UNIOSUN Tuition Fees Unacceptable – Aregbesola•Advocates Establishment Of Collegiate University In S/West

The governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has frowned at the way and manner Osun State University (UNIOSUN) is being run like a private university by charging high tuition fees, thereby shutting out the children of less-privileged, saying that the tuition is unacceptable to his administration.
In his address at the maiden convocation ceremony of UNIOSUN as visitor and the conferment of Honorary Degree on the Chancellor of the University, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okuande Sijuwade, held in Osogbo, the state capital on Saturday, the governor said that the situation of the school as at present was that children from averagely blessed homes could not afford to seek knowledge in the institution due to the high fees being charged, despite the fact that state fund was being used to fund the university, adding that “no working-class parents, who live on legitimate income could afford the current UNIOSUN fees”.
He also frowned at a policy introduced by the ousted administration of Olagunsoye Oyinlola, whereby local government council areas were being taxed to contribute to the funding of the institution on monthly basis, reiterating that “functionally, this amounts to misplacement of priority. It is ironic that while Osun councils are being bled to run a university, primary education, which is the responsibility of the councils is suffering neglect”.
Aregbesola said: “We should ask, what percentage of the student’s population is from Osun State? If the indigenous students’ population of the university is so sparse, how then could we find the financial justification for the huge sums expended on the university? In spite of the heavy dependence on government, the university is still forced to charge students heavy tuition fees. This has made it practically impossible for most people in the state, including the middle class, to send their children to this university.
“A situation whereby the public will fund an institution that is run like private universities, where high fees are charged, thereby shutting out children of the less-privileged is unacceptable to this administration. A workable solution, that will liberalise your admission policy by ensuring that no indigene of Osun State is shut out due to inability to meet your demands for high fees, should be evolved”, he stated.
The governor, who advocated the establishment of a cost effective collegiate university system funded by all the states of the South-West zone, which is capable of graduating thousands of students annually, said that the idea of a great university should enable each state to have a college, which would have the capacity to graduate four thousand students annually.
He also called for a liberalized tuition policy that would not shut out indigent applicants from the university.
When established, the governor said, the university could be funded from a ten-year rolling bond to reduce the cost of managing the institution and scholarship, while discouraging the current proliferation of universities.
He said: “Part of the solutions to higher education, I believe, should be a review of the structure of ownership. It would have been cost effective, if the entire South-West has one great university, operating a collegiate system, with each state having a college and each college graduating, at least, four thousand students every year.
“The great university could be funded from a rolling bond payable in, at least, 10 years and each state putting forward, at least, N20 billion annually. It would drastically reduce the cost of management and scholarship and prevent the wasteful proliferation of state-owned universities in the South-West”, he said.
The system, according to Aregbesola, would enable candidates of state origin, who are indigents, to afford the cost of seeking higher studies.
Advising the university authority, the governor explained that “a good university thrives well on high academic standard, the spirit of enterprise and diligent pursuit of learning for the service of mankind. You must relate well with your public by giving large berth to private persons, who are ready to partner with this promising institution, in order to extend the frontiers of knowledge”.
The governor then urged the university to ensure that its immediate communities are carried along in its research and operation so that it could justify its existence and relevance.
Also speaking, the Chancellor, Oba Okuande Sijuwade, appealed to all stakeholders to join hands with the state government to develop the institution, saying that everything could not be left to the government to do.
He congratulated the management and graduating students of the university, as well as their parents for partnering with the government to invest on the lives of the students.
The Pro-Chancellor, Professor Peter Okebukola and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sola Akinrinade,  however advised the graduating students to be good representatives of the university in the open market.

Aregbesola’s Wife Re-affirms Govt’s Commitment To Citizens’ Healthy Living

The wife of the Osun State Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola, has reaffirmed the commitment of the present administration in the state at ensuring that the citizens of the state have access to quality healthcare services.
She spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2011 Maternal, New-born and Child Health week held at Obokungbusi Hall in Ilesa-West Local Government, saying that the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola would do everything possible to ensure that the people of the state enjoy healthy living.
Explaining the significance of the event, Alhaja Aregbesola  noted that the programme was not only organised to create awareness on the need to immunize children, but to also make sure that children from birth to age five benefit maximally from the healthcare service provided by the state government, adding that pregnant women are also given preference.
The governor’s wife described any society that does not make the care of its women and children its priority as the one planning to go into extinction, emphasising that the future of such society has been mortgaged.
She commended the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Immunization, Children and Education Fund (UNICEF), Micronutrient Initiative and Food Basket Foundation for partnering towards the success of the programme and their consistency to the course of women and children in the state.
Alhaja Aregbesola then called on the people of the state to support the present government in order to fully benefit from the dividend of democracy and good governance of the government.
Highlight of the programme was the administering of vitamin A and de-worming tablets on some selected children at the occasion by the wife of the governor.
Earlier in his welcome address, Alhaji Azeez Adesiji, the Chairman, Ilesa-West Local Government Council appreciated the governor of the state for not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that the interests of children in the state are adequately catered for.
Besides, while returning from the event, Alhaja Aregbesola played a humanitarian role by stopping her convoy to lead volunteers to clear a big tree that fell across the road.
According to her, “the action was promoted by the fact that such a log of wood, which is a potential danger to motorists and other road users, must be immediately removed in order to avert accidents on busy road”.

The Man Aregbe At 54

“No event, no history”, thus runs the famous maxim. History is made today, Wednesday, May 25, 2011, as the people of Osun State give a standing ovation to celebrate their emancipator; the first citizen of the State of the Virtuous, Mr Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, who clocks exactly 54 years on the planet-earth. Today’s anniversary is more remarkable than the ones marked in yesteryears because the celebrant has, in the space of his fourth year above the golden age, become the Chief Executive of his home state. Beyond this, his life so far has been characterized by life-touching accomplishments, which have distinguished him as a rare breed. NIYI OLASINDE, in this write-up, traces the strides of this great achiever; even as he prays God that rare breeds of his stock would not be made extinct.

