Aregbesola Orders Immediate Construction of Hydro-power Stations

Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has ordered immediate construction of 8megawatts and 5megawatts hydro power stations at Ikeji-Ile and Okinni axis of the state.

He said the action was necessary to complement electricity supplies to the state and make life more comfortable for the citizens.

Aregbesola gave the directive while receiving a template being presented by the project contractor, CBC Energy/UNIDO at the official presentation of the proposed 20megawatts Hydro-power Investment Proposition on Osun Water Bodies, at Government House, Osogbo, on Thursday.

The Governor described electricity as a powerful economic determinant and explained that “though we are projecting 20megawatts of hydropower energy for Kajola, Ikeji-Ile, Owalla dam in Okinni and Ede, we are starting with this while the subsequent follows.

“This is necessary having taken into cognisance the state’s
electricity requirements coupled with challenges attached to electricity supplies.

“Our effort on this is to ensure that the general well being of our people takes priority in all we do.

He charged the contracting company on excellence and quality job delivery, saying the state would do everything possible to accomplish the goal.

Earlier, the Managing Director, CBC Hydropower Energy, Engineer Kunle Oderinu commended the state for being resilient to human and capital developments.

He disclosed that the company having obtained an approval from the state to execute the projects, has done a lot to ascertain successful implementation, saying all the preliminary works had been done including feasibility studies to prevent any adverse effects of the projects. He therefore reassured the state of quality services.

In his presentation, Newton CBC Consultant, Samsideen Alabi, said “the company would do everything humanly possible to deliver on its promises to the state”.

I don’t have any Skeleton in my Cupboard-Oluwo of Iwo Refutes Arrest Warrant

An Osun Monarch, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Abdul- Rasheed Akanbi, who an Osogbo Chief Magistrate court judge, Olusola Aluko, on Tuesday ordered his arrest for his failure to appear personally in a suit before him has described the order as an abuse of the judiciary saying he has not committed any crime to merit such a judgement. The monarch also threatened the judge with a “traditional arrest warrant”.
Speaking publicly for the first time on the issue, the Oba met with reporters in Osogbo and stated that he never received any bench warrant and only read about it in the papers. Accusing the judge of “playing the tune dictated by a piper”, Oba Adewale also stated that the court had no jurisdiction in the case.
The Oluwo, who insisted that he had no case to answer before the Magistrate Court, however said he had great respect for the the judiciary and the law, adding that he would be ready to answer any serious charge preferred against him in any law court.
He said: “Because somebody or some people somewhere do not like my guts they are making use of an available tool to do their bidding. But I don’t care and I want them to know I cannot be intimidated and harassed by anybody. I’ve got so much to do for my people and I would not tolerate any distraction.
“They are certainly envious of my selfless service to the people of Iwo and its environs but that is their headache, not mine. They are desperate, using the idle hands and those without integrity to carry out their diabolical plans. I don’t have any skeleton in my cupboard. My detractors just want to drag the name of the Oluwo of Iwoland in the mud.
“I don’t even involve myself in land matters or sale of lands. I don’t even have a private house. My utmost priority is the well-being of my people. I toil day and night for the progress of my town. The magistrate and the oba in question are being paid and sponsored by my detractors and this is the price I’m paying for my success and fame.”
Earlier, the Oluwo-Oke of Iwo-Oke, Oba Kadiri Oba Adeoye, approached the Magistrates’ Court, accusing Oba Akanbi of concealing facts about his past to the government when he was installed as a first-class monarch about a year ago.
Oba Akanbi described the court order as an insult against his throne, saying it was obvious the judge was out to intimidate and harass him for “reasons best known to him and his sponsors”. He called on other traditional rulers to join in condemning the “insult” and not see it as his own personal problem.
The monarch, who insisted he had no case to answer, however, said he had great respect for the judiciary and the law, adding that he would answer any serious charge against him in any court.
Commissioner of Police Fimihan Adeoye said he was not aware of any bench warrant of arrest on the monarch and warned the public not to drag the police into sensitive matters such as obaship tussle.

