Osun At Retreat: Charts New Course For Development

The state of Osun has said it has resolved to come up with new strategies that would help it navigate through the financial challenges while sustaining all its development programs.

According to a communique issued at the end of a three day retreat held in Iloko Ijesa, in Oriade Local Government Area of the state, the government was compelled to review its programs with a view to executing its various development programs within the context of the ongoing economic crisis in the country.

In the communique signed by the Chief-of-Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, participants at the retreat identified the need to reduce the cost of governance, increase internally generated revenues and drive investments to the state as vital to the continued growth of the state.

The document noted that the state is on the verge of ‎unveiling what it called, “a competent and capable cabinet” which is expected to be identified and inaugurated soon.

It said the in-coming executive council of the state would be expected to work in conjunction with dedicated civil servants of the state for implementation of these plans.

The communique said participants at the retreat recognized the urgent need to put in place clear action plans that would put the state on a good footing among its peers in the country despite the biting economic hardship.

Highlighting the current global economic hardship, the communique added that Osun is not alone in the economic difficulties just as participants noted that the dwindling economic fortune will affect all tiers of government, including their business partners.

“Osun has been at the forefront of innovation in governance and it is one of the few states in the country with commendable development statistics. 

“The state has made massive investments in physical and human infrastructure in the last five years. In 2013, Osun had the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the second lowest poverty rate.

“Osun’s Youth Empowerment Model and School Feeding Scheme influenced the World Bank’s YESSO programme and the All Progressives Congress (APC) National School Feeding goal respectively,” the communique pointed out.

It further noted that the commitment of the Rauf Aregbesola administration to delivering on its development initiatives to the people of the state, stating that Osun will institutionalise performance-driven governance‎.

“The role of humans in economic development must not be overlooked, so it is important to leverage on the human resources of the state to generate ideas, establish enterprises and create much-needed goods and services.

“If we can get 40% of the population to be productive and generate surplus value, we will generate enough revenue to be comfortable. The aim of the Repositioning Osun for Prosperity (ROPE) initiative is to achieve increased IGR by employing creative means to widen taxpayers’ base and supporting enforcement action,” it added.

It said that the repositioning of the state will reduce the cost of governance by strengthening the state’s public financial management system and ensure compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

The document said that the new era that Osun is entering will increase investments in the state by attracting investors for short to medium term investments in agriculture, tourism, solid minerals, and strengthening the Public Private Partnership framework.

It also identified performance-based governance with the setting up of appropriate mechanisms and frameworks to track performance in Millennium Development Agencies and government policies as benefit of the new initiatives.

Click to read the full Communiqué from the Osun Retreat here

Tuns Farms Renew Commitment To Osun Broilers Out-Growers Production Scheme

Tuns Farms Nigeria Ltd, a leading producer of broiler meat in Nigeria, has reiterated its commitment to sustain its partnership with the Osun Broilers Out-growers Production Scheme (OBOPS).

The agricultural scheme, which was initially established by the Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration in December 2011, aims to create jobs and boost food security.

OBOPS is operated on a tripartite basis and spurred a joint venture between the State Government, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Tuns Farms Nigeria Ltd and Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN).

Speaking at an interactive session with poultry farmers, the chairman of Tuns Farms Ltd, Asiwaju Olatunde Badmus, said government’s participation in the meat programme has empowered farmers to leverage on a network of buyers, including fast-food chains and retail outlets.

According to him, “Government partnered with TUNS Farm Nigeria Limited and the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) to jump start and promote broiler production to empower poultry farmers and create jobs under the Osun Broilers Out-growers Production Scheme (OBOPS).”

Osun Doctors To Suspend Strike

The leadership of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Union in Osun State has given an assurance that it will convince its members to suspend their ongoing industrial action. The assurance came after mediation by the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Najeem Salaam, at a meeting  with the leadership of the State Association of Medical Dental Officers (OSAMDO), at the Assembly complex in Osogbo on Thursday.

In a press release issued by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the Speaker appealed to the striking Doctors to suspend the action, saying the masses were at the receiving end of the crisis.

