Don’t Vote For Greedy Politicians – Osun Speaker

 

By Israel Afolabi

Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Dr. Najeem Salaam has tasked electorates to vote only politicians who have the interest of the masses at heart instead of greedy and self-serving ones.

He said, the electorates should votes those who have conquered their greed, saying it was acquisitive tendency that compels political office holders to indulge in corruption and outright stealing of collective resources of the people; asking people to ask questions about politicians seeking public office.

Addressing All Progressives Congress leaders and faithful at a consultation tour in Osu, Atakunmosa West Local Government and Iperindo, Atakunmosa East local government respectively, Dr. Salaam said the public office should be regarded as public trust that must be held for the good of the people, not to service narrow interest of some individuals.

He debunked the rumour milling the round that he had collected money from the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with the aim of getting him to step down for an aspirant linking to him; insisting that he was never asked to shelve his ambition for anyone, let alone collecting money from any source.

Dr. Salaam asserted that his governorship mission is to drive the economy of Osun with technology driven agriculture that would engage thousands of youths, as well as wean the state from total dependence on crude oil scooped from another region of the country.

He admitted that Osun has been financially challenged, a situation that made the government to deploy all available financial instruments to provide infrastructure; stressing that contending with modulated salaries is regretted; saying the only way to redress the situation is to embark on mechanized farming of comparative advantage and reorganization of informal sector of economy.

“Osun state has vast agricultural resources, it promises to fetch a big investment for the state and its potentials and potentialities for job creation and meaningful engagement of the youths is a task that must be done. Besides, technology would be deployed to harness agricultural resources and with a timeline, the state would be rolled back to prosperity,” Salaam reiterated.

He further stressed that agricultural revolution can only be achieved in an environment where all-inclusive governance is established, promising to run his government based on information that would be supplied by  contact committee that would be regularly interacting with all communities in the state for the institution of bottom-up budget approach.

Mokore Farm Crisis: Osun Assembly Seeks Peaceful Resolution

By Israel Afolabi

The State of Osun House of Assembly has called on officials of Ministry of Environment and Sanitation to seek a peaceful means of settling the imminent crisis breeding between its officials and farmers at Mokore Farm settlement.

It urged the Ministry to sustain the lawmakers directive to stop logging activities at the farm settlement pending the resolution of issues at stake.

Speaker of the state parliament, Dr Najeem Salaam made the call through the Chairman House Committee on Agriculture and Food Security, Hon Gbadebo Abdullahi at the House of Assembly Complex Osogbo while meeting with the officials of the Ministry.

He urged members of Mokore Cooperative farm settlement to remain calm as the House is on top of the situation to ensure resolution of the dispute.

According to him, “it is better to dialogue on all difficult issues to achieve peace with the parties involved and we all have to focus on peace and progress of our state”.

Hon Gbadebo counseled the officials to use diplomacy in implementing government policies to avoid conflict while using the medium to appeal to the warring parties to sit together and fashion out solution to the lingering issues.

It would be recalled that members of the Mokore Cooperative Farm Settlement had in a petition to the House protested against destruction of their Cocoa plants caused by felling of trees in their farms resulting to the legislature issuing an order stopping logging activities in the farm.

Hon. Gbadebo also recalled the meeting with the farmers just as he cited the petition in which they explained their grievances.

He acknowledged the financial support rendered especially to Cocoa farmers by the state government which has been yielding result, saying it is unthinkable that an agency of the same government will embark on destructive tendency under the guise of revenue generation.

He said “the meeting with the officials becomes imperative so as to address the grievances and forestall the likelihood of threat to peace”.

While reacting to submissions by officials, he directed them to go and consult further among themselves so as to know the actual responsibility expected of each and report back to the House of Assembly soonest.

Earlier, the officials have taken turns to explain the matter noting areas of contention as they gave insight to the genesis of the problem.

In their separate explanation, Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Mr. Gbemileke Ayobami, Director of Forestry Mr Dauda Arisekola and General Manager Agriculture Services Mr Ayo Akinromade lamented on the mismanagement of the forest.

