Repackage Traditional Products, Contribute Positively To Economy, Aregbesola Charges TRAWSO

By Shina Abubakar

Osun state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has called on adherents of traditional religion to add value to traditional medical products and services they offer.

The governor said when this is done, the adherents would be contributing positively to the nation’s economy and also solve some health challenges that could be addressed with traditional herbal products and services.

He also called for repackaging of, and reorientation about the Yoruba traditional religion and practice, so as not to lose valuable benefits inherent in them.

Aregbesola, who disclosed this at the swearing-in ceremony of newly elected executives of Traditional Religion Worshippers Association, State of Osun (TRAWSO), noted that, when traditional medical products and services are properly packaged, many more people will be interested in them.

Represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Wale Adebisi, Aregbesola was of the opinion that wholesale rejection of the Yoruba traditional religion could lead, in no distance time, to loss of identity by the race.

He said the warm hands of fellowship the West, in recent past, appears to be offering Yoruba culture, should send signals to the discerning minds within the race that there are several good things about the culture.

“But how are we, the owner of the culture treating it? Shabbily. We don’t value what we have and that is not the right way to go. We must guard our culture jealously and ensure we don’t lose it. Loss of culture means loss of identity and we must not allow that to happen.

“As a Yoruba man, I know many medical products and services offered by the Yoruba traditionalists are potent.  But lack of proper packaging has limited acceptance of these products by even we Yoruba people, let alone people from other parts of the world. That should be addressed. Once we package them well, these products will be contributing positively to our GDP and even earn us forex.

“I am suggesting as part of the way forward, that you leaders and adherents of the Yoruba traditional religion should not scare people away from the tradition, but package it and make it very attractive and more exportable,” Aregbesola concluded.

Newly elected officials of the association; Chairman, Oba Bamijogbin Alao, Vice Chairman, Chief Oyebowale Olojede, Secretary,  Dr. Oluseyi Atanda, Assistant Secretary, Apetebi Toyin Awolola, Treasurer, Oloye Ifasola Onifade and others later took oath of office.

Aregbesola Implores Students To Imbibe Culture Of Self-Help

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has urged students to imbibe the spirit of self-help in all they do, just as he urged members of the society to engage in voluntary services to make their environment and community better.

He made the call while playing host to  members of the Volunteer Corps, Nigeria, Osogbo Government High School Branch, led by their Chairman, Sir Ademola Aladekomo, at Government House, Osogbo.

Governor Aregbesola attributed the inability of the three tiers of government to meet some critical needs of the society to lack of support from the people.

He said that certain things don’t work well in Nigeria’s system due to the lack of volunteerism to human and capital development as well as people’s negligence to civic responsibilities.

The governor  held that for Nigeria and Nigerians to meet their aspirations in all aspects of life, the citizens must begin to see selfless service and spirit of volunteerism as fundamental principles of existence.

He pointed out that the present economic reality has made it difficult for government to meet all its responsibilities to the people, hence, the need to be supported by all.

According to him, “our system is under-performing largely due to negligence of people who are directly or indirectly involved in the system.

“A society can only develop satisfactorily if her people are ready to come together to work for her growth and development.

“The needs of government remains insatiable, thus, informing the need for the people to champion any course capable of supporting  government in meeting her statutory obligations to the people and the society at large”, he stressed.

Commending the Corps for being supportive to government’s efforts on education, Aregbesola directed all to emulate the kind gesture exhibited by the leadership of the Corps.

He said his administration remains receptive to the course of volunteerism not only in schools but in all sectors of the economy as the spirit remains the catalyst to all round growth and development.

“This Corps has shown to the world that through volunteerism, our society could be rescued from challenges which government may find difficult to solve due non availability of resources.

“ We recommend this for society, schools, students, teachers and organizations as we have seen good works that have been done through this scheme”, he added.

Governor Aregbesola therefore urged the students to imbibe the culture and ethos of Omoluabi, saying, “success is dependent on confidence, faith and work”.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of Volunteer Corps of Nigeria, Sir Ademola Aladekomo, said the scheme had impacted meaningfully on the lives of the students who hitherto did not believe in great things one can achieve through volunteerism.

Aladekomo who himself is an old student of Osogbo Government High School, disclosed that the Corps had renovated, refurbished and repainted different block of classrooms in the school.

He therefore implored all to gear up towards supporting the Government’s efforts by contributing individual quota to advance the required growth and development.

