Osun Govt Dismisses Report Of Attack On NYSC Corps Members

  • Says Hoodlums, Not Students Attack School

Osun state government has explained that hoodlums and not students allegedly attacked the Osogbo High School where some members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were serving in 2017, saying that at no time did students of the school attack any NYSC member.

The government in a press statement signed by the Commissioner for Education, Mr Kola Omotunde-Young said, it has eliminated cultism in public schools, as he also stated that there was no official complaint or withdrawal of corps members from any school from the NYSC Directorate office before the report.

According to Omotunde-Young, the alleged attacked school was the old Osogbo High School with porous and broken down fence at its far end at the back.

Omotunde-Young stated that the school was besieged sometime in 2017 by hoodlums who found accommodation in some abandoned buildings around the premises adjoining the school at the rear.

He added that the government reported the presence and activities of the hoodlums to the State Security Service and Police who restored order through arrests, prosecution and surveillance since 2017.

The commissioner wondered why incident that happened almost a year ago, with no official complaint by NYSC that any corps members were ever endangered, could be a subject of complaint and media syndication in March 2018.

Omotunde-Young said the school has adequate number of full time teachers and N-Power volunteer teachers who have continued to do their work without hinderance or danger, stating that the school has not made request for NYSC Corps member neither as it been turned down.

He said the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is committed to promoting quality and functional education and the welfare of the corps members in the state.

The statement reads in part: “Osun has eliminated cult activities and hooliganism from its Elementary, Middle and High schools and have been greatly commended for these.

“Osun has been acknowledged and commended locally and by international agencies for its successes at undertaking substantial reform of the school system, with new world class school infrastructure, decentralisation of management through creation of Senatorial Districts headed by Tutor Generals/PSs’, and strict quality enforcement and re-orientation of students through the newly established Osun Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency.”

“The government of Rauf Aregbesola has delivered 9 world class High schools each with capacity to accommodate 3000 students and another 2 of these are to be delivered in two months. These schools are state-of-the-arts and provide secure environments for learning. In addition 25 world class Middle schools and 22 world class Elementary schools have been delivered.

“It has also carried out renovations on hundreds of schools, delivering more than 1,694 standard classrooms in the existing elementary, middle and high schools. More than 12,000 qualitative teachers have been employed by the Aregbesola administration to boost manpower in the school system.

“Osun is acknowledged as one of the safest states in the country due to the state government’s commitment to security of lives and property.

“The government will continue to support NYSC as it is doing in its more than 1000 schools and assures the NYSC and all cadets of the state government’s commitment to their best interest.”

Osun: Towards A Worthy Successor

By Semiu Okanlawon

Celebrated English playwright, William Shakespeare once declared, “All the world is a stage, and all men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many times.’’

This is truly apt of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, having been in the saddle for over seven years in Osun and having to relinquish power in line with the dictates of the law of the land come this November.

Osun shall be experiencing its governorship election this year. There are deluge of aspirants from the two major political parties and others. Of course, the signs are visible on the political landscape while the informed electorates are understudying the political climate with rapt focusedness.

It is not unusual for an incumbent governor in the Nigerian polity to be deeply involved in who next flies the flag of the ruling party and indeed, who takes the baton from him. By Nigeria’s political configuration, it would look odd for an incumbent to be indifferent on who takes over from him most especially where the labour of the ending tenure should not be allowed to go in ruins.

The need for democratic consolidation often drives the incumbent towards ensuring that a worthy successor takes over so that all the democratic dividends being enjoyed by the citizens are not frittered away by a clueless successor. Definitely, Osun is in need of a worthy political successor to Governor Aregbesola simply on the basis of the need to consolidate on the gains of the eight years that will be ending in November this year.

Beyond personal adventurism of  the aspirants, the incumbent Aregbesola is duty bound to ensure the continued survival of the giant developmental strides recorded by his administration, hence, the need to make input into the emergence process of the All Progressives Congress candidate in this forthcoming gubernatorial election. In the Yoruba proverbial saying, “if a mad man is allowed to bury his mother, he might probably have it roasted for dinner.”

Flowing from the above, Michael Braton’s postulation that “elections do not in and of themselves constitute a consolidated democracy, they remain fundamental not only for installing democratic governments, but as a requisite for broader democratic consolidation underscores the point being canvassed here.

