APC Blasts Omisore’s Aide For Saying Aregbesola Never Won Free, Fair Election

By Nofisat Marindoti

The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun, has blasted the Media Adviser to Senator Iyiola Omisore, Dr. Jide Fatokun, for saying it is on record Governor Rauf Aregbesola never won a free and fair election, describing the claim as factually inaccurate and politically nonsensical.

Fatokun had accused the governing APC for ineptitude and maladministration, alleging that the Aregbesola-led administration has taken the state 25 years backward as a result of huge loans incurred.

In a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson in the state, Barr Kunle Oyatomi, said the claim, aside being untrue and baseless, is also totally undignified.

“The claim by the said Doctor that no single project has been completed since 2010′, by the Aregbesola-led APC government is intellectual dishonesty bordering on fraud.

“Perhaps, Dr Fatokun needs a third and fourth eyes for enhanced vision to see all the completed roads and bridges, schools, parks and other environment projects that have changed the Osun landscape.

“Dr Fatokun would have been ravaged by some weird form of delusion to have said that it is on record that Aregbesola never won free and fair election in Osun.

“Whose record was the so-called Dr. Fatokun referring to, could he be referring to courts’ records or INEC’s records or the phantom records of his delusional mind.

“If Fatokun and his PDP masters of whatever faction in Osun cannot get empirical evidence so obviously ubiquitous all over the State right, the so called doctor would be incapable of making political statement that could be respected in any way,” the statement opined.

The statement, however called on the people of Osun to ignore such claim, describing it as mere “rantings”.

“In the face of the five constructed bridges, the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, and the state of the art schools amongst numerous others; for anybody to make that kind of sweeping st

Osun 2018: Aregbesola Promises Worthy Successor, Commends Workers In New Year Message

Being the last New Year message to the people of the State of Osun, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said that he would handover the mantle of leadership of the state to a worthy successor from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Aregbesola, in his new year message to the people of the state, maintained that Osun must never be ruled by people or political party that would return the state to the inglorious state.

The governor, therefore, charged the people of the state to continue making a right choice of supporting the APC government and refused to be compromised, manipulated and intimidated by the opposition parties.

He said: “This is an election year in which our tenure will end and a successor must emerge. It is my solemn promise that we will not leave in a vacuum.

“In consultation with our leaders and the member of our great party, we will careful select and present to you a successor that belongs to our political tradition of progressive people oriented leadership, a person of integrity, who shares our aspirations and will take governance to the next level from where we stopped.

“ I want you therefore to conduct yourselves with the same dignity and courage of Omoluabi – a people whose conscience and soul cannot be bought, that cannot be intimidated with guns and dogs and who stand firm behind the progressive rock of political leadership.”

Aregbesola warned politicians from disturbing the peace of the state with any move capable of undermining the security and peaceful atmosphere of the state.

The governor said: “In the New Year, political desperado hell bent on precipitating crisis and mayhem will want to egg some misguided individuals into conducting themselves unseemly and disturb the peace and serenity of the state.

“We support the democratic expression of grievances through peaceful protests and other legitimate means. Nevertheless, all form of social agitation, be it economic, political or social, must not be done to the detriment of others.

“We have the mandate and strong intention to protect the right of others to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and go about their lawful duties without molestation, let or hindrance.”

He commended the workers of the state for their sacrifice, understanding and the willingness to do and support what is right, and not what is convenient, in the past seven years.

“I must in particular thank all the workers in the state who have laboured with us for the successful implementation of our programmes and are therefore part and parcel of our success story, especially those who have had to endure 75 per cent and 50 per cent salary regime since July 2015”, he said.

Making his stewardship, Aregbesola said: “For the past seven years, we have laboured to bring people centred progressive governance to Osun.

“This has been visible in youth, vulnerable senior citizens and women empowerment, agriculture development, industrialisation, infrastructure development, education, job creation, human development, water resources development, urban renewal and so on.

“All these have transformed Osun and projected it positively beyond what we met. Osun has now become the reference point in prudent management of resources and responsible governance.”

We Will Complete All On-Going Projects In 2018 – Aregbesola

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has assured that his administration would complete all the projects it has embarked on before the end of his tenure in 2018.

Aregbesola said this while presenting the budget proposal of the year 2018 to the state House of Assembly on Thursday.

The 2018 budget tagged “Budget of  Enduring Legacy” was totaled N173,980,083,007.

