Aregbesola Frees Five Prison Inmates

By Nofisat Marindoti

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun has granted pardon and approved the release of five prison inmates.

They are of the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Lagos State and Federal Prisons, Ilesa in the State of Osun.

This was contained in the statement signed by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Ajibola Basiru.

Basiru said the release is pursuant to the advice and recommendations of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, under the section 212 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Basiru commended Governor Aregbesola for his commitment to the judicial sector reforms and prison decongestion.

The freed prisoners presently serving their jail terms at Federal Prison, Ilesha and Maximum Security Prison, Kirikiri Lagos State include Akeem Afolahan sentenced to death, Olowoyo Oladipo sentenced to death, Alaba Olagunjun Sentenced to death, Olabisi Adediji sentenced to life imprisonment and Oladapo Adediji Sentenced to life imprisonment.

 

Fulani Herdsmen Crisis Caused By Societal Issues – Aregbesola

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has described the Fulani herdsmen activities as a product of disregard for their immediate environment rather than an ethical issue.

The Governor also challenged Nigeria to be strong and bond to take the leadership role of leading the black man to the zenith of the world.

The Governor spoke in Ado-Ekiti during a visit and an interactive session he held with students at the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.

Aregbesola said it is wrong to see the issue of the Fulani herdsmen as just an ethnic issue or from the political angle, saying most of their action is as a result of the primitive way things are still being handled in the country.

He stated further that they did not just become wild because they are herdsmen but because Nigeria as a nation has completely disregarded the environment and because nobody has cared to help them.

While emphasising that their actions are not justifiable, he noted that the root of the problem is the poor economy and the underdevelopment of the country.

He however explained that the challenges posed by the Fulani herdsmen could be turned into a huge business and economic development opportunity if the right approach is used to tackle the issue.

The Governor stressed that he expects scholars from the various universities across the country to begin to engage in researches and come up with ideas to produce pasture and other feeds which the cattles in Nigeria can use to feed all year round, saying the cattle herdsmen will be willing to buy it.

According to Aregbesola, “as much as I condemn the activities of the Fulani herdsmen, I think it is not about one ethnic group, my personal opinion is that we have not given them an alternative as a people.

“I am sure they too can not say they enjoy the manner in which they roam about with their cattles, the challenge is caused by the primitive nature we still do things in this part of the world, it is caused by our total disregard of our environment and because we have never cared to look at how to help these herdsmen.

“The challenge is also about poverty and our refusal to begin to use our God-given knowledge as a people to solve our myriad societal problems we have as a nation of which the herdsmen killings is among.

“For emphasis, I am not justifying the criminality of the herdsmen, in fact I condemn it in all totality, I am only saying the root cause of the problem is our poor economy and our refusal to develop ourselves.

“I want to tell you that there is a business angle which can help nip this crisis in the bud, but it is a pity that we are not looking into it.

“If our scholars through our universities can look inwards and find an alternative to the herdsmen grazing the land indiscriminately with their cattles, I think the herdsmen too will embrace it and be willing to pay for it which I see as a business opportunity”. Aregbesola said.

The Osun governor also used the event to challenge Nigeria as a nation to rise up to the challenge of being the rallying point of Africans and all black men all over the world, saying if the black man must succeed then Nigeria must not fail as a nation.

 

Iwo East LCDA Chair Hails Aregbesola Over Parliamentary System

The newly sworn-in chairman of the Iwo East Local Council Development Area, Comrade Rahman Abiola Lawal on Tuesday said Governor Rauf Aregbesola has once again written his name in gold with the introduction of the parliamentary system of administration at the local government level.

Rahman, who spoke shortly after being sworn in at the Olomowewe Secretariat of the Iwo East LCDA, said just as he has done in many other aspects of Osun’s life, Aregbesola has introduced a system that would change the face of politics.

It was amidst pomp and pageantry that he took oath of office in the presence of many community leaders, party chieftains and officials of the LCDA on Tuesday.

