Aregbesola Asks Corps Members to Shun Negative Practices

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Monday advised the 2017 batch ‘A’ stream 1 corps members to shun all negative practices that may impede the development of the country.

Aregbesola who spoke through the Commissioner for Empowerment and Youth Development, Mrs. Adegboyega Adetoun during the passing out ceremony at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Ede, said “I urge you as the next set of leaders to stand out and prove your mettle wherever you find yourself and indeed, our people look up to you as an integral part of its skilled population to light a candle instead of complaining of darkness; to eschews all forms of ethnic cleavages, nepotism, corruption, mutual suspicion and other negative beliefs and practices which have kept us backward in the comity of nations.”

“All the things that you were exposed to while on camp were not accidental. They were purposefully crafted for you to internalize and practice”. Aregbesola also stressed that, the corps members should integrate themselves and come to terms with socio-cultural values of the people of Osun State.

Echoing in same line, the coordinator of the Osun State National Youth Service Corps, Mr Emmanuel Attah said any erring corps member will be sanction according to law.

He said, “Shun all forms of indiscipline, corrupt practices, partisan politics, religious extremism and disrespect for the sociocultural values of your host communities. Let me warn that those who engage in all forms of lawlessness will surely feel the long arm of the law”.

Osun By-Election: Makarfi’s PDP Faction To Sponsor Candidate Under SDP

It has been revealed that the Makarfi’s faction of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Osun state has resolved to sponsor candidate for Osun West Senatorial election under Social Democratic Party.

According to a public announcement released by the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Ogo-Oluwa faction loyal to Chief Iyiola Omisore said the need to fly the party’s ticket under SDP platform became necessary due to leadership crisis rocking the party.

It reads, “This is to inform the general public and esteem supporters of Peoples Democratic Party-PDP in Osun state that Makarfi faction of the party in Ogo-oluwa area of Osun state in alliance with other 17 political parties in the state have resolved to present a single candidate under the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP) to contest the forthcoming bye election.

“The resolution is as a result of the lingering crisis rocking the apex body of the PDP. In the same phenomenon, Delta state PDP contested Warri South Constituency 1 by-election into the Delta State House of Assembly under the platform of Accord Party where the Accord party scored 5,650 votes to defeat the APC and Alimodu sheriff’s faction of PDP who scored 2,020 and 182 votes respectively.

“The step taken is a yardstick measure to avoid repetition of what happened in Edo and Ondo state respectively during the build up to the state governorship election and to also prevent Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, to disqualify PDP over submission of two candidates name for one party and one vacant political office.

“As we await judgment of the Supreme Court the aforementioned decision are in line with a statement credited to Prince Dayo Adeyeye, spokesperson of the Caretaker Committee of the Markafi led PDP.
He said “it recognised the anxiety of PDP members in the forthcoming elections since the party platform was still in dispute.

According to the statement, Prince Dayo said “while it would like to avoid the situation in Edo and Ondo governorship elections, which PDP lost due to internal crisis State chapters are allowed to take any decision they consider appropriate.

“That was why we deliberately decided not to run parallel congresses in Anambra State in order not to subject our party members in that state to the agony of a disputed platform.”
He said the decision was taken in view of the fact that the appeal before the Supreme Court was not likely to be adjudicated before the elections.

Video: Making Ede Cocoa Industry Work 15 Years After

Commissioned on October 17, 1982, the Ede Cocoa Product Industry was setup to process and refine Cocoa from harvest to products of high standard and exports.
However, in 2001, the industry became moribund until 2016. For years, the industry that has hitherto been a model and part of the industrialization sector of Osun became obsolete and moribund with equipment worth millions of naira ineffective. But in 2016, the Aregbesola administration in partnership with Skyrun Cocoa Processing Company agreed to rejig the industry for optimum performance. As of today, the partnership has yielded positive results. One is the daily assemblage of 20,000 tonnes of Cocoa for processing to various products.

The company presently process 20,000 tonnes of Cocoa into Cocoa Liquor. In a chat with news men recently, the company says it will soon begin the production of Cocoa Powder and Cocoa Cake. Also, the Commissioner For Commerce, Co-Op & Empowerment, Mr. Jayeoba Alagbada revealed to newsmen over the weekend that through the partnership with the company running the industry, the state of Osun owns 30% equity which gives it a 30% revenue derivable from all resources and funds generated.

