(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Strike: Osun Workers And Their Commendable Magnanimity

The State of Osun workers’ bodies and their resolution to suspend the strike they recently embarked on is worthy of commendation as it portrays how wonderful, patriotic, dutiful, and sensitive they are. The horrors of the strike would have negatively affected the youthful infrastructure, welfarism, meaningful revolution currently going on in the state.

The cynical dreams and hopes of mediocres were dashed as their expectations that the strike would collapse the Rauf administration’s green revolution and last for at least the next eleven (11) months crushed the crushers.

When late Chief Obafemi Awolowo ruggedly carried out similar socio-economic liberation in the old Western Region, he did not carry the windfalls to Ikenne or to his family backyard.

When Chief Bisi Akande blessed the Osun State with state-of-heart edifice Secretariat at Abere, he did not carry the outputs and the blessings to Ila-Orangun or to his family house.

Today, the two are legends of rare humanity and breeds both in Nigeria and Africa.

Therefore, we need to appreciate the courage of this Ijesa-born and welfarism infrastructural revolutionist for his sterling leadership quality, his strength and ability to turn Osun from crawling state to a flying and blossoming economy; hardly experienced in any state of the federation.

We members of “KOLAPO AGBELE TRUST FUND FOUNDATION (KATRUF)” a newly formed NGO from Atakunmosa West Local Government hereby epitomised the level of understanding of these entire patriotic workers, their sterling leadership bodies that suspended the strike at this stage and time Nigeria is passing through the cloud of dust.

There can be no development without sacrifices and pains. All we need rest on patience, cooperation, courage and endurance to cross the shaky bridge of doom. There is a step further, which is their endurance till the very end.

The current level of growth and development in Osun is far beyond the intelligent scope of power hustlers and mediocres.

And the kind of journey in Osun is not globally new for advanced countries like Japan, South Korea, India etc. that had passed through similar problems in their unending ventures to become a globally admired state today.

We need to give Ogbeni wholesome gratitude which is the best attitude for his sterling performance instead of abuses by the cynical critiques that are not potentially gifted to build but are only blessed to destroy.

Let us join hands to build a “New State of Osun,” where exists beautiful hope for future leaders, generation to generation.

The state government should please abide by the agreement reached with union leaders without any minus.

It is the rightful steps to usher in hope, peace, sanity and continuous progress in the New Year 2018.

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.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Political Apathy And Its Consequence In Our Society

 

First and foremost, indifference to political activities and electoral processes have contributed immensely to the problem we are facing in Nigeria today. The situation of political apathy is now becoming heightened and this can have negative effect on the entire society at large.

Political apathy did not just come into existence, but it is triggered by some phenomena among which is the bad political leadership plaguing the country. Most of our political leaders today are not ready to do anything for the society. They are just there to satisfy their selfish interest and to enrich their pocket. Since people are not benefiting from the political system, many have eventually made up their mind not to get involved in voting and other political activities.

The second circumstance that definitely brings about political apathy is the non-fulfilment of promises that were made during their manifestoes. Many people rely on these promises, but they were rather disappointed. People have come to know that all political promises are mere lies and propaganda, and as a result of these, many people are discouraged to participate in politics.

Another fact is that, the way elections are usually being conducted bring about chaos, intimidation, harassment and some other social unrests that created fear in the mind of the electorate and due to all these acts, many have died while others have sustained critical injury. So, I think these also contributed a lot to people’s hatred towards politics.

To ameliorate this issue of political apathy, I would urge our political leaders to change their selfish attitude for good and caring one to better the lots of the society.

Our political leaders should also try to fulfill various promises they made during campaigns and try to restore the confidence people have in them.

I will also implore the people or those that are indifferent to politics and election to get politically socialised and participate because it is our right and obligation as responsible and active members of the nation. Not participating in elections can only worsen the situation because it will breed unqualified and non-eligible representation.

