Appointments: Osun APC Woman Leader Commends Aregbesola For Prioritising Women

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Woman Leader in the State of Osun, Alhaja
Kudirat Fakokunde has passed a vote of confidence on the Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and his wife, Sherifat for giving women special consideration for the appointment of local government caretaker committees, and cabinet position.

Fakokunde also lauded the APC under the leadership of Prince Adegboyega Famodu for not allowing compromise in the nomination of women for the appointments.
She gave the commendation in her congratulatory and thankful message issued from the office of the Directorate of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the APC in the state.

The woman leader expressed satisfaction over the priority given to women by the state government in its recent nominations, describing it as unprecedented, unusual and new in the political history of the state.

She said the announcement of many women by the state House of Assembly as part of those that made the list of Local Government Caretaker Committees appointment, commissionership as well as Special Adviser slots has reflected the rear passion of the present administration for women’s welfare, growth and development.

According to her, the appointments of women in their numbers into various political offices were good gestures strictly in consonance with the governor’s unprecedented system of governance.

“To us, this is in line with the Governor’s transformation agenda in changing our state for the better with emerging unprecedented developmental projects being experienced by the people of the state in every nook and cranny in the last 76 months”, she added.

While congratulating the nominees especially Women among them, Fakokunde enjoined them to be law abiding and desist from any obnoxious act that could tarnish the image of women they represent.

“All women nominees, when confirmed by the House of Assembly should see their appointment as a clarion call to serve humanity and prove themselves as good mothers and responsible home managers in the formulation of good ideas and policies that will make our state and all local government areas develop beyond expectations.

She, therefore, charged the nominees to use their noble ideas as worthy women to complement the change mantra of the present administration, just as she implored them not to relent in giving their unalloyed support and loyalty to Aregbesola’s government for the state to witness more developmental.

Osun Remains Committed To Doctors’ Welfare – Aregbesola

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that his administration remained committed to the welfare of medical doctors and other workers in the state.

The governor was reacting to claims by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Osun State chapter that the state government is not paying salaries of doctors and that the health sector in the state was not well-funded.

Speaking through the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said his government has developed the most ingenious formula for satisfying the needs of its workforce within the limit of the available resources.

According to him, “The government of the State of Osun is aware of the claims by the Nigerian Medical Association today over issues of welfare where its leadership has accused the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration of insensitivity to their welfare.

He said: “This is far from the truth. This government has engaged the doctors, perhaps, more than any other category of workers in the state, on the need to equally be sensitive to the hardship foisted on the finances of the state, especially since Nigeria as a whole entered into its trying period of economic recession.

“This was what necessitated the setting up of a revenue apportionment committee led by no less personality than a former labour leader in Nigeria and veteran labour activists on the continent of Africa, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu.

“On the state of the health facilities, the doctors must be fair enough to admit that the health sector in Osun has witnessed a huge improvement since the coming of this administration.

“Apart from the huge investment of about N1.8bn for the upgrading of the state General Hospitals, this administration has ensured that health care safety and emergency measures are improved with the provision of the state-of-the-art ambulances across this state.

“As a professional body whose duty it is to save lives, we expect and continue to implore the doctors to see themselves as partners with the government in the overall task of ensuring the sanctity of lives which the doctors also swore an oath to protect.

“We hereby wish to reiterate for the umpteenth time, that the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration remains a labour-friendly one and we have always called on all groups, including the NMA to be sensitive to the prevailing economic situation across the land while the government continues its relentless efforts to make the best of the situation we have found ourselves as a country.”


Credit: Daily Trust

Aregbesola Holds ‘Ogbeni Till Daybreak’ Today

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun is to take questions from the varied audience for seven hours from late night today, Friday, May 5, into the early hours of Saturday, May 6, 2017, as he holds a repackaged public engagement forum, Ogbeni Till Day Break on Friday.

According to a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, the programme which commences by 11 pm on Friday holds at the WOCDIF Event Centre, Ring Road Osogbo.