OGBENI Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola was born on Saturday, May 25th, 1957. He graduated in 1980 from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, where he studied Mechanical Engineering.
An associate member of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers, Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Association of Technological Engineers (NATE) and Certified Marketing Communications Institute of Nigeria (CMCIN), Rauf Aregbesola has a wealth of experience garnered through dint of hardwork in both the private and public sectors such as the Nigeria External Telecommunications Ltd and Lagos Airport Hotel before going into private practice.
The strings of awards that have trailed the life of Rauf are eloquent testimonies of all that has been said about him. Earlier in his working life, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was decorated with the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) Badge of Excellence at the Kujama Satellite Earth Station of the Nigeria Telecommunications Ltd. His other awards include but are not limited to:
•Ambassador of Goodwill for the State of Tennessee, USA;
•State Council of the Republic of Cuba Medal of Friendship;
•All-Africa Students’ Union African Leadership Award 2006;
•State Headquarters (Boys Scout) Commissioner of Engineering Award;
•Humanitarian Service Merit Award;
•Award of Excellence in Building Construction and Engineering;
•Nigerian Society of Engineers Merit Award (Contribution to Engineering Discipline);
•The best Commissioner of the year Award (Lagos State) Years 2000 and 2005;
•The Grassroots Achiever of the year Award;
•ECOWAS Community Service Gold Award;
•Worthy Ambassador of the Youth Award;
•Special Award for the support of Journalism Development;
•National Council of Muslim Organisation Distinguished Merit Award;
•Distinguished Corporate Achievers & Gold Award;
•The People’s Forum Award for Excellence;
•Hope of the Living Spring Award.
The religious and traditional titles to his credit include:
•Aare Musulumi of Alimosho;
•Aare Fiwagboye of Lagos;
•Balogun Musulumi of Ijesaland;
•Araba of Egbedaland (designate);
•1st Aare Musulumi Adinni of Abu Court.

Throughout his tenure at the Lagos State Public Service (1999-2007), he confounded all with the strength of his commitment to selfless service. His diligence, sincerity and tirelessness in the administration of the vast Ministry of Works and Infrastructure as well as the supervision of the Public Work Corporation and State Electricity Board has been acknowledged as being responsible for the outstanding success that was recorded by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration especially in road rehabilitation/maintenance and street lighting, a trend sustained with vigour by the Babatunde Raji Fashola administration.
The innovations he brought to bear due to his visionary qualities and enterprise include the redefinition and application of new aesthetic standards to public service workplace/environment to meet corporate standards; such as vision and mission definition, Annual staff retreats and modern manpower capacity building trainings; introduction of facility management practices; pioneering achievements in Public Relations (Ministry’s Journal) and IT (website) operation; Pioneering Private/Public Sector Partnership ventures; Award-winning best practices projects, especially the 2002 National Best Practice Award in Improving the Living Environment; the list is endless. Most fundamental is his leadership by example to affect and make staff and officers of government apply themselves seriously and happily to their job.
His involvement in politics dates back to his undergraduate days when he was Speaker of the Students’ Parliament (1977/78) at the Polytechnic, Ibadan and the President of the Black Nationalist Movement (1978-1980). He was also an active supporter of other progressive students’ movements nationwide, which earned him, for instance, the life membership of National Association of Technological Students. In June 1990, he became an elected delegate to the Social Democratic Party Inaugural Local Government Area Congress. In July of the same year, he was also a delegate to its first National convention in Abuja.
Ogbeni Aregbesola, as a pro-democracy and human rights activist, was a major participant in the demilitarization and pro-democracy struggles of the 1990s. He is equally active in community associations, especially in Alimosho, his base, where he remains the Secretary to the LGA Elders’ Forum to date. Prior to his appointment as the Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, he was Director of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation (BATCO), which engineered the electoral victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Governor of Lagos State in 1999. He repeated the feat using the platform of Independent Campaign Group (ICG) to ensure the re-election of Asiwaju for a second term in office.
He resigned from the Lagos State public service to seek election into the office of Governor in his native Osun State. He deployed human and technical resources to stage one of the most elaborate and sophisticated electioneering campaigns in this part of the world. Not surprisingly, he won the hearts of the teeming electorate already fed up with years of bondage under an inept and tyrannical administration, and they came out in their thousands on April 14th, 2007 to vote for change. His mandate was fraudulently and violently subverted, and thus began his protracted struggles and courtroom battles for justice, relying upon his faith in Allah, whom he calls upon fervently, and an array of steadfast associates and loyalists. His statement of commitment (which he termed his ‘PACT WITH THE PEOPLE OF OSUN STATE’) rests on six major planks:
to banish poverty;
to banish hunger;
to banish unemployment (create work/wealth);
to promote functional education; and
to enhance communal peace and progress.
Beyond his quest for leadership position in Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is a firm believer in the actualization of the “Progressive Agenda” and an advocate of commercial synergies and regional economic integration with the objective of creating mutual wealth and restoring the South-West of Nigeria to its old glory.
Whilst serving as a National Youth Service Corps member in Kaduna, he met pretty Sherifat Abidemi Lasisi. They fell in love, and later retuned to Lagos to get married and are today blessed with four lovely children, one of whom is an Information Technology professional and another a medical student. Sherifat recently marked her 50th birthday amongst the underprivileged, as she launched the erection of a modern Orphanage in Lagos, the city where she lives and she has spent most of her married years.
Rauf continues to be a fountain of inspiration and spiritual leadership to Sherifat. Correspondingly, Sherifat remains a pillar of support at the home front.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is passionate about the dignity of man and his freedom to pursue his livelihood in an atmosphere that guarantees equality before the law, and equal opportunities. He is very worried about how the pioneering exploits of the Yoruba have become stultified by years of military rule, and the role of pseudo-democrats and other kleptocrats and political buccaneers who have ambushed power in the region. Coming from a communist background, the lowest common denominator, in his view, must be a government to which the welfare of the people is the central focus. He sought to recapture the winning ethos of the Yoruba man through a medium that harnesses the socio-cultural, academic and skill-based competencies of our people to achieve economic independence and rapid development. That medium is ORANMIYAN.
The hot-chase which this dogged fighter and advocate of truth, justice and fair-play gave to the cabal of oppressors who held Osun State hostage for many years remain unequalled in history. The hordes of impostors, interlopers and mandate thieves held the people ransom for complete three and a half years, in addition to earlier four-year tenure of hopelessness, waste and plunder. The celebrant came to the political scene like a God-sent liberator that he is to provide a formidable front for the redemption of his people. The legal tussle instituted, following the April 14, 2007 gubernatorial elections, which almost lasted complete four years, remains unbeatable in the history of judicial litigations in these parts of the globe. The fact that the stolen mandate got restored November 26, 2010; a time when optimists and pessimists alike had nearly lost hope; exemplifies him as a Messiah and an Amazon of hope.
Today, the people of Osun State have started enjoying governance at its best. The trend of change and the aura of peace and tranquility breathing over the entire state have confounded critics; while fair-weather political gladiators have lost grip of the reins of power in the state, courtesy of the ambience of warmth and infectious love for the people radiated by this Man of the People.
What else can we say than to pray God in His benevolence and infinite kindness to grant Governor Aregbesola abundant strength, health and wisdom to carry on in life; and to lead his people safely to the desired destination of growth, progress and development.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Another Of Aregbesola Family Initiative


Irogbo-Ijesa is the ancestral settlement of indigenes of Ogbon-Arogbo quarters in Ilesa. That village is the home of the Aregbesolas. The village has the health centre project, which it plays host to established in 2008; courtesy of the Aregbesolas. The Health Centre, Irogbo-Ijesa forms the central focus of this write-up. Brought to the fore at the instance of the Governor’s 54th birthday anniversary holding today, NIYI OLASINDE celebrates the rare philanthropic instincts in the celebrant. This contribution came at the prompting of the Centre’s Management Board, under the chairmanship of Prince (Pharmacist) Felix Awofisayo.

