Osun Lawmaker Gives Loans To Market Women

In line with his campaign promises to ensure the people of Ede North State Constituency of Osun State enjoy the dividends of democracy, the lawmaker representing constituency at the State House of Assembly, Honourable Debo Akanbi, popularly called Osunagbeni has given out a soft loan of N1.5 million to market women in the area.

Giving out the loan in Ede last Friday, the lawmaker disclosed that over 400 market women were the beneficiaries of the programme, which was initiated by him under the Debo Akanbi Economic Empowerment Programme.

According to him, after the distribution of the loan, which he described asthe first phase, more people would still benefit in the second and third phases, which he noted would be initiated before the end of the year.

He further disclosed that he has begun the construction of a company in Ede town that would ensure the creation of jobs for the people, especially the youths in the constituency.

The lawmaker stated that the beneficiaries would not pay any interest on the loan given to them, as he had agreed with the bank that packaged the programmeto be deducting the interest on the loan from his salaries every month.

Akanbi noted that the programme was initiated by him to appease the people of the constituency for standing by him in the face of intimidation, especially since 2007, when the mandate given to him was stolen, saying that the programme was just a tip of the iceberg of what he has in the offing for the people of the area.

Presenting the loan for the beneficiaries, on behalf of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperative, Industry and Empowerment, Mr. Ismail Alagbada, appealed to the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously, with a view to giving others opportunities to benefit from a similar programme.

He lauded the lawmaker for his initiative in assisting the administration of Aregbesola in the area of empowerment of the people of the state, saying that the administration was determined to empower the people, either through loans or creation of jobs, which he noted, had begun with the creation of jobs under Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme, OYES.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs.MofolakeAdegboyega, also advised the beneficiaries to make use of the loan with intention to make profit and repay the loans for others to benefit.

She further called on the people of the state, to continue praying for the administration of Aregbesola, for it to achieve its desired goals for the development of the state and its people.

Monarch’s Abduction Of 14-year-old Girl: Matters Arising

In the pre-colonial era, Obas in Yorubaland were the highest authorities and the council of Obas was the supreme decision-making body. People awarded respects to traditional titles holders, because of the intelligence and their moral values attached to the positions. Even during the colonial regime in Nigeria, our traditional rulers were the leaders, who the colonial masters were interacting with. Whatever the monarchs said at that time bounded on their subjects, without any question from members of the community.

That signified the respect, trust and loyalty the people had for the traditional rulers then. That occurred, not because of their powers, but because of the confidence people had in their traditional institutions, as a based on the goodwill, character and humanitarian services of the traditional rulers. Holding traditional titles in Yorubaland signifies the honour and the contribution of the holder, to the development of his or her immediate society. Monarchs, traditional chiefs were highly respected because of their values in the society.

Recent unfolding events across the country, particularly in Osun State, have severely dented the integrity of the traditional rulers, our custodians of culture and values. Issues of a monarch raping a corps member, traditional ruler beating his wife, dethronement of monarchs are no longer news in the country. However, it is still strange to hear a traditional ruler in Yorubaland forcing a 14-year old girl, small enough to be his granddaughter to marry him.

A case of marrying a minor and human rights abuses being handled by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Osun State Branch, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone II and the Osun State Police Command, has further smeared the image of traditional institutions in the state.

Esther Alake was just 14 years old, when the Owemoloore of Odo-Owemo-Ijesa, Oba Oginini Aderogba, allegedly abducted her and subjected her to housewife activities, including sexual intercourse. Oba Aderogba, an octogenarian, abducted Esther on the pretence of obtaining the West African Examination Council (WAEC) form for her in August 2007. The traditional ruler took her to Ibadan, after deceiving her parents with the pretence that he would obtain WAEC form for her and as well supervise her examinations.

Narrating her experience, Esther said; “I met Oba Aderogbo Oginni, popularly called Adagin, sometime in 2007 in Ilesa, when he came to visit someone at a location close to our shop in Ilesa. He was like a father to me and he, even before the incident, had conferred a traditional chieftaincy title on my father. He asked me why I had not obtained WAEC form and I explained to him that we could not afford the cost. He then gave us N10, 000 to obtain the form, but as at that time, the form submission had closed before we could obtain it. Baba (Aderogba) then took me to Ibadan on the guise that he was going to obtain the WAEC form for me in 2007. When I got to his house, located No 3, Owemo Villa, Sawmill, Old Ife Road, in Ibadan, he did not obtain any WAEC form for me again.

