PHOTONEWS: Osun Christmas Free Train Ride Returns To Lagos

A Cross section of Christmas holiday makers boarding free train ride provided by State Government of Osun from Osogbo to Lagos for the celebration of 2017 Christmas festivities, at Osogbo Railway terminus, Osogbo, on Tuesday 26/12/2017.

Adejare Taofeek took the photos below.

Abuja, Lagos Residents Spend Christmas At Filling Stations

Most motorists in Abuja and Lagos yesterday celebrated Christmas on long queues at filling stations, as the scarcity of petrol bites harder in the country.

Checks showed that many residents stormed the few filling stations selling the product in the Lagos metropolis in a bid to get the product but ended up celebrating Christmas at petrol stations.

They lamented that the few petrol stations stop selling the product as soon as hoodlums come into the station to disrupt the queues.

Some residents who spoke with our correspondent about the situation said the federal government should have envisaged that fuel scarcity would occur this time.

Some residents were also seen doing brisk business by selling the product along some major roads in the Lagos metropolis.

Lamenting about the ugly trend, Gabriel Adegbenro said, “This is a minus for this government. How come they subject Nigerians to this kind of hardship this yuletide period? This is not fair at all. This must be probed. Why now, this festive season? They keep talking about tourism. Just imagine how tourists will see us as a bunch of unserious people”.

Also, Mr. Benjanmi Kolade who expressed disappointment at government said people could not go out as a result of fuel scarcity.

“Some are even stranded because there is no money. In short, what the nation needs is divine intervention”, he said.

Our correspondent also observed that many Nigerians celebrated the season in a low key, but appreciated God for the gift of life and good health.

Commenting on the situation, Mrs. Funke Bamidele, appealed to government to take drastic action in solving the scarcity problem.

“Above all, we appreciate God for His faithfulness despite what is happening in the country but I believe that God will deliver His people”, she said.

Also in Abuja, it was observed that there were long queues in most fuel stations visited yesterday, including NNPC, Oando and Total filling stations.

Mr Chris Abiti, in an interview with NAN, said he and his family stayed on a queue at the NNPC Mega Station in Central Area for more than three hours.

Abiti said that something urgent needed to be done to avert the recurrent scarcity during festivities, especially Christmas and New Year seasons.

“It’s not the leadership problem or government at fault. It’s a systemic failure of some private companies and individuals causing the problems. Something urgent must be done to spare Nigerians from this yearly agony. We should not continue like this”, he said.

Abiti added that NNPC mega stations are better than other fuel stations because the queues are moving.

In a separate interview, Aminu Ibrahim, said he was not happy about the fuel situation, adding that “festive season should be enjoyed and not spent in the fuel station”.

He called on the federal government to passionately look into the fuel problem in 2018.

Similarly, Mr Teso Joseph told NAN that he spent over four hours on the queue at Oando filling station in Zone 4.

He said the station workers sell to some selected people and also in kegs.

Source: LEADERSHIP

Fuel Scarcity: Osun Govt. Sympathises with Christians

By Nofisat Adeoye

The State Government of Osun, has sympathized with people of the State especially the Christians, over the fuel scarcity issue.

“It has come to the attention of the State Government of Osun that the peace, joy and serenity of this Yuletide season is somewhat being marred by fuel shortage being experienced all over the country. This is most regrettable.

“The State Government of Osun sympathises with all the people of the state whose movements have been restricted or have had to spend valuable time on queues in filling stations.”

In a release signed by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure, the State Government urged the residents to be calm as the Federal Government has concluded plans to address the issue.

 

“However, we have received assurances from the Federal Government and not less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari that the situation is being addressed, that more barges of fuel are being received and distributed at the moment and that the crisis will soon be over within the shortest possible time.”

While wishing the Christians, a Merry Christmas, the State Government also urged marketers to desist from hoarding fuel so as not to worsen the current situation. 

“The State Government therefore urges fuel marketers in the state to desist from hoarding, profiteering and other sharp and unethical practices that could exacerbate the situation, worsen the plight of residents and detract from our Omoluabi status.

“The State Government urges residents and fillings stations to be orderly and peaceful in the sales of fuel, where the product is available. There should not be more than a single lane of vehicles on the queue, to prevent traffic congestion and vehicle accidents. On no account must any road be blocked or made impassable as a result of fuel queue. Filling stations must observe all safety rules in order to prevent accidents and fire outbreaks.

“Law enforcement agencies, particularly the Police, Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) should properly take charge of the situation and do the needful in order to maintain law and order, prevent unruly and disorderly public conducts, protect lives, ensure public safety and free flow of traffic.