“You are major stakeholders in the health sector, and whenever you decide to lay down your tools, the masses suffer, people die. We are appealing that you go back to your duty posts while we continue our dialogue to ensure that your demands are met. The economic realities in the country, and particularly in a state like ours require that we all make sacrifices, and in making those sacrifices, the Osun Assembly will stand by you to see that justice is done,” he said.

Salaam assured the striking doctors that after calling off the strike, the Assembly would ensure that none of them is victimised for their roles in the industrial action. Responding, the OSAMDO Chairman, Dr. Isiaka Adekunle, said the appeal of the house would be taken to the congress to convince them to suspend the action. He regretted that the lack of understanding between the government and the union made the issue to degenerate.

“We will take your appeal to the house and we believe that we will be able to convince our members to suspend the strike action. The people of Osun should be expecting good news anytime from now due to the assurance we have received from the state Assembly”, he said.Adekunle commended the Assembly for its intervention, assuring that the legislature would be given feedback on the resolution of the union’s congress.

Obasanjo Prostrates For Ooni Of Ife

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday prostrated for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ojaja II, when he paid homage to him in his palace.

He described Oba Ogunwusi as his father and father of the Yoruba people, saying he was pleased that Ife people did not pick a wrong person to occupy the throne.

Obasanjo won the admiration of those present when, in his agbada, he prostrated for the Ooni.

He prostrated twice: when he arrived the palace and when he was leaving.

OBJ prostrate for Ooni Of Ife OBJ prostrate for Ooni Of Ife1 OBJ prostrate for Ooni Of Ife2 OBJ prostrate for Ooni Of Ife3

He said it was an honour for the Ooni to pay a visit to anybody, advising those Oba Ogunwusi had visited to reciprocate the gesture by supporting him in his effort to bring unity to Yoruba race.

He said those singing ‘Owu Lakokoda’ should stop and not sing it again, especially at the Ooni’s palace, because Ife is the cradle  of humanity.

The former president, who expressed support for the unity move by the Ooni of Ife, explained that the move by the Ooni was important for the progress of Yorubaland.

The former president urged the Ooni not to relent in ensuring unity among the Yoruba, adding that Ife remained the source of Yorubaland.

He said: “I commend the role of Ooni in ensuring peace in Yorubaland. Continue what you are doing, especially your unity course. I am happy with the move taken so far.

“It is only a sign of honour for the Ooni to visit anyone. That does not stop Ile-Ife from its position in the history of Yorubaland.”

Obasanjo, who prayed for the progress of Ife and Yorubaland, apologised for not being present at the Ooni’s coronation.

Responding, the Ooni expressed appreciation of the former president’s visit.

The Ooni described Obasanjo as a prominent leader in Africa, saying: “He loves Yoruba culture and had been promoting it.”

The Ooni had been visited by many Yoruba monarchs, including the Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, Oba Sikiru Adetona, to encourage unity in Yorubaland.

Dignitaries present during Obasajo’s visit included Dr Femi Okunnu, Femi Majekodunmi, Chief Oyewole Faseye, Chief Abiola Ogundokun, Ayo Balogun, and a host of others.

The Nation

Scores Escape Death As Secondary School Students Invade Radio Station In Osun

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

Scores of workers of Oke-Itase Ile-Ife Radio Broadcasting Corporation were reportedly escaped being killed by protesting students of Public Secondary School who bombarded the station and injured members of staff of the station.

They were said to have protested alleged inability of the state government to pay their West African Examination Council, WAEC fees.

The students who stormed Oke-Itase Ile-Ife in their hundreds, armed with dangerous weapons, insisting to see the manager.

They said management of their various schools had asked them to pay some amount of money in order to enable them sit for WAEC.

The protesting students requested to see the Station Manager at the gate of the radio station but only four of the students were allowed into the premises to see the Manager.

It was also gathered that the students instructed and compelled the manager, Mr. Adeoye Bakare, to immediately air that the state government has refused to pay their WAEC fees as he promised during the electioneering period.