“Through this partnership, many people in Osun would learn the trade of cocoa processing. The possibilities are just endless. At least, now, our people know that more value accrues to them if they process cocoa rather than exporting in its raw form,” the commissioner stated.
It was revealed that the industry has plans to expand it capacity in the next few months.
The Ede Cocoa Industry At A Glance
1. The Ede Cocoa Processing industry was revitalized in 2016.
2. Before 2016, the processing industry was moribund for 15 years.
3. At current capacity, the company processes about 20,000 tonnes of cocoa daily.
4. Production capacity was actually increased  by 200%.
5. The processing industry is currently being run by Skyrun Cocoa Production Company which presently produces cocoa liquor for local and international brands.
6. The factory has created hundred of jobs for locals.

200 Million Plates, By Sam Omatseye

Some frown because he sports a wild and luxuriant beard, as though it were a crime to be devout and be a governor at the same time. The same people have applauded the bombshell of hair around Fidel Castro’s chin when he dared the world’s powers, enthroned a system and rallied a lowly people against capitalist interlopers. Castro’s beard was no believer of Christ or Allah. It is atheist and proclaims no god except the man who bore it.

Some did not like his vocal ways. But being vocal was not the issue. They just did not want such a man to be bold.

But Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s foes clutched to excuses as launching pads to assail. Men in the political class, ecclesiastical order and even some in the media, shut their eyes to virtue. They saw only errors and when they erred they lacked the humility to acknowledge him. Rather they have cloaked repentance with silence. I must admit that some of the contrition is also a factor of ignorance.

Some of the ignorance arises from a puny media unwilling to balance familiar harangue with unfamiliar accolade. Some of the bad press began with salary deficit. The point has been made with as much authenticity as with malice that his government had what might be called an excess of zeal. It started with ambition and swallowed up project after project.

Whether it was a mammoth education project of N30 billion or the construction of roads and bridges and drainages to end the vehicular burden of the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, or whether it was the tablet, or opon imo, to simplify learning through technology, no one questioned him then. They actually saw the vision, which they praised in silence. There are others, including the social welfare programmes, the massive investment in small entrepreneurs. They came as O’Beef, for cattle. O’pig for piggeries, or O’honey for honey.

All of these were intended to raise the profile of a so-called backwoods state with knowledge and prosperity. But he did not anticipate, like many others, the dip in revenue after the fall of the naira. It hit the pocket books and the projects. But several months of salary arears became a rallying point.

Aregbesola became the poster man of financial imprudence. A few months after, it became clear that it was not Osun alone. Even at the time his story was trending, Imo State crawled under the same deficit. More states, including the oil-rich ones, began to unveil their books as workers groaned from months without pay.

But Aregbesola was not to be forgiven. Those governors who could not pay their salaries piled on with media frenzy and political gamesmanship to pillory him. The game was still unknown to many then. With the fall of Ekiti State, they wanted Osun out of his hands.

He prevailed with a clear victory in his return election. The people were more in touch with him than his assailants. That rattled his foes with deeper malice. But they have been unable to shake him out of his seat. Meanwhile, while other states have yet to get to the bottom of their salary issues, Ogbeni has hunkered down to business.

Today, he has reached a deal with the workers, and some of this news is known only under the bushel. How many of his detractors know that the majority of Osun workers have been paid their full salaries to date. Workers from grade level 01 to 07, have received their full salaries up till May. The deal was to pay those from levels 08 to 10 the package of 75 percent of their salaries. They have received that till date. Those above that level have had 50 percent.

In spite of this, they do not include the fact that cost overrun of government still goes on. This year, Osun has received only N2 billion in federal allocation, and its pay load in a month will gulp nearly all of it. Few have asked the question: how has he been able to do it?

This is the other side of the story. He has combined other forms of budget support, including internally generated revenue. If he has been accused of recklessness in the past for not anticipating revenue shortfall, no one has had time to wonder how he has done it now, even if they are too proud to praise. If he was footloose in the past, he is rooted now.