“The State Government of Osun wishes all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Advance.” the release reads in part. 

Crying With Laughter At Christmas

By Lasisi Olagunju

“GRIDLOCK in Lagos. Seven hours in traffic from Ikoyi to Ogba,” one girl cried out on Facebook on Friday. And so what? Was she the only one in that traffic? What about the one who was stranded in the middle of nowhere on Lagos – Ibadan Expressway? Or the one who (also on Facebook) sobbed Friday night: “I’m just boarding for my 6.30pm Abuja – Lagos flight at 11pm.” And the one who queued from morning till midnight only to go home with “it is finished, we are sorry” when it was his turn at the fuel pump. Or the hungry one whose last ‘card’ could neither buy fuel nor pay for okada, yet had work to go. And the one who said in exasperation that he was “stunned and stupefied” by the odious inaction from the government.

They are all victims but they will soon become like drunkards, forgetful of their penury. We are a country of hope and denial. We solve problems by shouting and smiling at them. A BBC correspondent once described Nigerians as a people with “remarkable patience but for the wrong things.” The same journalist said Nigeria “can make you want to cry with laughter or with tears…” Who is that person that will say the description does not fit us? ‘Playing penalty to throwing’ is very routine in our engagements. We have been long married to disappointments that we no longer feel the agony of opportunities lost.

It did not start today. The cause of fuel crises in Nigeria has the endurance of the curse of Alaafin Aole. It is potent and generational. Aole was that Alaafin whose destiny was to suffer betrayal and bury the glorious empire his ancestors bequeathed to him. Aole’s top general betrayed him and asked him to die, but he wouldn’t go quietly because none of his valiant ancestors had done so. The king who would die left an implacable curse for the betrayer and his generations. Death-bound Alaafin Aole stepped out to his palace forecourt, an earthenware dish, a bow and three arrows in his hands.

He then shot the arrows, one to the north, one to the south and the third to the west. Then he unleashed the spirits against his nemesis: “May curse be on you for your disloyalty and disobedience. May your children disobey you. If you send them on an errand, let them never come back to bring you word again. To all these points I shot my arrows you will be carried as slaves! My curse will carry you to the sea and beyond the seas; slaves will become your master.” Then, for maximum effect and permanence, Aole smashed the dish to the ground, stepped on the pieces with his right foot and yelled: “A broken calabash can be mended but not a broken dish, so let my curse be irrevocable.”

Some political historians would insist that the curse appears truly permanent, irrevocable. The victims are helpless; they only talk of it whenever it strikes like a serpent. That is the parallel I draw with the serial suffering of the Nigerian at the hands of Nigeria and its governments. But what exactly is our sin to suffer rotational ineffectual buffoonery in leadership? We have not betrayed any cursing spirit! We, are, indeed, the betrayed. But we have been carried as victims, north, west, south, east, PDP, APC.

Everywhere we go, it is scarcity of goodness. Don’t just look at your suffering at petrol stations. Look at telltale signs of failure in leadership – without borders, everywhere. Look at the curse called Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos. It does not matter whether the president is Olusegun Obasanjo or Umaru Yar’Adua or Goodluck Jonathan or Muhammadu Buhari. It is of no consequence that a Babatunde Fashola is the current minister in charge of that road. Forget it. He was on that road many times as governor exasperated at the incompetence or the insensitivity of the Abuja people. Now, he has been there for more than two years. Has there been any difference between now and what that road enjoyed under Tony Anenih and Adeseye Ogunlewe? The gods themselves appear stuck in the gridlock of Nigeria.

Governments fail us with glee, and with bliss we romance them. We invest in presidents and governors who wantonly fail and block us and we respond by doing self-help, creating bypasses. Problems run their full courses here and go away on their own and we resume our normal lives – waiting for the next problem. This creepy petrol problem will go as it came. We will shout ‘ope o’ and continue flashing our stupid smiles. Nothing will happen to the creators of this crisis and their salesmen and women. We won’t press any social or political charges against the culprits who promised change but delivered continuity of suffering. We are used to suffering and sheepish smiling. When pipe-borne water became gold, what did we do? We whined and cursed and moved on. Each household then became a local government creating its own family waterworks. And that has not stopped the water boards from writing and spending budgets. It has not stopped them from trying you – their victims – with monthly water bills.

