogbo but since I don’t have enough resources to visit her as I may like, I will then wait for the Aregbe’s free train. I am the happiest person when this year own was announced. In fact, we have since been preparing and thank God we are here in Osogbo courtesy Aregbesola. He should not be distracted and God will bless him abundantly.
~ Mrs Iyabo Akande
May God bless Ogbeni forever! I am a student of Lagos State Polytechnics. I am in support of Ogbeni’s government because I could not have made it to this town without his people’s oriented programme. Thank you Mr Governor.
~ Gbadebo Adebayo
My name is Alhaja Faramade, I have been living in Lagos for the past 22 years and I am 64 years old now. Though, I am a Muslim and always look forward free train programme because I have been longing to visit Osogbo, my home state. This is a people’s governor and we must all support him. God bless Aregbesola and give him wisdom to continue this programme.
~ Alhaja Mutiat Faramade
Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s sincerity on good governance can never be questioned. Those who therefore hold a different view should give it a rethink as being enumerated above by these beneficiaries.
The programme has encouraged both Muslims and Christians to visit home and celebrate with their relatives. The train is scheduled to depart Lagos to Osogbo on Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 by 10:00am and another one leaves at the same time on Thursday, August 31st, 2017.
Ishola writes from Osogbo