Further flowing from the above is the fact that election is not restricted to one day ritual of voting and subsequent vote counting and result declaration. Rather, it includes an array of processes that includes but not limited to candidate nomination and registration with the electoral umpire.

It is trite that the Aregbesola era has introduced progressivism and dynamism to governance; a radical departure from the old order. It would therefore be in the interest of the well-being of the state that the political tendency whose modus operandi is nothing but progressivism need to succeed him, otherwise, there would be an unpardonable detour to the grim political failure which includes but not limited to corruption, ineptitude, social injustice and inequality captured in Achebe’s “The Trouble with Nigeria’’ engendered by failed leadership.

Lest we forget, the celebrated author, Achebe, hinted that “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership….there is nothing wrong with the Nigerian character, there is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything less”. Osun had its experience of this failure of leadership before the current revolution hit the ground running.

Undeniably, loyalty is a key factor in politics and by extension, governance. It is a moral component of any political relationship, hence loyalty is morality. The presence of loyalty among all strata of the political class will not only strengthen the polity but also guarantee the needed conducive atmosphere for consolidation of democratic dividends. No one in Osun would wish for the state, the type of ‘wars’ between successors and predecesors that have characterised some other political environments in Nigeria.

Given the steady progress being recorded, who needs such tense political atmosphere in Osun to throw spanners in the wheel of advancements? Thus loyalty to the ideals, tenets and principles of the current political tendency should be one of the most important considerations for Osun political succession. The sustainable development in Lagos State offers us a good illustration here. No one would deny the smooth sail of Lagos from what used to be a jumbled metropolitan settlement to a megacity where there is order, glamour and glitz. Lagos is prosperous today and looks even much more with greater potential.

No one also needs to be told as well that this has been due to an uninterrupted progressive political tendency and ideology that holds sway in the state since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.

Often times, commentators misconstrue loyalty to be a blind, dogmatic compliance and adherence to the rules of the game set by a political ‘benefactor’ or the incumbent who facilitates the emergence of his successor. This is wrong! Loyalty, to me, represents a religious adherence to that path created by an incumbent which has been benefitting the people and which, if followed, would achieve greater good for the people.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu expected loyalty from his successor. This was because he had created a path to be followed. That Babatunde Fashola followed that path made him another superstar in the administration of Lagos. That Akinwumi Ambode has followed that path as well has enriched Lagos. It is beginning to appear like other political parties have surrendered to the APC given the unprecedented infrastructure revolution the state is witnessing.

Already, the people of Osun dream of the picture of another 8 years with equal or much greater zeal, determination and clear vision as brought by Aregbesola.

The issue of disloyalty has been part of our political fabrics for so long. This is echoed in a lecture titled ‘’Mending a Socio-porous Nation before the Third Republic’’ delivered by Prof. B.I.C Ijomah on 4th April, 1986 wherein he asserted that “There is no morality. People swear by and lie by the Bible and Koran……the sacred has been profaned, the profane has been sanctified and immorality and corruption have been tagged the order of the day”. There is a need to sound a caveat that the loyalty of successor to predecessor being envisaged here is not the one that will turn democracy to kleptocracy typical of some emerging democracies in Africa.

Next which is of utmost importance is charisma. Ours is an African democracy wherein the head of the executive which is the governor or president as the case may be, occupies a central space in the scheme of things usually with an alluring character, doggedness, empathy, unblemished integrity, confidence, inspiration to others, commitment and passion, decision making capabilities, tact and diplomacy, astuteness and accountability.

Do you find these lacking in Ogbeni Aregbesola in Osun? No! It would therefore not be a sin for him to identify and support a candidate who best typifies those ideals and would set the thames on fire.

To Theodore Roosevelt, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing”. When the moment of decision comes, Aregbesola must do the right thing. He cannot afford to do nothing.

Ifelodun Area Council Commissions Executive Secretary’s Office

The Executive Secretary, Ifelodun Area Council, Honourable Yetunde Babawale has officially commissioned the newly-constructed Chairman’s office located in the premises of the council secretariat in Iba.

Hon. Babawale used the opportunity to thank the citizens of the Area Council for the confidence they have in her and her team to represent them by casting their votes for them during the last local government election.

She also commended the workers of the Area Council for the support given to her and her cabinet since the inception of the administration.

The Executive Secretary then assured the people of Iba and Obaagun of rapid development in terms of social amenities and distribution of dividends of democracy to the nook and crannies of the two communities.