Aregbesola who listed the achievement of his administration in various sectors of the state, promised to continue to work towards the development of the state in the fast approaching new year.

While reviewing the 2017 budget,  Governor stated that his administration has done well in Agricultural developments, education, health, industrialization, finance, commerce, transportation, regional planning and environmental development among other sectors of the state.

According to the Governor, “The 2018 Budget being presented today is to consolidate all the various achievements we have recorded in the various sectors and sub-sectors of our economy in the last seven years and to leave an enduring legacy for the State in line with the policies and programmes of our Administration.

“The draft Budget which is christened “Budget of Enduring Legacy” is anchored on the avowed commitment of the present administration to provide a conducive living environment for the people of the State.

“The budget is equally targeted towards ensuring the completion of all the on-going projects as much as we can and with a view to bringing about continued improvement in the socio-economic well being of the people of the State of Osun.

“Like the previous years’ budgets, the 2018 budget is in line with the Six-Point Integral Action Plan of our Administration; and has also been packaged towards ensuring achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the State of Osun in line with the national economic policy and international best practices.

“In line with our vision, we are prepared to continue to save our people from avoidable deaths due to emergencies, poverty, and inadequate health facilities. Health, as we know, is wealth.  We will ensure increased accessibility to qualitative health care services in all parts of the state by completion of all on-going projects. Specifically, in 2018 fiscal year, Government will ensure that the renovations and upgrading of the nine State Hospitals in the State are fully completed.

“In 2018, this administration will continue to provide essential drugs and medical consumables in all our hospitals at subsidized rate.

“This Administration has taken a number of steps towards the realization of sustainable growth and development of commercial activities in the state.

“Essentially, the focus of this administration on road projects in 2018 will be the completion of all on-going projects scattered across the State. If this feat is achieved in the New Year, we would have delivered on our promises to the good people of this State regarding road infrastructure in the State.

“The Government of Osun will continue to avert flooding by engaging in the continued desiltation of major drains, flood awareness campaign as well as dredging major streams and rivers.  Government will also ensure that all our obligations to our contractors are settled in the New Year.

“The current issues we are facing with payment of salaries and allowances and other benefits of public servants are not our own making.  Let me at this juncture, appreciate all the public servants in the State, including the teachers, for their support, cooperation and understanding, I want to assure you that the welfare of our workers is uppermost in the mind of this administration.  This effort will continue to be pursued vigorously within the limit of the resources available to this administration.” Aregbesola explained.

He thereby appealed to the people of the state to continue to cooperate with the Government in the arduous task of remoulding the State of Osun into a better place, adding that the welfare of the people will continue to be accorded top priority attention by his administration.

 

 

Osun Has Committed N63.98bn To Salary Payment – Aregbesola

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun has averred that the financial crisis that forced the state government to payment of modulated salary to its workers would be over by the end of March, 2018.

Aregbesola who addressed the workers at the Civil Service Week programme on Thursday in Osogbo, appealed to them to persevere for a little more time for the payment of full salary, just as he commended them for their perseverance, patience, sacrifice, dedication and labour of love.

The governor disclosed that only 28 per cent of the state’s total workforce received modulated salary, stating that the remaining 72 per cent of the workers have been earning their full salary and are not being owed any outstanding salaries.

He said: “There is no better time to acknowledge and tell you this than now. You have done well so far. What is left is just to thank you, particularly the 28 per cent of you who have endured modulated salaries. These are the 20 per cent who earn 75 per cent of their monthly pay and the eight per cent who collect 50 per cent of their salary.

“The remaining 72 per cent, as you all know, have been earning their full pay and are not being owed any outstanding salaries, irrespective of the spin being given to this by our traducers. Even at that, we must thank everyone for the sacrifice you have all made in other areas.

“This is because your relationship as workers is contractual and I want to assure you that everyone will get his or her full pay when this is over.”

Explaining the financial situation of the state, Aregbesola said: “From July 2015 – when we started paying modulated salaries, our income from all sources, including gross allocation from the federation account, internally generated revenue and two tranches of Paris Club Refund – to November 2017, is N121.6 billion.

“Meanwhile, our total personnel cost (excluding gratuities) within the same period would have been N104.4 billion if we had paid the full salaries of N3.6 billion every month. Our personnel cost therefore is 85.8 per cent of our total revenues from all sources.

“However, this is an academic exercise because before the allocations get to us, some deductions would have been made on commitments already made since as far back as the 1970s, up till now; and we are also paying modulated salaries.