The event will afford the people of the state and others outside the state opportunities to interact with the Governor ‘live’ on the activities of the administration.

Those who are in attendance will ask the Governor face-to -face questions while others at home across the state can phone in or send their questions through the various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook Whatsapp and others.

It will be recalled that the programme was one of the prominent interactive sessions with which the governor gave stewardship of his administration before the end of his first term in office.

Friday’s edition of the program will be the first since the commencement of the Governor’s second term.

Aregbesola Approves N417m RAMP-II Counterpart Fund

In fulfillment of the State of Osun commitments to the implementation of Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP),  the Governor of the State, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has approved the payment of another sum of N417,791,020.74 as balance payment for the counterpart fund for RAMP II project.
The  state government had earlier paid N1,471,996,379.00 out of N1,889,787,399.74 as part of its counterpart fund of the World Bank / French Development Agency (AFD) assisted projects on Rural Access and Mobility Projects ( RAMP II)

Aregbesola gave the hint during a dinner held at the Atlantic Civic Centre, Osogbo, in honour of the World Bank / French Development Agency (AFD), Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU) representatives who are on a technical visit to the State.

According to the governor, the success story of the state in achieving Project Development Objective (PDO) of RAMP-II is an open secret that had gone beyond the shores of Nigeria, as it has become a global issue.
He added that the construction of rural roads, bridges, rehabilitation of river crossings, community-based and other projects activities that will improve and enhance transport infrastructural investment cannot be over-emphasized.
Aregbesola who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori appreciated World Bank /AFD and other partner agencies for the success of the rural roads project in the state.

He said despite the scarce and meager resources of the state, the present administration considers it imperative to implement RAMP projects because of the unprecedented development it has brought into the rural areas, which forms a larger percentage of the state population and land mass.
The governor lauded the commitment of development partners and solicited more support to attain success in the second phase of the project.

Aregbesola, VP Osinbanjo, Others Attend Sabiu Yusufs Wedding (photos)

Personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Sabiu Yusuf, a.k.a Tunde and Fatima Bashir Jamoh had their wedding on Saturday at Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna.

The ceremony attracted the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the host Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Speaker of the House of Representatives and several other governors and ministers.

Among the governors in attendance were Rauf Aregbesola, Rotimi Akeredolu, Abiola Ajimobi, Atiku Bagudu and Kashim Shettima.

Rotimi Amaechi and Hadi Sirika were among the ministers who attended.

Aregbesola Dissolves Community Development Council Executives

The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has dissolved the Community Development Council Executives in the State.
The Governor made the disclosure today at the seminar organised for the Community Development Council Executives which was held at the Local Government Service Commission Hall, Abere.

Ogbeni Aregbesola thanked the Community Development Council Executives for their support in ensuring peace and security in the
state saying that the government count on them in the task of developing the state.

The Governor who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy, Water
Resources, Rural and Community Affairs, Mr Muftau Oluwadare who was also represented by the Director of Local Government, Mr. Taiwo Agunlejika explained that the government considered it imperative to take the Stakeholders in the Community Development through the processes involved in the election of new executives.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor on Rural Infrastructure and Community Development, Engineer Moshood Titilola who was represented at the event by Mr Rafiu Abewurere charged the Executives to be good representatives of their people.

Engineer Moshood Titilola promised that the government will continue to support the Community Development Council to ensure rapid
development of the state. He, however, solicited continue support of the CDC.

The Director of Community Development, Mrs Hannah Mosadomi explained the inbuilt mechanism for the conduct of election into the
Community Development Council. She promised that the government would provide an enabling environment to conduct a free and fair election that will be acceptable to all.

The Guest Lecturers at the event, Mr Tola Adegbite and Mrs Funmi Oladosu enumerated the qualities expected of a good Community
Leader. The processes involved in the election of the new Executives of the Community Development Council.