In spite of this, one of the great welfare work of this generation is flourishing nonstop on his watch. No other state comes close. His school feeding programme, that is. It is a project that defied low funds availability. As of last December, over 200 million plates of food had been served to the school children. This is a gift for a generation. I recall, as a kid in Methodist Primary School, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, how we looked forward to our meals and how they nourished our learning.

At a young age, especially in an impoverished country such as ours, school feeding may be their main source of daily nourishment. It plants the seed for future prosperity by breeding wards with healthy brains.

In infrastructure, few know that the financial crisis did not stop work. Over 800 kilometres of roads with drainages have been completed. He is still working on the Orile Owu-Ijebu Igbo road, Omoluabi Motorway that spans Gbogan and Akoda, Os ogbo Old Garage to Ilaodo as well as Oba Adesoji Highway.

There is more, but it is better for people to go and see. Sometimes leaders wait for history to vindicate them. But in such cases, it indicts the age for closing their eyes for historians to see. In the United States history, one of the great victims of such blindness was Harry Truman, who some historians have elevated from inept to near great. Because of the colour and swagger of John Kennedy, he is often overrated. They tend to judge him by what he might have achieved than what he actually accomplished. History, after all, is no impartial arbiter.

Ogbeni’s story is still evolving as governor for the next 500 days.

Revisiting Isiaka Adeleke’s Death, By Abiodun Komolafe

Though it is difficult to believe that Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke has gone to be with his Maker, the truth, if we must admit, is that the former governor of Osun State and two-term Nigerian senator is gone forever and will be sorely missed! In a similar development, while the family’s rejection of the autopsy report conducted on his remains is troublingly disturbing, its refusal to partake of the coroner inquest on this sudden incident has taken Adeleke’s family’s  cry for justice to a ridiculous height. 

While Adeleke’s death has brought many inadequacies to the fore, it is quite sad that those who were around the late politician as at the time death was nearing him by the eyelids are still roaming the streets, behaving as if they are beneficiaries of the immunity clause as spelt out in Nigeria’s Constitution. In saner climes, most, if not all, of them would have by now been assisting the police in its investigations. Inability to make them give their own  side of the story speaks volume of the nature and texture of Nigeria’s investigative capacity and justice system. 

Particularly  perplexing is the lingering-yet-infantile notion that Osun government ought to have shut down because one of its prominent sons lost his battle with death. And I doubt if Adeleke would ever have endorsed such a reactionary venture either. On the converse, that a politician  of Adeleke’s socio-economic stature and political status could descend so low as to have surrendered the destiny of his health to one quack, illiterate nurse who could not even speak the universally acceptable language is a demonstration of our leaders’ insensitivity and carefree attitude to issues that have bearings on our lives as a people and a country. As a matter of fact,  I doubt if Alfred Aderibigbe’s rise in the State Civil Service, despite his mental incapacity, was not a product of Adeleke’s ‘job-well-done’ compensation for Aderibigbe. Little wonder Nigeria is in such a sorry pass! 

On a conventional note, how should a man die and how should the cause of his death be determined medically?  Who is legally empowered by law to initiate a coroner inquest and who claims custody of its outcome? In case a party objects to its outcome, what next for either party and how can a coroner sound believable? 

If Aregbesola’s offense is having the temerity to celebrate his 60th birthday few days after Adeleke took his exit, what of Ademola, the late politician’s younger brother, who, about the same time, also marked his 57th birthday with uncontrolled fanfare and frippery? If the government is being accused of organizing a public enlightenment programme when the state ought to have been mourning the passing of a statesman, what of Adeleke’s family which has been doing everything to make sure that the slot returns to the family as if political office-holding is its exclusive rights and as if there are no other competent hands elsewhere in Osun West Senatorial District?

In my personal opinion, that the family wanted to claim sole ownership of the report, instead of requesting that it be made in duplicates and given to all the parties involved was a strange development. In my view, it’s as if the family had something to hide! The amusing part of it all is that the Adelekes of our political space will accuse Aregbesola of ‘having a hand in Adeleke’s death’ in the morning only to send representatives to the government  and the ruling party in the evening for the purpose of seeking wings to their quest! Even at that, must the family explore the method of blackmail as a tool for winning the battle? 