2011/2012 Pensioners: Separating Hypocrisy From Fake Political Group In Osun By Inwalomhe Donald

The 2011/2012 PENSIONERS behaviour is business-as-usual in a group run by some Osun political “godfathers,” or political elites who sponsor people to run down the government. I am saddened by the mad (talking of madness) campaign of calumny raging against Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Governor Rauf Aregbesola increased the amount being paid as pension by 500 per cent in 2011. The problem of regular payment of gratuity is not peculiar to Osun; and the government has shown its readiness to pay the gratuity as soon as the state’s finances improve. It is on record that this group of pensioners had, at one time or the other in the past, lied against the Government of the State of Osun; and in specific reference they had alleged that government collected a tranche of the Paris Club refund and diverted it, only for government to wait for a whole month before the actual release of the fund.
There has hardly been any month that his critics had spared him and his government even though no one can deny that he has from day one remained very active. Across the state, Aregbesola’s government has embarked on so many projects that even his critics are wondering how he got funding and energy to execute them. Ironically, even the execution of such projects and the policies that he initiated had remained sources of criticisms..
The campaign of falsehood has reached a crescendo of late, from the laughable to the distracting; and everything is being thrown at it, from religion to national security.
One moment, Ogbeni is bedridden and on life support, at another he is a Muslim bigot on a mission to Islamize Osun state if not Yorubaland.
The time has come for the people of Osun State to separate between hypocrisy and fake political group. Hypocrites have no place in leadership; whether in the religious, political, or cultural sectors.
The2011/2012 PENSIONERS claim they are on a mission to rescue Osun State. It is important that the people begin to show serious interest not only in the party in power but the oppositions too who are using 2011/2012 PENSIONERS.
This is because the strength of a nation’s democracy is in how vibrant the opposition is. For many discerning minds, the greatest threat to Osun’s democratic culture and obstacle to a rapid socio-economic development is not the actions or inactions of the party in power.
But Poor opposition tradition by using 2011/2012 PENSIONERSto protest during the death of Aregbesola’s mother and the only group of pensioners that introduced internally displaced camp in Nigeria.
The Hypocrisy of the 2011/2012 PENSIONERS is accusing the government of not paying2011/2012 PENSIONERS. It is easier said than done. Leadership is a practical thing. Leadership is by example. It is not enough to point accusing fingers. The leaders and financiers of the 2011/2012 PENSIONERS should tell the people of Osun their motive. This is one way they can shame the ruling party and win the confidence of the people of Osun.
In fact, political opposition is to democracy what spice is to stew.
The opposition is supposed to offer the electorates credible alternatives. Unfortunately, opposition parties in Osun have reduced itself to mere assemblage of alarmists and propaganda bearers. They are mostly known for raising false alarms about the government for not paying pension.
This is not the kind of political atmosphere that2011/2012 PENSIONERS in opposition politics thrive in modern democracies. It explains why the opposition has not been able to win in Osun; giving rise to anger and frustration on the part of its leaders and financiers.
The quality of 2011/2012 PENSIONERS language has become not only disgusting but inciting too. They have abandoned democracy to embrace insultocracy, a negative political culture that is based on insulting political leaders. A day hardly passes without them insulting the person of the governor all in the name of pensions because they have be paid.
Unable to manage their frustration, the colour of 2011/2012 PENSIONERSopposition has grown from hate to that of desperation. It was out of desperation for power that opposition politicians with opposing beliefs and ideologies
Apart from their penchant for raising false alarms, 2011/2012 PENSIONERS leaders are known for making threats before major elections. Making frivolous allegations in the press is one of them. In most cases, these alarms and allegations have turned out to be false about bailout funds. There appears to be exhaustion in the pensioners’ unlawful romance with opposition political party with the personality, gender and whatever politics being played out in Osun State. The pensioners have deliberately resorted to cheap propaganda, mischief and blackmail to cause division in Osun.
Involvement and participation of these older persons in the present politics against the government reflect the extent to which they aredisintegrated from Osun society. During the last one year, illegal political party of pensioners have emerged in Osun State.
However, they suffered complete defeat because they have allowed opposition party to use them against the government in Osun.2011/2012 PENSIONERS is being formed to assist in the interests of opposition in Osun.  It is unrealistic for Osun pensioners to be used as a political party to criticize the government.
The group is becoming a destructive problem since there is no strong opposition in Osun.  The pensioners are no longer interested in issues affecting their welfare but they involved in issues of political parties as it relates to internally displaced camp and others.  