“The reality, however, is that our net income is N61.7 billion while our real total personnel cost is N63.98 billion. This stands at 103.6 per cent of our total net revenue. I obtained these figures from the Accountant General of the State and you can individually verify them in his office.

“The implication of this grim statistics is that we have spent more on salaries and emoluments than our revenues from all sources.”

Aregbesola who accused his political opponents of playing mischief on the salary issue, urged the workers not to allow the opposition to instigate them against the government.

He recalled that he had paid workers 13th month bonus salaries and restructured leave bonus to be paid on a worker’s birthday or service engagement date, adding that he also quadrupled and gave car and housing allowances to workers without prompting when the state was financially buoyant between December 2010 and December 2013.

The governor stressed: “If we have the resources, we will provide flying cars for the workers. We will put our lives on the line to achieve that. Nobody should therefore fail to understand the circumstance that prompted us to pay modulated salaries to 28 per cent of our workforce.

“When this problem began, we had to keep taking loans, up to N25 billion, in order to pay salaries. But we must face reality; we cannot continue to give what we don’t have. I have extrapolated from the statistics I gave you earlier, that should we even want to give workers everything we have, it is still not adequate.

“We are grateful that to a large extent, you have collaborated with us and supported us. We are simply asking for further perseverance, understanding, patience and sacrifice. You must not fail to recognise, as Chief Obafemi Awolowo admonished us, that the darkest part of the night is just before the dawn.

“I told labour leaders in my recent meeting with them what Comrade Hassan Sunmonu said in a public occasion, that something told him that we will be out of these difficulties by March of next year. I agree with him. It will come to pass Insha Allah!

“I may not figure out how this will happen now but I believe it will happen, and you will all be part of it. Our own season of famine will be over by March of 2018. Aamin!,” the governor stated.

“I am pleading with you; don’t let the enemy of our race deceive you. You have patiently borne the brunt of this situation to be able to patiently wait for another three months. Don’t be persuaded to change course.

“Remember that we have other options, which include rightsizing the workforce and living within our means. We have not done this, but have decided to weather the storm together until we dock at safe harbour. ”

Aregbesola Commends NEMA, OSEMA For Prompt Response To Disasters

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has commended the efforts of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the State Emergency Management Agency (OSEMA ) in responding to disaster occurrences in the state.

The commendation was made by the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, during a courtesy visit of NEMA and OSEMA management team to him at the Government house.

Governor Aregbesola, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori welcomed them and gave kudos to both NEMA and OSEMA for their services to humanity. According to the Deputy Governor, the operation of the Agencies at National and state levels had brought great relief to disaster victims.

Earlier in his speech, the Head of the visiting team, Mr. Rasheed Adebiyi, who is also the new Head of Ekiti Operation Office of (NEMA ) called on State Government’s collaboration and cooperation with NEMA to improve disaster management in the state.

In his own remarks, the General Manager, OSEMA, Town Planner Olarewaju Olanipekun appreciated Mr. Governor for his kind gesture at all times towards the welfare of the victims of disaster in the state
of Osun.

PHOTONEWS: Nigerian Governors Meet In Abuja

The 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) on Tuesday gathered in Abuja to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun was accompanied by the state House of Assembly Speaker, Rt Hon. Najeem Salaam and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Dr Ajibola Basiru to the meeting.

Pictures taken by the official photographer of the Osun governor, Dolapo;

Aregbesola Pleads With Workers To Persevere For Little Time

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has urged workers in the state to persevere a little more in weathering the financial storm that has been facing the state for quite some time.

The governor at a meeting held with labour leaders in the state on Monday night, expressed the conviction that the end to the financial problem of the state would soon be over and normalcy will return to governance in the state.

Aregbesola who acknowledged the cooperation, support and perseverance of the workforce since the financial problem came through no fault of his government; said history would judge them well as having made immense contributions to the growth and development of the state.

The Governor made it clear that it is impossible for him to deliberately make life difficult for the workers he has invested so much compassion on, saying what is happening is inevitable.

Speaking on payment of November salary, Aregbesola said it is coming late as a result of late release of allocation from the federation account and lack of sufficient Internally Generated Revenue.

He said his government has always strove to get the modulated salary formula paid monthly and promptly so that workers and pensioners will have some money to live with.

This, he said has been consistent in comparison with what is obtainable in surrounding states where workers were owed several months of salary.

Aregbesola who noted that the present pattern of modulated salary payment cannot be altered for now due to obvious lack of fund to so do, however said workers would begin to receive bank alert for the payment of November salary any moment.