Muslims Victims Of Unfair Media Bias In Nigeria – Aregbesola

Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has again described the allegation that he planned to Islamize the state and secede from Nigeria as falsehood that has not been backed by any fact.

Aregbesola who is the special guest of honour at the inauguration of Board of Trustees, BoT, Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, spoke at the banquet hall, government house, Osogbo, at the weekend.

Represented by the Grand Mufty, Osogbo land, Sheik Maruf Ishola, Aregbesola noted that Muslims have been ‘unfair victims’ of media bias in Nigeria.

“In our own country, fake news, hate messages and subtle (and not so subtle) incitements along ethnic and religious lines by the media carry the grave portents of triggering a catastrophic civil war from which we may never recover.

“Without investigating and publishing only confirmed truth, journalism is nothing more than a rumour mill. We must be able to separate free speech from libel and promotion of falsehood.

“If you say that Aregbesola wants to Islamize Osun and secede from Nigeria, you must be able to back it up by facts and incontrovertible evidence. Failing this, it has become libel and falsehood which is injurious to my person, the government of Osun, our political party, the APC and ultimately the entire society.

He urged the group to uphold the truth by ensuring fair treatment of all religions wherever they are, saying “as BoT, you need to watch out for these, not just as they affect Muslims, though Muslims have been unfair victims, but as they affect the society in general.

Speaking on “Effective Use of Mass Media for Da’wah”, the guest speaker, former Managing Director of the defunct National Concord Newspaper, Alhaji Liad Tella, identified ‘media bias’ against Islam as hindrance to the effective use of media for propagating Islam.

He maintained that Nigeria government and the media were aware for a long time that Boko Haram are not Muslims, but intentionally addressing them as Islamic sect.

According to Tella, efforts to deceive members of the public from knowing that the State of Osun, especially public schools, is dominated by Muslims, necessitated the war against hijab in the state.

“The government of Nigeria know that Boko Haram are not Muslims. They know when French jet was dropping arms for Boko Haram in Sambisa forest. They know that those arrested could not read Qur’an, yet, they continue attributing them to Islam.

“Media distortions and half truth or outright falsehood about Islam and Muslim is very confounding because the fundamentals of journalism are rested on truth.

“Fair balanced and objective reportage are the cardinal ethics and supposed inviolable principles of journalism. Unfortunately, this is not so with media reportage on Islam and Muslim in Nigeria.

The guest of Honour, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, maintained that Nigeria media has been unfair to Islam.

Represented by the Deputy President General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Alhaji S. O. Babalola, Sultan urged Muslims not to be discouraged by the bias and discrimination.

Ealier in his welcome address, the national coordinator, Muslim Media Watch Group, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the aim of the group is to promote quality broadcast in media organisations all over the country.

He said the group is also working to correct the misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims in any of the media by putting-in the correct, accurate and true picture of issues at stake in the right perspectives for the benefit of viewers, listeners and readers.

Here are photos from the Inauguration

 

Aregbesola Has Done Well For Osun Workers – Osun NLC Chairman

By Francis Ezediuno

For recognising and appreciating the workforce in the State of Osun and christening a major road in the state capital, Osogbo, ‘Workers Drive’, the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for a job well done.

This commendation was made by the state NLC chairman, Comrade Jacob Adekomi during an interview with OSUN DEFENDER on Wednesday.

While revealing that it was a job well done, Adekomi revealed that in the annals of the state, no government had deemed it fit to honour workers in the state in such  way.

He maintained that despite the paucity of funds, Aregbesola would be remembered as a governor who took the welfare of workers into consideration.

He called on the governor to fulfill his promise of paying the backlog of workers’ salaries adding that no worker has been retrenched since the inception of the administration in November 27th, 2010.

According to him, Aregbesola has set a precedent that his predecessor must aim to beat, observing that the state capital had worn a new look and can be compared to any other city in the country.

On the issue of the new minimum wage being advocated by the federal government, Adekomi hinted that there is need to review the nation’s revenue formula in a bid for states to be able to pay their workers promptly.

He also maintained that the state governments too must have the will to pay their workers, adding that ‘where there is a will, there will be a way’.

On the intervention programmes of the Rauf Aregbesola administration, the NLC helmsman disclosed that it has helped to get the youth off the street and the society was better for it.