“Some days after, I could no longer understand what was happening to me. I was confused. All I knew was that Baba had turned me to his housewife. Sometimes, he gave me fetish objects to eat, drink or rub on my body. I became fatter day by day. I regained my consciousness one day and I challenged Baba on why he turned me into his wife, instead of obtaining the WAEC form he had earlier promised my parents for me. Instead of providing any explanation, baba beat me mercilessly. He later got injured while beating me. All baba’s children were treating me as a wife to their father, but I was unable to conceive then.

“Sometime in 2009, two old people came to baba’s house in Ibadan, accusing him of using their daughter, Laitan for ritual purpose. Sister Laitan was Baba’s girlfriend. She got sick and became very lean before her death. She eventually died in April 2009. Laitan’s parents came to our house after her death and they beat up Oba Aderogba, who they alleged of killing their daughter. He threatened to arrest Laitan’s parents when they were harassing him. He later promised to take care of them and that they should forget about Laitan. I asked Oba Aderogba, if he knew anything about Laitan’s death and he then told me that she died because she was HIV positive. I still asked him why he did not contact HIV from Laitain and he replied that anybody above 60-years-old could not contact HIV. That was how he deceived me.

“I returned to Ilesa in November 2011, when baba returned to Odowemo from Ibadan for his staff of office. I rushed to my mother’s house and I explained to her what I passed through while staying with Baba. That was how I escaped from him”. Baba had since been threatening and intimidating my family members and my fiancé with policemen.

Explaining why she released her daughter to Oba Aderogba, Esther’s mother, Mrs. Debora Alake said; “In 2007, when Oba Aderogba came to our house, he asked why my daughter, Esther Alake was yet to enroll for WAEC and Esther told him that we could not raise enough fund for the examination fee. Oba Aderogba then gave us N10, 000 for the WAEC form, but we could not obtain the form before it closed. Oba Aderogba then said he could help Esther to obtain the form in Ibadan and that his children would also sit for the WAEC exam with Esther. He therefore urged me to release Esther to him. I initially objected on the grounds that I could not lose my daughter out of my sight. Oba Aderogba then prevailed on my husband, who persuaded me to release our daughter to the monarch and I eventually concurred.

“I expected my daughter to come back within three days and when I did not hear anything from her, I called Oba Aderogba to ask about Esther. He told me it was not yet time for her to return. He said he had not obtained the WAEC form for her yet. I reported this to my husband, who told me to relax, saying that Oba Aderogba was like a father to him. Esther later returned after four months with strange behaviours. She failed to relate with me as she used to do before she left for Ibadan. I sensed something was amiss and I called my husband’s attention to it. We summoned Oba Aderogba with the help of other people to seek explanation on what had happened to Esther.

Oba Aderogba then told us that Esther had agreed to marry him, while she stayed with him in Ibadan. He threatened to abduct Esther if we failed to release her to him for marriage. I was surprised when Esther left the meeting with Oba Aderogba for Ibadan without even saying goodbye to her parents. I threatened to report the case to police, but people prevailed on me not to do that. She (Esther) refused to either call or come back home for almost three years, while staying in Ibadan with Oba Aderogba. I didn’t know how to contact or trace her in Ibadan.

When Oba Aderogba eventually returned to Odowemo from Ibadan for his staff of office in November 2010, Esther came with him and she told me that she was confused and that she could no longer understand what she was doing. She told me that Oba Aderogba had turned her to his housewife and that he did not obtain any WAEC for her. I then took Esther to various churches for deliverance, because I realised she had been hypnotized. That was how I separated Esther from Oba Aderogba and since then, he had been threatening my family members.

She added: “Sometimes in June this year, Oba Aderogba stormed my house with policemen from Ibadan accusing Esther of conspiring with some people to steal his N560, 000 from his house in Ibadan. The police arrested Esther’s fiancé, Bayo. The police arrested and took Bayo to a Police Station at Challenge Area, Ibadan, where he was detained. When I got to Ibadan, I explained my ordeal to the police and they were very surprised. While at the police station, two elderly men came in and informed the police that Oba Aderogba was a ritualist, who used young girls for rituals. They alleged that he had used a lady called Laitan for rituals in Ibadan. We were told that Laitan’s parents had attacked Oba Aderogba for using their daughter for ritual.

