EDITORIAL: A Forward Thrust In Human Capital Development

 

The opinion of the philanthropist Bill Gates has certainly raised a fire storm. Whatever the pros and cons of the salient points raised, it has achieved a laudable goal of putting human capital development back on the front burner. For an underdeveloped country, this new thrust should act as a vitally needed catalyst.

The visitation just concluded this week of the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) to the State of Osun has also given us an insight into the positive gains made in the arena of human capital development by the Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). As can be seen from the positive response of the visitors from Abuja to the site inspection of various projects in the state of Osun, the SUBEB, imaginatively led by Prince Felix Awofisayo has in a tight fiscal climate delivered on its mandate.

Prince Awofisayo in a response made a very insightful observation about the synergy induced as reflected in the trickledown effect it is having on the development of the state. To us the trickledown effect is important. The synergy achieved in the State of Osun between students and teachers is paying off and will ensure long-term sustainability.

Sustainability can also be seen in the excellent initiative of the Osun Teachers Housing estate in Ile-Ife which is a great motivational flip to encouraging teachers and complement the magnificent newly-constructed schools in the state, thereby merging as it were, hardware with software.

This is also reflected in the policy initiatives of the state government. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola highlighted the efforts of the government towards developing the education sector at the basic level, saying no fewer than 250,000 pupils from grade one to four across the state are being fed daily with nutritious meal through the state school feeding programme known as OMEAL.

He pointed out that his administration has rehabilitated and built modern schools with over 1,633 standard classrooms which accommodate 98,150 pupils, ICT rooms, good offices for staffers as well as  safe playing ground across the state.

We are delighted that the Executive Secretary of UBEC Hamid Boboyi expectedly gave kudos to the work of the State Universal Basic Education Board.

According to him, a lot has been heard about Osun in terms of its investments in the education sector and was amazed with the effort put in place by the state government, saying the commission would do all it  could to help the state move the education forward.

Commending the state government for its effort at raising the standard of education in the state, he stated that the issue of technology and the availability of instructional materials remain one of the challenges of education in Nigeria, adding that the materials will help complement efforts of teachers.

He however urged the government to invest more on the provision of instructional materials.

We give kudos to everyone involved in the forward thrust on human capital development in Osun State, principally the state governor, Ogbeni Aregbesola and the state SUBEB; they have done an excellent job.

Osun: Peaceful And Secured

The horrific event in Offa, Kwara State is a reminder of the need for eternal vigilance in our security landscape. Our condolences go to the families of the bereaved. The best way to express our condolences is to ensure that it never happens again.

The current grim reality nationwide calls for sober reflection as well as comparative analysis. A good comparison here is the State of Osun, which shares a boundary with Kwara State. In Osun State, the pro-active policies of the governor of the state has spared the citizenry wide spread misery, as well as heightened anxiety. The security landscape is well secured, the state is well policed and at ease with and within itself.

We recall the procurement and distribution of 125 Security Patrol Vehicles, 25 Armoured Personnel Carriers to security agencies in the state to enhance security and an helicopter for air surveillance by the government of Osun. These are in addition to encouragement being given to security personnel in the state and the series of preventive measure put in place interms of youth employment.

Reinforcing this widespread opinion which has become the conventional wisdom is a recently published research finding of the foundation for Peace Professionals (FPP).  With data collected between 2010 and 2016, the findings rate Osun as the most peaceful state in Nigeria, followed by Kogi, Ekiti, Kwara and Imo States.

Yobe, Kebbi, Bauchi, Zamfara and Sokoto were found to be the least peaceful states in the country.

On a geo-political basis, Akwa Ibom was rated the most peaceful state in South-South, Kaduna in the North-West, Kogi in the North-Central, Osun in the South-West, Imo in the South-East and Taraba in the North-East.

The report also indicated that Lagos state had the least poverty rate, Zamfara the least crime, Ekiti, the least incarceration rate and Taraba, the least human right abuses rate.

South-East Nigeria had the highest number of higher education institutions in the country with Imo rated to be the most educated state.

What is indicative here is that the investment in human development and social services by the Aregbesola’s administration has demonstrably paid off. It also reveals the intrinsic link between human development initiatives and enhanced security. No wonder that the Osun initiative is being so widely initiated.