 

Ramadan Lecture: Osun Speaker Seeks Change of Attitude

By Israel Afolabi

All Muslims have been enjoined to use the opportunity offered by the holy month of Ramadan for positive change of attitude, with a view to making it a way of life.

Speaker State of Osun House of Assembly, Dr Najeem Salaam gave the advice recently while speaking at the third in the series of 2018 Ramadan lecture of the Muslim Community of the Assembly at the premises of House of Assembly Complex Osogbo.

Salaam who was represented by his deputy, Hon Adegboye Akintunde observed the distinct feature of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to him, “Ramadan is the only month set aside for Muslims to reflect on their ways and imbibe the culture of positive change so as to facilitate their closeness to God”.

While stating that the topic of the lecture came at the right time, he acknowledge the capacity of the lecturer just as he appreciated the presence of the Muslim community from within and outside the Assembly who converged for the lecture.

However, delivering his lecture with the topic “Ramadan the month of change”, Ustaz Dikrullahi Shafi noted various perceptions about changes adding that the most ideal change is that from negative to positive ideals.

He described fasting period as obligatory on Muslims with a view to turning away from vices and abide by injunctions as prescribed by the holy Quran.

He also stated that fasting is not restricted to abstinence from food alone but all manner of negative behaviours.

Therefore, the guest lecturer emphasized the need for consistency of obligatory prayers and supplications in the month of Ramadan.

Earlier in his remark, the Chairman Assembly Service Commission, Hon Hassan Olawuwo expressed delight at the presence of guests at the lecture despite their tight schedule just as the Chief Imam of the Assembly Mosque, Alhaji Abdul Fatai Adebisi appreciated the Ummah from within and outside.

Ramadan Lecture: Osun Speaker Urges Muslims To Discharge Basic Obligations

By Israel Afolabi

The issue of taxation cannot be over-emphasized in any society that is yearning for progress and development as well as other indices affecting the welfare of the people.

The Speaker State of Osun House of Assembly, Dr. Najeem Salaam made this remark while speaking at the first in the series of this year’s edition of the annual Ramadan lecture organized by the Muslim community of the State Assembly at the premises of House of Assembly complex Osogbo.

Dr. Salaam urged all Muslims to dedicate themselves to the tenet of Ramadan throughout the holy month and pray for the growth of the state in their prayers.

According to him, “We should be modest in our dealings and refrain from excessiveness so that Allah would accept our fasting as an act of worship”.

He used the medium to alert all Muslims to pray for continued peace and prosperity in Nigeria as they observe the month of Ramadan.

He said “this period of Ramadan teaches us self control, self restraint, tolerance for one another irrespective of religion or tribe”.

He noted that the topic of the lecture which borders on taxation has come at a right time and acknowledged the importance of taxation as the basics of development in countries all over the world.

Dr Salaam who was chief host also appreciated the guest lecturer as he enjoined the people to tap from his knowledge and wisdom.

Meanwhile, in his lecture titled “Taxation as an obligation, Islamic perspective” a renowned Islamic scholar Sheik Babatunde Yusuf Ayeniromo emphasised on the importance of taxation.

He described taxation as a divine obligation expected to be performed by Muslims with the means and are truly committed to the cause of the faith.

Sheik Yusuf popularly called Oko Iya eleko cited the government of Umar Ibn Kattab and the role played by taxation in the success of his administration.

While stressing the need for taxable adults to fulfill their obligation to the government, he also charged the authorities on judicious expenditure of resources gathered from the people.

Earlier Chief Imam of the Assembly Mosque Alhaji Abdul Fatai Adebisi had on behalf of the Muslim community appreciated the guest lecturer as well as the gathering from within and outside.

The lecture was attended by faithful Muslims not only from within but across neighboring establishments.

Osun Speaker Warns Councilors Against Rivalry

By Israel Afolabi

The Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Dr Najeem Salaam has warned elected councilors against unhealthy rivalry that is inimical to smooth operation of parliamentary system across local government in the state.