Aregbesola Commissions Another Omoluabi Mortgage Bank

As part of efforts to turn Osun to a commercial hub of the SouthWest, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday commissioned another branch of Omoluabi Mortgage Bank Plc. in Ilesa.This makes a total of three Omoluabi Mortgage Banks in the state.

Aregbesola at the official opening said the expansion of the bank was necessary as part of efforts to further enhance economic development and commercial activities of the state.

He said the bank with its N4.6billion capitalization and N2.5billion assets capacity had contributed significantly to the economic viability, growth and development of the state since establishment.

Governor Aregbesola who described Omoluabi Mortgage bank as one of the best among its peers said the bank has been upgraded to meet the needs of the residents of the state as regards banking system.

Governor said branches of the bank are established across the state to promote and ease socio-economic activities of the residents irrespective of distance and locations.

He said his government’s initiatives to upgrade the modus operandi of the bank in line with international best practices had aided the state towards actualizating its economic dreams.

Speaking on the economic impacts of the bank, Aregbesola said the bank has the capacity to give out housing loans with little interest of 6 percent.

He said the bank has been empowered by the Central Bank of Nigeria and other regulatory agencies to render all services peculiar to commercial banks in the country.

Aregbesola further disclosed that the bank (Omoluabi Mortgage Bank) has a cordial collaboration with First bank and Access bank with the aim to enhancing effective operations in banking industry.

According to him, “Omoluabi Mortgage Bank has the capacity to perform all the services that can be rendered in any of the commercial banks in Nigeria.

“Deposits, withdrawals and other transactions can be made easily in any of the branches of this bank just as the bank can also give out housing loans with just 6% interest”, he added.

Governor Aregbesola who promised to replicate the branches of the bank across the state before the expiration of his tenure said, efforts are on the top gear to accomplish the goal as the state was ready to commission Ife branch next year.

He there urged all and sundry to see the bank as theirs with prompt patronage.

In his welcome address, the Chairman Board of Directors, Omoluabi Mortgage Bank, Alhaji Bayo Jimoh who described the bank as one of the successful banks in the country, said Omoluabi Mortgage Bank has been empowered to compete favourably with its counterparts in the subsector all over the world.

He said the dreams of the state with the establishment of the bank has been tremendously achieved in the last few years of establishment.

Jimoh noted that the efforts of the bank (Omoluabi) in expanding its branches was to enable it reach the nooks and cranies of the state and at the same time promote economic development by empowering businesses and creating employment opportunities.

Recounting some of the efforts made by the state government at upgrading the bank from its previous nomenclature, Jimoh said the bank which was initially registered as Livingspring Building Society way back in 1993 had gone through transformational changes all in structure, form, nomenclature, management and capital funding that helped to metamorphose it to Omoluabi Mortgage Bank Plc having successfully met the listing requirements of the Nigeria Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission respectively.

He added, “There is no doubt that it has been a long journey characterised with a lot of pains of growth before arriving eventually at the present shore, where we can boast without any fear of contradiction that this bank is sufficiently empowered to compete successfully with its peers in the subsector”.

The Board Chairman disclosed that the recapitalization of the bank by Governor Aregbesola in the quest to take the people out of poverty, was aimed at not only strengthening the bank but also to reposition it to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the local market for speedy growth, profitability and empowering the good people of the State.

He revealed that, the bank has restrategized its banking operations with a complete overhaul of its former business process and embracement of an up to date technology in carrying out its business.

“This include among others the successful acquisition of banking software that enables seamless operations and ICT sufficiently adequate for Mortgage Finance and Banking Operations but at the same time addresses the core banking, treasury, consumer and corporate e-banking, mobile banking and web based cash management requirements for universal, retail and corporate banking that meet international standards”, he added.

Jimoh therefore commended Governor Aregbesola for boosting commercial activities of the state by contnuously threading the path to economic prosperity through the establishment of viable banking industry.

He said the government’s continued support has tremendously gone a long way to spur the officials of the bank on the need to continuously nurture the bank to become a pride to the state, saying “It is our hope that through patronage and cooperation of our host communities, there is the assurance of success”.

Earlier, the Managing Director, Omoluabi Mortgage Bank, Mr. Ayodele Olowookere, commended the state government for expanding the branch of the bank across the state.