It is clear that the so-called 2011/2012 pensioners group are obvious liars who were hired to stage protest during Governor Aregbesola’s mother burial and few days to Osun West Senatorial bye election. Their incessant political protests are unbecoming of a retired civil servant who ought to be placed and respected as a senior citizen. We know the set of pensioners that are protesting, it is not the entire pensioners of the state..2011/2012 PENSIONERS are being used by political blackmailers.
Instead of engaging in dialogue with government on issues bothering their minds as to how their benefits would be paid, they resulted in militant approach known to be orchestrated by opposition; telling lies and character assassination capable of destabilizing the peace of the state. The 2011/2012 pensioners group is a fraction of those who retired from service in 2012 to avoid being part of the Contributory Pension Scheme. They are the set of pensioners that are protesting, it is not the entire pensioners of the state, they are being used by political blackmailers.
It is disturbing and unfortunate that the acclaimed 2011/2012 retires have chosen to be blackmailing the Osun State Government and persistently constituting nuisance on the streets of Osogbo to the detriment of the peace-loving citizens through sponsored protest on the payment of gratuity and not pension. I want to describe the protest by some pensioners in Osun state as politically motivated. It is connected with the forthcoming 7th year anniversary of Aregbesola’s government in Osun State, January 2018 local government election and September 2018 governorship election in Osun. These senior citizens have be hoodwinked by the antics of those who want to play on their minds and emotions to make them appear like tools in the hands of desperate political gladiators.
These pensioners have introduced politics into the estimated N1.75 trillion bailout funds disbursed to the states and local governments that were transferred in about four tranches to some states and local governments which were stressed by the inability to meet up with the payment of salaries.
As the people of Osun State warm up for 2018 electioneering campaigns for local government and governorship election, cheap propaganda by Osun pensioners thrives and makes waves in the print, electronic and social media. The Osun pensioners issue is more political than economic because of the eventual revelation. Osun state now ranks third behind Lagos and Rivers in the implementation of the contributory pension scheme in the country. Aregbesola had stated at the presentation of bond certificates to 159 retirees from local government and teaching service. The initial fear about the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state was not necessary.
Protests could have been logically conceived as a normal exercise of fundamental human rights if truly the government had not been living up to its responsibility. As responsible elderly men and women who have given their best to their states in their agile days, it is my belief they should be more circumspect in staging protests especially at times when such actions are capable of being interpreted to mean political orchestrations from those who are desperate to blackmail the Aregbesola administration for their selfish political gains.
 It does not sound good at all that the protests by this group are taking place when the government is addressing the problem of Osun pensioners. Given the commitment already demonstrated by the state government, I know this action by this group is not supported by the majority of pensioners in the state. There is no doubt that mischief makers instigate pensioners into embarking on needless and stage-managed protests, in order to undermine efforts at resolving the pension issue.
Protests were orchestrated by some disgruntled elements and their political allies designed to undermine the effort of the state government to sustainably resolve the pension issue once and for all. Osun State
government is not only committed to clearing the backlog of pension arrears but also instituting a new regime where retiree’s entitlements are not delayed. The protests were an orchestration by some disgruntled elements and their political allies designed to undermine the effort of the state government to sustainably resolve the pension issue once and for all.
It took Osun State some years to join contributory pension scheme after the law was passed in 2004 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Governor Aregbesola has worked tirelessly in the last three years to key into the scheme and breaks the barrier.
Governor Aregbesola has introduced Osun State into contributory pension scheme in line with his plan of governance activities which have typically focused on operational activities, driven by the desire to minimise the risks of administrative errors. The Governor has considered the changing legislative and regulatory environment which has also led to this scheme operational focus, taking up time that could otherwise be spent on more strategic areas. Governor Aregbesola has identified attributes of good pension scheme governance – largely derived from an examination of leading global pension schemes. Some of these attributes could be regarded as being within the reach of most funds – the core best-practice factors.
It is on record that Governor Aregbesola has broken the barrier of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 (“the Act”) which established a Contributory Pension Scheme for payment of retirement benefits of employees of the Public Service of the Federation, the Federal Capital Territory and the Private Sector.  Although the Act came into effect for public sector employees on July 1, 2004, implementation of the Act has started in Osun State.  
Inwalomhe Donald writes from Benin City,[email protected]