For this reason, we give kudos to a far-sighted government and stress the need for continuity as we approach a change-over of baton in the administration of the state.

EDITORIAL: The Race, The Runners And The Programmes

 

Osun Defender will continue to run the profiles of the people perceived to be in the running to succeed Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the governor of the State of Osun. This is being done as a public service. None of them has formally declared their intention to run, nevertheless, there is a widely held perception that they are in the race.

With events rapidly unfolding, the critical issue is what to expect? Aregbesola has shown that adequate preparation is vital. His thoroughly articulated Six-point Integral Action Plan provided the roadmap for what has been generally acknowledged as a stellar performance in office. It cannot but be a source of unease that as of now, we are not seeing a similar well constructed programme of social and economic reconstruction and rejuvenation to take the diligent application of the Aregbesola years to the next level. This is disturbing.

For kudos must be given to Ogbeni Aregbesola for decisively altering the territory of the debate as well as the perception of the efficacy of government intervention programmes. This is reflected in the fact that it will be political suicide to now go against Aregbesola’s social intervention programmes.

There will of course be issues as to the dotting of I’s and crossings of T’s, nevertheless, no one is openly going to come out and commit to the wholesale dismantling of the free school meals programme and so forth.

The fiscal landscape of Nigeria will continue to be difficult in the foreseeable future. This is understandable for we are in a period of transition from an ancient regime which virtually bankrupted the nation. In addition, our defective quasi-federalism will continue to act as a brake on the nation’s federating units. What this means is that anyone taking over at the state level must, to quote the motto of the Boys Scouts – “Be prepared”.

We therefore urge the aspirants to provide clearly-articulated, rigorously costed programmes for the public to peruse. On our part, we believe, indeed we insist that a continuation of the programmes of the Aregbesola administration is in the best interest of the state of Osun. The state having made so much sacrifices cannot afford to go back to a dismal past of underachievement. The Aregbesola template must be built upon. We will be delighted to publish any well costed programme presented to us by any aspirant of whatever political colouration.

EDITORIAL: PDP’s Apology

 

For a party whose second name is impunity; one that bled Nigeria for whole of 16 years, it was an unexpected surprise – hopefully an initial first step – towards the long journey to restitution:   

“I hereby, as the National Chairman, do admit that the PDP made a lot of mistakes; we are humans, not spirits and the ability to admit is key in moving forward…

“We admit that we have made several mistakes; we have passed through all our challenges and have acquired the experience no other party can boast of. We were sanctioned by Nigerians at the polls in 2015; let me use this opportunity to apologise for our past mistakes.

“It is the honest thing to do, a legacy to transfer to our children; we cannot continue like that. When we make mistakes, we should come out boldly to the people and apologise”.

That was Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a public forum early this week.

Nearly three years into the hangover of its electoral shellacking, it is heart-warming that the party that plunged the country into the moral and socio-economic abyss from which it is only now slowly recovering is finally coming to terms with the need to apologise to Nigerians. That is if one ignores the superficiality of the apology, the subtle attempt to parry away responsibilities for the most sordid legacy – and the dubious play at semantics.

Is this a genuine act of contrition or is this just part of the electoral calculation? Is the party genuinely repudiating the impunity, the maladministration and corruption for which it is now famously known? And apology for what?

On the first, it is difficult not to see the so-called apology as part of its electoral calculation. With the 2019 elections barely a year from now, it seems understandable that the party would seek to launch itself back into reckoning if not necessarily into the hearts of Nigerians. Moreover, after surviving a bruising internecine schism that tore right through its middle, a sound bite like the one coming from Secondus would appear necessary to court some attention.

On the second, with the way it has been carrying on, it is hard to see the old leopard change its spots anytime soon. Third – and this is tragic – is that the PDP leader refers to the affliction of 16 years – more appropriately a crime against the people – as a “mistake”. We consider it an abuse of the word.   

True, Nigerians may be prone to amnesia. However, the wounds inflicted by the PDP are not only still deep but certainly too fresh for any mealy-mouthed apology, no matter how elegantly couched.

