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RE: Educated Aregbesola: The Newest Oxymoron, By Kikiowo Ileowo

I woke up around 6:4am after a robust previous night of speaking with my in-law who expressed delight in the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for clearing ALL salary arrears, leave bonuses and pensions in the 3rd week of December 2016. What jolted me from the feeling was an article on Sahara Reporters titled Educated…”
Tolu
January 6, 2017 6:56 pm

I woke up around 6:4am after a robust previous night of speaking with my in-law who expressed delight in the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for clearing ALL salary arrears, leave bonuses and pensions in the 3rd week of December 2016. What jolted me from the feeling was an article on Sahara Reporters titled Educated Aregbesola: The Newest Oxymoron, written by one Adeyeye Olorunfemi.

I must confess, Adeyeye’s article was laced with fine English, but lacks facts and depth that serious treatises are known for. Friends, Adeyeye’s article may look like it has depth, but don’t be fooled by that, it actually lacks depth. In a bid to propagate deceit, the writer threw caution to the wind, maliciously accusing the governor of embezzlement, corruption and gross maladministration based on perceived mismanagement of state funds or deliberate distortion of facts. Adeyeye never bothered to verify the hogwash that a section of the media had published about Ogbeni and his administration despite the many rejoinders to correct the misleading erroneous stories form the jaundiced media, he simply regurgitated the blasphemy.

Adeyeye’s grouse was the award from a media organization as the governor of the year on education. To start with it is the prerogative of any media organization to bestow award and honour on whosoever it chooses. It is equally normal for reactions to trail such choices from the public. But the civilized attitude is to situate the responses in context, content and logic of the reason adduced by the concerned media organization.

We are constrained to respond to the diatribe from Adeyeye because he never concerned himself with the facts of the award as stated by awarding body and the reality on ground.

It is a fact except for those who live in denial that, no governor in recent Nigeria has done so much for developing Education like the Osun governor. The Osun School infrastructure Revamp Projects has received many accolades locally and internationally. So far, Osun government under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has delivered 20 newly built elementary schools and 22 newly built middle schools, all completed and in use. Many more are still under construction.

The government’s strategic investment in the critical basic education level has delivered training and re-training for over 21,017 teachers, giving the importance of these to the learning experience. So far, 277 model schools with 1,811 modern classrooms have been re-built or rehabilitated. The schools are being furnished with 26,922 sets of chair and table. Every school day in Osun, 252,000 elementary school children receive nutritious meals produced largely by local farmers, and prepared by 3,003 caterers to boost health and cognitive capability of pupils at their formative stage, as well as boost local food production. The Osun School feeding programme is the longest running of its kind in the country.

Also, 11 high schools of 3,000 capacities each have been completed or under construction. Osogbo Government High School equipped with wifi, modern teaching & sport facilities, was recently commissioned by President Muhammudu Buhari on September 1, 2016.

The writer has the right to ignore and distort facts all he likes, but to deliberately misinform unsuspecting reading public is an unforgiveable offense. How do five students, out of hundreds of thousands of students in Osun, who were instigated to adorn religious robe to school, represent the entire population of those who obey school regulation on the proper mode of dressing?

On salaries, thanks to the synergy of the workers and the government, the state has cleared all its salary arrears, including leave bonuses and pensions. To state that “even with the bailout funds, Aregbesola was not bailed out” is a lie from the pit of hell. The apportionment committee headed by veteran labour leader, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu ensured that the inadequate bailout funds were maximally utilized to cover 14 months, and also accommodate pensioners who were left out by the federal government.

The workers agreed to accept 100% salaries for level 1-7 and nothing less than 50% for workers in level 8 and above. This way ensured government avoided massively retrenching workers. In fact, workers in level 8 and above received 75% salaries from September to December 2016. However, lecturers in the jointly owned tertiary institution, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) refused this arrangement and have down tool for 7 months.

Sadly, the likes of Adeyeye continue to live in denial. To them, Aregbesola can do no good. To them, Aregbesola lacks the capacity to do good; but don’t be fooled, they prefer bad news. They blank out any contrary information other than chaos and continually hope things turn out for worse. That is why he could describe a healthy governor as “ailing”.

Lastly, contrary to Adeyeye’s position, Aregbesola is a man of the people. He is one of the few governors who regularly walk the streets of his state, with the people hailing him. Secondary school students who received their Opon-Imo upon resumption last September are full of praises for the man with the agenda to radically develop the state of Osun. I invite Adeyeye to come to Osogbo, randomly interview 10 people on the street and see what they have to say about their governor. I rest my case!

Kikiowo Ileowo writes from Osogbo.

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