Confucius once averred that “sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.”  Can the deceased’s family in all honesty tell Nigerians that the late politician was without any history of health issues which could have led to complications resulting in his sudden death? On a serious note, has the family ever contemplated looking inward for the killer – real or perceived – of the respected politician, instead of futilely looking for enemies where there is none? For God’s sake, why did some Nigerians find it so exciting to be beguiled by the other side of the late Adeleke’s story when it is an indisputable fact that allegations of crime are cases prosecutable by the state? On the other hand, why has bad news continued to travel fast and why are enemies of the state feasting so hugely on it?  With the autopsy and inquest confirming our fears already in public domain, where do we go from here? Again, if carnality cannot be a purveyor or conveyor of good things, how on earth do we get Nigeria’s cult of hypocrites and the universe of doubters and haters to retune their knowledge of the understanding of the Giver and Taker of life? 

Perhaps, the most significant aspect of my argument is that Isiaka was born into a well-to-do family. And, as fate would have it, he was able to define his goals very  early in life and he was fortunate to have lived long enough to fulfill his destiny. At age 37 or thereabouts, he had become the first governor of the newly-created Osun State; and at the point of death, he was not only sitting on top of many bluechip companies, either as their chairman or Chief Executive Officer (CEO), he had also become a two-term senator of the Federal Republic. From the foregoing, the family can be said to have all it takes in this world to sponsor investigations on any ‘if’, ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ of its scion’s sudden demise.  So, where do all these attempts at blackmailing the government or bringing the governor’s achievements into disrepute leave Adeleke as a family and Osun as a state? 

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant the faithful departed eternal rest! 

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State ([email protected])

PhotoNews: Osun Marks 24th Anniversary of June 12

Government of the state of Osun, under the leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola today marked the 24th anniversary of the annulment of June 12, the election that was widely believed to have been won by late Chief MKO Abiola.

As part of activities to mark the day, a lecture titled; “24 Years after June 12: Challenges of Democracy in Nigeria” was organized where Mr Governor spoke succinctly on the need for restructuring in the country to strengthen the current democratic dispensation in Nigeria, which the struggle for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election results helped to achieve.

The special lecture which was chaired by Governor Rauf Aregbesola has Prof Siyan Oyeweso, a professor of History from UniOsun as Guest Lecturer and other discussants in attendant.


Breaking: Osun By-Election: Senator Hussein Cleared By APC NWC

The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress has cleared Senator Mudasiru Hussein to contest the party’s primaries for the Osun West senatorial district holding tomorrow, Tuesday June 13, 2017.

This is the outcome of the meeting of the NWC in Abuja which reviewed the decision of the Appeal Panel which had earlier dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Hussain on Sunday.

By the regulation of the party, the decision of the NWC of the party is final.

It would be recalled that the APC appeal panel announced the postponement of the primary to Tuesday, June 13, 2017 as against earlier scheduled Monday, June 12, 2017 on the premise that the National Working Committee of the party will consider Senator Hussein unlawful disqualification.

A 3-man Appeal team led by the former deputy governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello had on Sunday dismissed an appeal filed by Senator Mudashiru Hussein, one of the two aspirants, competing for the seat.

Therefore, delegates for the APC West senatorial district primaries are to proceed to the designated centre for the exercise on Tuesday.


Why Osun West Bye-election APC’s Primaries Postponed

By Shina Abubakar,

The Screening/Election Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Osun West Senatorial District by-election has said the reason for the postponement of the primaries by 24 hours was to allow the National Working Committee of the party to consider the report of the appeal panel on the disqualification of Senator Mudashir Hussein, one of the aspirants.

Hon. Sanusi Rikiji-led screening committee had disqualified Senator Hussein on the ground that he has failed to resigned his appointment as a commissioner in the state before signifying intention to contest under the APC, leaving the younger brother of the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Ademola Adeleke as an unopposed candidate of the party.

The appeal panel of the party confirmed the decision of the party.