Olowookere reassured the residents of the state on effective and efficient services, adding that “the necessity has been done by the state to serve the people excellently”.

He appealed to the host communities to need to be patronising the bank, saying “whatever the dividends made in any of the branches of the bank belongs to Osun government”.

Aregbesola Reaffirms Commitment to Osun Youths

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to continuously prioritise the welfare of youths and children in the state.

Governor Aregbesola stated this while addressing children during the 2016 Children’s End of the Year Party, at Government House, Osogbo.

Aregbesola who described youths as indispensable instruments for socio-economic survival of any nation, said his government has successfully harnessed the potentials of the youths in all its policies and programmes.

He explained that although the state has consciously brought youths to limelight with its interventions in education, health, agriculture, and security, more plans are in place to further contribute significantly to youths empowerment for maximum development and to make life more meaningful, abundant and prosperous for all.

According to him, “We designed our policies in such a way that youths are consciously prioritised having been informed on the untapped potentials of youths to all round development.

“Our education policy has been youths development likewise agriculture, health, security among others as we are conscious of developing youths for maximum productivity”, he added.

Speaking on the significance of the event, Governor Aregbesola said the celebration was worthwhile to bring together children who he described as the determinants of the future of the state.

He tasked the children on the need to prioritise their education as being done by the state, saying “education remains the only surviving mechanism to greatness.

Aregbesola therefore called on the parents and guardians to always be conscious of the needs of their children and wards above other considerations just as he implored the children to be good ambassadors of the state and Nigeria.

Earlier in her welcome address, the wife of Osun state Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola who congratulated the children in the state for witnessing end of 2016, called on the children to always embrace hardwork and shun all forms of immoral behaviours.

Alhaja Aregbesola implored the parents not to relent in showing love to their children by prioritising their well being in all they do.

She said the occasion was organized to showcase the unprecedented passions and loves of the state for children and as well celebrate with young ones at the yuletide period.

“This occasion is significant in the sense that it gives us the opportunity to yearly bring together our children from different homes and socio-economic backgrounds for recreation, leisure and to interact with one another.

“For this singular reason, we must appreciate all parents and guardians for the care of these children as we equally charge them not to be found wanting in championing their parental responsibilities on our children.

“We also implore all children in the state to obey lawful instructions of their parents, guardians and teachers and shun any act capable of destroying their brighter futures”, the First Lady added.

She therefore commended the state for continuously providing free school meals for all the pupils in public schools across the state, saying the scheme and other infrastructural development of education had contributed greatly to the well being of the children in the state.

Policeman Remanded in Osun Prison for Alleged Murder

An Osogbo Magistrate’s Court in Osun on Thursday remanded a-48-year-old policeman, Pius Felix, in prison for alleged murder.

Felix, who is attached to Awo Police Station, Ede, is facing a count of murder.

The Magistrate, Mrs Olubukola Oluwolagba, ordered that the accused be kept in prison custody because of the magnitude of his alleged offence.

The Prosecutor, Mr Mireti Wilson, told the court that the accused committed the offence on Dec. 20 at Ara Junction, in Awo, Ede.

He said the policeman killed one Micheal Ishola, who allegedly refused to stop his vehicle at a check point.

He told the court that the accused had threatened to shoot the deceased, if he failed to stop, and later did so.

He said the offence contravened Section 316 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol. 11 Laws of Osun, 2003.

The plea of the accused was not taken and the case was adjourned to Feb. 9, 2017 for mention.

NAN

School Infrastructure Upgrade In Osun, By Isaac Olusesi

Life is no longer deadly, brutish and short for pupils in Osun public schools. Today, an Osun child no longer wakes up unkempt to the drudgery of hawking wares all day. He or she is no longer vulnerable to all kinds of danger. This is because as Governor Rauf Aregbesola marked his 6th year in office, the pupils have got state-of–the–art school buildings. In their variants and numbers, these have been formally commissioned. It is a deliberate response to the strains and pains the pupils in Osun schools were made to pass through during the erstwhile government in the state. The pupils grew up with low esteem, phobia, anxiety, disorder, aggression and truancy. Threats to their health and safety hampered their right to qualitative education in a conducive environment. Statistics showed that a high number of the pupils dropped out of school. Others were put into child labour with the attendant physical, mental and emotional abuse, torture, neglect and maltreatment of all kinds that took a heavy toll on them.