IROBO-IJESA, a village located along Ilesa-Iperindo Road has a long-dated history. Available facts,
however reveal that its founding time dates back to several centures ago. Like many empire kingdoms in Yorubaland, for example Ile-Ife and Ibadan, no indigene of Ilesa could genuinely prove his origin to the point of conviction without tracing his affinity to a village. This situation explains why the people (natives) of Irogbo-Ijesa are connected with the Ogbon-Arogbo quarters in Ilesa.
The founder of the Irogbo-Ijesa village was none other than the progenitor of the Aregbesola family, Pa Alli Aregbesola, who, by his overwhelming influence and amiable spirit drew his people together to found the settlement, the legacy of which survives till date. As a man with a large heart, Pa Alli-Aregbesola refused to be the official monarch of the village, but demonstrated great humility and tolerance by nominating his sibling to be the first monarch of the village, thus Arogbo Aregbesola Adubiobi became the first Loja Olurogbo of Irogbo-Ijesa.
The stool of Olurogbo, like it is with many vassal states in Yorubaland, is under the supreme monarchial influence of the Owa-Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland, who it is, till date that installs the Olurogbo of Irogbo. Several monarchs have ruled in Irogbo-Ijesa as Olurogbo. The two most recent ones are the Loja Chief Jegede Aregbesola, who ruled as Olurogbo for 36 years. He was succeeded in 1973 by late Chief Josiah Adeniyi Arimoro who transited on October 14, 2008 after a 35-year reign.
The present reigning Olurogbo of Irogbo-Ijesa was installed in November 2009 to succeed Loja Arimoro. He is Loja Olurogbo of Irogbo, Alhaji (Chief) Rasheed Abdulkadri Kazeem. He is a direct descent of the forefathers of Chief Jegede Adejuyiwe Kazeem, who had ruled the community for several years before joining his ancestors. His forefathers, alongside those of the Aregbesolas were recorded in history to have laboured together to found the community.
The position of the monarchial hierarchy in Ijesland requires that apart for wielding the power of installing Lojas for villages, the Owa Obokun Adimula is entitled to isakole i.e. tributes from these Lojas, who are his vassal chiefs in the suburbs. This tradition subsists till date.
There is a peculiarity which makes Irogbo-Ijesa highly unique. Indigenes of Irogbo are one and the same, whether they are found at irogbo-Ijesa, at Ogbon-Arogbo in Ilesa or anywhere in the diaspora. It is likely that this spirit of oneness is the impetus that served as a propelling force for a particular family in that community to spearhead the saddling of the responsibility for providing essential social amenities for the entire community.

Ahaji Sheikh Rufai Alli Aregbesola was a man of the people in Irogbo-    Ijesa. During his lifetime, he was said to have always been at the front-burner of growth and development. A biological son to late Pa Alli Aregbesola, he was a great farmer, a statesman, an Islamic cleric of note, a great peace maker, a community leader and a lover of his people. As a mark that his steadfastness in the Islamic faith left in the sands of time, the building of a well-befitting central mosque at Ilesa was an enterprise that did not leave him out. Also, the Irogbo-Ijesa Central Mosque, which was commissioned on October 17, 1941 under the Ansar’ul Deen denomination, was championed by this magnificent figure. Still in the line of religion, Sheikh Aregbesola and his wife, Alhaja Ansetu Aregbesola were the first set of pilgrims from Irogbo-Ijesa to go on pilgrimage to Mecca.
Alhaji Sheikh Rufai Alli Aregbesola, whose elder reigned as Loja Jegede Aregbesola was an astute community leader, motivator and a rallying point in Ijesaland. He single-handedly started the project of an ultra-modern town-hall and took it to lintel level, where it remained since his demise on July 27, 1992. Sheikh Aregbesola also was reported to have served Irogbo-Ijesa for a greater part of his life as Treasurer. In the words of Madam Felicia Adetunji Lapo (Mama Alakara), Madam Salamatu Omidiran and Madam Bamidele Ariyo (Mama Oniru) –  all of whom were said to be octogenarians, it is probably the reward for his honesty, forthrightness and diligence that his children are very great and influential today.
In her comments, Mama Alakara attested to it that Sheikh Aregbesola served transparently and without blemishes as Treasurer for the town and, since his demise, it has been impossible to get his match as replacement up till date. It was lamented by the trio of the old women that if Sheikh were to be alive today, the abandoned town hall project in the village would have been completed. Also, the ancient palace of Olurogbo, which has dilapidated and overgrown with weeds, shrubs and trees, would have been reconstructed.
However, there is one consolation that his offspring are acting valiantly like their father. They are holding the fort as they are venturing into noble deeds to the benefit of the community. For instance, the water project that they provided has come to replace the old one the village got under the defunct Directorate for Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI) during the military regime of former President Ibrahim Babangida. Today the DFFRI well had been put into a state of disrepair in the name of refurbishment by the recently-ousted administration in Atakunmosa East Local Government. Worse still, the toilet facility dug side-by-side to the well has made the water it contains unsafe for drinking or other uses. The three old women and other community members were outpouring prayers on Aregbesola’s children for the water and health centre facilities they provided. The maternity centre donated by the community to the Atakunmosa East Local Government
in 1998 has also become almost non-functional.
Irogbo-Ijesa is a village that is almost without any viable project or amenity that registers the presence of a government, save for the Local Authority Primary School, and a refurbished electricity transformer that connects the village with the power grid. The village has a Central Mosque and two churches – Emmanuel Anglican Church and Christ Apostolic Church. The indigenes also cried foul against the absence of a secondary school where their children could acquire sound education. As at now, a child who intends to have secondary education would either go to Ise or Ilesa. Mr. Olajide Taiwo explained Ilesa as the better option, as it is nearer. Ise is said to be too far for comfort. On the whole, both Ilesa and Ise options could never be as good as having a secondary school in Irogbo-Ijesa, – or nearby Ilerin, where children could have access to the engine-room of development with little or no sweat and stress.
Irogbo-Ijesa also has two river shrines, namely Okun Irogbo (Irogbo Sea) and Osun Irogbo (Osun that is different from Osun Osogbo). The abores (priests) of these two deities are said to have died and their worship is nearly extinct. However, people are still said to visit the shrines from far and near to draw water for medicament, especially from the Okun Agbomola (sea that saves the child), which is said to be of great potency, especially in providing fruits of the womb and healing from various ailments. The community members who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER see these shrines as having great tourism potentials.
Among the prominent children of Alhaji Sheikh Rufai Alli Aregbesola, who are the brains behind the developmental projects here mentioned are Alhaji Shuaibu Aregbesola (Asindemade), Alhaji Taye Aregbesola and Madam Tawakalitu (Iya Alaso) – all based in Osogbo. Also included are Alhaja Latifat Ajagbemokeferi, Mr. Gbenga Aregbesola and the Executive Governor of Osun State, Engineer Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.