He said, “As we all know, Parliamentary System is not alien to our political culture, experience and history, and this reminds me of the golden period of Sir Tafawa Balewa before the First Republic was truncated by the Military Adventurists on January 15, 1966.

“As Governor Rauf Aregbesola reminded us on 6th February 2018 on the occasion of our swearing in as representatives of our respective wards, the system being ushered in ensures party supremacy and discipline.

“The system also affirms the supremacy of the political party, it personifies the view, ideology, belief and tendency of  a political association, and this gives stability, reliability and predictability to the political system.

The new Chairman promised to be law-abiding as well as discharge his relative functions of office without fear or favour.

 

Aregbesola Urges Osun Civil Servants To Act As Tax Marshals

Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has disclosed that the state has no reason to be poor if its people inculcate the culture of tax payment.

He added that with the right revenue drive and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about 2.44 trillion, Osun should be a rich and prosperous state in the federation.

This is just as the governor charged the entire civil service of the state to help the government promote the culture of tax payment among the people of Osun.

He stated these on Wednesday during an interactive session he held with Permanent Secretaries, Directors, General Managers and Executive Secretaries of government agencies and parastatals at the government secretariat.

Aregbesola who decried the poor economic nature of Osun despite its huge GDP which he said is more than that of some African countries called for a change in attitude to tax payment in the state.

While calling on the civil service not to be careless of the fact that it is only public servants that pay their tax adequately, the governor stressed that the state will only be encouraging poverty if it continues that way.

The Governor further charged the state civil service to let the people understand and embrace the culture of tax payment, saying they have nowhere to call their own apart from Osun, hence the need to join hands in developing it is quintessential.

He held that the only thing that will make him feel comfortable even after leaving office is when he is rest assured that the civil service has keyed into the idea of assisting the government to generate revenue through taxation.

Aregbesola maintained that the time has come for public servants to begin to see themselves as those whose on shoulders lie the responsibility to drive the state forward through revenue generation which can only be gotten from the people.

The Governor who noted that the height which every indigene of Osun wants the state to attain in the next ten or twenty years will be a mirage if the civil service does not assist the government in changing the orientation of the people towards tax payment.

The state helmsman expressed the believe that the people of the state are no more in doubt that the government can give them what they want, stressing that this should be used as a basis to rekindle the poor attitude of the people to tax payment.

According to Aregbesola, “If a territory or space like Osun can produce goods and services worth 2.44 trillion naira, then we have no reason to be poor. But it’s a pity that we can’t hide our faces from the fact that we are poor and this is because our revenue generation is so poor.

“Some African countries that have presidents don’t have that much of GDP as Osun and it’s saddening that we still find ourselves in this economic mess because our attitude to tax payment is poor and we are directly at fault for it.

“I want to tell you that if we continue like this then we are encouraging poverty, you public servants should begin to worry that it is only you who pay tax, it should interest you as public servants to ensure that every taxable adult in Osun pay their taxes.

“If we don’t quickly do something about our revenue generation, the dream of a better Osun that will be the cynosure of all eyes might painfully be a mirage, I came to Osun to become governor because I am from this state and I want it to develop. I want you too to begin to have the mindset that Osun must develop through you.

Now That 389 Councillors Have Been Sworn-In

By Sodiq Yusuf

Tuesday, the 6th of February, 2017 will go down in the history of the State of Osun, when the first set of parliamentarians at the local government level, the first in the history of Nigeria’s 19 years of democratic dispensation were inaugurated by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Although, controversial to many of how a government will run at the grassroots with only councillors and not the customary local government “Chairman” that is from the culture of the Presidential system of government practiced in Nigeria since 1999, the system has fully taken off in Osun without any aberration to the constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended).

Section 7 explains it all why the present government in Osun decided to take this into consideration before setting the agenda for the take-off of the parliamentary system of government at the local level of governance.