According to her, “our towns will begin to wear a new look in terms of social amenities and other things that would  bring about rapid development to our social lives”.

Replying on behalf of the workforce, the Council Manager, Pharmacist Olatunde Oluleti appreciated God for the successful completion of the project.

He stated that the issue of the building was raised on the floor of the Osun State House of Assembly, when he and the former Executive Secretary, Princess Fausat Jimoh went for the budget defence where they were mandated by the House to construct an office for the Executive Secretary.

He explained further that the commissioning of the project was an evidence that the workers in Ifelodun Area Council are very vibrant and well-trained, as the office block was constructed by the Works Department.

Meanwhile, Pastor P.S. Alimi, while delivering his sermon stated that people should leave in peace and allow the spirit of love to reign, so as to bring about co-operation among the leaders in the council area.

He explained further that when there is mutual understanding among the people, there would be rapid development in the local government.

The clergy therefore advised the members of the cabinet to do everything in accordance to the directives of the most High God.

Other dignitaries at the event were: Honourable Paul Ogundeji, Pastors Adeoye and Adedokun, all Heads of Departments and members of staff of Ifelodun Area Council, Iba.

 

Of Intellectual Property And Osun Votes

By Isaac olusesi

In Nigeria, nothing in the State of Osun could go for intellectual property under any of its governments. Nothing, absolutely nothing, even from the last government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that looked visibly moronic, withdrawn, at both the 1st and 2nd term inaugurations of its governor as though amidst praise singers’ flurry of drums and intoxicating legworks. The party, ever moribund, lacks manifest inventive, the cocoon of intellectual property that could have positioned Osun on the house top for distinctions.

However, in just one year or so in office, from the cache of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Rauf Aregbesola, with a detest for governance as a tea party, came the iconic, rich cluster of intellectual property – State of Osun, Osun Anthem, Osun Pledge, Osun Flag, and Osun Crest, with Osun Motto. The five intellectual inventions depict a living thing that has continued to steer a desired mind-set in the Osun people, good governance and democracy, courage and sacrifice; and as aftermath, faith and hope in the growth and development of the state.

Intellectual property is a means of identification and communication. The Christian Knights from Western Europe who fought in a series of military campaigns in the medieval times, displayed coats of arms on the shields and flags that assisted their followers to recognise them in the battlefronts. And the royalty, nobility and clergy in the Feudal European society were also able to identify their processions and official documents by marking them with heraldic signs, symbols or emblems.

Similar heraldic bearings in the Osun intellectual property include seven cowries, the emblem of the seven grandsons of Olofin Oduduwa; and Ori-Olokun, symbolic of the common origin of Yoruba and dexterity in technology, have put, for instance the Osun Flag on the same pedestal of intellectual property as that of the United Kingdom (UK)’s Flag – the amalgam of the flags of England, Scotland and Ireland, respectively bearing the cross of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick and the United State of America (US)’s Uncle Sam, the Salute and Liberty, and George Washington, the US first president. Intellectual property includes, for instance, National Anthem, National Flag, National Pledge, and the Coat of Arms for Nigeria; Maple Leaf for Canada; John Bull for England; and the Fluer-de-lis for France.

The Osun intellectual property traced exclusively to Aregbesola, have practically provided Osun with a rallying point for its internal and external affairs; signaled a display of Osun virtues at home and abroad; protected Osun from misrepresentation, marking out Osun documents, communications and processes; identified Osun in national enterprises; re-positioned Osun significantly on national ranking; and garnered in the vary peoples of Osun, the consciousness of patriotism.

Good! The Osun intellectual property have received the much requisite legal teeth in the state parliament that has now made the inventions to be used, displayed, honoured and shielded from desecration. The legal protection is the heart beat of the state intellectual property, protecting them from unauthorised use. The infringer could be liable for actual damage(s) specified by the law. Unintentional infringement is also said to be illegal but could be treated less harshly by the court than intentional infringement. The primary legal question to be addressed in a court of law would be whether the infringer’s use has confused or misled the public mind.

Electorally, the Osun intellectual property triumphed for both the emergence of Aregbesola as governor and course of liberty of votes cast by Osun peoples that quitted PDP’s near 8years of open misrule in the state. The invention of the State of Osun, Osun Anthem, Osun Pledge, Osun Flag, and Osun Crest, with Osun Motto, is symbolic of Osun peoples’ revolution and Osun vote–conquest of mis-governance of the state under PDP. Where then is the irascibility of the opponents of the Osun intellectual property? The incipient indignations of the hit-and-run PDP over the five intellectual inventions are particularly irksome.  The grimace of the never-do-well PDP in society and politics at the very highly commendable intellectual inventions in the course of the years of APC in Osun government, is ironically, the PDP self-indictment because not even one innovation or invention ever came from PDP while the party held sway in the state government house.