Prior to the Local Government creation of 1996, Atakunmosa Local Government had been on ground for 20 years! As a matter of fact, Atakunmosa Local Government came into existence, following the Local Government Reforms of 1976. This implies that the Local Government was among the first-generation council areas, which the old Oyo State had in its hey days as a 24-local-government entity. How such an area that had enjoyed such ample prerogative has been condescended to suffer apparent total neglect is a source of wonder and worry!
lrogbo-Ijesa is an ancient, rusty yet ambient settlement in the sprawling countryside of· Ilesa suburb. lrogbo-Ijesa is the ancestral farm settlement of Ijesas in the Diaspora, who are of Ogbon-Arogbo descent in Ilesa. There are several quarters that comprise the ancient city of Ilesa, which, as history records, is a founding legacy of the great Ogedengbe Agbogungboro, the famous, legendary generalissimo and conqueror, who bequeathed a legacy of vast, enormous expanse, consisting in land, settlements and people to Ijesas as they are known till date. It is noteworthy that the Ijesas today owe their identity, language (dialect) and entire way of life, which translates into their culture and traditions, to this great, magnificent figure –  Ogedengbe.
Located conspicuously in a compacted, yet linear settlement, approximately 8 kilometres away from Ilesa, along llesa-Iperindo road, Irogbo presents an ambient climate that attracts any passer-by with an electrifying touch. The neatness, serenity and fresh breeze of the village, coupled with the flora and fauna, present an aura of homeliness. This scenery so aptly and succinctly painted, is what endears passers-by to the village. Beyond these is the great farming and agricultural potentials that the village and its inhabitant wield. Not to talk of far greater potentialities possessed by the indigenes, many of who tower prominently in the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria and the world at large, in various fields of human endeavour. In a nutshell, the auspicious place and potential productivity of Irogbo-Ijesa, an endowment vested on it by Providence, makes it a forbidden crime, punishable by God, for anyone person or government to suffer it with
neglect. deprivation and abandonment, in terms of social amenities in particular.
However, about 200 metres upon entering the town, the presence of a beautiful, imposing and well cut-out structure to the left hand side of the road, when we face lperindo, cannot be denied or feigned with ignorance. The building, a bungalow, is marked “Health Centre, Irogbo-Ijesa”. Any curious passer-by or reader of this edition would then be compelled ask how this project came into existence.
Added to the domineering influence and attractiveness of the project structure is the neatness and clean layout of the environment. Far above this physical beauty is the crowd it pulls to itself. Twenty-four hours of each day, people are seen milling in and out of the centre, some on foot, some by cycles, especially the commercial motorcycles, and many more by automobile. There surely must be something of immense value, which they seek to enjoy from the centre. Definitely: yes. It is a broad-based, free yet qualitative health care service, dispensed in a friendly climate by a team of health workers who are both competent and qualified. Apart from the services, the drugs and admission for in-patient treatment are free! Treatment at Health Centre, Irogbo-Ijesa, is in nature both preventive and curative. In addition, it is this centre that goes the whole distance of ensuring health and welfare for the community, through provision of a motorized open well so
that the inhabitants have access to good potable water. These are the peculiarities that make the centre a bee-hive of activities, day -in, day-out, drawing its patients from far and near.
This last point could sound incredible, but it is an incontestable, incontrovertible truth. It draws patients from even, the urban IIesa to lpetu-Ijesa and yonder, to Efon-Alaaye in Ekiti State! Then, who is (are) the brain (s) behind this grand project of life-saving significance?
Health Centre, lrogbo-Ijesa is a brain-child of the philanthropic instincts of a generation of help-givers and prime movers, engendered from the loins of the great patriarch of the Aregbesola dynasty of Irogbo-Ijesa. The Health Centre was borne of genuine, benign, honest and transparent concern for the people of their own ancestral home, who had hitherto suffered complete deprivation and neglect, due to abject absence of any meaningful government health facility in the village or its environs. The only maternity in the village, traceable to the Atakunmosa East Local Government, Iperindo was won in 1998, after a prolonged tug of war with neighbouring villages, who, hard-pressed by the exigencies of dearth need, also contested to have the same facility in their respective domains. Vibrant among these villages were Ikoromaja and Ijemba. The maternity centre eventually got sited in Irogbo-Ijesa, but not until the villagers, through strong communal effort,
could provide a building to house the clinic. The maternity, which was commissioned on April 20 1998 by the Osun State Health Commissioner of the time, Dr. Bayo Faforiji, is now in a sorry state, having suffered woefully from obvious inadvertent governance and dereliction by consecutive governments at the helm of affairs both at the council and state levels. The building so generously provided almost twelve years ago has now dilapidated. The clinic environment is not all that promising in dispensing good and safe medical care to the community. The resolve of the Aregbesola family of lrogbo-Ijesa to put in place a standard and qualitative health centre in their homestead therefore came as a saving grace, a far better alternative that can not be quantified. As Providence would have it, this health facility has created a niche in the almost three years of its existence, as it has served not only the Irogbo village, but the surrounding villages up to
Iperindo itself. This is not to talk of Ilesa – lpetu-Ijesa axis, and Efon- Alaave in Ekili State.
Health Centre Irogbo-Ijesa is a concise yet elaborate complex. Decently and neatly set on a fastidious layout, the hospital has about six rooms, apart from the waiting room, toilet and the store. The rooms consist of the dressing room, pharmacy, in-patient rooms and labour / delivery room (ward). The serenity of the environment alone radiates with the curative prowess of the Biblical ‘Balm in Gilead’. So endearing is the environment that no one could pass along the Ilesa-Iperindo road that the centre overlooks, without looking sideways to at least, admire its beauty and shining lustre. According to Mr. Israel Oyagbile, a trained pharmacist, who is the Secretary to the Management Board of the Health Centre, the impetus for establishing the Centre derived from the diagnosis by the donor family, for a need to provide a medical facility in an area where more than 15 villages had wallowed for years past in poverty and squalor, as far as health and medical
needs are concerned. In his words, “almost 15 villages, if not more around here, existed without health facility’. “He went further,” the Aregbesola family has been so magnanimous. They intended the centre to be of General Hospital Standard. If you observed well, you’d find out that it is about a six-bedded hospital. The standard of equipment is more than that of a rural/primary health centre.” It was confirmed by Oyagbile that one of the experts on inspection visit to the centre from the Osun State Hospitals Management Board remarked that the standard equipment there are not easily found in government hospitals.
The towering significance and auspicious, life-saving roles of the centre are widening by the day. Apart from its role in saving many patients, comprising people with various ailments, victims of injuries arising from various shades of cuts, lacerations, infections, stings and bites; infants and children, expectant mothers in labour, etcetera from untimely death, the centre has commuted death sentences that road accidents have pronounced on many of its victims transversing the said Ilesa-Iperindo road to a new, brighter lease of life and vibrancy. All the members of the Centre’s Management Board, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER made reference to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Nigeria Police at Iperindo as having attested to have witnessed up to seven instances of road carnages, the victims of which were saved through the Good Samaritan gesture of the clinic.
The Health Centre, apart from the conventional health care delivery services, also goes the whole mile of integrated health service by providing good potable water for the Irogbo-Ijesa community. The reason for this is not far-fetched, most diseases are water-borne and prevention, they say, is better than cure. Oyagbile explained this more succinctly when he said “no adequate health facility could be efficacious without good water”. So, the donor family dug a well, got it motorized with provision for large storage tanks and got it piped into the village. This water is pumped three or four times in a week. In addition, a stand-by generator is provided to get the water supply functional even in instances of power outage by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Another member of the Management Board of the Centre, Mr. Toyin Orungbe, gave a breakdown analysis of the Health Centre’s staffing as comprising 1 doctor, 2 Staff Nurses/Midwives, 3 Senior Community Health Workers (SCHEW), 3 Junior Community Health Workers (JCHEW), 4 Health Assistants, 2 Security Guards and 1 Cleaner. This breakdown already includes a trained record keeper. On the overall, there are sixteen (16) employees on the payroll of the Centre, paid by the Aregbesola family.
Lending credence to staff matters and welfare, the Chairman of the Management Board, Prince Felix Awofisayo stressed the fact that the Board and donors of the Centre are insistent on ensuring the best welfare standards for the staff members. According to him, the staff salaries are equivalent to those of their counterparts in public service. Added to this, he said, is the payment of Hazard and Inconvenience allowances. These are intended to motivate the staff and assuage any inconvenience that their duty could inflict on them, boosting their morale, thereby.
The Management Board of the Health Centre is so carefully constituted to include men of great resource in the medical domain. The chairman, Prince Felix Awofisayo is a great pharmacist of renown in Nigeria and yonder, who has been in the practice since 1976. The Secretary, Mr Israel Oyagbile, is a pharmacist as well. The coordinator of the Centre, Honourable Idowu Korede is a retired sanitarian under the Old Oyo State and present Osun State governments, and who in December 2009 bagged an award from serving sanitarians in The State of the Living Spring. Dr Kayode Ogunniyi is a qualified Medical Doctor of many years experience is in-charge of the centre. Mr Toyin Orungbe is a qualified Accountant, and he manages the finances of the Centre. Mr Taiwo Olajide, an indigene and resident of Irogbo-Ijesa, represents the community on the Board.
Other members of the board include; His Royal Majesty, Alhaji R.B Mohammed and Mr Kunle Odeyemi.