The students were said to have pelted Bakare with stones in his office because they were not satisfied with his response.

Bakare’s loud scream was said to have attracted other workers at the station who confronted the students and clashed with them.

During the milieu, it was learned that a student had gone out of the manager’s office and drew the attention of other students at the gate to the development.

To this end, the students pulled down the gate of the station while others perforated the fence in order to force themselves into the station.

The security men at the gate were attacked while other staffers of the radio station escaped death.

About nine vehicles including three official vehicles and one Toyota Camry belonging to an official of the Federal Road Safety Commission who was at the station for a programme were vandalised.

The station immediately went off air after the “Save Our Souls” broadcast while residents of the town thronged the station to verify news of the attack.

Speaking on the incident, the Station Manager who sustained injury in his mouth said he never expected that the students would attack him.

Also speaking with our correspondent, the Director General of OSBC, Prince Soji Fadehan condemned the attack saying the station had been enjoying the peace of the town.

He said necessary actions would be taken to ensure that the station is secure to avert future occurrence.

Meanwhile, the state government has warned the protesting students to caution themselves and be of good conduct, saying the state would not tolerate any act of indiscipline, criminality and hooliganism.

It would be recalled that the state in its bid of reducing the cost of governance and as well intensify an effective, efficient and moderate cost measures  directed the management of all the Public Secondary Schools in the state to conduct a qualifier exams called ‘Mocks’ to serve as a discriminatory measure in selecting and testing the competency and ability of students to be registered for this year West African Examination Council, WAEC.

It was also gathered the State Governor since assumption of office has been paying for both West African Examination Council, WAEC and National Examination Council, NECO of the state secondary school students.

Therefore, to reduce the cost of governance and improve the level of students’ competency, it was gathered that the state government instructed all secondary schools to conduct what could be best described as discriminatory test where only the best students who pass at least four relevant subjects would be paid for by the state government.

Therefore, our correspondent learned that the protest was instigated by the students who failed the pre-WAEC exams.

Messengers Of Ooni, Owa Obokun Engage In Free-For-All

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

Pandemonium broke-out at the monthly meeting of Osun Traditional Council when the “Emeses” (messengers) of the Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaranon engaged one another over the chairmanship position of the council.

It was gathered that the fracas  broke out when the advance team of Oba Ogunwusi brought his special chair to the front for the meeting and they were allegedly resisted by Oba Aromolaran.

Sources told our Correspondent that Oba Aromolaran said the chair could not be positioned at the place where his seat is (at the front).

Ooni’s ‘Emeses’  were said to have told Oba Aromolaran that they were sent by the monarch to put the chair at the front where his seat should be in line with tradition.

The struggle to prevent the chair from occupying the vantage position of the chairman was said to have resulted in the stripping  of one of the messengers.

The monthly meeting was subsequently postponed indefinitely.

It was gathered that Governor Rauf Aregbesola had been briefed on the incident and the monarchs were summoned to the Government House for a meeting to resolve the crisis.

The spokesperson of the Ooni’s Palace, Mr. Moses Olafare, when contacted said it was incontrovertible that the Ooni remained the permanent chairman of the council.

He said, ”  Ooni will not want to be drawn into what happened. But he ( Ooni) remained the permanent chairman according to the law.”

It will be recalled that Oba Aromolaran had last year at one of the meetings said he was unanimously elected the substantive chairman of the council.

He also said that he was nominated by the Ataoja of Osogbo and other monarchs supported the nomination.

However, Oba Aromolaran introduced himself as the vice chairman of the council at December 2015 meeting which was the maiden meeting attended by the Ooni after his inauguration.

Osun Government Supports 250 Orphans And Vulnerable Children

Osun state Government through the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in collaboration with Osun Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, OSACA has distributed educational and nutritional materials to 250 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in the state.

The distribution programme which was made possible with the World Bank Assisted project was held at the Moremi Creche of the Ministry with the orphans and vulnerable children selected from across the
state of Osun.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Mrs. Adebimpe Ogunlumade (mni), in her speech stated that, such a programme will save the vulnerable children from family and community abuse, sexual exploitation, insufficient food and lack of proper education or poor care.