By the way, where does the apology start from? From the do-or-die politics that the party enthroned– a variant of which became the garrison politics of the PDP Southwest? Is it the legacy of electoral fraud – the flagrant disdain for orderly democratic processes under which names of winners of party primaries are substituted with those who did not even contest as was the case in Rivers?

Do we recall the case of Edo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti gubernatorial elections in which winners in the elections were returned as losers until the courts stepped in to do justice?

What about the legacy of underdevelopment? How can anyone begin to talk of an apology for the mind-boggling heist perpetrated by party hierarchs under which governance was reduced to a bazaar without first admitting that crimes were committed against the people if only as a first step into the long journey to full restitution?     

Surely, Nigerians recognise genuine contrition when they see one. This so-called apology, aside falling short, makes a mockery of the word. After serially gang-raping the country for 16 years, the least citizens expects is that the party would take deliberate and practical steps to purge itself of its ignoble past. Only then will Nigerians begin to take it seriously.

EDITORIAL: Return Of Dapchi Schoolgirls

 

Nigerians must have heaved a sigh of relief with Wednesday’s confirmation by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that 106 out of the 110 students abducted from Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State on February 19 have been released by their captors. Considering that five of the students remain unaccounted for, and with speculations rife that they may have died, Nigerians, understandably could not have bargained for that kind of closure.

If only for the sake of the remaining parents, the distraught citizens forced endure the trauma, and indeed the global humanity which bandied together in solidarity while the ordeal lasted, we expect the federal government not to leave any stone unturned until the remaining missing children are accounted for.  

Clearly, there are lessons to learn from the unfortunate saga. The first is that the war against the Boko Haram insurgency is far from won. True, the insurgents, as a fighting force, may have been substantially degraded; their capacity to wreak havoc remains no less lethal. Second, that the nation which swore “Never Again” after the Chibok saga was again caught hands down must be seen as revealing of the still pathetic state of intelligence after nearly a decade into the insurgency.

The third revelation must be seen in the absence of synergy between the military, the police and the civil authorities in the area. Indeed, each appears to have acted as if the other does not matter. The officials of the local government which ordinarily ought to have provided the first tier of intelligence acted as if that tier of government does not exist. It was like the military, said to have left the place for other service exigencies, could not be bothered about what happened after; they acted as if calm has fully returned to the area. As for the police, they acted more like bystanders leaving the hapless villagers to stew in their juices. Then of course is the inexcusable lapses under which 110 pupils can be taken away without any form of challenge whatsoever, and to abodes ostensibly far beyond the long reach of the nation’s security establishment.  

The final lesson however must be the fact that security is too important to be left to the security agencies alone. It is something that every citizen should be involved in. For us in the Southwest and the State of Osun in particular, it flows from the civic duty of the citizens to promptly alert appropriate authorities at the imminence of signs of potential threats to public order and safety.        

Now that majority of the schoolchildren have returned, we expect the federal government to spare no expense to get them assisted to get back to normal lives. As for the Yobe State government, it should urgently undertake a comprehensive review of its security architecture in the light of what happened. After the bitter experience of the Chibok girls, it would seem unimaginable that any school in the Northeast would still be allowed to present a soft target for the terrorists.

Far from being the time for our gallant military to let down their guards, what the times call for is perseverance. With a grateful nation solidly behind them, and convinced of their capacity despite the odds, it seems only a matter of time before they get the job done.

EDITORIAL: Southwest Children And Stunted Growth

 

Like the proverbial stone rejected by the builder but which has become the head corner stone, so also is the story, as indeed the wisdom behind the  flagship programme of the government of the State of Osun – the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme,  (O’MEALS). 

Speaking at a two-day media interaction on child nutrition in Ibadan on Tuesday, UNICEF Nutrition Specialist, Akure Field Office, Ada Ezeogu, gave a chilling report that over 1.5 million children under five years in the Southwest and Edo needs urgent intervention to address their stunted growth. The situation across the country, she would also add, is no less grim: An estimated 17 million or 43.6 per cent of children in Nigeria under the age of five have their bodies and minds limited by stunting.