Why Aregbesola Shunned Superlative Birthday Bash

When Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola came to government and expressed his readiness to plug all conduit pipes which had long drained the meagre resources of the state, many a politician did not give it a wink, but his embargo on using public funds to celebrate his birthday coming up today has sent electric signals to the air on his seriousness to the business of governance.
Besides, investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER has shown that the principle of the governor has further pushed all public office holders, careerists and hangers-on of the governor to the edge of their chairs, suggesting that the new era is here.
In the recent past, a governor in the state would be celebrated in a superlative bash that would cost the government several millions of naira, while all political office holders would be falling over themselves to worship their benefactor with different gifts, all at the expense of public funds, while contractors and institutions of higher learning would be coming  learning would be coming forward with ‘Ghana Must go’ bags of money for the celebrant.
Findings further revealed that media, which had always been the biggest beneficiary of any birthday bash of the power-that-be may not have the fattest bones this time around, because the governor has strongly warned local government council chairmen, ministries and state institutions of higher learning against using public funds appropriated to them in placing advertorials in either electronic media or newspapers.
It was also learnt that event planners, who have targeted the governor’s birthday, would be disappointed this year, because government patronage would not happen, and only limited individuals, who may propose to felicitate with the governor may choose to rationalise in order to manage funds at their disposal.
Checks have shown earlier that some of the government parastatals and ministries including local government councils have indicated to celebrate the governor in a special way so as to mark his birthday as the first to be celebrated in office as the governor, but when Aregbesola got wind of the plan; he reportedly summoned his media aides and gave them a standing order to place advert in the state media that whoever uses money belonging to the government to felicitate with him would be made to face his consequence.
Ever since the state electronic media went to town with the development, all public officials and top senior civil servants manning government institutions and ministries have read the handwriting on the wall, signaling that the ‘business as usual’ has evaporated in the state.
It was further learnt that the governor’s principle began with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, who celebrated his own birthday early this year, as the Iwo-born politician refused to throw any party despite the pressure mounted on him by his admirers, and when some of his political associates insisted in throwing up a party for him in his home town, Adeoti pleaded with them to attend a prayer session organized for him alone.
Many thought then that Adeoti was only trying to watch his step in government, while some political pundits believed that the top political functionary was only trying to hide his newest identity for political expediency, but the stance of the governor on his own birthday has spelt it out that the era of wasteful spending in governance is over.
Speaking on the development, a leading Islamic scholar in Osun State, Sheik Ahmed Onilewura, commended the governor, saying that he has demonstrated sufficiently that he was a leader with passion for good governance; noting that the decision of the governor not to throw a birthday bash was a wise one.
According to him: “Honestly speaking, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has distinguished himself as a leader with a difference, a leader with compassion for the suffering masses, and by dissuading public office holders from celebrating him, he has set an excellent standard for good governance and deserves our applause for his wise decision”.
Speaking also, the state Publicity Secretary of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun state, Professor Moses Awogbade, has attributed the stance of the governor against using public funds to celebrate him to his readiness to change the face of governance in the state, saying that Aregbesola has cleared the path for etiquette in governance for others to follow.
“Mr. Governor did not start his principle on judicious use of public funds with his birthday, because the way he depersonalizes his person from the Office of the Governor is worthy of emulation. Remember that Governor Aregbesola did not allow his photograph to be used in government offices and corporate institutions; rather, he chose state coat of arm instead, and that is a result of exposure of the man”, Awogbade submitted.
Besides, the human rights community has also applauded the governor for taking swipe against using public funds to celebrate his birthday, noting that Aregbesola has proved his mettle as a comrade, who derives joy in serving humanity, not for his own greed.
According to a telephone interview granted by the State Executive Secretary of the Justice Now Foundation (JNF), Comrade Waheed Lawal, Aregbesola has further won himself an accolade in the hall of fame of the human rights community for discouraging misusing of government funds, noting that was a good step in the right direction.
He said: “We supported the bid of the governor to take over the governance of the state in 2007, because he was the best of all candidates who came out to campaign, and he is the only one who has a background in the human rights community, and his latest action against mismanagement of the public funds has vindicated us”.