Goodwill message of the Chairman of CDC, Cheif Okediya was delivered by the Secretary, Deacon Isaac Afolabi, Dr. Ogunrinade spoke
on behalf of the Zonal Coordinators while Mrs Solagbade spoke on behalf of the Heads of Socials in the Local Governments.

Osun’s Roads, Schools Have No Parallels In Nigeria; Says NULGE National President, Ibrahim Khaleel

In terms of quality and network, the roads and schools constructed in Osun have proved to be the best in Nigeria.

This was the assessment of the National President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel who described the quality of the roads being executed by the Osun state government as unprecedented in Nigeria.

He commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration in the state for securing a better future for the state through the provision of developmental infrastructures.

Comrade Khaleel made the statement after his assessment tour of some of the roads and mega-schools in the state during his visit to the state for the 2017 NULGE Week 2017.

The NULGE National President said the visit of the national leadership of the Union to the state was a clear testimony to the giant strides made by the Aregbesola administration in the last six years.

Khaleel stated that no road in the country shares common quality in terms of materials being used by the state on its roads construction.

He said the presence of the national leadership of NULGE in Osun avails him and other members of the union the opportunity to tour some of the strategic places where government interventions had clearly manifested.

He stated that the kind of model schools built across the state under Aregbesola’s watch are not only beneficial but incomparable with others in the country.

The NULGE President explained that the visit of the Union to some of the ongoing government projects across the nooks and crannies of the state depicted the high sense of Governor Aregbesola’s determination to quality in public service delivery.

He attributed the presence of infrastructural facilities being put in place by the state government as a manifestation of the Aregbesola’s passion to good governance.

Khaleel said with what he personally testified to, there is no doubt that the Osun government has distinguished itself in maintaining and sustaining international best standard in road construction and rehabilitation.

He said the state had laid a good foundation for quality in public services as this was reflected in the implementation of its socio-economic polices and programmes.

He said it was obvious that the people of the state have started enjoying the advantages of the projects which are scattered across the state.

“I am very happy to be in Osun to testify to the good things going on across the state. In fact, what I saw is clearly different from the pictures painted about the state.

“We have moved round the state and the quality of the infrastructural developments that we personally saw can never be compared with others anywhere in Nigeria.

“The quality of the road construction in the state is in no doubt strictly in consonance with the international standards as this can never be compared with any road in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“I am highly impressed that one of our governors could do these laudable projects in spite the challenges facing the nation’s economy.

” As I call on other states including Federal Government to key into the Osun quality moves in infrastructural development, I also urge them to, as a matter of necessity, prioritise quality in all the public services rendered to the people, as this remains the only way to sustain the people’s confidences and promote good governance.

“We in NULGE identify with the achievements of Governor Aregbesola and the quality of his work which can never be found anywhere in Nigeria,” he added.

Earlier, the Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori who hosted the NULGE delegation on behalf of the Governor, commended the national leadership of the union for supporting sustenance of democratic ideals.

Describing NULGE as a vibrant trade union for socio-economic emancipation in the country, she said the role of the union in nation building can never be over-emphasised.

Laoye-Tomori lauded the National President of the union for being relentless in pursuing comfort for his members across the nation.

Face Your Party Crisis And Allow Aregbesola To Focus, HDP Tells Osun PDP And Omisore

The Osun state chapter of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) has condemned the constant press feud between the ruling party APC and the major opposition party PDP in the state calling on both to consider the interest of the public and put aside crisis between them.

In an interview with our reporter in Osogbo, the state capital, Chairman of the Osun HDP, Mr Wole Adedoyin said his party has decided to respond to the unnecessary press feud between the two major political parties in the state. Mr Adedoyin described the process as a way of diverting the public attention for their selfish gains.

According to him “PDP has a huge problem which they should face. Presently, their house is divided and they had once failed the state when they ruled for seven and a half solid years, with nothing good to show for it.

Mr Adedoyin further lamented that the two parties have abandoned their main objective in the delivery of much responsibilities in the state. “Our great opposition party would not take that for granted, we will not fold our arms watching political scenes in place of the supposed provision of dividends of democracy in our state”.