Dr Salaam gave the warning in his address while declaring open, a two-day workshop on legislative practice and procedure for elected councilors and support staff in all the local governments, local council development areas, area councils and administrative offices in the sate held at the House of Assembly complex, Osogbo

The speaker appreciated the state Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his wisdom and unparalleled sense of reasoning at all times for putting the state on a sound footing towards economic development.

He declared that the state has attained greater heights among the comity of states in Nigeria

According to him, “The introduction of the parliamentary system at the local governments by the governor and its subsequent endorsement by the House of Assembly will certainly make our state to be a model for other states in the federation to emulate.

“An effective local government system will ensure that both the human and material resources are effectively mobilized and harnessed to ensure that an unbroken chain of communication is maintained between the rulers and the ruled”, he added.

He made it known that the relationship between the executive and the legislature in a parliamentary system is called responsible government.

Salaam noted that Osun adopts a parliamentary system of government at the local level to foster better governance and efficient delivery of dividends of democracy at the grassroots.

He urged all stakeholders in the new system of administration to play the game according to the rules and avoid unnecessary friction.

He said, “There is the need for harmonious relationship among the various actors to make the new system attractive and become a model to other states of the federation”.

Salaam who reiterated the effectiveness of party discipline and supremacy under parliamentary system, urged them to be moderate in the exercise of power.

He also warned against any act that could truncate the operation of the system at the local government level.

In a similar vein, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Prince Gboyega Famodun observed that the grassroot is the starting point for anybody that want to take politics as career.

He urged them to concentrate more on service to the people and stressed the needs for tolerance among the elected councilors for the system to work.

He also admonished on the need to strengthen the bond of relationship between them, the party leaders as well as members at the grass roots.

In their separate lectures, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Kolapo Alimi and the Special Adviser on Legislative Matter to the Governor, Hon. Ipoola Binuyo emphasized the principle of collective responsibility in the parliamentary system.

They stressed the need for compliance with due process and to ensure proper monitoring of projects.

Other resource persons including Dr Wale Olaopa, Dr Solomon Ayegba and Dr Solomon Ojo in their separate lectures highlighted the merits of parliamentary democracy as they cited example of countries where it is being practiced.

The lecturers who noted that the success of any system depend on the operators, charged elected councilors on good performance, which according to them would launch them to further politicking in the future.

In their various responses, Leader of Odo-Otin South LCDA, Hon Adeyemi Adelani; Chairman, Odo-Otin North LCDA, Hon Hakeem Seriki and Deputy Leader, Osogbo West LCDA, Hon Moses Jasuyi appreciated the House for organizing the workshop to sensitise all the elected councilors in Osun.

They urged the state government not to relent on its duties in organizing such workshops periodically.

They all commended the state Assembly for organizing such workshop that would orientate elected councilors at the local levels.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Wasiu Adebayo stated that the workshop was coming at the right time as there was the need to acquaint the elected officials with the rudiment of parliamentary system.

{The Race & The Runners} Salaam: From Parliament To Executive

 

Born on August 8, 1965, Najeem Folasayo Salaam hails from Ejigbo. There was no peculiar circumstance to his birth, though he lost his mother at the age of two and his father when he was 10; his big aunt, Iya Agba raised him and his sister with utmost care. What defined his childhood was that he courted so many friends and as a young man, he had the habit of offering his ration for others to eat. So, he seemed to have exhibited the traits of generosity and love for others and “live and let other live” from the threshold of his life.

Najeem Salaam attended Ansar-ul-Deen Primary School, Ejigbo; Baptist High School, Ola-Ejigbo; Baptist High School, Ejigbo and proceeded to the then Oyo State School of Arts and Science, Ile-Ife, for his ‘A’ Levels, before he was admitted to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) where he obtained B.Sc Political Science, M.Sc Political Science and he has crowned his intellectual capability with the highest engagement of academic laurel in his chosen field, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) Political Science in the same university.