AKALA’S DESPERATION OVER LAUTECH WILL FAIL-OSUN. ACN‏

Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his newly elected counterpart in Oyo state Senator Abiola Ajimobi have been advised to ignore the desperate conducts of the disgraced and humiliated Otunba Alao Akala who in the wee hours of his forced exit from power decided to embark on self destruction moves over the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho whose ownership has been a point of contention between the sister states for some time now.

In a press release issued by the Director of Research and Strategy for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Hon Sunday Akere, Osun ACN condemned the desperation being exhibited by the outgoing Governor of Oyo state over LAUTECH which culminated in his taking several rash, irrational and faulty decisions in the last 72hours and advised him to put a halt as no meaningful solution will be achieved.

For a governor who knows very well he has less than two weeks remaining to start taking decisions which ordinarily might end up not holding water shows nothing other than a display of naivety and a show of shame. Knowing full well his time is almost over, Alao Akala feels the only thing he can do is to embark on selfish moves which to him will cripple the incoming administration of Senator Ajimobi .

As the two ACN governors prepare for the May 29 Democracy Day, efforts should be concentrated on how the damages inflicted on the psyche of the students, staff, parents and guardian of all those involved with the  institution is assuaged and all wrongs corrected. Part of the necessary correction is making the forced illegal Governing Council and Prof Moshood Nasir the so-called Akala imposed Vice Chancellor pay for their criminal collusion in the handling of the affairs of the school.

It is not surprising that Akala will still continue with the alleged commissioning of the so-called College of Health Sciences and Teaching Hospital even after the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) expressly instructed no such action should be taken as it negates the edict setting up the institution which confers Osogbo as the centre for the two arms.

The simultaneous plastering and painting of defective buildings in Ogbomosho on Thursday evening in a bid to make them ready for the hasty commissioning and give legal justification for the siphoned funds set aside for the construction of the structures not minding the risk those expected to use the structures might be exposed to in future shows the lack of concern and care for human life by Akala and his criminal collaborators.

Coercing the Oyo State House of Assembly into passing a motion reaffirming the sole ownership of LAUTECH when there exist similar bills conferring ownership on the two sister states amounts to an exercise in futility while the said 5 years extension of the tenure of the Bursar and the University Librarian of the institution all within 24hours will not hold water. The Bursar, Mr E.A Alagbe whose tenure ends next month has been the University Bursar since June 2006 while Mr Gboyega Adio the University Librarian has been in the said position since 1997.

Instructive in this is the fact that none of the projects commissioned within the University campus were solely funded  by Oyo state Government .

The 100 Level Science Laboratory Offices and the classrooms for Engineering and Technology were partly funded by Internally Generated Revenue of the University while the 50 Million Naira worth 1000 seater Lecture Hall was solely built by Dr Taiwo Afolabi  of SIFAX Group not Oyo state Government .

It is also worth noting that these project were built and completed by Prof Babatunde  Adeleke. Aside ascribing the glory for these projects to Prof Babatunde Adeleke, questions should be asked from Prof L.M Nassar where all the funds met by him were expended and on what? It’s also shocking to discover that a whopping 4.5 Million Naira was expended on the Commissioning ceremony by the illegal Vice Chancellor Prof L.M Nassar.

As a lasting solution to the lingering crisis in LAUTECH, a joint committee of the two owner states should be put in place immediately to correct all imbalances in the institution while all political academics such as Prof L.M Nassar should be shown the way out immediately, all his efforts to retain the position he got illegally are exercise in futility.

How all funds left in schools’ coffer by Prof Babatunde Adeleke running into over #1billion were expended should be investigated and appointments into all key positions reviewed to take care of the overall interests of the two states.

HON SUNDAY AKERE

DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH & STRATEGY,OSUN ACN

Aregbesola At 54

Today marks another historic event in the life of an icon, a symbol of hope and progressive governance in Osun state, a man who can rightly and appropriately be described as a virtuoso, having exhibited managerial capability and administrative prowess as a public servant, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, as he turns 54.

Of course there is cause to thank God today for the life of this political icon whose 54 years’ sojourn on earth have been

characterised by struggle – the struggle to better the living condition of our people. Right from his days in Ibadan Polytechnic

where he played leadership role as the Speaker of students’ parliament, the young Marxist who was to later play critical roles in the life of his fatherland has always been at the vanguard of the struggles for good governance, democratisation and emancipation of the black race from the cocoons of poverty and misrule.

When in 2007 this political icon and infrastructure czar celebrated his 50th birthday, and on each occasion of his birthday until date, the prayer on the lips of his numerous admirers had been; ‘may he succeed in the struggle to reclaim his stolen mandate’, a struggle to which he had committed his life since April 14th, 2007. But today, the prayer has changed from that to ‘may God give him the wherewithal to deliver the goods’ having eventually gotten his mandate back from Oyinlola led interlopers after almost four years of struggle which not only put the people on a cliff-hanger but which claimed the lives of

some people and left many impaired for ever. This is why this year’s birthday of Ogbeni Gomina is special and significant not only for him but for millions of his supporters and admirers who are opportune to witness this day. Surely, today is a day to pop Champaign and to clink glasses.