“PDP should not do anything that would disrupt the peaceful political atmosphere in the state. Let them face their internal crisis and leave Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to work. He has only a few months to leave the government house. Why should PDP be creating unnecessary political tension in the state?” he challenged.

And on Senator Iyiola Omisore, the Chairman advised him to face his 2018 gubernatorial ambition instead of uttering words that would put the state in political chaos and never dream that the Miracle that worked for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 election would also work for him after several failed attempts.


History, Not Ekpu’s Verdict, Will Be kind To Aregbesola

I have been reading Ray Ekpu’s column since the 1970s when he was at the Daily Times and I literately went with him as his journalism career coursed through National Concord before berthing at News watch. I was embittered when the News watch dream died and became happy again when he started writing for The Guardian.

He’s no doubt had a sterling career as a journalist and columnist, save the little blight of plagiarism allegation in the late 1980s. However, his piece titled ‘Not virtuous’ of April 4, on page 9 of The Guardian, lambasting Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for not appointing commissioners, is not particularly in good taste and contains factual inaccuracies.

It is a cardinal principle in journalism that while comments are free, facts are to be held sacred. Mr. Ekpu gave the impression that the governor whimsically changed the sobriquet of the state from ‘State of the Living Spring’ to ‘Land of the Virtuous’. Nothing could be further from the truth. State of the Living Spring was coined more whimsically by one of the previous helmsmen of the state who simply took it from the Osun River.

However, the state government embarked on a complete ethical reorientation and re-branding for the state which include creating a flag, anthem, coat of arms and other symbols and the adoption of the epithet “ IPINLE OMOLUABI “(State of the Virtuous). This was consecrated at a ceremony attended by Yoruba icons on February 28, 2011.

February 28 is significant because that day Western Region assumed self-rule in 1952 with the Avatar, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, leading the way. Omoluabi was particularly chosen to reflect the Yoruba characterisation of the whole man as the epitome of virtue in honour, integrity, hard work, knowledge, enlightenment, generosity, chivalry and never-say-die spirit that turns adversity into triumph.

This is not just the governor’s whim, the whole exercise was codified into a piece of legislation, enacted by the State House of Assembly and signed into law.

This is a more meaningful infrastructure of the mind that reminds the people of who they are and deeply entrenches them in the positive values and prepares them for their own development.

It is curious to know whose interest Ray Ekpu hopes to serve by insisting on the appointment of commissioners and forming a cabinet.

First, he quoted the wrong section of the constitution. While Section 192 sub-section 1 which says that “There shall be such offices of commissioners of the Government of a State as may be established by the Governor of the State” is indisputable, the constitution puts no time frame. However, Section 14 sub-section 4 only calls for spread in appointments and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be used to make a compelling case for the appointment of commissioners.

Secondly, Mr. Ekpu’s assertion that Balarabe Musa was impeached for his inability to name a cabinet is factually incorrect. Alhaji Musa was impeached on June 23, 1981 while on his eighth month as governor of the old Kaduna State in the ill-fated Second Republic. Contrary to Mr. Ekpu’s claim, the then governor forwarded the list of his nominees to the Kaduna State House of Assembly thrice and was thrice rejected.

This was because while the governor was elected on the platform of the populist People’s Redemption Party (PRP), the state legislature on the other hand was dominated by the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). The bone of contention then was Balarabe Musa’s refusal to include the names of NPN members in the list.

Alhaji Musa was later to allege that he was removed because he had planned to empower the masses with micro and small enterprises, which the plutocrats in NPN saw as a threat to their big businesses. So, he was a victim of bad politics and class war, and not inability to form a cabinet.

There is a clear misconception on the place of cabinet in a parliamentary system and executive system of government and I am glad Mr. Ekpu raised this issue.