Today is Christmas and you must be one of “them” if you can’t predict that the day’s trending words would be petrol and NEPA. Before you say Merry Christmas, check properly for what ‘merry’ means. This Christmas cannot be merry when whether you are in church, mosque or home, the custodians of electricity join fuel suppliers to complete the circle of wreckers of celebrations. They dance ‘disco’ with power and take light and give darkness and heat. They fail Nigeria and get compensated by their patrons, the big men in government. The big men in government betray us and still insist they are our faithful servants. But Aole was also master to Afonja, the one who betrayed him. The one who betrayed Aole was also master to the Jamma who killed and publicly burnt his (Afonja’s) corpse in Ilorin. Our universe is cyclical in betrayals and consequences. The structure of Nigeria itself is built to betray its poor. That is why every effort to change the tragic course of the country has taken it back to business as usual.

Two years ago, we were tired of excuses and failures. We fought friends and family and queued to topple the old order. We changed the ruling party and the president and then went for thanksgiving. Today, we are back to the past, stranded in filling stations, airports and bus parks and we ask: why again? Can you sincerely blame anyone if the system has failed you today and you are stranded? Governments serve tea without sugar; soup without salt and we drink and eat and clap for the incompetent cook. There is no fuel from Buhari and you are looking for some helpless marketer to hang. The culprit is in the mirror, check him out. You clapped away your comfort and welfare when you applauded derelict Nigeria and idiocy of persons in government. This journey to the past is the punishment for the complicit citizen who sees saints among whores.

The way to redemption is to first stop making excuses for Nigeria and its government. They cannot be helped. The solution is not in replacing Peter with Paul every election cycle. We have seen how futile that is. This old, defective structure is the curse. It throws stones already. It demands a fresh start.

Meanwhile, Nigeria and its fuel and power issues won’t make me forget to shout out to my Christian friends: Merry Christmas!

Senator Adeola Urges Christians To Renew Faith At Xmas

Senator Solomon Adeola, the chairman of Senate Committee on Local Content has called on all Nigerians Christians in particular to use the occasion of the Christmas celebration to renew their faith in Jesus Christ and pray for a new and better beginning for the nation symbolizes with the birth of Jesus Christ.

In a Christmas message to felicitate with his constituents and Nigeria Christendom at the occasion of 2017 Christmas released by his media aide, Kayode Odunaro, Senator Adeola said Christmas symbolizes the celebration of the birth of a new dawn for the salvation of souls for all humanity especially for the Christians.

The federal lawmaker said the season should not be used only for just merry-making stressing that it is another opportunity for fervent prayers for a new dawn and prosperous future for individuals and the Nigeria nation.

While acknowledging that Nigerians in general are going through difficult period that is worsened by a contrived fuel scarcity, the senator urges all Nigerians to be patient and look forward to a better future adding that with abiding faith in Jesus Christ, all our challenges will be overcomed.

FG Declares Monday, Tuesday Work-Free For Christmas

The Federal Government has declared Monday, December 25, Tuesday, December 26 and Monday, January 1, 2018 as public holidays for the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year celebrations.

The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulralman Dambazau (rtd), made the declaration on behalf of government through a statement issued on Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Abubakar Magaji.

Dambazau enjoined Christian faithful and all Nigerians to use the period to pray for continued growth and development of the country.

He also called on Nigerians to strengthen their resolve to maintain the country’s peace and unity.

The Minister urged all citizens, both at home and abroad, to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its determination to improve the living standard of the people. (NAN).

A Season Of Cheer And A Happy New Year Ahead!

The management and staff of Osun Defender Newspaper wish our esteemed readers a fulfilling season of cheer and goodwill, as well as a prosperous new year ahead. Our felicitations go in particular to the people of the State of Osun for the stoicisms and understanding with which they have coped with a demanding year. Our indomitable Ogbeni Gomina Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola deserves special commendations here. He has with great gusto, creatively used the levers of the machinery of government to keep things going in a positive direction in spite of the debilitations of a quasi-federalism.

The year ahead will be pivotal in the State of Osun with a changeover of government. We urge the good people of Osun State to be resolute and steadfast in working towards a continuity of the progressive, innovative government which has continuously put the best interests of the people first.

Christmas: Aregbesola Preaches Religious Tolerance, Understanding

By Ismaeel Uthman

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state of Osun has called for more robust relationship among members of various religion faithful in the state, saying that religious harmony guarantees peace and stability in the society.

Speaking at the 2017 Christmas Carol organised by the state government in collaboration with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Osun branch, on Tuesday, Aregbesola said tolerance, understanding and cohabitation are key to religious harmony.

Aregbesola who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Titi-Laoye Tomori, commended the
people of the state for the reigning peace among various religious faithful, stating that they have shown the world the level of their religious understanding.

The governor noted that Christmas is a special season; a season of joy, happiness, peace and good tidings. It is a season to share with loved ones and less privileged.