According to Governor Rauf Aregbesola during the ceremony, “The process culminating in today’s ceremony is in fulfilment of Section 7 (1) of the Nigerian constitution that requires that ‘The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.

“You will recall that in 2012, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria asked for memoranda on the review of the 1999 Constitution.  A 15-man committee was set up in Osun under the chairmanship of Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji to aggregate the opinion and views from the state. The committee held public sittings for three weeks during which members of the public, institutions, non-governmental organisations and others made their various submissions.

Aregbesola Speaking After Swearing In The Councillors

“In the end, it was the overwhelming wish of the people, as stated in the committee’s report, that parliamentary system of government be adopted at all levels of government. What we have done therefore is to defer to the wish of the people in their clamour for parliamentary system of government.”

“Secondly, parliamentary system is more democratic, compared to the executive, in that the executive system tends towards dictatorship, arbitrariness and absolutism, since power is concentrated in one man’s hand, with little or no check. Whereas, in a parliamentary system, the executive emerges from and is formed in the parliament, making the members of parliament to be members of the executive as well and the leadership of the executive to be first among equals, primus inter pares.”

Going by these words by Rauf Aregbesola, the councillors that emerged after a keenly contested election on January 27, 2018, following many years of delayed tactics employed by those who are afraid of their inevitable defeat and rejection at the polls in the grassroots have the constitutional mandate to serve their people passionately without due hindrance from the law.

Now let’s go into the benefits as highlighted by the Governor, “because the executive members are appointed from parliament, a lot of cost is saved, compared to when fresh persons have to be appointed as ministers, commissioners, chairmen of councils etc. This system also saves campaign cost and reduces the impetus for corruption considering that a candidate only need to campaign in his or her constituency, unlike in the executive system where a presidential candidate must tour the whole country and a governorship candidate must tour the whole state while a chairmanship candidate must tour the entire local council.”

A cross-section of the councillors

According to him “The final reason parliamentary system is preferred is that it affirmed the supremacy of the political party. The party is an institution that is greater than an individual.  It is a body that personifies the views, ideologies, beliefs and tendency of a political association. When a citizen joins a party, it is because he or she agrees for what it stands for. Indeed, parties campaign for elections on the strength of their tendency and field candidates that embody and will represent the party in every way.”

“This brings stability, reliability, predictability and order to the political system. This is why studies have consistently shown that parliamentary systems are more stable and less prone to corruption, compared to the executive system.”

The Governor had strong words for the 389 councillors and their responsibility in government. He harped on three things, environmental sanitation, market stability and revenue generation. As if he knew what was on my mind, we all know the problems associated with these three areas especially at the grassroots.

Another Set of the New Parliamentarians at the Local Government Level in the State of Osun

There is no doubting the fact that Osun is the most urbanized state in Nigeria, from Osogbo to Ile-Ife, Ikirun, Ilesa, Iwo, Ede, Ejigbo, Ila, Ikire. And with the drive of the O-Clean initiative of the present administration, one needs to point out the fact that most areas in Osun are not living up to expectation in terms of environmental sanitation.

The councillors should see themselves as agents of change to make for a cleaner environment, cleaner markets and sane atmosphere.

They must also make sure that markets are viable to ensure that the internally generated revenue of their respective councils. IGR is necessary at this stage of governance when the state finances are at a low ebb. Revenue Generation of councils must rise at this point in time. Councillors and their chairpersons must see governance as a duty and call to serve their people.

Aside revenue, they must be agents of change at their level. They should always strive to provide succour and relief to their people’s feelings, yearnings and aspirations. The state of things at the local government level has not been rosy since the last elections in 2007. Many have not been able to direct their concerns to elected representatives since there have not been elections. The council managers and executive secretaries have tried their best but people still want those they elect to be in power.

Now that the 389 councillors of Local Governments, Local Council Development Areas, Area Councils and Administrative Offices are in office, they must see governance as their responsibility, cater for the needs of their people and most importantly, have listening ears to the yearnings of their people.