The police insisted on taking the case to court, but Oba Aderogba failed to prosecute it. I could no longer bear the pains and humiliation I suffered from the monarch and that was why I reported the case to the Committee for the Defence of Human Right (CDHR) for help.

Oba Aderogba had in April 2011, sued Esther and her mother at an Ilesa High Court, alleging them of terminating his three-month-old pregnancy, which he claimed was conceived for him, while Esther was with him. In the statement of claim attached to the suit numbered HIL/37/2011, the monarch claimed that Esther was his wife and that she packed-out of her matrimonial home in January 2011. The monarch added that Esther and her mother violently attacked him when they were packing-out Esther’s load, maintaining that he sustained injuries during the attack. However, the monarch has so far failed to prosecute the case at the court for reasons best known to him.

The state Chairman of CDHR, Comrade Rufus Oyatoro, has since petitioned Osun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone II, the Osun State Police Command and the Area Commander, Testing Ground, Ibadan. In the petition, Oyatoro reaffirmed that Esther Alake was a minor, when Oba Aderogba abducted her for the unholy marriage and that the refusal of the young lady to continue with the monarch marked the Alake’s family travails. The human rights crusader demanded for full investigation into the matter and proper prosecution of anybody found wanton.

However, OSUN DEFNDER learnt that the State Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Command had interrogated Esther and her mother last week Tuesday. As the time of filling this report, the police had not interrogated Oba Aderogba.

 

Nigeria At 51: Osun ACN Chieftain Calls For Dedication•Seeks Restructured Federalism

An Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain in Osun State and a prince of Ile-Ife, Prince Felix Awofisayo, has called on all stakeholders in the Nigerian project to remain committed to the cause, saying there is hope for the future of the nation.

He stated this while speaking with journalists last Monday on Nigeria 51 Independence anniversary in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The Oranmiyan Worldwide President disclosed that God has a vision for the country and no matter the activities of sabotage; God’s plan for Nigeria would come to pass.

He however, charged the Peoples Democratic Party-led (PDP) Federal Government to give Nigerians reasons to trust President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to deliver dividends of democracy and alleviate their sufferings.

“We should see reasons in restructuring our federalism, such that there would be a renew sense of patriotism among the citizenry as it was in the past. Today, no one wants to die for this country, simply because things are not working”, added the Ife-born prince.

According to him, the PDP-led Federal Government, for the past twelve years in the country, failed to meet the expectations of its masses, thereby making life difficult for the citizenry.

“I think the Federal Government should bury its ego and learn from ACN states, how to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the nation and how to provide basic infrastructural developments, within the shortest possible time”, he stated.

Awofisayo disclosed that Jonathan should send his minister in-charge of youths and labour to Osun State, to learn how the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola created jobs for 20,000 youths from the state’s meagre resources.

He maintained that it is time government at all levels stopped talking and commence actions that could move the nation to its place of pride, among comity of nations.

He also reiterated the call for a state police, saying it is the best way lives and properties could be effectively secured.

In his words: “I believe that for us to get things right, especially in the area of security, the state should be allowed to have its own police, where the state governor would be in charge, unlike now that the commissioner of police in a state is answerable to an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) sidelining the governor, who is said to be the chief security officer in the state.

He also called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the country’s success and renew their dedication towards making the nation great.

Minister Scores Osun High In Flood Control

The Honourable Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, has commended the pro-active stance of Osun State government towards prevention of flooding in the state, by heeding the National Environment and Metrological Institute’s (NEMTI) warning in dredging its waterways and preventing dumping of refuse on its waterways, so as to avert disaster in the state.
She gave the words of commendation in Abuja at the 8th National Council on Environment, held at Yar’Adua Sports Complex, Murtala Square, Kaduna last Thursday.
Speaking on the theme: “Transforming the Nigerian Environment”, Hajia Mailafia said that the theme has been deliberately chosen to afford the stakeholders the opportunity to reflect and exchange views on the general state of the Nigerian environment, to examine and chart the way forward on environmental issues in the country.
The minister, who hammered on environmental challenges of deforestation, waste management, oil spillage and climate change said that the ministry has recently established Flood Early Warning System (FEWS), which is a web-based system for the forecast of possible devastating flood event in the country and it has installed automated flood early warning equipment in Ogun-Osun River Basin.
She therefore called on the state governments across the federation to key into the initiative of the Federal Government, by providing and installing this technology in order to safeguard flood hazards that was prevalent in major river flood plains across the country.
On desertification, the Minister for Environment lamented on desertification, especially in Bauchi, Borno, Yobe Gombe, Adamawa, Jigawa and other Northern states with the increase in the pilling of sand dunes, which have increased by 170 per cent from 820km2 to 4830km2 between 1976 and 1995.
She also called on all states in the South Western geo-political zone of the country to tackle the menace of deforestation as the total area occupied by forest reserves has gone down from ten per cent in 1977 to about six per cent recently.
She hinted that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recommended 25 per cent of total landmass to be forest cover, but that the nation was not guiding its forest reserves jealously, which according to the minister, was hazardous to the nation’s environment.
Mailafia therefore tasked all the stakeholders on the target ahead, as she said that Nigerian forest reserve cover must be increased to 10 per cent by 2013.
Moreso, the Federal Government in partnership with states has established 1,500 kilometres of Green Wall Sahara in the Eleven frontline states in the Northern part of the country and that the coastline erosion would just be reduced from the present 835 kilometres coastline erosion site to 350 by the year 2013, she concluded.