Instead, all that came from the PDP government in Osun were shoddiness, rottenness, rustiness, decay, resentment, hate, incompetence, corruption, irresponsibility, recklessness, mediocrity and such other weird, arbitrary symptoms of bad governance. Meaning that, the opposition PDP and its co-travellers in the Osun electoral firmament do not deserve a vote of Osun people, come the September 22 gubernatorial election in the state. Not even any other party in the PDP garb and grab should get Osun votes.

Alas and alack, critics in PDP have continually grizzled over Osun intellectual property in manner that the incurable mockers within the PDP are better neck – chained to a sangoma home to be treated for monomania by a dutiful inyanga, a person who treats people who are ill, using natural materials such as plants. Ironically, the opposition PDP in the state have always worked self, albeit irrationally off-times into frenzies over the heroics of Aregbesola in the art and science of governance and administration of Osun, the heroics that daily open a new vista in intellectual governance in the state.

In the Osun history, Aregbesola remains a long distance runner in intellectual property and other development politics, policies and projects, a study in intelligence and industry of the man, called Aregbesola, invulnerable to knock-backs from opposition elements in the state. Honestly, it will be momentous, historic should the state government after Aregbesola proclaim Osun Intellectual Property Day, an annual event to feature corresponding intellectual discourse on the five inventions: their origin, meaning and potency. Many nations and constituents of nations, the world over celebrate their intellectual property. In the State of Osun, the Intellectual Property Day ought to be celebrated annually, to mark the hot vote-chase the peoples of Osun gave the PDP rudderless government that eventually heralded the emergence of the Aregbesola’s government.

A celebration of the re-development of Osun, making the election of whoever emerges as the APC candidate for the 2018 Osun governorship a sine quanon for further development of the state.

Osun Development Plan: Setting The Path For A Prosperous Future

Since the creation of the State of Osun in 1991, no effective strategic development plan has been drawn for the state, hence, there is need for one. Coming from this background, the government of Governor Rauf Aregbesola has put a machinery in motion to set the path for a prosperous future of the state drawing a ten-year development plan. SHINA ABUBAKAR writes on the steps taken so far in this regard.

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.

During the struggle for the creation of the State of Osun, the founding fathers had a specific goal in mind, the type of state they want and the mechanism to drive its development. However, since its creation, the state has gone through different phases of development, but hardly had the people sit together in the over two decades of its existence to think and design a new direction of development in line with new global realities.

The new global finance partnership system also request a new development plan to foster the achievement of developmental vision to bring a greater portion of the population out of poverty. Hence, the need for collaboration among all the stakeholders in the state to brainstorm and design a path for the future beyond their generation. To this end, the Ministry of Economic Planning, Budget and Development, this year January, brought together people from different strata of the society, at Iloko Resort to fashion a way towards a prosperous future for the state.

Though the outcome of the gathering is still at a stage where it would be converted into a document that would be available for all and sundry to be the watchword in the quest to make the state an enviable one among the comity of states across the federation.

Unlike in the previous time when developmental plan were handled by government alone or sometimes individuals, thereby the people who are the focus of such document are ostracised in the process which eventually render it redundant, in the case in focus, the people are the fulcrum of the plan, as its content is a product of argument among the stakeholders, while the final stage is being handled by technocrats who will eventually be at the helm of implementation.

Stakeholders

Those saddled with the responsibility of drafting a developmental plan for the state include civil society organizations, the Non-Governmental Organisations, Market men and women association, members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party, National Conscience Party, Accord Party, All Ministry and Parastatals of Government, Traditional Rulers Council of the state, members of the private sector in the state, the media groups. The reason behind such a large and wide participation is to ensure that the process that produced the document is not only encompassing but also society-driven and acceptable to everyone irrespective of their political or religious ideology.

State Development Plan (SDP)

The stakeholders at the January gathering brainstormed on what they believe is the most appropriate developmental plan for the state to pursue in the next ten years, that is from 2018 to 2028; their discussions centres around developing Mission & Vision for the state for the period under review, this includes; to set the overall direction of the plan; provide the policy context; draw core values that guide staff behaviours and interactions with stakeholders.