When we look back today and reflect on the commitment of Ogbeni Gomina, popularly known as Symbol, to the struggle for the emancipation of Osun people from the inept immediate past administration of Oyinlola, we can not but give praises to God for using this man of vision and valour to deliver the state from the hands of political vampires who imposed a reign of terror on our people for close to four years, forgetting that power is transient and that the only thing that is constant in life is change.

The commitment, doggedness, resilience, tenacity, the ‘never say die’ spirit exhibited by Ogbeni Gomina in the struggle to free Osun from the hands of yesterday’s interlopers deserve commendation. Such qualities are what we all need to achieve our goals in life. At a time when even the most optimistic became hopeless and when the spirits of many of the most courageous solders in the battle front became dampened, the generalissimo trudged on without looking back – he trudged on and on until the battle was won. Like the avatar, chief Obafemi Awolowo once quipped – ‘it is not life that matters but the courage we bring to life’. Ogbeni Gomina no doubt has hitherto exhibited that rare courage both at personal and collective level which has helped him to carve a niche for himself in life especially in the field of politics where his shrewdness has been most displayed.

As this focused and visionary leader clocks 54 today and as he remains committed to the service of humanity, we identify with him on this occasion. We pray to God Almighty to give him the wisdom to steer the ship of Osun state to the Promised Land. Ogbeni Gomina has started well with his gradual, systematic and progressive approach to governance in line with his Six-Point Integral Action Plan – the manifesto – he unfolded to the electorate during his electioneering campaign in 2007. We are happy that he is not reneging on his campaign promises and our wish is that he continues in this direction. We don’t have an ounce of doubt in his ability to deliver the goods. He CAN and he WILL, surely.

As we clink glasses to rejoice with this political icon today, let’s not forget to remember in prayer our own martyrs of democracy in Osun – the Ayo Kembas and the Saheed Adebiyis who were felled by the bullets of agents of ‘do or die’ election in 2007. Let’s hear you say ‘may their souls rest in peace’.  Happy birthday to our Symbol of hope!

Why Aregbesola Shunned Superlative Birthday Bash

When Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola came to government and expressed his readiness to plug all conduit pipes which had long drained the meagre resources of the state, many a politician did not give it a wink, but his embargo on using public funds to celebrate his birthday coming up today has sent electric signals to the air on his seriousness to the business of governance.

Besides, investigation conducted by OSUN DEFENDER has shown that the principle of the governor has further pushed all public office holders, careerists and hangers-on of the governor to the edge of their chairs, suggesting that the new era is here.

In the recent past, a governor in the state would be celebrated in a superlative bash that would cost the government several millions of naira, while all political office holders would be falling over themselves to worship their benefactor with different gifts, all at the expense of public funds, while contractors and institutions of higher learning would be coming learning would be coming forward with ‘Ghana Must go’ bags of money for the celebrant.

Findings further revealed that media, which had always been the biggest beneficiary of any birthday bash of the power-that-be may not have the fattest bones this time around, because the governor has strongly warned local government council chairmen, ministries and state institutions of higher learning against using public funds appropriated to them in placing advertorials in either electronic media or newspapers.

It was also learnt that event planners, who have targeted the governor’s birthday, would be disappointed this year, because government patronage would not happen, and only limited individuals, who may propose to felicitate with the governor may choose to rationalise in order to manage funds at their disposal.

Checks have shown earlier that some of the government parastatals and ministries including local government councils have indicated to celebrate the governor in a special way so as to mark his birthday as the first to be celebrated in office as the governor, but when Aregbesola got wind of the plan; he reportedly summoned his media aides and gave them a standing order to place advert in the state media that whoever uses money belonging to the government to felicitate with him would be made to face his consequence.

Ever since the state electronic media went to town with the development, all public officials and top senior civil servants manning government institutions and ministries have read the handwriting on the wall, signaling that the ‘business as usual’ has evaporated in the state.

It was further learnt that the governor’s principle began with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, who celebrated his own birthday early this year, as the Iwo-born politician refused to throw any party despite the pressure mounted on him by his admirers, and when some of his political associates insisted in throwing up a party for him in his home town, Adeoti pleaded with them to attend a prayer session organized for him alone.

Many thought then that Adeoti was only trying to watch his step in government, while some political pundits believed that the top political functionary was only trying to hide his newest identity for political expediency, but the stance of the governor on his own birthday has spelt it out that the era of wasteful spending in governance is over.

Speaking on the development, a leading Islamic scholar in Osun State, Sheik Ahmed Onilewura, commended the governor, saying that he has demonstrated sufficiently that he was a leader with passion for good governance; noting that the decision of the governor not to throw a birthday bash was a wise one.

According to him: “Honestly speaking, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has distinguished himself as a leader with a difference, a leader with compassion for the suffering masses, and by dissuading public office holders from celebrating him, he has set an excellent standard for good governance and deserves our applause for his wise decision”.

Speaking also, the state Publicity Secretary of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun state, Professor Moses Awogbade, has attributed the stance of the governor against using public funds to celebrate him to his readiness to change the face of governance in the state, saying that Aregbesola has cleared the path for etiquette in governance for others to follow.

“Mr. Governor did not start his principle on judicious use of public funds with his birthday, because the way he depersonalizes his person from the Office of the Governor is worthy of emulation. Remember that Governor Aregbesola did not allow his photograph to be used in government offices and corporate institutions; rather, he chose state coat of arm instead, and that is a result of exposure of the man”, Awogbade submitted.

Besides, the human rights community has also applauded the governor for taking swipe against using public funds to celebrate his birthday, noting that Aregbesola has proved his mettle as a comrade, who derives joy in serving humanity, not for his own greed.

According to a telephone interview granted by the State Executive Secretary of the Justice Now Foundation (JNF), Comrade Waheed Lawal, Aregbesola has further won himself an accolade in the hall of fame of the human rights community for discouraging misusing of government funds, noting that was a good step in the right direction.

He said: “We supported the bid of the governor to take over the governance of the state in 2007, because he was the best of all candidates who came out to campaign, and he is the only one who has a background in the human rights community, and his latest action against mismanagement of the public funds has vindicated us”.

Alleged N8.2b fraud: 11 Oyo officials face probe

By Yusuf Alli

ELEVEN Oyo State Commissioners are under probe for alleged mismanagement of about N8.2billion.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has invited the commissioners for interrogation.

Also invited to Abuja by the anti-graft agency are all the accountants and auditors of all the ministries in the outgoing Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala administration.