Najeem Salaam joined politics in 1995. He started as a follower from the grassroots; he enrolled himself under the political tendency of progressive leaning, under the leadership of Tayo Ilupeju, an Ejigbo born political leader who also stocked himself in the Obafemi Awolowo’s school of politics.

He signified intention to vie for House of Assembly seat in 1999, but was persuaded to stand down his ambition for another aspirant on a political calculation; he was later appointed as the Supervisory Councillor for Health, Ejigbo Local Government Council. By 2003, he won the ticket of Alliance for Democracy (AD) to stand for election as Chairman of Ejigbo Local Government Council, but failed to make it due to the hostility of the then ruling party to the opposition. However, he won election to the Osun State House of Assembly in 2007.

By 2009, his election was voided by the Court of Appeal, which held in Ibadan upon the petition filed by a candidate of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), who claimed that her party logo was not included in the ballot paper used for 2007 legislative election in Ejigbo State Constituency. The court called for a rerun election but the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) brought “war” and glaring compromise to Ejigbo and Najeem Salaam became a victim. Against all odds, he was re-nominated for 2011 election and won with moonslide.

By 2011, Salaam returned to the State House of Assembly and he was elected Speaker unanimously. By 2012, he was selected by the 35 Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly to lead Conference of Speakers and midwife the conference into a democratic structure, which he did within six months.

Salaam was returned again in 2015 and he was re-elected as the Speaker and he has since become a honest broker, stabilizing the state with his go-between among disputing parties, as the State House of Assembly under his watch has been able to fix broken system in so many respects. Under his watch, the state parliament has passed over 50 laws, over 45 resolutions and four public hearings, coupled with interventions in different areas.

Despite his intimidating physique and academic credentials, Salaam possesses unparalleled disarming humility, sprawling native wisdom and rare generosity; virtues that have made him tick as a politician with a difference and a colourful humanist, whose stock-in-trade is to make people smile in all situations, even in the face of daunting challenges. The aforementioned virtues made his friends and associates to call him IWALOYE- good character is royalty.

He attended a brief legislative class at London School of Economics and Political Science; he undertook a study-tour at United Kingdom Parliament, Westminster, London; he attended legislative assignment in Tanzania, Brazil, United States of America, Ghana, Malaysia, United Arab Emirate (UAE) to mention but few.

Salaam is a man of many accolades, he garners 65 awards from educational institutions of higher learning; he earns 50 leadership awards across social organizations and groups; he was honoured by religious institutions across board. He is the current Asiwaju Adeen of Ejigbo-land. Alumni International of his Alma mata, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 2013, bestowed on him, Grand Commander of Great Ife (GCI); he is the Asiwaju Musulumi of Ejigbo-land (the overall leader of Muslim faithful in Ejigbo-land) among other accolades, including, Outstanding Achievement Award & Extraordinary Services, Dedication to Our State by All Progressive Congress (Canada Branch); Evergreen Award as Worthy Ambassador of Yoruba by the Southwest Youth Leaders Association; Award of Excellence in Political & Social Development by LAUTECH International College, Ogbomoso; Most Outstanding Legislative Administration Award by Leadership and Followership Development Centre (LEFDEC) among several others.

Salaam, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not officially declared to govern the state, his group, Iwaloye Movement has begun mobilisation for his ambition.

Osun Govt., Speaker, Eulogise Adeleke’s Virtues

A year after his death, the government of the State of Osun and the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Dr. (Rt. Hon.) Salaam has described late Senator Isiaka Adeleke as a great politician with good heart who sought peace and conflict free society while he lived.

The state government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa described Adeleke’s death as sour grape in the mouth as it denied all, the good naturalness well known about him by all and sundry.

The statement described the deceased as a flamboyant politician with great kindness for the needy, saying, the late Adeleke did his best to provide for the masses that he came across during his life time.