The gathering also identified the SDP pillars, which includes the constituent sectors and strategic issues identification; the pillars provide more specific direction; and the constituent sectors indicate the sectors responsible for delivering each SDP pillar. These strategic issues facilitate goals and strategies for development.

Also, the gathering rubbed minds over the state’s goals, which will provide specific direction concerning the desired results and outcomes which the society would derive from achieving such goals. Besides, it also derived strategies on how the goals will be achieved and these strategies are at the high-level in the SDP because the detailed strategies will be in the MTSS.

Apart from identifying the needful plans for the development of the state for the proposed period, the SDP is also to fashion a means of financing the process, priorities projects and funds, as well as ensuring the implementation of the identified plans. The meeting ruminates on how to find resources to execute the plan like; How much will come from the State Government? What level of resources from non-government quarters (private sector, development partners, etc.)? What strategy should be employed to attract the needed resources (e.g. IGR development, tax reform, private sector incentives, etc.)?

From the foregoing, it is lucid that the 10-year development plan of the state is not just a view, but a systematic plan drawn to outlive individuals and to be championed by the institutions of government. This gave birth to the Medium Term Sector Strategy.

The Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS)

MTSS represents a process through which strategic policy priorities are determined and aligned with resource allocation, within the context of forecast information on the State’s macro-economic and financial outlook. It represents medium-term expenditure estimates that are linked to clearly define sector objectives that are derived from the overall state’s goals.

It is aimed at allocating resources towards strategic State goals and programmes within the constraints implied by the overall fiscal targets over a three year period. The concept involves an application of activities of budgeting, with a view to improving strategic prioritisation and the efficiency of public expenditures.

MTSS ensures a link between government expenditures and State goals and programmes articulated in the State Development Plan (SDP).

Since the Osun SDP is currently under preparation and upon completion it will contain broad goals, outcomes and targets, it will be almost impossible to implement the SDP without Medium Term Sectors’ Strategies (MTSS’S), hence, the need to embark on MTSS’S development. The MTSS document is authored by the career officers who manned government institutions and would ensure the success of the SDP.

Why the MTSS

The Ministry, Department and Agencies of government were put into twelve sectors referred to as the MTSS, and these will identify projects, plan and prioritise same for execution. All the agencies of government is represented because it is the macro-unit through which service delivery is to be achieved

The MTSS is the actualisation of the agreed high level policies of government as encapsulated by various policy documents such as SDGs, NEPARD, ERGP, SODP, and relevant sector documents.

MDA’s MTSS must also be aligned with any other policy-work that the sector has engaged in previously, in other words, the MTSS process must increase rather than reduce focus in Government planning.

The MTSS is to review high level policy with focus on rejigging it to fit into present realities, to this end, the MTSS would review: relevant elements of the SDGs (i.e. goals and targets that concern each Sector), relevant sections of NEPAD, ERGP, SODP as it affects the MDAs, as well as sector’s situation analysis.

Part of the MTSS focus is the policy documents that are specific to each sector; e.g. gazette specifying the mandates, strategy document, documented functions, etc. (Other long-term strategies developed with partners agencies). It would also review function and Staffing Reviews, providing insight into; staffing requirements of each sector, functions that may no longer be required, new functions to be created and mergers of existing functions.

The review by the SPT is to focus on Sector overviews, which includes the challenges and constraints to the sector and specifically, to each sector (sector statistics will be valuable), mandates, mission, vision and core values of each Sector, policy thrusts (set goals, objectives, programmes, outcomes, and targets to be achieved) and projects to be executed for achieving the objectives, programmes, outcomes and targets.

It would also look at high level functions of the Sector (any duplications, any one to outsource, any one to drop, any new functions to introduce and why?), organisational structure of the Sector (is it appropriate for delivering the mission and vision, mandates, goals, programmes, outcomes and statutory functions of each Sector?), as well as manning levels of the sector whether it is adequate in terms of number, quality, age composition and gender composition?

The SPT that authored the MTSS is part of the core element of the SDP, which is very germane to the achievement of the long term goal of the SDP without jeopardising its core policies. The concept is very significant because it provides a three to five years pathway to achieving the SDP and would provide a mid-term result on the success or failure of the SDP. The MTSS is very relevant because it provide a linkage between the SDP, budget and policy implementation. It is the fulcrum upon which the success or otherwise of the SDP relied upon, hence, the SPT and other stakeholders are exposed to regular and constant capacity building so that the civil servant do not only feel a sense of belonging but would possess a sense of ownership of the process.