Mrs. Ogunlumade emphasized that the support of orphans and vulnerable children in the state will improve the standard of living of these children and help them to have a sense of belonging in the communities where they live and the society at large.

She  defined the objective of the distribution as boosting the morale of the children on one hand, as well as easing the burden of the children on the other hand.

The Permanent Secretary went further to appreciate the Civil Society Organizations for their cooperation and support to these children under their care, and used the forum to call on well meaning Nigerians to assist vulnerable and less privileged children, so that they can have equal opportunities like others in the society.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Osun state Action against HIV/Aids, Mr. Gabriel Olatunji in his remarks charged the orphans and vulnerable children not to see themselves in pitiable light but to believe in their destiny and see the best out of what life has to offer them.

Mr. Olatunji also stated that the gesture of OSACA in collaboration with World Bank assisted project is to reckon with the orphans and vulnerable children in the state for them to have confidence in themselves and not be limited by what life have thrown at them, but to forge ahead and be steadfast in their education.

Tope Fakeye, speaking on behalf of the Civil Society Organizations showed his amazement at the volume of materials prepared for distribution to the children.

He appreciated the state government of Osun and Osun Agency for the control of HIV/Aids for the social intervention given to the orphans and vulnerable children in the state, and charged the society not to stigmatize these children but to show them love.

Items distributed included, Rice, Beans, Beverages, Mathematical Sets, Big notes, Biros, School bags and money.

Osun Condemns Students Rampage

…says academic failure not a thing of pride

 

The Government of Osun on Friday described as shameful Thursday’s violent conducts of some students of High Schools in Ife, Iwo and Ikire over their failure to qualify for state government’s sponsorship of the registration for the West African Examination Council WAEC fees.

The government said it was unthinkable that students who failed examinations and should be remorseful, face the challenges of correcting their academic poor performances could go out and vandalise government property in the name of protests.

In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, government said the refusal of government to register them for West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) was because of their performance saying it would be irresponsible to continue to fund examination registrations of students who didn’t demonstrate readiness to pass.

 

“The Government of Osun, in the unmistakeable resolve and determination to bring the best out of the students, has said it ‎will henceforth register only final year students for external examination after the conduct of the in-house mock examination.

“Students who fail to demonstrate their potential success at the final examination by scoring credits in at least four subjects will not be paid for by the government. Any parent who wants to gamble can register their children.”

 

‎The statement added that it is a verifiable fact that Osun under Aregbesola has turned around the education sector with the provision of a conducive environment, building of the state- of-the- art schools and the investment in training and retraining of teacher‎s.

The statement noted that against this backdrop, government expected ‎significant improvement in the average performance of its registered students in both WASCE and National Examination Council (NECO).

 

The statement said, “It is this decision of government that some disgruntled few among the students ‎went to the streets to protest against in Ile-Ife and Iwo.

“Whereas government decision was first and foremost informed on ‎the need to seek better performance of the students. Besides, the economic realities no longer permits wastage of resources.

 

“Thus government wanted only those who will excel after its investment on them and not those who will fritter away the meagre resources‎ by performing abysmally in the examination.”

‎The statement noted that when the Aregbesola administration took over in November 2010, the performance of students in May/June WASCE result for that year was 15.68%.

 

It added that the average performance for the three years (2011-2013) of Aregbesola administration was 21.32%, representing an improvement of 36% compared with the result of 2010.

 

Government stressed that, compared with the average performance (13.26%) of the three years that preceded Aregbesola, the percentage improvement in performance of the Aregbesola years is a whopping 61%.

‎The statement described this as a significant achievement considering the challenges the state had to contend with, especially with regard to low morale among teachers, students’ indiscipline and parents that were largely lacking in discharging their parental responsibilities.

 

Government warned that it will no longer condone any act of indiscipline and irresponsibility on the part of the young ones, warning that full weight of the law will be applied if such lawless repeats itself.