Save The Cities, Save The Future

Protocols,

Speech by the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as the Guest of Honour at the 2011 World Habitat Day held at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo, on Monday October 3, 2011.

I must thank the organisers for the privilege of being the Guest of Honour at today’s event. The United Nations General Assembly in 1986 through Resolution 40/202 designated every first Monday of October to be World Habitat Day and has been held annually since then. This year, it falls on October 3, and for which we are gathered here today.

The theme of this year’s World Habitat Day is ‘Cities and Climate Change’ and the global celebration is being hosted by the government of Mexico. We are however observing this year’s edition in our little corner of the world, just like other states of the federation and indeed all over the world.

Human habitation has evolved with cities. From caves and tree tops, man’s dwelling place has become sophisticated and at a time, it was being discussed how man can live in outer space and other planets. Yet, shelter is still a basic problem of man, especially in cities and urban centres.

Increasingly, development agencies are paying greater attention to cities, seeing it is the future of mankind. Greater human population live in cities where, for reason of industrialisation, the jobs are. It is also in the cities that we have the markets for goods and services that drive economic activities. It is in the cities that we have the most demand for shelter, clothing, food and municipal services like electricity, water, waste disposal and security.

This is why the themes of the World Habitat Day in the past 15 years have been on cities. Ironically, cities are more vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change. This is another issue that has been of global concern. There are two problems here. Climate change is the result of, one, natural processes in the earth such as variations in solar radiation, deviations in the Earth’s orbit, mountain-building and continental drift, and or, secondly, the activities of man that add to the greenhouse gas concentration.

There is nothing we can do about natural factors other than to pray. However, of serious concern are the activities of man that add to the carbon dioxide concentration on the earth surface due to emissions from fossil fuel burning, and aerosols, a propellant gas in most insecticide cans. Land use, ozone depletion, animal agriculture and deforestation are other man made factors that affect climate.

Experts have warned that the current rate of increase in the global mean temperature is unsustainable. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century. According to the body, the impact of this in Africa is scary. By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people in the continent are projected to be exposed to increased water stress; yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some regions by 2020; agricultural production, including access to food, may be severely compromised.

But there are other consequences of global warming precipitated in other places that will have effect on us. With the melting of the ice caps leading to rise in ocean levels and increased tidal waves, our coastal cities are already under the threat of being submerged. In the last 100 years alone, several kilometres of the Lagos coast have been taken over by water and it is not abating. Ocean surges now regularly threaten the Ahmadu Bello Way in Victoria Island in Lagos, propelling fears that the entire Victoria Island might soon be submerged.

There are other pieces of evidence of climate change around us. For some years now, the ‘August break’ is no longer apparent and we now have rainfall in September and October that looks like June and July. Again, many of us who are old enough will remember that tiny pellets of ice block used to come with rainfall in the past which we call Yinyin. I cannot remember the last time I saw Yinyin again, except the ice cubes in my refrigerator.

The effect of climate change on cities has been staggering. When there is alteration in the pattern of rainfall, farmers may miscalculate the planting period with dire consequences of food shortage. Since farmers take to the cities what is left of their own subsistence, cities dwellers are at the grave risk of hunger. An increase in temperature put cities with their high density population at graver risk of heat waves and upper respiratory tract infection. Natural disasters like tsunamis and flooding will devastate cities more than any dwelling formation.