Commissioner for Environment Mr. Mukaila Aborode has demanded from the commission’s “a defined focus” of investigation.

The invitation of the commissioners followed the receipt of five petitions against the administration. In the petitions are allegations of diversion of local government funds, mismanagement of Excess Crude Funds and award of contracts.

ICPC operatives have been in Ibadan since last Tuesday to see the officials.

Some of those invited are commissioners for Finance, Works, Health, Agriculture, Education, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Environment, Commerce and the Accountant-General.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We got five petitions against the Oyo State government and we decided to invite the commissioners in charge of the ministries.

“Many of the petitions have to do with mismanagement of Excess Crude Funds and state resources to the tune of over N8.2billion.

“We also asked the commissioners to make a list of all projects awarded in the state from 2008 to date; the minutes of the State Tenders Board, all payment vouchers, and list of companies that got contracts.

“But, instead of appearing before the commission, they started giving excuses. We learnt that the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo, asked them not to report to the ICPC because the scope of investigation was not well-defined in the invitation letter.

“From the look of things, we will have no choice but to arrest the commissioners, if they don’t report before Friday.

“We have reports that some of them may relocate abroad before the May 29 handover date.”

The source added: “We have conducted discreet preliminary investigations on the petitions and we need to interact with the commissioners.”

The Resident Media Consultant to ICPC, Mr. Folu Olamiti, confirmed that the agency “is looking into some issues in Oyo State, but I do not have the details”.

Aborode confirmed the invitation yesterday.

He said: “The ICPC operatives came to Oyo State and brought some letters of invitation to all commissioners, demanding a list of projects awarded from 2008 to date.

“The letters of invitation did not include specific projects. They just demanded for documents concerning letters of award, money allocated to the ministries and records of contracts. They asked us to produce these records within 24 hours.

“The matter was reported to the governor and the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo. The SSG invited the operatives and told them that the documents they are demanding are classified documents, which only the governor can authorise.

“Later, the state government directed the commissioners to ask ICPC to be specific on what they want. Once they have done the proper thing, the commissioners will release all the documents through the Office of the SSG.

“In any ideal society, if you are investigating, you must define the focus. If there is no focus, what are they investigating?

“We have no hidden agenda; this administration has a clean record which no one can smear through frivolous petitions.”

The Special Adviser on Communication to the Governor, Chief Dotun Oyelade, said: “The records which the ICPC requested are the same being utilised by the Joint Transition Committee. The government does not want to inhibit the work of the transition committee.

“Neither does it want to appear to be stalling the transition process hence the need to conclude the work first and this has been virtually done.”

Aregbesola advocates single varsity for south west

By Our Reporter

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has advocated the establishment of a single university that would operate a collegiate system for the South-West states.

Aregbesola made the suggestion on Saturday at the maiden convocation ceremony of the State University, Osogbo.

He argued that the establishment of such University would drastically reduce the cost of management.

The governor added that it would allow indigenous and indigent students to have access to affordable and qualitative university education.

“ It would have been cost effective if the south-West, as a zone, has one great University operating a collegiate system, in which each state will have a college and also each college graduate at least 4,000 students every year.

“The university could be funded from a rolling bond payable in at least 10 years and each state putting forward N2 billion annually,” he said.

The governor frowned at the current high and unaffordable fees charged by the UNIOSUN, saying that the development had shut the door against children of the less-privileged from gaining admission into the institution.

He added: “In spite of the heavy dependence on government, the university still charges high fees.

“This has made it practically impossible for most people in the state, especially the middle class, to send their children to the university.”

He advised the authority of the University not to admit “unworthy and unqualified applicants” who often gained admission into the institution because they could afford the high fees.

Aregbesola also charged the university to demonstrate resourcefulness in seeking alternative means to fill the shortfall in its budget.

He assured that the state government would carry out its responsibility in the funding of the institution.

Aregbesola noted that a lot of students graduate from the university without having the necessary skills that would make them employable.

“Even those who study basic professional courses like Medicine, Law, Engineering, Banking and Finance, hardly possess the

skill that can make them attractive to employers and indeed a lot of them are still unemployed.

“UNIOSUN must ensure that all its courses add value to education in order to make graduates of the university relevant and irresistible to employers in the highly competitive job market,” he said.

According to him, the administration is working hard to address the notable challenges facing the education sector in the state.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Sola Akinrinade, challenged the graduates to position their minds for leadership.

Akinrinade said: “If you do not lead, you stand the risk of being misled by others. I challenge you to be worthy ambassadors of the school.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who is the Chancellor of the school was conferred with

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the occasion.

A total of 362 graduated from five out of the eight colleges in the University with nine of them bagging first class Honours, 167 second class upper,176 with second class lower while 10 had third class.

The prize for the overall best student was won by Miss Salami Adejoke, from Microbiology department, with the highest CGPA of 4.76

Ondo PDP Faction Suspends Agagu, Dissolves Exco

Some leaders and stakeholders of the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday announced the suspension of a former governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, from the party.

They also announced the dissolution of the Dr. Omotayo Dairo-led state executive council and its replacement with a nine-member interim management committee to harmonise all factions and tendencies in the party.

The development, which was anounced at a news conference addressed by a former special adviser on political affairs to Agagu, Chief Segun Adegoke, on behalf of the leaders, in Akure had further worsened the crisis rocking the state chapter of the PDP.

The leaders said they rejected the suspension of the Defence Minister, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, (SAN), from the party by the state executive and the list of 10 names for federal appointments in the state allegedly compiled by Agagu and Dairo.

They noted that though their decision was painful, “it was taken in the interest of the party.”

But reacting to the development, Dairo said the people, who, he described as “spent forces in their local government areas,” lacked the locus standi to proclaim the state executive dissolved or to suspend any member of the party.”

He said, “the list being complained about was compiled with due process by the state Working Committee and 15 leaders of the party across the state.

“These leaders are spent forces in their constituencies, as far as we are concerned they are not known to our party, they are not known to the constitution because they are ex-this, ex-that.

“We want them to know that this is not a monacharchial institution, where once you assume leadership, you are there for life, their local government areas have produced vibrant young men that have displaced many of these people.”

Also, the deputy governor in the Agagu administration, Chief Omolade Oluwateru, said the leaders and stakeholders had no right to suspend anybody from the party and that the list being contested was compiled with input from the SWC and some leaders of the party.

Oluwateru said, “They said they are dissolving the exco; who are they, what are their positions in the party?”

“There are ways of doing this, the executive council was constituted by a congress and it is only the congress that can dissolve the executive, so it is very wrong for a handful set of people to hire people and pronounce the exco dissolved,” he stated.