This is a matter on which we must have a clear understanding. In a parliamentary system, you must first be elected from your constituency as Member of Parliament before you can be become a minister. The Prime Minister, usually the head of the party with majority member in parliament, must also win the election from his constituency before he can be asked to form the executive. In a parliamentary system, therefore, the executive came into being only after the formation of the cabinet since the ministers and the prime minister all emerged from the parliament which members nevertheless, all have strict provincial legislative mandates.

However, this is not so in the executive system where the president and vice president or the governor and his deputy have direct national and state-wide mandates to govern their domain respectively. The executive, in a presidential system, therefore, is formed the moment the president or the governor is sworn in because they assumed powers immediately and can begin to take decisions and implement them from that moment on.

Further appointments of Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and so on, will only add to the size of the executive that has already been formed.

Mr. Ray Ekpu talked about the verdict of history. But he appears to be in haste to make history’s judgement for it by writing so disparagingly about the government that has been adjudged at home and abroad to have performed nothing short of a miracle. Appointment of commissioners is a constitutional issue and it is most regrettable that force majeure has delayed this in Osun. Governor Aregbesola makes no bone of the financial constraint his administration and others in the country faced, making it difficult to even pay workers salaries.

But a government should not be judged by form but by content. While the place of commissioners cannot be discountenanced, their presence or absence does not necessarily imply good governance. It takes a lot of money to constitute and maintain a cabinet and indeed run the government. This is the sink hole that public administration in Nigeria and the Third World especially has sunk in when 95 per cent of the resources of state is used to service government apparatchiki and functionaries, which constitute less than two per cent of the population, leaving nothing for the rest of the people and their development.

This is a subversion and negation of democracy which conceives of political power in the service of the government of the PEOPLE by the PEOPLE for the PEOPLE.

Governor Aregbesola, with little resources, had been able to raise the bar of governance in Osun, transforming one of the poorest states in Nigeria to an enviable status. In 2013, the NBS rated Osun as the state with the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria. The following year, Renaissance Capital (RENCAP) in its 36 shades of Nigeria economic review of states ranked Osun as the 7th largest economy in Nigeria. Then in 2015, The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) rated Osun Second Highest in Human Development Index among the 36 states in Nigeria.

Governor Aregbesola’s administration has embarked on the most ambitious infrastructure and human development agenda in the annals of the state. On his watch, 230 state roads spanning 368 kilometres, were rehabilitated and completed. The administration also partnered Local Governments to deliver 226 council roads across the 30 local governments and the development area with a combined length of 216 kilometres.

With the assistance of World Bank by providing the counterpart fund, RAMP 2 programme delivered 250 kilometres of rural roads to open up farms in rural areas. In all, more than 1000 kilometres of roads have been delivered. Work is on-going on four superhighways with bridges and interchanges, the first of its kind in the state.

The Aregbesola administration has also completed 20 brand new state of the art elementary schools, 22 middle schools and 11 high schools in an unprecedented education infrastructure development.

The state government under Aregbesola with the O’MEALS programme, has been feeding 262,000 elementary 1-4 pupils sumptuous meals every school day since 2012. In four years, over 200 million hot meals have been served. Osun was the only state doing so until the Federal Government intervened last year.
Aregbesola set up the O’YES to absorb 40,000 youths in public works. No state has ever done that. The ambulance service he set up, O’Ambulance, operates 24 hours every day and saved 1,774 lives last year alone. The Osun Destitute Rehabilitation initiative, O’Rehab, has taken care of 160 destitute and lunatics, resettled and or reunited them with their families.

These and many more were achieved and still ongoing with or without commissioners. This is because government is a system and with a visionary leader at the helm, it will run and deliver good governance, with or without a cabinet.

Aregbesola should therefore be lauded for running the government with little or nothing and has achieved so much with little. The verdict of history will surely not be complete without the impression of the children who had decent meals, the lives saved through response in accidents and the thousands of men and women lifted from poverty through the various empowerment schemes. It is doubtful if cabinet formation would be an issue then.

Fasure, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Aregbesola, writes from Osogbo, Osun State