By having trees and grasses around us, we offset the carbon dioxide emitted my man. Studies have shown that one of the ugly fallouts of urbanisation is the deoxygenated air of cities and urban centres. Many of the places designated as green areas have been taken over by commercial and other anthropogenic activities. We cannot estimate the economic and health cost of this.

We can see that that the effects of urbanization and climate change are converging in dangerous ways. The results of this convergence threaten to have unprecedented negative impacts on the quality of life, and economic and social stability. The good news, according to UNHABITAT, however, is that urbanization will also offer many opportunities to develop cohesive mitigation and adaptation strategies to deal with climate change. The populations, enterprises and authorities of urban centres will be fundamental players in developing these strategies.

But this is a clarion call to all to be more sensitive to this dangerous convergence and in our little way mitigate the consequences. We can begin this with the consciousness of our per capital carbon emission and the way we treat the environment.

For us, the state of our cities has been of concern since my inauguration. Yoruba people are urban dwellers. Most of the cities in Osun State that will qualify as urban centres are also historical places. Many of them have existed for more than 500 years. The architectures observable in some places are Gothic while others are 18th Century Brazilian. Some were brought in by colonial authorities while others were imported by returnee slaves. From the early to the mid 20th Century, our fathers invested the wealth realised from cash crop farming and trading in buildings.

Regrettably, with the disappearance of cocoa wealth also crept in dilapidation on the buildings. A lot of them have been falling down.

We have therefore embarked upon urban renewal. A committee of seasoned academics and competent professionals is already working assiduously to develop a modern urban outlook for our numerous towns and cities. Through the Osun Clean (O’Clean), we are also working towards a clean and healthy environment.
We have committed huge sums to the dredging and channelization of the rivers and streams in the state that often cause flooding. These are the ones in Osogbo, Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Ikirun, Odeomu, Iwo and Iragbiji, among others. We are already seeing results; in spite of heavier rain in our region this year, no flooding was recorded in Osogbo and certainly no loss of lives and property.

Our concern for cities also impelled us to direct that work should commence on the Ede Waterworks to increase its capacity from the present 20 per cent of its installed capacity which has been the ultimate capacity in the last 20 years   to 50 per cent. This will be completed by the end of December this year. It would boost the provision of portable water to the 20 Local Governments the Waterworks serves. By January 2012, the second phase of the rehabilitation work will commence which will bring the waterworks to full capacity.

The message to all is that the city is the future and we must all work to save it from the ravages of climate change and the ugly consequences of urbanisation in order for us to have a safe, healthy and conducive habitation.

I wish you all a happy World Habitat Day.

I thank you for your attention.

Osun a dara o.

Nigeria – The Paradox @ 51

By ABIODUN AREMU

Nigerians cherish a  society that works. Their successive rulers prophesied visions that articulate fantastic dreams and hopeless hopes. Every October 1st, in the past three decades, has become a ritual for its rulers to want to be associated with what they referred to as the “goals of the founding fathers”, but their very despicable conduct betrays the very essence for which Nigeria was founded.

Nigeria at zero (0) on October 1st 1960 was a product of struggles and sacrifices that involved loss to lives, careers, organizations, etc. Without the struggles by those earlier generations of labour leaders, progressive politicians, radical intellectuals, activist youths, valiant women, business practitioners and professionals, who had some modicum of nationalism and commitment to the Nigeria pride; probably the few measures of freedom we still manage to enjoy today would not be.

The paradox on Nigeria is better appreciated when viewed from deteriorating standards over the decades. The boom in agricultural produce in the 50s – 60s, that of oil in the 70s, were channeled into Developmental Plans that produced standard universities (ABU, OAU, UNN, and later, universities in every state), local manufacturing industries, hydro-power stations, the four oil refineries, airports, stadia, trade fair complexes, durable roads and health infrastructure, etc.; but most of these national assets have been taken over as private property by those in political power today and their cronies, and in some cases, rendered obsolete; all in the guise of economic reform agenda of privatization and deregulation.

As an undergraduate in the early 80s, my Industrial Training Fund (ITF) at N120 per month x 3 months (N360), which was equivalent of $720, could fetch me a return ticket to London. Minimum wage was N125 ($260) in 1981 and had a purchasing value that guaranteed one-bedroom low cost house, to the least paid worker with opportunity for mortgage facility of 25 – 30 years. But N18,000 ($120) for the least paid worker in 2011, which the slave driver employers (public and private) are resisting to pay can never improve the lots of the workforce.