Going further down to the Southwest states, Ogun is said to have the highest incidence with 26.1 per cent or 277,462 children. Although, she did not give the corresponding figures for other states in the southwest, it seems highly plausible that Osun – with its far-sighted policies on adolescent nutrition, would be among the lowest.  To describe the situation as scary is to put things mildly. Here, we are referring to “severe, irreversible physical and cognitive damage caused by chronic malnutrition early in a child”. Aside being one of the most significant barriers to human development, the public health issues directly related to the phenomenon must be seen as grave enough.

If we may echo the words of the UNICEF chieftain: “We cannot continue to fold our hands and stand aloof with such issues staring us in the face, most especially, when those affected are vulnerable in society”. In doing that also, we must not fail to salute the unparalleled foresight of the governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for embedding child-nutrition programmes into its educational reforms.  

When the administration launched the school feeding programme on April 30, 2012, we recall only too well that many of its critics had dubbed it as yet another brainwave of the activist governor. But then, like the mustard seed, the administration plodded on, putting its money where its hearts was, convinced it was the right thing to do. That the tiny seed, as indeed many other ancillary seeds sown, have combined to launch the state on the path of qualitative growth while also earning her international recognition can only be a reflection of the profoundness of the vision and the quality of thought that went into its making.

Today, if Osun children have been adjudged among the healthiest, it is only because the state economy has also responded well to the challenge. We refer to the thousands of community caterers engaged for the programme, the enhanced capacity building over the course of the last six years, the spin-offs in backwards integration, process improvements and the overall improvement in the economic climate. That all of these have redounded in the improved health status of children and adults alike could only have happened because the state is blessed to have at the helm, a leader driven by a sense of purpose.  

We think other leaders in the Southwest can learn, borrow a thing or two from the O’MEALS programme of the State of Osun to address the problem. Considering that the future of our children is at stake, time of course is of the essence. But then, just as we have seen of the example of Osun, it is do-able if the will is there.

{LETTER TO THE EDITOR} Prostitution, A Societal Ill On Our Campuses

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The growing rate of prostitution in our tertiary institution is becoming a cause for serious concern.

It is not strange that businessmen, politicians, yahoo boys as well as highly-placed men in the society are the major customers patronising these set of wayward female students.

When you visit female hostels at night, you will be amazed at the kinds of men with their exotic cars that are coming in numbers to pick up these young undergraduates for sex and other illegal cum abnormal activities.

Viewing this matter, one of the main reasons for this mischievous act is “Poverty”. The first excuse that is given for prostitution as gathered is poverty. Young ladies whose parents are incapable of taking care of them and their siblings tend to go into prostitution so as to make ends meet.

Peer pressure is another reason for indulging in this immoral act, as ladies are pressurised into this illicit trade because their friends are into it and they do not let them know the dangers involved, so they ignorantly succumb, thus constituting nuisance to the society.

Laziness also adds to the numerous reasons why some ladies venture into prostitution, as they are naturally lazy expecting unknown men to cater for their needs. They want to live the high life, buy expensive clothes, live in a penthouses, use the latest gadgets and designers and appear posh.

Looking at this, if the tertiary institutions can make laws to prohibit this ill-practice on our campuses and arrest anybody caught in the act by handing them over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution, will reduce it to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated.

Religious bodies and clerics also need to up their antes as constant remembrance in their sermons is essential such that our youths will abhor wayward living and embrace the teachings from the holy scriptures.

Parents also have a significant role to play in stopping or reducing sex trade on campuses by teaching their children good morals from home and trying to meet the needs of their children in school, as this is expected of them as parents.

The government also is not helping matters with the rate of youth unemployment for the mindset of most of these girls are that when they graduate, their chance of being unemployed is relatively high and instead of just sitting down at home they engage in this ungodly act called prostitution.

  • david adejuwon, Osogbo.

EDITORIAL: Rehabilitating The Libya Returnees

With characteristic thoughtfulness, the government of the State of Osun has laudably embarked on the rehabilitation of 25 indigenes of the state that were among those evacuated from Libya by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) and security agents. 12 of them were received by the government in January, while another set of 13 were received on Sunday.

Osun has not been associated in the media with the issue of Libya returnees. And for a sensible reason. The low poverty rates in the State has mitigated and blunted the hustle in search of the elusive golden fleece and illusory greener pastures. The landscape created by the government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has also not given the space for criminal gangs and human traffickers to operate with impunity. This is a clear indication of the efficacy of the social intervention programmes of the administration which have resulted in keeping hope alive.