The state had overcrowded, ill-ventilated classrooms, lack of trained, qualified teachers; lack of workshops for teachers’ re-training; inadequate books; poor laboratory equipment/teaching aids; and poorly dressed, malnourished pupils. Private schools in the state did not fare better either. Osun was bedeviled by the multiplicity of private schools located in churches, mosques, motor parks, club houses, tree shades and room and parlour apartments in a free-for-all atmosphere. The scenery was a mixed grill of uncertainty, a confusion that adversely affected the education sector. Private schools did not meet the increasing demand for qualitative education. Generally, Osun State during the past administration witnessed an era of proliferation of public and private schools, as government did not pay attention to their growth, development and sustenance, which is necessary for education reform in the state.

Specifically, the combination of poor funding, poor quality control, poor evaluation of schools and poor political will ruined the Osun education system. The sector did not make any significant impact. The decay in the management of schools in the State required proper handling by Aregbesola’s government. And, strategies have been put in place to address it. The resolution of the education crisis in the state has been tailored towards capacity building for curriculum implementation and a functional entrepreneurial education with skills that prepare the pupils to compete favourably with their counterparts in the country and beyond. The governor is aware that access to qualitative education would maximally reduce economic problems such as indiscipline and indolence. These are partly caused by poor curricula and subjects that were not properly taught in the school system.

As a result, the teachers and students were not properly motivated. Things were half-heartedly done in the areas of teaching and learning. And, the state governor was thus confronted with the problem of generating things that will motivate pupils to learn. Also, boosting of the capacity of teachers to improve their productivity and enhanced provision of requisite tools to facilitate teaching and learning were lacking. The Osun Education Colloquium on “Resolving the Educational Crisis, Bridging Analysis and Implementation Gaps” held recently agreed with Aregbesola’s recipe against the constraints which crippled education in the state.

As a corollary, his government went straight to reposition the state education system, with school re-classification; physical infrastructure development; school feeding and health intervention; as well as the provision of tablets of knowledge- Opon Imo. This 4-contact strategy has democratised education in the state. The re-classification of schools ended the former Primary 1 – 4 into Elementary School of Grades 1 – 4. The former Primary 5 & 6 and Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1 – 3, subsumed under Middle School of Grades 5 – 9. And the Senior Secondary School (SSS) 1 – 3 classes were re-structured into High School of Grades 10-12. Interestingly, the re-classification has not disrupted the national school curriculum and normal school calendar in the state. Neither has it modified the 9 – 3 – 4 national policy on education. How? The Primary 5 and 6 pupils, with those in JSS 1 – 3 in the Middle School graduate with the Basic Education Certificate (BECE), before they move to the High School for a 3—year Senior School Certificate (SSC). Rather, in Osun , the school re-classification runs on 4 – 5 – 3 – 4 system. This has fostered effective quality control and evaluation of teaching and learning. It has also stopped multiplicity of schools and the attendant overstretched scarce resources, while permitting the application of global best practices in education to Osun. It eased the supply of appropriate teaching aids to classes of same age pupils and relieved parents of financial burden of administering the schools. Besides, it has made available best facilities, including Information Communication Technology (ICT) in schools. It is envisaged that the re-classification will reverse the poor performances of Osun pupils in public examinations, and transform them into informed citizens who can midwife desirable changes in politics, economy, society, science and technology in the task of nation-building.

The Osun government’s effort in the education sector has removed the dilapidated, neglected school buildings and inconducive learning environment. Of the 100 Elementary Schools, 50 Middle Schools and 20 High Schools in the infrastructure upgrade under the first phase, government has successfully commissioned 20 Elementary Schools, 22 Middle Schools, and 13 High Schools. The Elementary Schools have 500 classrooms of standard dimensions, with capacity for 900 pupils between ages 6-and 9 per school, who enjoy free books, free mid-day meals and de-worming vaccines that address micronutrient deficiencies, and improve their nutritional status. And the Middle Schools, for pupils within age range of 10-14years from 3-4 kilometers catchment radius, have 550 standard classrooms, with capacity for 900-1000 pupils per school; while high school(s), for students of 15-17years of age, have capacity for 3,000 students per school at 1,000 students per wing.