How is the State Benefitting

With the birth of the SDP and its component, the state is easier to govern for any administration irrespective of party affiliation because there would have been a definite pathway to the development of the state. Since there is a clear stated “Mission and Vision”. The state would have a path it is heading within a specific time frame. Besides, the SDP provides a templates for institutional reforms and provision of strong institutions that would not outlive individuals, but also drive the state developmental goals.

According to the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development, Dr. Yinusa Olalekan, “the bigger benefit for the state is not just the ability to draft and have a document on SDP, but the fact that the process is home driven, that it is a product of our thinking, which invariably means the state stakeholders have the capacity to review and projects its own future development without external force”.

He stressed further that the SDP developing process has helped in empowering the state technocrat, in the area of envisioning for the state, because it is a process and when the present administration wind down in November, the public service in conjunction with any incoming government would continue to drive the affairs with ease.

The SDP project, according to the Commissioner, is not about a particular individual, it is more about building strong and virile institution that would outlive individuals, administrations and even political parties, which explained the emphasis the ministry placed on assembling every stakeholder across political divides to be part of the process that produced the document because government is of the view that the process that produced the document is as important as the document itself.

“The document is designed in such a way that is dynamic so that it can accommodate changes in line with realities of the time the state may be at a point in time. This allows for innovation on the part of implementers or even the head of the government of the day, who might think of doing a particular thing in a different way to achieve set goals in the SDP.

“It also provides for all sector participation in term of implementation, monitoring and funding of projects and the SDP also takes care of inter agency rivalry and gives way for effective policy thrust and implementation”, Yinusa stressed.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bovas, Osun Govt Partnership A Good News

Late last week, there was an information that the government of Osun is partnering with the Bovas Petroleum Company, an independent oil marketer towards ensuring supply and distribution of enough fuel to the state to ease the suffering of the people during and after its scarcity. This is no doubt a good news.

This is so not because fuel would be made available for the sake of it, but because a company that has been known for its integrity and concern for the people is being partnered.

For the record, during one of the hardest period of fuel scarcity, Bovas is a fuel station that would not sell above the control price and this is to the public knowledge. It is a fuel station that everyone would want to buy from.

Beside this, the role that this company has been playing in community service cannot be overemphasised.

For instance, people living around Agunbelewo/Okinni/Erin/Ifon would always be grateful to the leadership of the company for the constant grading of the portion of the road which has become an eyesore.

Though, it is a Federal road, but occasionally, this company has been helping to see that people move freely.

As little as that gesture may be, the fact that the management of the company shows concern to the plight of the people is a plus and needs to be commended by all and sundry.

Therefore, I see partnership between the company and the Osun government as a good thing for the people of the State.

It is my prayer that the partnership would become a reality, fruitful and beneficial to the people of the State.

Osun Leads In FDA Partnership Projects Execution

The Country Director of the French Development Agency, Mr Olivier Delefosse has revealed that Osun is the leading state in Nigeria among the five states the agency partnered with on socio-economic and infrastructure development in the country.

Delefosse said Osun has performed creditably well and that the state has met the agency’s expectation on the rural road construction scheme tagged; Osun Rural Access Mobility Project, O’RAMP which the agency partnered the state on.

The French Envoy gave Osun the pass-mark  when he and his team paid a courtesy call on Governor Rauf Aregbesola in his office, at the State Government Secretariat.

Delefosse said his visit to Osun has exposed him to the high level of commitment displayed by the present administration led by Aregbesola has made to turn Osun to a centre of infrastructure development in Nigeria, particularly in the Southwest region.

The French envoy who had earlier toured the already completed projects commended the Osun government for abiding by the dictates of the partnership.

He said Osun has demonstrated high sense of commitment to human and capital development as being reflected in the achievements made by the state in various sectors, especially infrastructure.

Delefosse expressed the agency’s determination and readiness to further partner Osun on different life-changing programmes, noting that Osun has really made the agency proud in the partnership it entered with her.

“The goal of this visit to Osun is to seek further partnership between the state and the French Development Agency because sincerely we are proud of your optimum delivery on the partnered projects we have had with you.

“We are also delighted in the fact that you don’t joke with the payment of your counterpart funds whenever it is needed and this has made the projects meant for Osun to have seamless implementation.