It is all very instructive and we commend the Osun framework to all the States in Nigeria and right across West Africa. Social intervention initiatives are a veritable anti-poverty mechanism. The various social intervention programs such as Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES), Osun Ambulance Scheme (O’ Abulance), Free School Feeding (OMEAL), Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (OREAP), Destitute Rehabilitation (O’REHAB), Osun School Infrastructural Development (O’ School), Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QUIP) and Care for the Elderly (Agba- Osun) amongst many others have definitely blunted the allure of the human traffickers and the con- artists  and scammers peddling an elusive Eldorado. It shows very clearly that poverty is the trajectory that has created the framework for the human traffickers.

We commend the government of the State of Osun for its far- sightedness in initiating and sustaining these programmes in a harsh economic climate.

Very correctly, one of the returnees, Jimoh Aisha, who claimed to hail from Ikirun appreciated Mr. Aregbesola for the fatherly role played for her and other returnees by sending government officials to bring them back home amidst all odds.

She promised that the memory of this goodwill of the state Governor shall continue to be evergreen in their lives.

The Commissioner for Special Duties, Honourable Oguntola Toogun who received the second batch of the returnees in Osogbo said the government has camped the returnees and is attending to their welfare.

It is commendable that the government has reunited the first set of 12 returnees with their relation.

The next step must now be full rehabilitation of the second set and their reintegration back into society, so that the returnees having seen the futility of their actions can now be midges back into leading productive lives.

Once again, kudos to the government for its pro-active social sustainability measures which has largely shielded Osun from the worst of the human trafficking scourge.

EDITORIAL: The Road To 2018

 

It is within the composition of the human condition that men and women have ambitions and have great dreams. This is also the nature of politics. It is therefore natural that there is a lot of jockeying as well as positioning in states like Anambra, Ekiti and Osun where elections for governorship will be held in 2017 and 2018. Unseemly as it looks, it can be argued that it is never too early to start even if it means jumping the gun.

There is however a common thread amid all of the manoeuvring which is profoundly disturbing; this is the glaring absence of a programme. Not just a general mission proposal or a statement of intent, but a well thought out and rigorously costed roadmap. The absence of this is unsettling. For at a time of economic disequilibrium, anyone aspiring to one of the great offices of state ought to come in very well-prepared. The person ought to be armed with a very sensibly worked out and realistic plan of action to withstand the economic problems caused by a society in transition.

This is because in our defective quasi-federalism whoever is the helmsman of a state government will have to operate with one hand strapped to the back. This is a difficult proposition which requires deep thinking as well as managerial sagacity. In this area of preparation, the incumbent governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has clearly set down a marker which should be established as an immutable precedent.

Aregbesola after years of diligent preparation came into office with a well thought out programme of social and economic reforms, which has not just repositioned the state of Osun, but has rejuvenated it and breathed new life into the rural economy. The gains have been solid and institutional frameworks, as well as sustainable mechanisms have been put in place for these reforms to stand the test of time. When he finishes his second term even within the international and local economic difficulties, there will be long lasting and irreversible achievements to showcase.

This newspaper therefore calls on all the intending aspirants to follow suit. They must present to the electorate realistic, well thought programmes to continue from where Aregbesola would have stopped.  Such a programme ideally should be within the positively acknowledged “Alternative Perspectives” within which Osun has recorded such solid, in many cases landmark path-breaking achievements. To do otherwise will be akin to raising false hopes and selling the electorate what in effect will be a false prospectus. This will be fraudulent, immoral and will ultimately backfire after a lot of damage would have been wrought.

For example, the statement made by Senator Iyiola Omisore declaring his intention to run was full of old fashioned vitriol, unfortunately nary  a thought was given to a detailed  and costed programme of action. This is a throwback to an unedifying past and is certainly not what is needed now.

We therefore urge all the aspirants across partisan divides to do so within a much more serious template than is being observed at the moment. The State of Osun deserves candidates who will come in with the same seriousness of purpose that Aregbesola came in with. This is what makes the difference.