Stop Discrimination Against Muslim Women- FOMWAN

…Says Hijab is not a Muslim Dress

Governments and management of various organizations have been urged to stop discrimination against Muslim women and allow them to practice their religion in accordance with the freedom of religion as enshrined in the constitution.

This was contained in a statement issued by the leadership of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, FOMWAN, Osun State Chapter.

The association stated that Hijab should not be seen as a Muslim dress, but rather a dress recommended for all women irrespective of religion.

The religious association also warned against banning of Hijab because of Boko Haram, saying that the perpetrators of terrorist acts are not Muslims.

In an address by the state Amirah, Hajia Suaibat Babalola Adubi, FOMWAN stressed that Hijab is not a mere dressing or an Arab culture, adding “it is a religious duty ordained by Allah.

Speaking on the theme: “Hijab my Beautiful Cover, my Instrument for Beautiful Conduct”, Adubi maintained that Hijab adds to beauty of women, appealing to all women to see the use of Hijab as compulsory.

The association also condemned alleged discrimination against Muslim students in government school in Osun state.

“In most of our Elementary and Secondary Schools in this state, Muslim students are being deprived of their rights to use Hijab. I wonder how this affect their academics”, she queried.

She however called on governments at all levels and stakeholders in the education sector to look into the allegation and grant Muslim girls full rights to practice their religion.

The muslim women leader condemned recent attack on ladies in Hijab in Lagos and Ilorin adding, “we implore the Nigerian authorities and governments at all levels to legalize Hijab wearing”, she pleaded.

Osun Speaker Deplores Violence In Public Schools

Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam has deplored the unruly attitude displayed by students of St. Johns High school Ile- Ife after failing to make the privileged list of free WAEC examination list proposed by the state government.

Speaker Salaam in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butikakuro asserted that the magnitude of violence displayed by the pupils has shown that the school management and the security agents were complacent, a situation that put the lives of staff and properties of vandalized radio station located in Ile Ife in great danger.

Speaker Salaam stressed that the school management ought to have laid a moral template for the pupils on the consequence of failing the mock examination used to sift the unserious ones, and the wrath of law awaiting
the deviants among them, while the security agents around the affected radio station ought to have called for reinforcement if overwhelmed; noting that paying for WAEC of indigent students was a privilege not a right,
because, the examination body does not belong to the state.

He then called on the Commissioner of Police to smoke out the students involved and their instigators, for the law to take its course, noting that such miscreants who visited violence on radio station are not supposed to be in conventional schools, but juvenile homes, saying that the state parliament would soon deliberate on what would be the fate of the school management concerned.

Speaker Salaam further said that the parliament has now been compelled to come up with a legislation that would recommend severe punishment for violent attitude in public schools.

Aregbesola Presents Staff Of Office To Five Obas

The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has presented the staff of office to five monarchs in Atakumosa East Local Government Area of the State.

The event was held at the Secretariat of the Local Government.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Muftau Oluwadare, who represented the Governor at the event, also presented to them their instruments of
appointment.

The monarchs were the Salio of Ilofa-Ijesa, Oba Elisha Aluko; the Alayinrin of Ayinrin-Ijesa, Oba Joseph Adedeji; the Alapaede of Alapaede-Ijesa, Oba Bello Aladejebi; the Agbagiri of Igbagiri-Ijesa, Oba Otunla and the Olowu of Araromi-Owu-Ijesa, Oba Amos Adeyemo Olowu.

Mr. Oluwadare urged the newly appointed monarchs to mobilise their subjects to support the government by paying their taxes and levies to ensure the development of the state.

The Executive Secretary of Atakunmonsa East Local Government, Prince Adesegun Olanibi tasked the monarchs to ensure peace and security in their domains.  He appreciated the efforts of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in the development of the Council Area and the State in general.

While responding on behalf of the monarchs, the Olowu of Araromi-Owu-Ijesa, Oba Amos Adeyemo Olowu thanked the Governor for the honour done them. He pledged the support and co-operation of the people of the five towns for the present government in the State.