Olusesi writes from the Directorate of Publicity, Research & Strategy, Osun State.

Court Issues Bench Warrant Against Oluwo of Iwo

A Magistrate Court, sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, has issued a bench warrant against the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Akanbi, following the monarch’s refusal to appear in court in a case instituted by the Oluwo of Iwo Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye.

The implication of the bench warrant, according is that the monarch should be arrested and brought before the court at its next adjourned sitting.

Although Oba Akanbi was represented in court on Tuesday by his counsel, Mr. Olaide Yekeen, Magistrate Olusola Aluko issued the bench warrant  despite the application for a stay of proceeding, notice of preliminary objection and a notice of appeal filed before the court.

Oba Akanbi, the paramount ruler of Iwoland, was dragged before the court by the Oluwo of Iwo Oke, for alleged criminal offences.

The magistrate had, at the last sitting of the court on December 2, threatened to issue a bench warrant on the monarch if he refused to appear in court on Tuesday (yesterday). 

Counsel for Oba Akanbi had told the court that his client had several applications before the court, adding that the notice of preliminary objection, which bordered on competence and jurisdiction of the court, should be heard first before the substantive application.

He said Section 19 (1) of the Magistrate Court Laws highlighted the jurisdiction of the court, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

 “When there is an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, such application should be taken first. We are vehemently and seriously challenging the competence and jurisdiction of this court and our applications should be taken first,” he said.

But counsel for the applicant, Soji Oyetayo, in his submission, told the court that the court made an order which the Oluwo had refused to comply with.
He stated that the applications, filed by the first respondent (the Oluwo) could not stop the order of the court that the monarch should appear before it.

 “I urge the court to jettison the applications. They have to obey the earlier order of the court. The first respondent should be in court today but he is not in a flagrant disobedience of the court order,” he said.
The magistrate, in his ruling, agreed with the respondent (the Oluwo) on the issue of jurisdiction, but said the notice of appeal was not ripe.
He said, “The court mandated the first respondent to appear in court. He has violated the court order of the last adjourned date. I hereby issue a bench warrant against him.”

The counsel for Oluwo, while speaking with journalists on the court premises, said the applications for a stay of proceedings, notice of appeal and application on the jurisdiction of the court, ought to have been heard first before the magistrate issued the bench warrant.

Yekeen stated that the authorities he cited during the hearing should suffice, adding  that even in a case of contempt of court, the court should hear such objections first.
He argued that the order was made in error.
Yekeen added, “As it is, what we have is that we are following the due process of the law and we believe that the law should be and grow and it should be allowed to follow the due process.

“If a doctor makes a mistake, the mistake is buried six feet under the ground but if a lawyer or a judge makes a mistake, the mistake will be inherited by generations unborn.  That is what we have today.”

New High Schools Will Bring The Best Out Of Osun Students – Aregbesola

He said any student that qualifies to be enrolled in the school is considered good enough and such would encourage others to aspire to aim higher in their educational pursuits.

He advised parents not to see it as a means by government to deprive their children entrance into the new schools, noting that they will be made to write an entrance examination where the most serious students will be selected.

The Governor stated this while speaking at the annual Children Christmas party organised by the wife of the Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola.

He said it is a move implemented so as to further sanitize the state’s education sector and bring the best out of the system.

Aregbesola said, “I urge you parents to go and obtain the entrance forms into our new high schools. Don’t listen to mischief makers who are trying to deceive you about our good plans.

“Those who obtain the forms will be selected through an examination which we believe will enable us get the best of the best into the schools for optimum performance.

“Our plans for the new high schools will go a long way in raising the standard of education in the state and we want you to key into the process”

While congratulating the children on the celebration of another Xmas party, the governor charged them to take their education seriously for them to become great future leaders.

He said the present administration in the state is spending so much in developing educational facilities in the state because his administration believes investing in the future of children through education is best way to guarantee a better future for the state.