They should see this as a call to serve just as three years is by the corner!

PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola Commissions Timsed Companies In Osun

Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday commissioned the Timsed Int’l Hotels / Holiday Centre & Tantalizer Outlet, Timsed Int’l Civic Centre & Cinema, Timsed Int’l Water & Beverages Bottling Plant, Timsed Int’l Foods & Confectioneries Factory and Timsed Broadcasting Service – Radio and Digital Television Stations in Ijebu-Ijesa, Oriade Local Government Area of the State of Osun built by an indigene of the town, Chief Rotimi Obeisun.

The Commissioning was part of activities to mark Obeisun’s 60th Birthday.

 

 

Photos Credit: Dolapo Julius

Osun LG Poll: Aregbesola Appreciates Osun Indigenes For Voting APC

By Nofisat Marindoti 

Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has expressed his gratitude to the people of the state for voting for all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the recently conducted Local Government election.

Aregbesola also thanked the people for their peaceful conduct during the election. 

In a statement signed by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure,  Aregbesola also commended the six political parties that fielded candidates in the election for their keen sportsmanship and for playing by the rule of the game.

According to the release, “Governor Rauf Aregbesola, on behalf of the State Government of Osun will like to thank the good people of the state for the peaceful and successful conduct of Parliamentary Elections into the Local Government Councils, Local Council Development Areas, Area Councils and Administrative Offices in the state last Saturday. 

“Governor Aregbesola expresses profound gratitude to the people of the state for voting for all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as they have always done in the past. The pattern of the voting is a demonstration of their unflinching support for the progressive cause. 

“It is a faith that served our fathers, beginning from Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the Action Group (AG) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the First and Second Republic respectively. This has served us also through Chief Bola Ige and Chief Bisi Akande to our present administration under which great and unprecedented developments came. 

“From all reports, the people came out massively in the 71 wards where councillorship posts were contested and conducted themselves peacefully and orderly before, during and after the election. Their Omoluabi essence was in vivid display.

“Governor Aregbesola commends also the six political parties that fielded candidates in the election for their keen sportsmanship, for playing by the rule of the game and for having faith in the democratic system. With their attitude and conduct, there is great hope for development of the democratic system of government in Osun.”

Explaining the advantage of the parliamentary system of government, Aregbesola lauded the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) which conducted the election, for doing a good job and its transparency, fairness and efficiency displayed throughout the election.

“The following day, Sunday, January 28, 2018, all results were declared and winners announced. On the same day, certificates of return were issued out to the winners. This is a normal procedure that should trail any contest.

“The governor hopes that the body has learnt the right lessons, especially on where lapses occurred, and improve with subsequent elections.

“The law enforcement agencies have also been praised by Governor Aregbesola for rising to the occasion, for keeping the peace and for nipping in the bud the few cases of breach, promptly apprehending the suspects and restoring normalcy. It is hoped that the law will take its due course and serve as deterrent to the outlaws who might want to disrupt elections and perpetrate electoral fraud in the future.”

Governor Aregbesola also recognised and thanked election monitors and observers for the role they played, stating that they are the witnesses of truth who will tell the whole world what they saw and observed on the novel parliamentary election that took place in Osun.

“The stage is now set for the inauguration of the councillors from the 389 wards into the parliaments in the Local Government Councils, Local Council Development Areas, Area Councils and Administrative Offices in the state.  After this, the chairpersons and other leaders will emerge from the parliament.  

“The election that held last Saturday is unarguably a springboard for advancing the course of broad-based, all inclusive governance at the grassroots that will politically empower the people and provide the platform for accelerated development. 

“One advantage of parliamentary system is that the executive and the legislative arms are fused. The expectation is therefore high that elected officials will live up to the billing.” the release added. 

Governor Aregbesola thereby congratulated the winners, urging them to see their election not as an end but a means to an end, which is serving the people.