“A grassroots politician of note in his life time, the first civilian governor of the State of Osun was in constant touch with his people till he breathed his last. No wonder his demise brought a deep sense of loss to all, even when it is clear that as mortals, we all live at the mercy of God”.

While praying for Aljanat fridous for him, the government again urged the family, friends and associates of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the Timi of Edeland, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal and other well-wishers across the world to find solace in the good life and indelible footprints the deceased left behind”, it reads.

Also, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Goke Butika, Dr. Salaam stressed that the demise of Senator Adeleke was a big vacuum that is difficult to fill, saying he served the state at his youthful age and served the nation through the Senate of the Federal Republic at his prime before he succumbed to the cold hand of death.

Speaker Salaam asserted that the state Parliament under his watch is working plans to honour the memory of the first civilian governor as well as the senior lawmaker, saying the plans when perfected would be unveiled to the members of the public.

“Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the first civilian governor of the state who died in active service as a distinguished Senator of the federal republic would be honoured by the Assembly soon, because he was a great leader and lover of peace. We shall honour him as a departed senior lawmaker,” Dr. Salaam quipped.

It would be recalled that late Senator Adeleke died a year ago in his country home, Ede; he was a serving Senator representing Osun West.

 

Legislature, The Heartbeat Of Democracy – Speaker

By Israel Afolabi

Speaker of the state of Osun House of Assembly, Hon Najeem Salaam has disclosed that the legislature is the heartbeat of democratic governance.

Salaam made the remark while addressing Political Science students of the State College of Education, Ila-Orangun who were on excursion to the Assembly complex Osogbo.

He described the legislative arm of government as important as a head in the body.

According to him, “The parliament is the only organ saddled with the responsibility of making laws for the peace and progress of the society.

He also used the forum to lecture the students who were watching the House proceedings on its standing rules and regulations, the various standing committees and their functions.

He educated the students on the process through which a bill becomes a law.

While stating that the society is looking up to the youths as future leaders, he urged them to shun any act that could be inimical to their chosen career.

In another development, the speaker assured people with special needs that the House would offer necessary support to enhance their welfare.

He stated this while hosting the Association of people with Special Needs at his office complex Osogbo.

Reacting to the submissions of the body through its spokesman, he enumerated measures taken by the present administration to ensure better living conditions for them in the State.

He however, asked them to bring forth their request to the larger assembly so that the House can look at it holistically.

President of the Association in the South-West, Mr Kehinde Onitiju had requested for more support in terms of law enactment so as to better the living condition of people with special needs.

According to him, “We have a pending bill on disability with the House since 2009 which will add meaning to our life, we appeal to the House to pass it. We want the House to enact laws which will give us the same benefits with our sister states”, he added.

Mr Onitiju who had acknowledged the priority accorded them by the present administration appreciated the gesture just as he requested for more attention in terms of legislation.

In his comments, the president of Network of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the state, Mr Ibrahim Olayinka urged the House to accelerate the process of the bill.

According to him, “The bill is for better convenience of people with disability”.

Osun Speaker Harps On Hardwork, Revenue Generation

  • As Agencies Complete 2018 Budget Defence

Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly, Hon Najeem Salaam has urged Civil servants to be patient with government and work hard to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State.

In a publication, an online Group promoting the activities of the State Government of Osun, Progressives e-Group says it is a tradition for State House of Assembly to receive Budget of each Agency of Government and also allow them to justify every dime they plan to spend for the year before the House.

This exercise which started some weeks ago in the State of Osun House Of Assembly, where Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state  presented and defended their Budget came to an end on Tuesday.

The final Budget Defence session was attended by Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaj Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, Head of Service, Dr Olowogboyega Oyebade, Commissioner for Budget and Planning Dr Yunus Ismail and the Acting Chairman, Osun Internal Revenue Service, Mr Bicci Ali.

The Speaker, Hon Najeem Salaam in his message charged the State Civil Servants to work assiduously to ensure that the budget is achieved.