He expressed pains at the plight of contributory pensioners, assuring them that his government is doing all in its powers to get them relieved of the undeserved burden of not been paid their dues on time.

The governor who noted that but for the Nigerian system, promotion should be a matter of merit as it is in other land, said government does not have the financial means should it decided to do it the usual way.

Aregbesola stated that it does not make sense to promote workers in the time of financial crisis when it was difficult to pay even the modulated salary currently being paid.

He called for a new orientation within the workforce whereby every worker will see him or herself as tax marshals so as to raise enough revenue for the running of government and without expectations of fund from anywhere else, saying most developed countries rely on tax in running their government.

Emphasizing the need for the new orientation in view of the development in the world, whereby the relevance of oil which Nigeria relied upon so much is getting reduced,

Aregbesola added that there is no alternative to generating revenue internally for the running of governments.

The labour leaders turned down the dinner prepared for them even with pleadings from the head of Service, Dr Gboyega Oyebade who was once a leading light in the state labour movement.

The workers reminded that both the first and second tranche of the Paris Club Refund were used to pay salary and pensions, disclosing that a huge sum of money was added to the first tranche to pay three months salaries to the workers.

About 95 per cent of the second tranche of the paris club refund, according to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa was used to pay workers salary, arrears and pension in July this year.

Baderinwa said the third tranche of the refund would also be committed to payment of salary pension and other financial commitment as might be decided by the Comrade Hassan Sumonu led Apportionment Committee.

Aregbesola Preaches Proper Maintenance Of Public Infrastructure, Says It’s The Only Way Public Utilities Could Last Longer

Lack of follow-up maintenance has been identified as the factor militating against the constant functioning of public infrastructural facilities in the country.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola stated this in Iwo at the opening of a Seminar/Training for Rural Roads Maintenance Personnel drawn from rural areas where roads had been constructed by the Osun Rural Access and Mobility Projects (O’RAMP) in collaboration with the World Bank and French Development Agency (AFD) for proper maintenance for sustainability.

Representing the Governor at the flag off ceremony, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, Rural Development and Community Affairs, Hon Babatunde Ibirogba said that, it is high time to imbibe good maintenance culture as the projects belongs to the benefiting communities.

Governor Aregbesola said it was the decision of the present administration to put in place a Maintenance Team for all its facilities with a view to reducing the cost of governance.

He commended Osun RAMP management for doing an excellent job at the rural areas of the State as well as EZ37, the organizer of the Training Programs on Rural Roads Maintenance.

Earlier in his speech, the Project Coordinator of Osun RAMP, Engr Adelere Oriolowo explained that, the RAMP Maintenance Teams in various zones are to ensure durability of its facilities.

He said that, the Seminar was put in place to educate the participants on basic road maintenance since they were not professionals.

The team members, according to Engineer Oriolowo, will inform the RAMP office if they encounter any problem beyond their scope adding that, similar seminars will be organized for RAMP Road Maintenance in other zones subsequently.

#OgbeniGovtAt7: Football Competition Comes Up Tomorrow

The final match of the football competition marking the 7th anniversary of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Osun Public Service End of the Year Programme comes up tomorrow.

The match which is between the Ministry of Environment and OSBC will be play at Osogbo Township Stadium by 2pm.

According to a statememt from the Planning Committee urged all public servants in the state employment to be present at the event, as a matter of duty

The Special Guest of Honour is the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade.

PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola Flags-Off Construction Of Ilesa Water Project

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun on Monday in Irojo area of Ilesa flagged off the construction of Ilesa Water Project.

The project which costs $65m Dollars is funded by the Islamic Development Bank.

Here are photos from the ceremony as captured by Dolapo Julius.

Between Mediocrity Comments And Aregbesola’s Commitment

By Abiodun Komolafe

American minister and author, Norman Vincent Peale famously stated that the magic in enthusiasm “spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.”

Peale’s statement above brings to mind the State of Osun’s very slippery slope, pre-2011; and Rauf Aregbesola’s conscious efforts towards remedying a system that had grown bad over time.

Much as it is impossible to deny Aregbesola’s place in history, there are those who, out of sheer ignorance, argue that the governor’s great strides could only have been made by a mediocre leader. On the pages of this argument lies a succession crisis which, lately, has been making some people act on fantasy and banking on the opportunity presented by 2018 as a fig leaf for deepening threats to stability.