Osun Takes Delivery Of N200m Worth Of Medical Facilities

Medical facilities worth about N200 million have been imported by the State Government of Osun as part of efforts towards achieving its total health care delivery in the state.

In a statement issued by the office of the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu, the medical equipment which will be distributed across the state’s 56 healthcare facilities, are aimed at addressing some of the identified challenges within the state’s health sector.

According to Isamotu, the medical equipment includes complete electrocardiography machines, complete vascular Doppler, injection pump machines, high frequency analysis machines, tremtrafo-isolating transformers, hospital beds, x-ray film viewer monitors, complete C arm x-ray intensive viewers, rollators, wheel chairs, automatic operational theatre tables, among many others.

The commissioner noted that the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola will work till its last day in office and that it would leave no stone unturned to make healthy living the culture of the people of the state.

He said: “These facilities are those you can hardly come across in major public hospitals in this part of the world. But you know that Ogbeni will always tell you that as someone who grew among the people, the existing gaps between the rich and the poor must always be closed.

“That is why he has mandated me and the Health Ministry as a whole to ensure that the best that can be provided within the available resources is offered our people. I must thank him for the support my ministry has continued to receive from his leadership and I’m very sure the people are appreciative of his efforts.”

Meanwhile, Isamotu has also assured the people that the state is free from any form of epidemic including the biting Lassa fever, saying the directorate of public health has commenced its public campaign programmes to sensitise the people against poor public health habits.

“Our directorate of public health is fully prepared, our state epidemiologist has also mobilised our field officers to get ready. All what we do is to reactivate our system put in place for this kind of emergency of public health importance, so there is no cause for alarm,” Isamotu added.

Osun 2018: Aregbesola Urges Corps Members To Eschew Gratifications, Inducement

By Nofisat Marindoti
Governor Rauf Aregbesola has admonished members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to eschew all forms of gratifications and inducement when employed as ad-hoc staff during the upcoming governorship elections in the state.
Aregbesola gave the admonition while declaring open the 2017 Batch Stream II, NYSC orientation programme for the State of Osun, at the NYSC permanent orientation camp in Ede.
Aregbesola who was represented by the state Commissioner of Empowerment and Youth Engagement, Mrs Folake Adegboyega, said the state was moving into a crucial period as elections were around the corner.
He said the corps members would be playing vital role in determining the substance of democracy, as the collaboration between INEC and NYSC would see them participate as ad-hoc staff during elections.
“I want to admonish you to eschew all forms of gratifications and inducement capable of marring the
effectiveness and credibility of the collaboration between NYSC and INEC.
“Since 2011, patriots like you have joined INEC in ensuring the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in the country.
“I want you to re-calibrate your minds to live up to the good name built by your predecessors who have participated in similar processes in the past.”
Osun State Coordinator of NYSC,Mr Emmanuel Attah, in his welcome address, advised the corps members to build and maintain quality friendships during the orientation and after.
Attah equally urged the corps members to ensure that they abide by every laid down rules and regulation of the NYSC Bye-laws and Act.
He said a total of 2059 corps members deployed to the state were undergoing orientation in the NYSC camp and that the figure includes corps member dislodged from Ekiti and Ondo States.
He said a total of 1156 males and 903 females, duly registered, would be sworn-in as bonafide corps members of Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states, adding that Osun would however be playing host to Ekiti and Ondo states corps members.
The Chief Judge of Osun, Justice Adepele Ojo later administered the national pledge and oath of allegiance on the prospective corps members making them bonafide members of NYSC 2017 Batch B, stream II.

Osun Needs N10bn Revenue Monthly To Survive

By Kehinde Ayantunji

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged the leadership of Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) and other government parastatals in the state to work hard and raise the revenue needed for the development of the state.

Aregbesola said for the state to survive economically and continue on the ongoing infrastructural development, all hands must be on deck to raise the state’s Internally Generated Revenue from its average N500million to N4.1billion on monthly basis.