The Governor held that the state government believes so much in creating a good platform for the growth and development of the Osun child so that they can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers from any part of the world.

He said, “As you are celebrating another christmas party today, I want you to know that our administration is spending so much in education because we believe so much in developing you for the future.

“We know you are our future and we believe that no amount of money spent into developing you will be wasted as you are our future and we want our future to be bright through you.

“I advise you to always face your education so that the huge investment of government in your education can be productive.

“We want you to be able to compete with any of your peers in the world, that is why we are investing in building state of the art schools that can compete with the best in the world.

“We are investing huge amount in the “O meal” programme because we believe through good food that are nutritious, your brains can be well developed for you to have the required mental capacity to face academic challenges”

In a welcome address, the wife of the Governor advised parents and all those present to always find time out of their busy schedules to recreate and interact with one another.

While commending parents on the care of their children, Alhaja Aregbesola implored children in the state to obey lawful instructions of their parents, guidance and teachers while advising them embrace hard work and shun all forms of immoral behaviour.

According to her, “It is expedient for you to step aside occasionally from your routine activities to come around from your different homes and socio-economic back grounds for leisure, recreation and interact with one another.

“I call on parents and guardians to continue to take care of their children because they are our future. I also charge you children to be obedient at all times and face your education for you to be great in future” she said.

Commission Inspects Ataoja’s Palace

The Justice Moshood Adeigbe-led Commission of Inquiry On Disturbance of Public Peace today inspected the palace of the Ataoja of Osogbo as requested by counsel to the traditional ruler.

Mr Adesina, at the last sitting of the panel requested that one of the evidences submitted to the panel by him (exhibit GAAC18) which is a list of Osogbo District Council members from 1954/58 be verified by the panel.

It would be recalled that the Commission adjourned sitting till today for inspection of the panel.

The three Baloguns, Kujenyo, Fagbemi/Biiro and Balogun Agoro, had dragged the monarch and six others before the panel, claiming that only their compounds are entitled to the Chieftaincy titles of Balogun and Otun Balogun.

The three petitioners also alleged that the lesser chiefs under the Balogun and Otun Balogun chieftaincy titles have just been added to the list of Chiefs by Oba Olanipekun.

The monarch has however dispelled the claims of the petitioners, saying that the lesser Chiefs have been in the Chieftaincy Declaration in 1974 during the reign of Oba Samuel Adenle.

Oba Olanipekun also refuted the allegation by the petitioners that the Chieftaincy Declaration was secretly made by Oba Adenle, saying the late monarch followed the existing law in the declaration.

He explained that the Balogun and Otun Balogun were not the only declaration made at the time, noting that many Chieftaincy declarations were also made.

Other Chieftaincy declarations made, according to Ataoja include: Jagun and Otun-Jagun of Osogbo, Eesa of Osogbo, Akogun of Osogbo, Ataoja of Osogbo, Olufon of Ifon, Olobu of Ilobu, Elerin of Erin-Osun, among others.

The Ataoja also explained that the petitioners have lost in the three judgments of the High court and Appeal court.

He stated that the outcome of the judgment was that the position of Balogun and Otun Balogun were promotional, wondering why the petitioners have chosen to approach the Commission of Inquiry instead of going to the Supreme Court.

Justice Moshood Adeigbe-led panel however adjourned the matter till January 27, 2017 for further hearing.

Osogbo Mayhem: Government Assures Residents of Safety; Vows to Bring Perpetrators to Justice

The attention of the Government of the State of Osun has been drawn to disturbances by some yet-to-be identified individuals in some parts of Osogbo, the state capital leading to commotion and tension on Sunday.
The disturbances have halted normal activities in the affected areas of the state capital.
However, the development has compelled an immediate deployment of security men who are in control of the situation and have calmed the affected areas.
The government wishes to assure all residents of their safety as efforts are also ongoing to investigate the circumstances leading to the disturbances and bringing those behind it to justice.
The Government of Osun will not allow misguided elements to truncate our hard-earned peace which is the hallmark of the State of The Virtuous.
Residents should also be reminded of the need to use the newly unveiled emergency lines: 08030808254 and 08160148023 – which are always be available and accessible for any report on any incident of fire-related disasters in the state.