The degenerated state of the polity today is a reflection of our dependence status politically and economically to the dictates of US and its allies of imperial financial institutions and agencies, whose prescriptions on almost every aspect of our social life are swallowed by these “Uncle Toms” local rulers.

Nigeria at 51 cannot really be celebrating “independence” when it is the neo-liberal global order that is actually governing us. From the first coming of Obasanjo as military Head of State; US, UK, France and other imperial looters in the G-7/8 impostor arrangement determined our policies and development objectives; which explains why governance has been reduced merely to:

1. Levying and collecting all manners of taxes (petroleum, VAT, electricity tariffs, development levies, etc.); 2.  Awarding contracts to portfolio contractors;

3.  Taking kickbacks off and on front; and

4.   Elevating looting, money laundering and extravagant lives, while the majority of Nigerians live miserably as the goal of government.

Nigeria at 51 cannot talk of the rule of law and due process, when the most basic essentials of life articulated as the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policies in the 1999 Constitution, i.e. rights and access to life, health, education, water, light, food, shelter, employment, social security, and happiness, are denied the people.

We can never free the country or any section of it nor achieve true federalism or resource control (even assuming the ethnic balkanization agenda succeeds) as long as we have a subservient ruling elites, who operate like touts (agberos) at the service of the G-7/8 countries that want us to fight corruption in line with their “democracy model”; yet have Nigeria’s stolen trillions corruptly domiciled in their banks in Europe and America.

Nigeria has wealth and abounds in limitless potentials, yet we have over a million children, who should be in schools hawking on major Nigerian cities, and our youths with first and second degrees roaming the streets without jobs, and national highways have become death traps, full of valleys and potholes and almost impassable.

Nigeria will not move forward because those profiting from the present rots should not be expected to shun their luxuries acquired through looted funds, while the rest resigned to “suffering and smiling”. At 51, the few (Presidents, Governors, parliamentarians, local government chairpersons, political appointees, and their associates swim in serious money that accrues from excess sales of crude oil and the devaluation of the local currency, yet industries are closing down, unemployment is growing and there is no social security to the unemployed, aged and disabled.

To move Nigeria forward, every pro-people transformative measure must be adopted to resolve the ever-mounting and complex social and political decadence. The people and their popular organizations in the market, workplaces, schools, mosques, churches, and among the women, farmers, artisans, and the disabled, etc., should be resolved to confront the neo-liberal regime of privatization and deregulation in order to get back a productive economy.

Nigeria at 51 has led to the popular maxim by many daily calling for a revolution as the answer. Even the middle-class and local manufacturers and owners of small scale enterprises, whose businesses have been ruined by the economic philosophy of neo-liberal globalization, have in the last few years also joined the chorus for revolution as the alternative to the present rot.

But Revolution is not something that is just merely parroted. It requires great efforts and sacrifices and the willingness of the mass of the people to bring it about. It is not enough for people to daily agonize about their plights, hardships and sufferings, but to appreciate the fact that all the failures of governance are the result of the unjust system, which they must struggle to change without which starvation, unemployment, privatization of collective wealth, hunger, food crisis, preventable and curable diseases, will continue.

A Nigeria at 51 that desires to work, must have people-oriented organizations and patriots (those who believe and ready to sacrifice everything including their lives) to undertake the task of national redemption. The task of redemption requires being self-reliant, anti-imperialist and building a resistance capacity and commitment to drive and enforce the spirit and letters defined in the 1999 Constitution on the economic objectives of Government.The first major challenge to confront is the necessity for every Nigerian to acquire mental emancipation. I am more than convinced from the benefit of our historical trajectory and the social realities that a struggle for the TOTAL INDEPENDENCE of the country has become inevitable, or less, year in and out would remain a paradox.

 

Independence Day: FG Disappoints Nigerians

National  insecurity has no doubt reached an alarming rate with the Federal Government bowing for the threats of the deadly terrorists group, Boko Haram and the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).

It is very saddening to see the custodian of security and resources, the Federal Government canceling the celebration of the 51st anniversary of Nigeria’s independence because of threats from the terrorists groups.

What signal is the government sending to the people of the country on the security situation of the country? The answer is simple. It has been established that not a citizen of the country is safe any longer.