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Osun New Attendance and Time Management System

The reform activities of the State Government of Osun under the able leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has received another boost with the upgrade from manual time and attendance management system to electronic time and attendance management system.

Since Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola took over the reins of administration in the State, he has blazed the trail of innovations for others to follow in reforms that focus on improving performance, productivity and effective service delivery among the State workforce. With the introduction of the electronic time and management system, civil servants in the State of Osun can now productively compete with colleagues within and outside Nigeria in accordance with international best practices.

According to the policy statement expressed in Ogbeni Aregbesola’s  “Green Book”  “there is need for civil service reforms that will not lead to loss of job as I Rauf  Aregbesola does not believe in laying people off in the name of reforms”. Therefore, it is imperative to note that, this development is not designed to witch-hunt any worker but, to improve efficiency and productivity of the workforce in the State of Osun.

-Olugbenga Oni wrote in from the State and Local Government Reform Project, SLOGOR, a EU assisted State Government project.

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: For Osun Needs To Grow With Tax

I am convinced that in any part of the world where development is seen as nothing but inevitable, the issue of tax or taxation is not something to toy, joke or play with, it is strictly business and when I say Business, it is imperative for development to thrive.

Everyone knows Tax, it is even something you hear and listen to nowadays from a teen age. But one still wonders if the people want to have attitudinal change at all towards this important necessity to make government run and safeguard governance.

For us as individuals, we make sacrifices to survive. Despite this, we crave for good things always even if it is not really needed; we just want to be seen as someone that has a good life.

In the State of Osun where government places premium on the welfare of the citizenry, they also find ways of easing the burden on the people by getting investors to grow the economy of the state by coming in to do business.

In modern entities where businesses thrive without or with small pain, there are things which makes them survive and grow with the economy.

And that’s why the government of Rauf Aregbesola places premium on providing the key infrastructure needed to endear these investments to the state.

Bridges, roads, schools, Ambulance Services for Emergencies, Environment Sanitation Mechanisms among others have been built and still springing up in the nooks and crannies of the state.

These and more are what the state is offering to the citizenry with the allocation patched up by the State’s Internally Generated Revenue as part of it’s duties and responsibilities to the people.

Aside this areas, there is one that is key and that’s security, it’s good to know that in Osun, the nooks and crannies are peaceful to the extent that security agencies maintain the peace with support from the state government in cash and provision of apparatus for them to work.

Undoubtedly, there enormous programmes cannot be sustained without the payment of taxes.

Tax is important in Osun as to every government, the issue of IGR is something that cannot be toyed with.

It is imperative for all in the State of Osun to fulfill their obligation to government by remitting their taxes to its coffers, either by paying through banks or points where the government has designated.

With this, government will be empowered to do more for the people and of course, the people will have course to challenge or call government to question on what their hard earned resources is used for.

Together let’s make Osun Viable through the payment of our taxes.

Osun toti ndara konii B’aje ooooooo

Child Abuse And Violence In Our Society

Children are gifts from God and thus, should not be abused. No child irrespective of his or her socio-economic background and physical balance or imbalance should be subjected to abuse, either from parents, guardian, siblings, relatives and the society at large.

The psychological effect of child abuse and other related violence live with them for the rest of their lives and can go a long way to influence their personalities, decision making and leadership traits, communal living and mixing culture in their latter lives. To these end, every child has the right to be loved and cared for and respected. A victim of child abuse, who has not had the aftermath psychological therapy to relieve him or her of the trauma would most likely become a violent adult with the tendency to unleash similar violence on the ones. Besides, the crisis a violent person will create within the family, the larger society can also not be overemphasised because an abused child, when grown is likely to be involved in several social vices as a means to distort childhood or lead an imbalance life. It is also pertinent to mention that any state or country that treats the issue of child abuse with levity will have to invest more on security to have a peaceful society.

It is also important to commend the state government of Osun for sponsoring bills and initiating programmes that would reduce if not totally eradicate child abuse through the “Child Right Law”. Any society that breeds its youth in a friendly and conducive environment will spend less on security.

From the foregoing policies and laws formulated for the purpose of forming a free child and society must be carefully and critically implemented, not just for the right of a child but also for the well being of the society.

Still On Osogbo/Okinni/Ilobu Road

Let me again appeal to the Federal Government and the State Government of Osun to come to the aid of residents of Osogbo/Okinni/Ilobu Road axis on the bad condition of their roads, which has not received any attention over the years.

Residents of the area have to go through difficulties in accessing their homes due to the bad condition of the road, and even in some emergency cases have gone beyond control, as travelling through the route has always been a serious thing.

Several appeals have gone to the state and federal governments for interventions, all to no avail, hence the road remain dilapidated.

While the Osun government can be exonerated on the bad condition of the road, because the road belongs to the federal government, the same thing cannot be said of the government at the centre, moreso that we have a representative in Abuja, in person of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Lasun Yusuff who is well positioned to influenced the reconstruction of the road.

The irony of it all is that Honourable Yusuff passes through the road on weekly basis, especially of recent when he started consultations for his ambition to occupy governorship seat in the state next year.

While individuals have done their best to ensure that the road is passable, they do not have the financial wherewithal to ensure its sustainability, hence the need for government interventions.

Much as the state government can be exonerated, being a closer government to the people than the federal, we appeal that something should be done, even if it is just grading of the road.