He observed that jobless youths were being empowered and armed financially and economically.

While responding to the issue of a successor to this administration, he remarked that what the state’s workers wanted was a governor that would take workers welfare into consideration.

“We want a governor that will develop Osun and treat workers well. We have contributed to the development of the state, so we expect somebody that is ready to rule and satisfy workers’ welfare”, he added.

 

Workers, Traditional Rulers, Transport Unions Commend Aregbesola

  • As Gov. Commissions Road Named After Workers, Church

By Ismaeel Uthman

All sectors of the society on Tuesday poured encomiums on Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the spate of infrastructure development in the state, describing the governor as a great achiever and a trail blazer.

Labour unions, traditional rulers, religious leaders, commercial transporters, artisans and other groups of people lauded Aregbesola for the massive road construction and opening up of rural areas with Rural Access and Mobility Project (ORAMP).

Aregbesola on Tuesday commissioned the dual carriage ‘Workers Drive’, a 2.8km road, just as he named a triangular junction at the starting point of the road after the Apostolic Church.

The Apostolic Church had been demolished to pave way for the construction of the triangular junction and reconstruction of the road.

Aregbesola who disclosed that the fund for the road was sourced from the Omoluabi Infrastructure Conservative Fund, explained that he named the former Olaiya-Odi-Olowo-Ita-Olookan road after the workers to appreciate their steadfastness, sacrifice and loyalty during the financial crisis in the state.

The governor stated that Osun workers bore the brunt of the financial crisis which was as a result of the misappropriation of the national resources by the ousted Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led government.

He described the workers as treasure and agent of change, saying that their support to his administration could not be overemphasized, just as he described them as the cutting edge instrumental to the realisation of the government’s goals and aspirations for the people of the state.

Aregbesola disclosed that 579 structures consisting of houses, shops, uncompleted building, mosques, churches and others were standing on the road before the reconstruction, adding that 170 people were compensated with N392m for the separation of their structures from the road.

The governor maintained that there should not be any need for separation of structures from the road had the properties owners followed the rules and regulations of town planning.

Aregbesola who recalled the deplorable state of the road before the intervention, explained that the road was a death trap for many years with its narrow nature and pot holes at strategic points which led to accidents.

Delivering his speech titled: “A Promise Kept”, Aregbesola explained that the various success of the present administration was made possible through the cooperation of the state House of Assembly.

He described the road as one of the oldest settlements in Osogbo which leads to the Osun groove, a UNESCO world heritage site, hence there is the need to put it in good shape.

Aregbesola said the road was approved for construction at the time it was done despite the financial challenges the state was facing because the road is significant to the growth and development of the state capital.

According to Aregbesola, “We started this road at a time when the state was in serious financial challenges, but with the help of the House of Assembly this was made possible.

“It is our desire to make Osogbo look like a true state capital that will be attractive to investors and boost the economy of the state.”

Delivering an address, Speaker of the state house of assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam who attributed the success of the present administration to the cooperation that exists between the house and the governor said they are proud of Aregbesola’s achievements.

He said the governor has turned the Olaiya to Ita-Olokan road to a road truly befitting of a state capital, stressing that the Osogbo of today is now different from the Osogbo of the past as a result of Aregbesola’s intervention.

The speaker who titled his speech, “Infrastructural Development, A Plan For Economic Growth” said he is confident that other projects across the state at various stages of completion will be completed before the tenure ends.

Speaking on behalf of other royal fathers at the event, the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, described Aregbesola’s administration as impactful and very beneficial to the people of the state.

Oba Olanipekun who commended Aregbesola for the spate of infrastructure development in the state, particularly in Osogbo, said he was happy for the commissioning of the road because three previous administrations had attempted the project and couldn’t complete it.

Commenting, the labour unions in the state, led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Jacob Adekomi, commended Aregbesola for his sensitivity to the plight of the workers, acknowledging that his administration has been workers-friendly.

Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Messrs Lekan Salami and Olajire Aweda respectively lauded Aregbesola for the massive road project and empowerment of the commercial transporters.

 

We Must Avoid Going To War- Aregbesola

Governor of the State of Osun Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola while speaking at the book launch of Mr Tola Adeniyi’s book, ‘In The Belly Of Vultures’ which was held at Neca Events Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos on March 1, 2018 has addressed two major concerns in the country.