He hinted that Revenue is the soul of Budget in any State, and once they achieve the targeted Revenue, it is sure that their welfare will be taken care of immediately and that once there is more money in government’s purse, nothing will delay their entitlements.

He urged them to be patient with the government, as it is not relenting in sourcing for funds to cater for their welfare.

The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola in his remarks, appreciated the State House of Assembly for their unflinching support for the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the state in general, just as he urged them to be more committed to the cause they have chosen.

The Head of Service, Dr Oyebade Olowogboyega appreciated the Governor for releasing funds for the payment of Pensions and gratuities of the retired Civil Servants in the State. He also prayed that all other outstanding entitlements will be addressed as soon as possible.

The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Dr Olalekan Yinusa while defending the Budget, said the state will increase the IGR with various Programmes and activities as stated in the 2018 Budget.

In his words, the acting Chairman, Osun Internal Revenue Service, Mr Bicci Alli urged the populace to be more committed to remittance of their dues, as this will enable government of thesState to meet the needs of the people as and when due.

Osun Speaker, Ex-Commissioner Make Case For Community-Based Development

By Shina Abubakar

The Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salaam has called on indigenes of communities in the state of Osun to always rally round their origin to endear development to the rural areas.

He stated this at the Masifa-Ile Day celebration held at the Community Grammar School in the town.

He disclosed that the development of ancient communities is a collective responsibility of all the indigenes of such community, saying government alone cannot take charge of developing every settlements in the state.

Salaam disclosed that celebrating a day in the name of a community offers a platform for the sons and daughters of such community to meet and discuss issues relating to the development of the community and its people.

He admonished the affluent indigenes of different communities in the state to always rally round and participate in issues capable of bringing development to their respective communities.

Similarly, the former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the State, Oluomo Sunday Akere stated the need for indigenes of every community to get involved in the process of building the rural areas, saying it is no longer tenable to rely on government for development of all the nooks and crannies of the state.

He said the Yoruba tradition harps on communal effort towards developing the various communities prior to the advent of colonialism and sought a return to the system in the face of the reality that government cannot provide all the need of its people.

Akere charged the teeming populace in the state to always cooperate with any sitting governor in order for development to take root in their various communities, stressing that development can only be achieved in peaceful atmosphere.

The highlight of the event is the various family compounds paying homage to the ruler of the town and praying for his long reign.

Osun Assembly Warns Against Illegal Lumbering

By Israel Afolabi

 

The Osun State House of Assembly has read riot act over the poor attitudes of Forest Guards towards the forest protection in the state.

 

Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Sanitation, Honourable Ajibola Akinloye conveyed the dissatisfaction of the parliament during a stakeholders’ meeting between his committee and officials of Forestry Department of the Ministry of Natural and Mineral Resources.

 

The chairman who hinted that the meeting was called due to the allegation of fraud leveled against the Guards in various forests across the state, said that they were invited to clear the air on the issue involving them and timber contractors and fletchers.

 

Warning that the Assembly would not hesitate to deal with any forest Guard found to have violated his rules of engagement, he charged them to change their attitude towards the protection of forests in the state.

 

Other members of the committee, Honourables Debo Akanbi, Gbadebo Ibrahim, Akinola Adufe, Olaolu Oyeniran, Yemi Taiwo, and Clement Akanni urged the guards to be conscious of their jobs and change their behaviours.

 

They charged the guards to work together as a team to fight timber theft and Fletcher to obtain proper documents before engaging in tree felling.

 

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Natural and Mineral Resources, Mr Tunde Ajilore lamented on the position of forestry across the state which he described as a disadvantage to the state, due to forest guards’ habits, saying, if the forests are properly managed, it would earn the state huge sum of revenue on monthly basis.

 

Ajilore alleged that forest guards have connived with fletchers to cut economic trees in the various forests without proper permits which, he said has done more harm to government.

 

The Director of Forestry in the ministry, Dr. Bibilari Henry lamented on the encroachment problem in the state, which he described as a long time problem, saying that at as of now, there is no boundary guide for the various forest in the state.