The Governor made this disclosure at Royal Park Hotel, Iloko-Ijesa while declaring open, a 5-day Envisioning/Capacity Building Workshop on the Ten Years State Development Plan organised by the State Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development.

Aregbesola called on the people of the state to begin to look inward and imbibe the culture of being truthful to their civic responsibilities of paying tax to government.

He held that  for the 10-year proposed Economic Development Plan to be realised, Osun must earn before the expiration of his administration at least N4.1billion every month.

Aregbesola told the gathering to use the opportunity of the workshop to develop for the state, a development agenda that will make Osun a virile, viable and successful state in Nigeria.

According to him, “In your course of planning in respect of this workshop, Osun must at least target N10billion IGR in the next ten years.

“Osun must earn before the expiration of this administration at least N4.1billion as monthly IGR, it is not as difficult as we think but we must apply our senses to it.

“If we really want to build a prosperous state as we aspired, we must pay our taxes, God doesn’t support idleness, laziness and indolence, so we must work to meet our personal needs and give to government what is due to it.

“So, we must also use the opportunity of this gathering to develop and provide for our state, a development agenda that will make it a virile, viable and successful state in Nigeria.

“If Lagos earned N503.7 billion in 2017 as Internally Generated Revenue, as being claimed by its government, it means that Lagos generated N41.7  billion for every month of the 12 months of 2017, therefore, we must struggle to get IGR capacity of N4.1 billion which is 10 per cent of what Lagos generates every month before we exit.

“So we must henceforth let the people of Osun know that if Lagos could earn N41.7 billion as IGR every month, then it is unthinkable and irresponsible for Osun not to strive to make N4.1billion every month.

“That is what we need. It is the least we can work on. By 2028, if Osun must be modern, thus we must have capacity to generate N10 billion monthly.

“So, the communique of this workshop must develop the capacity to support the state in its quest for development in practical terms and to make Osun one of the best economically viable in Nigeria”, Aregbesola told the gathering.

“We must also be conscious of the future population explosion in whatever economy we are planning by educating the people against the effects of reckless procreation because if we fail to take the bull by the horn, the present population in the country would have risen to 200million with similar effect on each state of the federation in ten years time.

“Thus, we must aggressively pursue local production on our own to overcome unemployment and its consequences, otherwise, we will still be facing challenges.

“In Osun, we have made little infrastructural development and if that doesn’t continue, then it will be difficult to traverse the state. These are the practical issues that we need to bother about regarding worthy successor.

“As we can all see, in ten years time, there will be no allocation from anywhere, thus, we must support our people to develop their potential to work efficiently so as to enrich themselves and key into what to give to government to run the state”.

Earlier in his welcome address, Osun Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development, Dr. Olalekan Yinusa  said

that the state development plan is expected to be a public document that will enumerate Osun overarching policy position.

He added that the state development plan will go a long way in highlighting the enduring legacies of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration which will be leveraged on and sustained by incoming administrations in the state.

He said, ”The preparation process of Osun 10-year State Development Plan will be participatory and inclusive of all relevant stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs); Community Based Organisations (CBOs), organised Private sectors (OPS), opposition political parties in the state of Osun amongst others.

“I want to challenge everybody here present to see himself or herself as being privileged to be part of this historic effort of creating a new future for our state. We must rise to the challenge of contributing ideas, time and other resources towards this all important project of creating a new future that is built on shared prosperity, productivity, efficiency and due process.

“A future where everybody is alive to his or her responsibilities, a future that promotes and celebrates excellence, diligence, commitment, nobility of character and hardwork and a future that guarantees basic needs of life”.

In his remarks, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola,  said the workshop will provide  a platform for equipping the people of Osun with the necessary skills required for the actualisation of sustainable 10-years development plan.

Oyetola held that the Strategic Master Plan through the summit is capable of bequeathing a solid foundation for all round development in the various sectors of the state.