Ogbeni Aregbesola while thanking his long time friend Adeniyi for the invitation said burgeoning human population and trying to avoid war were the most pressing issues at the moment.

Read his speech below;

NIGERIA: OUR OWN DEAR FATHERLAND.

Protocols,

It gives me great pleasure to be at this important occasion. I must therefore thank my good egbon, Mr Tola Adeniyi, for the kind invitation to the public presentation of his book, ‘In the belly of vultures’, a collection of his newspaper column articles dating back to 1959.

Egbon Tola Adeniyi and I have come a long way. I have been exposed to his writings since the 1970s and he has been part of the shaping of my intellect since then. His writings, in flawless prose, were and are still a delight to me and his numerous readers.

He is also a journalist of the old order to whom the essence of the profession is the development of the country and people and to act as the conscience of the nation. He belongs to the generation of fearless and courageous journalists who confronted evil with the power of the pen, not minding the consequences. May his tribe never diminish in the land.

In this book, he has collected his thoughts, spanning nearly six decades and froze them for a wider readership. He has thus been able to connect the past with the present. He has made the past available to young readers just as he has been able to refresh the memory of the older generation.

This occasion therefore affords me the opportunity to address two burning national issues. The first is our burgeoning human population. According the United Nations, our population of 186 million has been growing at the phenomenal rate of 2.6 per cent. In 2050, this will rise to 433 million, making us the third most populous nation behind China and India, surpassing United States and Brazil.

Population is not a problem in itself, but the quality. Providing food, housing, security, jobs, education, healthcare and municipal services to a largely dependent and non productive population is a nightmare and a ticking time bomb.

This is thus a clarion call to governments, organisations, families and especially women to be conscious of this fact. It is absolutely necessary to raise awareness on this dynamics andbring the families, especially women, to embrace planning andhave the number of children their income can adequately support.

If we take a holistic look at an economy, the summary is that a nation is as rich or poor based on family incomes. A nation is thus rich if families have surplus from their incomes, after expenses. Where there is shortfall in family incomes, government subsidy is the remedy or there will be chaos. However, the surplus of family incomes ought to translate to government riches. But when the families have deficit, government becomes poor, which in turn, reinforces families’ poverty. This is the vicious cycle of poverty that poor nations are trapped in.

We will break out of this cycle only by conscious effort to get the families have the numbers that keep them in surplus, instead of deficit.

Secondly, we must avoid going to war in this country. Nigeria’s federalism is perfectly imperfect and far from the ideal. From the inheritance elite at independence to the current leaders at all levels, we have not done much to improve on what the retreating colonialists left behind and relationship between the peoples that make up Nigeria has not been the best.

This calls for introspection and concerted efforts to make federalism work well through dialogue and other civil means. However, we have seen the escalation of the rhetoric of hate, incitement and acts of murderous brigandage in recent times. Call for separation, oppression, injustice, acts of genocide, mindless exploitation of other people’s resources, reckless pursuit of one’s interest, not minding the consequences on others, unmitigated greed of the elite and resort to scorched earth policies are dangerous developments that push inexorably towards separatism and armed conflict. We have seen ethnic supremacists sabre rattling and fanning the embers of discord, instead of addressing the factors that generated tensions. But the lesson of history is that violence will lead to more violence until we have the balance of terror and then violence acquires a life of its own, well beyond the control of those who started it.

War anywhere is bad business and no side comes out of it smelling like roses. We luckily survived the civil war. We have been able to contain insurgencies and militancy and prevent them from snowballing into national conflagration. We should not push our luck too far. Other countries in our situation are not that fortunate.

We see the devastations of war in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon (and closer home) in Liberia and Sierra Leone. While some like Liberia and Sierra Leone are fortunate to put the war behind them, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq have found it difficult to stop their own wars. Lebanon lost its Paradise and Pearl of the Middle East status to United Arab Emirates.

We should therefore all work towards peace and make our federalism a great one.

Once again, I thank egbon Tola Adeniyi, for inviting me here as I wish him many more years in the service of the country.

I thank you all for your kind attention.

Power is responsibility.

 

 

24, 850 Osun Residents Benefit From Govt’s Empowerment Scheme

No fewer than 24, 850 traders and small scales enterprises and business owners have benefitted from the N3.6bn fund provided by the state government of Osun.

The Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria had provided a sum of N2.1bn as take off capital for the Osun Micro Credit Agency for disbursement to eligible beneficiaries.