At a press conference in Osogbo on Monday morning, Chairman of the Screening Committee, Rt. Hon. Sanusi Rikiji disclosed that the disqualification of Senator Mudashir Hussein was due to incurable defect to the guidelines of the party and the Nigeria’s constitution.

He said the committee had no personal grudge against any of the screened aspirants, but discharged its duty in line with its mandate and strict adherence to the provision of the constitution and party guidelines.

He also hinted that the venue of the primary election would be the Distinguished Event Centre located along Osogbo-Iwo road in Egbedore Local Government Council area of the state.

According to him, the decision on the choice of the venue was due to security situation in Iwo as a result of a recent armed robbery attack in the town and the assurance from the state government to provide adequate security at the chosen venue.


Osun West by-election APC Primary postponed

The All Progressives Congress (APC) primary earlier slated for Monday June 12, to pick a candidate for the vacant senatorial district in Osun West has been postponed till Tuesday, June 13.

The postponement became necessary following appeal by a commissioner in the state, Senator Mudashir Hussein, who is one of the two aspirants vying to clinch the ticket but was disqualified by a 5-man screening panel on Sunday.

A 3-man Appeal team led by the former deputy governor of Kogi state,  Alhaji Abdullahi Bello had on Sunday dismissed an appeal filed by Senator Mudashiru Hussein, one of the two aspirants, competing for the seat.

Announcing the postponement on a social media platform in the early hours of Monday, the Commissioner for Information and strategy in Osun, Lani Baderinwa explained that further information on the process of the primary and proceedings of the appeal panel would be communicated to the public.

“The APC appeal panel has postponed the West Senate primary to Tuesday, June 13, 2017 as against earlier scheduled Monday, June 12, 2017. Further information shall be made available soon,” Baderinwa resorted.

Also, the Chairman of the APC in Osun, Prince Gboyega Famodun has advised the party’s delegates from the 10 local governments of the district to remain calm and prepare for the primary election tomorrowJune 13 2017.

Osun Bye-Election: Committee’s Disqualification Decision Fraudulent, says Senator Hussain

The leading aspirant for the All Progressives Congress in the upcoming Osun West Senatorial election, Senator Mudasiru Hussain has described his purported disqualification by the primary committee as fraudulent, illegal and with no footing in party’s constitution.

The committee headed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Nasarawa State, claimed Hussain failed to resign his appointment 30-day before the election as required by the APC constitution and the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Hussain who spoke through his counsel, Dr Ajibola Basiru, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Osun State said: “The provision they quoted in the letter given to my principal is not in the guideline. I challenge them to provide the copy of the guideline they quoted. I don’t think it should be heard, even for their own integrity to just open and read it to us; rather they were engaging in act of rigmarole.

“The constitution of the party is supreme, the only provision in the constitution of our party that requires somebody to resign is Article 31, Section 3 of the constitution and it only relates to somebody holding party office. The question to ask is, by regulation, assuming there is such regulation amend what is in the constitution of the party?

“Secondly, the language they used, according to them, they claimed that my principal said he is serving as a commissioner. That is a lie. They asked in the expression of interest form of any political appointment in a express form; the temporal dimension, the time the political appointment was being held is not stated there.

“Of course he had been a commissioner, he was appointed as a Commissioner. Throughout the screening exercise, he was not asked what happened to that appointment; whether he resigned or not. “That is not even the issue; the language they used in the letter given to Hussain, they claimed that in their guideline, that the aspirant shall not remain an employee in the public service within 30 days preceding the date of an election.

“The Court of Appeal, in the case of Dada and Adeyeye, Part 920 of the Nigeria Weekly Law Report has stated, interpreting the identical provision in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that an appointee is not somebody who is in the employment of public service.

“A commissioner, assuming he is still the commissioner is not an employee. Is it a pensionable employment? That is clearly stated by the Court of Appeal. On Legal ground, the decision of the screening committee cannot stand, on morally ground, the decision is doubtful.

“We are going to appeal this process but we not know that certainly there is danger because people who are supposed to be of credibility can act with whims and caprices. I say with all sense of credibility that the primary will hold and Senator Mudasiru Hussain will trump.