Residents of the axis will quite appreciate any intervention coming from any quarter.

The Need To Curb Indecent Dressings

“Dress the way you want to be addressed” is a popular maxim far and wide, but the question is, is the wisdom the maxim teaches ever adhered to?

A dress is said to be indecent if it is morally and sexually offensive. It entails the exposure of one’s body to the public. At this period of time, Nigerian youths are presently losing their cultural values due to indecent dressings as imbibed from a faraway culture.

The indecency is not only peculiar to ladies but also applicable to men. It has become a norm whereby guys now put there trousers below their waist,  “sagging” as called is now a rampant act across all age in the country. It is the same way women wear dresses that expose their cleavages.

It has been established that a major cause of this indecency is the emulation of western culture which are observed from social media and television.

The act is mostly displayed by their so-called “role model”. For instance most celebrities while performing wear pants, mini-skirts, bumper shorts and these are the dresses that some youths have emulated.

Dresses like these have on several occasions wrongly contributed to cases of raping violent assault and some other harassment of women. It has also forced some guys to join bad gangs which have abruptly truncated their academic pursuit on many occasions.

Practices like this should be curbed in other to put an end to some criminal acts that had been triggered by indecent dressings.

To check these acts, the parents, all educational institutions, religious organisations, government and the mass media must collaborate to help curb the present situation of indecency.

Parents must stand as role models to their children by dressing decently and also teaching them the cultural way of life.

Institutions should also ban the act of dressing inappropriately and also introduce dress code for all students to control the act.

Religious leaders should also teach and also pass out morals to their followers in other for such act to be eradicated and also put a stop to such dressings in their various places of worship.

The government should employ security operatives that will help reduce to its barest minimum the immodest dressing in our society which will be backed up by law and will be made known to the country through the use of mass media.

  • Oluwapelumi Fasoyin, Osogbo.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why We Must Laud The Construction Of Rasco Bridge

It is observed that the just concluded Rasco bridge project, along the road linking Oke-fia with Old-garage in Osogbo has now given the people of the area, residents and shop owners rest of mind that flooding, which has become an annual occurrences in the area had been curbed.

No doubt, I have seen this project as one of the meaningful achievements of the administration which no government in the past has ever thought of.

It should be noted that the bridge which had been left unattended to for years had been a source of complaints for motorists and motorcyclists before the intervention of the government.

With the commitment of Aregbesola administration, the pains that the residents and shop owners were going through have now become a thing of the past. Beyond the meaningful outlook, the expansion has now made transportation in the area possible.

In my view, no administration in the history of the state has done what Aregbesola has done across the state in terms of development, and no doubt, these had added values to the well-being of all citizens in the state.

It is public knowledge that before the present administration, Osogbo the state capital was a “glorified local government headquarters”, but with the development that had been attracted to the town, its true beauty has been unveiled.

Kudos to the man, who has turned around the state and changed the ill believe that the black race cannot rule themselves effectively.

LETTER: Restructuring Of Nigeria Is A Must

There have been agitations by different groups and individuals for the restructuring of Nigeria, particularly on the need to revert to regional government and devolution of powers to federating units. These calls have come from different parts of Nigerian, which is quite an indication that the agitation is a popular one.

No doubt, the present structure of Nigeria, whereby the central government is more powerful and richer than the federating units is absurd and clearly against the tenet of true federalism, just as it encourages corruption.

The concentration of resource control to the central government, whereby the government at the centre takes the largest chunk of the resources coming in and federating states, 36 in number and 774 local governments battle with paltry percentage. It has crippled the federating units and affect development at that level too.

In a situation where central government negotiates on behalf of state, Minimum Wage for their workers without consideration for the financial capacities of such states stands against the development of such states and their workforce.

One could recall the regional system of government of the old, when each region had control of its resources, civil service and determined the spate of its development, there was healthy competition for development among the federating units, hence the development was enormous and up till today, people still refer to the period as the best ever.

It is unfortunate that the jettisoning of that period of development had retrogressed the nation, hence, we are all struggling to survive as states and as a nation.

Besides, the presidential system of government currently in operation in Nigeria is too expensive and has seriously affected our development. Hence, joining agitators for parliamentary system of government would not be out of place as it would greatly reduce the cost of governance.

Therefore, the National Assembly should take cognizance of the facts highlighted above in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution with a view to bringing Nigeria back to the era of development. Restructuring of our country is a must and we must not be distracted to believe otherwise.

 

—Bolarinwa Abimbola, Erin Osun, State of Osun