In a report made available to our correspondents by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industries, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr Ismaila Jayeoba-Alagbada, the N2.1bn initial capital matured to N3, 660, 335, 000.

According to the report, 11, 391 beneficiaries from commerce were given N1, 677, 481, 000 credit, 9, 100 beneficiaries from agriculture sector were given N1, 339, 682, 000, while 2552 Manufacturers were provided N375, 711, 000.

The report disclosed further that 1, 379 artisans were given 204, 538, 000, 233, people from education sector got a sum of N34, 388, 000, while 195 people from health sector obtained N28, 535, 000.

The number of beneficiaries and the amount were recorded between 2014 and 2017, according to the report.

Giving the breakdown of the disbursed funds, Jayeoba-Alagbada said a total of N662, 000, 000, N1, 496, 000, 000, N681, 000, 000 and N821, 335, 000, 000 were disbursed in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

He said 90 per cent of the beneficiaries have been repaying the credit to the Osun Micro Credit Agency.

Jayeoba-Alagbada explained that as a result of direct re-ploughing of the initial capital provided by the state government which was N100, 000 and recycling of the N2bn CBN funds, coupled with interest income and charges, the agency has operated with the total sum of N3, 660, 335,000.

The commissioner maintained that the provision of the credit facilities has created wealth for individuals and enhanced the performance of farmers, self-help groups, cooperative societies, small scale businesses, cottage industries, hotels, hair dressers, artisans and others.

He stated that the success recorded in the repayment of the credit taken by the beneficiaries is an indication that the economy of the state has improved, explaining that if the beneficiaries were not making enough profits, they would not be able to make repayment.

Jayeoba-Alagbada submitted that the credit facility achieved its intended purposes which are to create wealth and employment opportunity for the people of the state.

PDP Should Not Dream Of Returning To Power – Aregbesola

By Kehinde Ayantunji

The governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has advised Nigerians not to reconsider Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at all levels in Nigeria, saying the party has derailed during its 16 years rule as nothing substantial in terms of human and social infrastructure can be referred to.

Aregbesola said if PDP is truly a party of conscience and integrity,  it would not be bragging of coming back to power  with the moral burden of impoverishing Nigerians for the period during which the country earn highest oil revenue in history.

Aregbesola said this during the official launch of the digital switch over of Television Service in Osogbo, Capital, State of Osun.

According to the governor, PDP symbolises failure which reflected in most of the federal government abandoned projects including digital switch over of television services adding that the digitalisation will define broadcast development in Nigeria.

He said: “PDP is a failed party and that is more reason they failed deadline of project delivery, the reign was 16 years of hopelessness. It was that period that Nigeria earned highest revenue in oil and we have no road, no water and other amenities and I am always surprised when they are not ashamed of their failure and still bragging to come back, by the grace of God they will never return to power in Nigeria”.

The governor appreciated the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed’s gesture for making Osun an anchor state for the digital switch over launch in the South-West.

Aregbesola said the digital age has come to stay and that digital broadcasting has made it possible for anybody who has a standard studio, camera and equipment to be seen in the far corners of the world.

He therefore urged the digital signal distribution company, in charge of Osun, to ensure they cover the whole state so the people of the state can enjoy the digital broadcasting experience.

Speaking earlier, The Information minister, Lai Muhammed explained that “Digital Switch Over” of Nigeria from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting would create endless opportunities in the television and entertainment sector.

According  to the Minister,  the switch over would provide platform for telecommunication companies,  advertisers, content providers and movie producers to maximise profits through digital broadcasting,  a medium of reaching a wider and distance audience.

He also stressed the numerous job opportunities and businesses the digital switch over would create, stating that those in the broadcasting value chain would be engaged in every production stage.

He said local companies engaged to produce setup boxes for receiving digital signals would also employ a lot of Nigerians, thereby reducing unemployment and creating new jobs.

Mallam Is’haq Kawu, the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in his own remarks said the launch of the digital switch over in Osun was unique because the state is the first location in the South-Western part of the country.

Kawu also said Osogbo which is the capital of Osun was strategic to the launch as it is one of the cities that a factory had been setup for the production of setup boxes for digital TV.