 

  • This editorial, published in the April 16, 2017 edition is republished due to its relevance to the current political situation in Osun

(EDITORIAL) Herdsmen Crisis: A Laudable Pro-Active Initiative From The Ogbeni

The helmsman steering the ship of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has once again demonstrated the need to be pro-active. This is reflected in the strategic imperatives adopted by the government of the state to prevent herdsmen attacks which has been prevalent in some neighbouring states.

The policies, well thought out and assiduously implemented, have made sure that such attacks have not been pronounced in the state.

We give kudos to the Ogbeni for the far-sighted adoption of this strategic framework long before the issue hit the front pages and became a national security threat across the country. The enormity of what has become a threatening national security calamity is reflected in the letter sent to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria three days ago by the president, Muhammad Buhari.

The President’s letter was in response to the Senate’s which detailed its resolutions on the killings and the way out of the development.

The government of the State of Osun saw it all coming. As far back as June 2014, a committee had been set up to interface between Fulani/Bororo herdsmen and farmers in the state, as well as sorting out any potential, perceived or actual grievances from their respective activities. Had this been done in other states, this national crisis would have been avoided.

We cannot wish away the problems of climate change, a weak internal security mechanism and clashes of culture. But to acknowledge the Chinese ideography for crises, we can turn danger into opportunity to ensure peaceful co-existence amongst and within communities.

This is illustrated in the statement of the state’s Commissioner for Special Duties, Honourable Mudashir Togun that “in addressing them, (potential area of friction which can turn into full blown crisis) the government has provided 11 boreholes in their various settlements, gave them Hajj slots, and renovated nomadic schools in various settlements in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). All these have given the herdsmen and farmers the confidence that the government is actually determined to ensure peace between the two parties.

“Sometimes, there are issues of some disgruntled herdsmen destroying farmlands, and because of the sincerity of the government and the involvement of the Fulani/Bororos in the state, we were able to identify such cases and where necessary facilitate compensations for such farmers.”

This is the way to go and the sensible thing to do. Once again from the State of Osun, there is always something trailblazing. Just as the state gifted the nation the uplifting free school meals program which has now been adopted by the federal government and initiated in many states, the effective pro-active containment strategies adopted to stem the herdsmen/farmers clashes should be incorporated into a new policy by the federal government to be adopted by the states and the local governments.

Sensible policies save money, lives and prevent social upheavals. Any right thinking person must put aside partisan bickering and give kudos to the pro-active Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. By his astuteness, the Ogbeni commendably averted dislocation, as well possible loss of lives. For doing so, he has earned our gratitude.

EDITORIAL: A Forward Thrust In A New Year

We commend the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for the payment of full salaries for the month of December. This forward thrust has resulted in a positive change of mood in the state. The multiplier effect as people have started receiving text alerts from the state treasury has been pronounced.

The government is also to be commended for standing by the various agreements reached with the Unions.

This is a fundamental testimony of the efficacy of the social contract which fundamentally binds the government with the populace and civil society.

In view of Nigeria’s lopsided quasi-federalism, the state government of Osun has had to carry out a delicate balancing act. The contractual obligations to its workforce has to be acknowledged, but at the same time the physical and social infrastructures have to be built to protect and enhance sustainability in development.

In this way, the government is protecting the future of another generation. It is a delicate balancing act. The figures are revealing. Out of total expenditures between 2010 and 2017, N60 billion representing 23% went on infrastructure and N200 billion representing 77% went on salaries and pensions.
Ogbeni Aregbesola must be commended for his ingenuity in balancing competing needs. He has very sensibly acted not as a politician with an eye on the next election, but as a statesman in the interests of generations yet unborn.

The verdict of history on his tenure will be very positive.

As the administration winds down with elections slated for September 22, 2018 we should be of good cheer. The decisive gains in infrastructure must be protected. The state of Osun is at ease with itself and is one of the most peaceful in the country.

The state is also the second highest in terms of the human development index. Starting from an excruciatingly low base, Aregbesola has incontrovertibly declared a dividend of democracy in a very difficult economic climate.

History therefore beckons on Aregbesola to use his acknowledged political skills and managerial sagacity in order to ensure continuity. The government to be elected on the 22nd of September must be committed to carrying the progressive agenda to the next level.

The people of Osun deserve this and every single individual must assist in order to ensure that there is no backsliding to a discredited old ways.