From the onset, I never reposed confidence on this our remote-controlled President Goodluck Jonathan, because the man lacked the charisma to deal with insecurity and the crime rate upsurge across the country.
Is the president telling Nigerians that the Boko Haram and the MEND are the ones controlling the security of the nation? Has he forgotten that the primary assignment and responsibility of all the tiers of government is protection of live and properties?

The cancellation of the independent day celebration because of security threats is a bad signal to the world. It has shown inability of the President to lead the nation effectively and efficiently.
We should be expecting more deadly attacks in any part of the country from now. Since the Federal Government has bowed to the terrorists, they would not hesitate to carry another attack, knowing fully well that our security agencies are mere empty barrels.

It is no longer news that all these terrorists groups are being sponsored by politicians, just as our security officers and agencies have equally been compromised.

President Jonathan should please, for the sake of the common people, rise up to the challenges of the national insecurity, by taking bold steps that would nip in the bud, the rising unrest.

If the President fails to act, then Nigerians should seek refuge in other peaceful neighbouring countries, as the terrorists might take total control of the country.

•Kayode Aderongbe, Osogbo, Osun State.

ACN UK Lauds Aregbesola Over Reduction Of UNIOSUN Tuition Fees

Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), South/West and Edo Chapter of United Kingdom (UK) have commended Osun State governor, Mr.  Rauf Aregbesola for reducing tuition fees of University of Osun State (UNIOSUN).

In a release signed by the Publicity Secretary of the chapter, Mr. Tunde Ajayi, the UK chapter of the party stressed that the gesture of the governor has further confirmed his passion to make education accessible to children of the poor in the state.  According to the statement, the chairman of the chapter,   Mr.Kehinde Ojutalayo, while reacting on the trickle down effect of the reduction of the tuition fees, said Aregbesola has demonstrated his resolve to pave way for the brilliant and indigent students, who could give the nation a breakthrough in the future.

Canvassing the support of stakeholders for the state governor, Ojutalayo noted that the action of the governor in slashing the tuition fees has shown that governance was beyond building mushroom projects, to whitewash the governed.
According to chairman, “Governor Rauf Aregbesola has clearly demonstrated that his government is committed to improving the lots of the people of the state by making university education accessible to them at affordable cost, despite the fact that the action would further press the purse of the state.”

Expressing the readiness of the UK chapter of the ACN’s support for Osun state, Ojutalayo stressed that the chapter of the party would make available blueprint on development to the government of Osun state, saying that Governor Aregbesola deserves everybody’s support.

“We have prepared to contribute our quota to the development of the South/West region of Nigeria, and we will soon prepare papers on development based on collective expertise available to the governors of the region, and we are much more impressed by the progressive action of the state governors.
It

would be recalled that Governor Aregbesola has just recently announced the slash of tuition fees in UNIOSUN by half, claiming that the outrageous old fees was unbearable for the poor people of Osun state.

Osun Lawmaker Gives Loans To Market Women

In line with his campaign promises to ensure the people of Ede North State Constituency of Osun State enjoy the dividends of democracy, the lawmaker representing constituency at the State House of Assembly, Honourable Debo Akanbi, popularly called Osunagbeni has given out a soft loan of N1.5 million to market women in the area.

Giving out the loan in Ede last Friday, the lawmaker disclosed that over 400 market women were the beneficiaries of the programme, which was initiated by him under the Debo Akanbi Economic Empowerment Programme.

According to him, after the distribution of the loan, which he described asthe first phase, more people would still benefit in the second and third phases, which he noted would be initiated before the end of the year.

He further disclosed that he has begun the construction of a company in Ede town that would ensure the creation of jobs for the people, especially the youths in the constituency.

The lawmaker stated that the beneficiaries would not pay any interest on the loan given to them, as he had agreed with the bank that packaged the programme to be deducting the interest on the loan from his salaries every month.

Akanbi noted that the programme was initiated by him to appease the people of the constituency for standing by him in the face of intimidation, especially since 2007, when the mandate given to him was stolen, saying that the programme was just a tip of the iceberg of what he has in the offing for the people of the area.

Presenting the loan for the beneficiaries, on behalf of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperative, Industry and Empowerment, Mr. Ismail Alagbada, appealed to the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously, with a view to giving others opportunities to benefit from a similar programme.

He lauded the lawmaker for his initiative in assisting the administration of Aregbesola in the area of empowerment of the people of the state, saying that the administration was determined to empower the people, either through loans or creation of jobs, which he noted, had begun with the creation of jobs under Osun Youths Empowerment Scheme, OYES.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs.Mofolake Adegboyega, also advised the beneficiaries to make use of the loan with intention to make profit and repay the loans for others to benefit.