There are even those who comically opine that the governor’s troubles started with the sudden death of Isiaka Adeleke and only peaked with the eventual defeat of Mudasiru Hussein at the battle of Osun West on July 8, 2017. Well, though space constraint may not favour the enumeration of confused and erroneous opinions prevailing at a time like this, one is not in doubt of the fact that Adeleke’s tragic fate served as a reawakening balm for the ruling party and one can only pray that it would make a good use of this unfortunate-yet-rare opportunity.

By convention, a mediocre leader is inaccessible and torpid. He is nippy, reactive and insensitive. Since he has a reputation for following the herd, he neither delights in improving the lives of the people nor dares to broaden the socio-economic landscape of the community he’s elected to lead.

Contrast this with a first-rate leader whose relational glue is limited to “a small number of specific people”, not “a lot of people”. He is a team leader who draws inspiration by discovering a deeper level of intimacy and new aspects of the people’s moral fiber.

With delicious ambiguity, a mediocre mind will be quick to condemn the provision of school uniforms and other education materials to 750,000 pupils of government primary and secondary schools in Osun but will rather display hereditary prejudices to support the sewing of Christmas cloths for 20,000 children in Ekiti.

Destined for unrhymed poems and unclear stories, the opposition won’t only describe the efforts of this ‘repository of trust and confidence’ at giving Osun a cargo airport as a ‘bogus project’, the it’ll also prefer ‘stomach infrastructure’ to a feeding programme which currently consumes N12.7m daily to feed 254,000 school children for 200 days in a year.

It is nothing but amiable mediocrity to see “so much hunger, disease, poverty” in Osun, when available indices point to the contrary: 2nd only to Oyo State in poultry production; 2nd richest state in Nigeria; 5th largest economy in Nigeria with its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing at 7.3% per annum; and 13th crime-free state in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the state is 2nd in Human Capital Index and has maintained 2nd position in four years in a roll in the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

A government that productively engaged more than 40,000 youth and impacted no fewer than 20,000 of its indigenes with requisite skills in Information Communication Technology couldn’t have been led by one whose portion is in the beaten tracks. More importantly, an administration that revitalized the education sector in all ramifications would never succumb to the trivial, misguided and unmeasured campaigns of a crowd of traducers.

With free health services at all levels, provision of drugs and Ultrasound Scanners for its hospitals, construction of 80 new Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Tuberculosis Control Laboratory, coupled with the refurbishment of 9 State Hospitals, among others, the Health sector cannot deny having had its own fair share of Aregbesola’s attention. The administration’s massive road construction for the rapid and infrastructural development of the state is visible even to the blind while its social protection programmes have also gone a long way in reducing poverty and hunger as well as improving healthy living.

His encouraging intervention in Agriculture was geared towards arresting “the imminent fear of political disenfranchisement, economic stagnation and socio-psychological insecurity.” It was meant to guarantee food security, target and create employment for the youth as well as support partnership and investors in agriculture.

Oyo! Benue! Ondo! Kogi! Kwara! Ekiti! Edo! Even, Bayelsa and Delta States! But then, why does the opposition delight in using the salary bug as a narrative to insult our collective intelligence even as Osun has fulfilled its side of the bargain with Labour?

At the moment, more than 15 states are under the yoke of the salary ruckus. Without doubt, this is where enemies and doubters have again missed it. For example, how much is Osun generating monthly compared to what an economically viable state like Lagos rakes in daily? What was the size of Nigeria’s exports of crude oil and petroleum products some 3 years back compared to what we are now cosmetically priding ourselves in? What was the exchange rate in 2013 and how has it fared in 2017?

Again, there can’t a better opportunity for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to wake up from the witches-and-wizards slumber currently threatening its success stories. Behaving as if 2019 will be a ‘go-it-alone’ affair without votes input from its political appendages will not help matters. As things stand, Nigeria is under intense pressure because the only business currently making waves – and the only valuable means of livelihood – in this part of the world is politics.

The sickening reality is that ours is more of a political economy that spends so much in tending to the struggles of bureaucracy and the frictions of administration even as our tax regime is poor.

Agreed! Civil servants have all along been the state’s greatest asset without whose support this administration wouldn’t have gone this far. But, settling down to the stark realities in which the state has now found itself, can it make any meaningful on the salary challenge without progressive thoughts on staff rationalization? On the other hand, how best can the electorate reciprocate government’s good gestures, bearing in mind that to whom much is given, much is expected?

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ([email protected])