He urged the people of the state to understand and make use of the lessons of Christmas to have a better society; just as he commended Christians for supporting his administration.

The governor urged CAN and other stakeholders to join the campaign for payment of tax by eligible tax-payers in the state by sensitising and encouraging its members.

Noting that religious body played prominent role in the society, Aregbesola said the state is facing financial challenges and it needs every eligible taxpayer to support it by paying their taxes.

Aregbesola Charges Christians to Pray For Economic Recovery

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, yesterday urged Christians and Nigerians of other faiths to take advantage of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to pray for the quick recovery of the country’s economy, and the sustainability of an indivisible Nigeria.
In a Christmas message released by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola urged Christians to look onto God for help and sustenance consistent with the counsel to “pray always, and not faint.”

Xmas: Aregbesola Felicitates With Christians

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Saturday urged Christians and Nigerians of other faiths to take advantage of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to pray for the quick recovery of the country’s economy and the sustainability of an indivisible Nigeria.

Aregbesola also enjoined them to always strive for the good of the land saying the much publicised change must begin with every Nigerian for a more prosperous country.

‎The Governor, in a Christmas message released by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, urged Christians to look onto God for help and sustenance consistent with the counsel to “pray always, and not faint”.

Specifically, Aregbesola reminded Nigerians of the need to intensify prayers for the the quick recovery of the ailing economy and cut down their dependence on foreign goods, increase local production and enhance entrepreneurship.

He added that the Bible encourages Christians to pray for leaders and those in authority so “that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”

The Governor said, praying for the nation and depending on Nigeria’s grown food and other products would help save the local currency which currently carries too much pressure.

Aregbesola expressed regrets that despite the huge potential in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, Nigeria has failed to make use of the opportunities.‎

Quoting from 1 Tim 2:2 and Isaiah 1:19 , the governor said, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.

“If you are willing and obedient,you will eat the good things of the land”.

Aregbesola urged the people of Osun to use the period of the Christmas to pray for the state so that development, peace and security would continue to reign.

‎The governor noted that the peace Osun is witnessing under his administration can be associated with the prayers of all religions in the state and the commitment of government to providing good governance.‎ 

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Saturday urged Christians and Nigerians of other faiths to take advantage of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to pray for the quick recovery of the country’s economy and the sustainability of an indivisible Nigeria.

Aregbesola also enjoined them to always strive for the good of the land saying the much publicised change must begin with every Nigerian for a more prosperous country.

‎The Governor, in a Christmas message released by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, urged Christians to look onto God for help and sustenance consistent with the counsel to “pray always, and not faint”.

Specifically, Aregbesola reminded Nigerians of the need to intensify prayers for the the quick recovery of the ailing economy and cut down their dependence on foreign goods, increase local production and enhance entrepreneurship.

He added that the Bible encourages Christians to pray for leaders and those in authority so “that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”

The Governor said, praying for the nation and depending on Nigeria’s grown food and other products would help save the local currency which currently carries too much pressure.

Aregbesola expressed regrets that despite the huge potential in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, Nigeria has failed to make use of the opportunities.‎

Quoting from 1 Tim 2:2 and Isaiah 1:19 , the governor said, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.

“If you are willing and obedient,you will eat the good things of the land”.

Aregbesola urged the people of Osun to use the period of the Christmas to pray for the state so that development, peace and security would continue to reign.

‎The governor noted that the peace Osun is witnessing under his administration can be associated with the prayers of all religions in the state and the commitment of government to providing good governance.‎

Senator Adeola Tasks Christians On Christmas

The senator representing Lagos West Senatorial district Senator Solomon Adeola has enjoined Christians in the country to remain committed to the ideals of Christmas as it is the only way to accord meaning to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

While felicitating with his constituents in particular and Nigerians in general, Senator Adeola charged Christian faithful to see the celebration of Christmas as a time of sharing, love and a new beginning for a better future adding that it is because God loves human kind so much that he gave His only son as a ransom for our sins and sole channel for salvation.

The senator representing the largest senatorial district in Nigeria in terms of population said the true essence of Christmas in the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the only son of God is to acknowledge that there is redemption from sin as the birth signals God love for all sinners adding that the celebration of his birth affirms our faith in the process of renewal for humanity and the hope of eternal salvation.

“The reason for the birth of Christ was borne out of God’s infinite love for mankind as God will not want to see the destruction of the world through sins without giving them a savior and salvation”, Senator Adeola stated.

He therefore charged Christians in the country to see themselves as beneficiaries of God’s infinite love and learn how to share with others during the yuletide and beyond.