She further called on the people of the state, to continue praying for the administration of Aregbesola, for it to achieve its desired goals for the development of the state and its people.

 

Aregbesola Receives Leadership Award

Pledges To Justify Confidence Reposed In Him
Osun State governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has assured his teeming supporters that he would justify the confidence reposed in him by the people who elected him into office.

Aregbesola, who gave this assurance in Abuja last weekend, while receiving the 2011 edition of the African Governance and Corporate Leadership Award conferred on him by the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, told the people of Osun and Lagos States that he would live up to his billings by performing in office beyond their  expectations of him.

Responding to a lengthy citation on him by the institute, the Osun State governor pledged to continue to strive hard in his provision of good leadership and services to the people which he noted, informed their decision to elect him as governor.

“My assurance and commitment to those who have given me this award is that we will never fail or falter to continue to do those things that attracted us to you and for which the people of Lagos, the people of Osun State, the people of Nigeria see us as budding talents and potential leaders. We shall do our best to sustain the qualities and virtues that made it possible for you to grant the award”, he promised.

While reiterating his resolve to spend the rest of his life in the service of the people and humanity, Aregbesola expressed the confidence that the award would ginger him to further offer his best services to the people of Osun State, so as to achieve their aspiration for development.

Dedicating the award to the people of Osun State, Aregbesola commended the former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu for noticing the potentials in him when he gave him the opportunity to serve in his cabinet as a commissioner in 1999.

According to him, every honour done to any human being is a recognition of the commitment to the cause of humanity, just as he appealed to all Nigerians to join hands in engineering activities that would uplift the living standard of fellow citizens.

Aregbesola maintained that the greatest guarantee of peace and development is the development of citizenry by enhancing their capacities for fulfillment and industry necessary for the upliftment of their standard of living.

Speaking during the ceremony on the qualities of Governor Aregbesola, the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the award was unique as it manifested in the style of Governor Aregbesola’s leadership style of administration.

The ACN scribe then advised the Osun State helmsman not to waiver in delivering the goods to the expectation of the people, as he had an enviable past rooted in the emancipation of humanity.

Aregbesola Cautions Osun Hajj Pilgrims

Aregbesola Perfoming umrah Lesser hajjOsun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has cautioned the 2011 intending Hajj pilgrims from the state, to be patient and be good ambassadors of the state, by displaying sense of responsibilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The governor gave the admonition in Osogbo, the state capital, during the valedictory service for the 1,020 intending pilgrims from the state, out of which 200 were sponsored by the state government.

He stated that the government had setup a team of 18 medical personnel to take adequate care of the pilgrims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while drugs that would be used for all the pilgrims have been purchased, with a view to ensuring that all pilgrims are given adequate attention.

As part of special package for the sponsored pilgrims and all intending pilgrims from the state, the government, he said, had distributed Iramcoat, Compact Disc for Hajj rites, short prayer books for Tawaf, including a book on how to go about Hajj operations to all pilgrims from the state.

He further stated that a committee for discipline would be setup to correct whoever is running against the laid down rules and regulations.
He stated that the journey for Hajj by the pilgrims is the top of tests for Muslim faithful, preaching that they should be patient as preached by Holy Quran, just as he stated that all arrangements had been concluded, to make the journey easy for the pilgrims.

In his address, the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Tourism, Mr. SikiruAyedun disclosed that this year’s Hajj operation was a unique one, starting from the selection of the state-sponsored pilgrims, because there was a big departure from the sordid preparations of the past, saying that all nominees cut across all major central mosques in the 30 local government council areas of the state, including Ife East Area Office, Modakeke.

He noted that 95 percent of the pilgrims’ passports with visas have been processed and collected by the pilgrims’ board from Saudi Embassy, saying that processing on the rest of the pilgrims have been commenced and would be ready very soon.

Advising the pilgrims to adhere strictly to the rules and regulations of Hajj in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, Ayedun noted that the pilgrims from the state would spend maximum of 45 days in Saudi Arabia with effect from their date of departure from Lagos.

Commending the governor for his effort in ensuring that the journey is successful, the commissioner also noted that no administration has achieved what the present administration had achieved, which he described as enviable and laudable in the development of the state.

Aregbesola Perfoming umrah Lesser hajj