He said the launch of the digital switch over in Osun allows for the spread of the service into the South-Western region, and that the choice of Osun was most logical

Aregbesola’s Programmes Will Be Replicated In Boluwaduro LG – Tokede

The newly elected Chairman of Boluwaduro Local Government in the State of Osun, Hon Hakeem Tokede has vowed to use the six points agenda of Governor Rauf  Aregbesola to develop the council.

Hon Tokede made the disclosure while speaking after taking oath of office at the council’s secretariat located in Otan Ayegbaju.

The agenda include free and qualitative education, restoration of basic health system, war against poverty and hunger, unemployment, modern town planning and urban development.

According to him, “Our Administration will help the residents to easily feed themselves so as to banish hunger, sustain a dignifying lifestyle so as to banish poverty. Easy access health care services so as to promote healthy living”

He added that “there should be peace and harmony for the benefit of our people, our visitors and businesses in our local government so as to promote communal peace and harmony.

He promised a clean environment, eliminate street market in the council area and improve sanitation in the environment.

Speaking on the parliamentary system of government, Tokede said “parliamentary system is full of democratic norms that will shun arbitrariness, dictatorship and misuse of power in government.

He submitted that parliamentary system of government is easy to operate, and transparent for development of good democracy.

Hon Tokede assured that his team will work to achieve maximum and accelerated development urging the workforce to cooperate with him.

BACK PAGE: A New Dawn In Democratic Representation

 

By Rauf Aregbesola

This is the remarks made by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Osun, at the swearing-in ceremony of 389 councillors that will form the parliaments of the local governments in the state on Tuesday February 6, 2018.

We are gathered here to inaugurate 389 councillors representing the same number of wards in the state. This will be followed by the inauguration of the parliaments from whence will emerge the governments in the Local Government Councils, Local Council Development Areas, Area Councils and Administrative Offices in the state.

The councillors emerged after a keenly contested election on January 27, 2018, following many years of delayed tactics employed by those who are afraid of their inevitable defeat and rejection at the polls in the grassroots.

It is most pleasing to see democratic government return to the local governments after many tryst with caretaker committees and executive secretaryship.

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

There have been genuine concern as well as malicious opposition to the adoption of parliamentary system of government at the local government, when in contrast, we have the executive system at the national and state levels. Such fears and worries are unfounded.

First, our decision is not against the constitution, as quoted earlier. Nowhere did it mention executive or parliamentary – only that it must be democratic – and parliamentary system is as democratic as you can ever get.

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

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

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

In a parliamentary system, decisions are taken collectively and must be agreed upon by the majority in the house while members of the executive who are also parliamentarians can and are daily called to answer questions on any executive action taken.

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

The final reason parliamentary system is preferred is that it affirmed the supremacy of the political party. The party is an institution that is greater than an individual.  It is a body that personifies the views, ideologies, beliefs and tendency of a political association. When a citizen joins a party, it is because he or she agrees for what it stands for. Indeed, parties campaign for elections on the strength of their tendency and field candidates that embody and will represent the party in every way. This brings stability, reliability, predictability and order to the political system. This is why studies have consistently shown that parliamentary systems are more stable and less prone to corruption, compared to the executive system.

Those who are familiar with the British Parliament and our experience in the First Republic will attest to the fact that parliamentary system deepens democracy and offers far greater political representation and effective governance than any other system.

This is the system the councillors being inaugurated today are getting into. You must therefore listen to your people and give them access. Your status has placed you in a position of leadership, but not in a position of supremacy and tyranny over the people.

You must also see yourselves as change agents that will transform governance at your local communities and deepen democratic practice with quality representation of your people.

Your first task therefore is to maintain sanitation of the environment. You must bring an end to the filth that tends to overrun our communities if care is not taken. You must take ownership of waste management by working with the relevant government agencies and private operators to make our state to be spic and span, neat and beautiful to behold.

Secondly, you must also take charge of the various markets in your communities. You will organise the people and get them to buy and sell only in the markets and eliminate any form of street trading. Street trading is primitive, dangerous, contributes to garbage accumulation and impedes road traffic. There must be no room for it again.

Thirdly, but not less important, is revenue generation. You will galvanise all resources at your disposal to generate revenue for the government. We all take the government for granted in the past, but as we all see now, without revenue there can be no government. You must therefore generate revenue from all taxable adults and businesses within your various constituencies.

Lastly, you must take your election seriously as an opportunity to serve the people and not for frivolous engagement and primitive accumulation. You must not be self-serving, but be constantly public-spirited.

Do not see your position as an instrument for perpetrating musical chairs in which leaderships of your councils are removed and installed at will, through conspiracy and subterfuge. The party remains supreme and must guide all actions, policies and positions, in the true spirit of parliamentarism. The falcon, to paraphrase WB Yeats, must hear the falconer, in order that things might stay together (and not fall apart) so that anarchy is not loosed upon the world.

I must thank all those who worked to make this project a reality. Immense thanks go to the participating political parties and the political class in the state for agreeing to the rules of the game and for making the election a huge success. In particular, I must commend our political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for representing the people very well and for presiding over a progressive government which has brought an unprecedented development to our state. I must also thank the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) for its impartiality, fairness, diligence and for being truly independent.

Lastly but more importantly, I commend and salute the good people of Osun who have wholeheartedly and unwaveringly given us the opportunity to serve. We will continue to serve and will not disappoint you.

Once again, I congratulate all our councillors and the chairpersons that will emerge later.

We Adopt Parliamentary System To Deepen Democracy – ‎Aregbesola

…as he swears-in 389 newly elected councillors

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Tuesday disclosed that his administration adopted the Parliamentary System of Government at the Local Government level in fulfillment of the people’s wish in the state and to deepen democracy, as well as entrench genuine democratic practice at grassroots.

He said it was the overwhelming wish of the people, as stated in the report of the Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji led committee on political reforms that parliamentary system of government be adopted. In adopting parliamentary system, the state government only complied with the wish of the people.

‎Governor Aregbesola made the disclosure while addressing the people at the swearing-in ceremony for Councillors representing wards in the Local Governments, Local Council Development Areas, Area Councils and Administrative Offices, held at the state secretariat, Abere, Osogbo.

He held that the experience in the First Republic will attest to the fact that parliamentary system deepens democracy and offers far greater political representation and governance effectiveness than any other system.

The governor argued that the decision to adopt parliamentary system of government was also in fulfilment of Section 7 (1) of the Nigerian constitution that requires that ‘The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.’

He opined that the action of the state to resolve at the new system is not in anyway against the constitution or contrary to the tenets of democracy but rather helps to galvanize good governance and effective representation.

According to him, parliamentary system is more democratic, compared to the executive, in that the executive system tends towards dictatorship, arbitrariness and absolutism since power is concentrated in one man’s hand, with little or no check.

He added, ‎”our decision is not against the constitution, as quoted earlier. Nowhere did it mention executive or parliamentary – only that it must be democratic – and parliamentary system is as democratic as you can ever get.

“You will recall that in 2012, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria asked for memorandum on the review of the 1999 Constitution. A 15-man committee was set up in Osun under the chairmanship of Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji to aggregate the opinions and views from the state.

“The committee held public sittings for three weeks during which members of the public, institutions, nongovernmental organisations and others made submission.

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

“To appreciate this gesture, in a parliamentary system, the executive emerges from and is formed in the parliament, making the members of parliament to be members of the executive as well and the leadership of the executive to be first among equals, primus inter pares.

“In a parliamentary system, decisions are taken collectively and must be agreed upon by the majority in the house while members of the executive who are also parliamentarians can and are daily called to answer questions on any executive action taken.

“‎Because the executive members are appointed from parliament, a lot of cost is saved, compared to when fresh “persons have to be appointed as ministers, commissioners, chairmen of councils etc.

“This system saves campaign cost and reduces the impetus for corruption in that a candidate only need to campaign in his or her constituency, unlike in the executive system where a presidential candidate must tour the whole country and a governorship candidate must tour the whole state while a chairmanship candidate must tour the entire local council.

Charging the newly elected Councillors to be change agents that will transform governance at their local communities and deepen democratic practice with quality representation,‎ Aregbesola said, “you must therefore listen to your people and give them access. Your status has placed you in a position of leadership, but not in a position of supremacy and tyranny over the people”. ‎

In his remarks, the Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon‎ Najeem Folasayo Salam, said the adoption of Parliamentary System was strictly in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said the House approved the Parliamentary System to run and govern the people at the grassroots having considered its numerous advantages to other forms and systems of government.

The speaker described the decision taken by the state to form the parliamentary as legal, constitutional and legitimate, saying it has no legal contradiction.

Salam expressed confidence in the fact that the Parliamentary system would strengthen democracy and democratic tenets and as well enthrone good governance at the local levels.