“We are very proud because we have seen a lot on ground, we have gone round to inspect the first phase of the RAMP that covered 225km roads already completed across the rural areas in this state and I must tell you frankly that your team has delivered.

”I know that RAMP is a project taking place in about five states in Nigeria and I must say that out of those states I have visited, Osun takes the lead in terms of timely execution and quality project delivery”, Delefosse stated.

The French envoy who commended the resilient spirit of Governor Aregbesola to deliver the dividends of democracy to his people despite the financial challenges most state governments are facing in the country, said Osun has witnessed geometric progression under Aregbesola’s watch.

He attributed sincerity of purpose in governance as sine qua non to engender all round growth and development, stressing that the success of any government lies in its ability to deliver on the people’s expectations.

He added, “ I have seen in the Governor the sincere spirit to good governance as this has been exhibited in the myriads of developmental projects the state had witnessed so far.

”It is worthy of mention that despite your meager budget you are still able to deliver, I am happy to know that projects are delivered despite lack of funds, this is commendable.

“This can only be made possible by a leader who truly has the love of his people at heart as this has made me to explore with the state new opportunities our agency want to develop that would bring more productive and beneficial relationship.

”We are involved in power generation and transmission and we will like to partner with the state in this regard just as we are also interested in urban development and in the area of solid waste.

”The AFD is also interested in developing small farmers and farming through irrigation as well as helping small and medium enterprises SMEs to grow, we are ready to partner with you in these areas because we have seen in you the sincerity to give your people a good life”.

In his remarks, Governor Aregbesola commended the agency for entrusting the state to accomplish her dreams with the success it made on the bilateral relationship.

Aregbesola enumerated some of the successes his administration had made on various sectors particularly infrastructure, describing the state/ AFD’s partnership as most beneficial and rewarding in the history of the state.

 

Teenage Pregnancies Among Female Students In Osun By Sodiq Yusuf

Pregnancy is something of joy especially when it comes when an adult woman who is just married. In the predominant African culture, it is the next in line after a young lady leaves his father’s house to form a new family with another man.

As beautiful and wonderful the experience of getting pregnant is in our society mostly when the carrier of the baby has spent so much years in marriage without the fruit of the womb; there is now the ugly trend that cuts across the nooks and crannies of the society.

With the world putting its varying occurrences to about 500,000 every year; Teenage pregnancy is a trend and abnormality that has found its way into the fabrics of the Nigerian society. The abnormality is now threading like a burning wildfire across the country especially in the South.

The trend is that schoolgirls of between 13 to 19 years of age are now found pregnant. It is actually predominant in the urban centres now. These girls are everywhere.

For the past few weeks, I have noticed in my neighbourhood of young girls that are below 20 getting pregnant. Such girls are the ones you see very early in the morning in the remote areas or new sites even possibly on the roads fetching water or doing other menial jobs to survive.

While some get the courage to carry these pregnancies from mostly irresponsible husbands or fuckboys, some hide it while some go for the last resort; abortion. With abortion taking its toll on the lives of young girls as many find it pretty difficult to have children later, many of them find it hard to feed those innocent children.

As unplanned parenting continues to have a strong effect on the behaviour, condition and future of the child, teenage pregnancies among young females of school age also hinders a greater number of them from progressing later in life.

In Osun, there is the prevalence of pregnancies in teenage girls. A survey as reported in the State Executive Council meeting brief of March 1, 2018 revealed that the situation is now worrisome in the state. According to the brief, the situation is alarming and needs to be checked.

With that, the state government according to the Chairman, Osun Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency, Dr Isiaka Owoade is putting together an inter-Ministerial committee of Health, Women and Children and Education together to sensitize the Youths especially girls the more on sex education.

As government prepares to swing into action, stakeholders most importantly parents should also wade-in, they should always give their children sex education right from childhood to adolescence and teenage life before they become full-fledged adults. Even some young adults need to be re-orientated.

Aside the fact that Teenage Pregnancies has a tendency of ending the career of those involved, it also wreaks havoc and brings to the fore tendencies that has  to do with a failed society.

Everyone Needs To Play His/Her Part!!!

Breaking: Mob Raze Car As Driver Kills Pupil In Osun

Tragedy struck in Osogbo, capital of the State of Osun on Monday evening when a driver crushed to death, a pupil of a middle school in the town.

According to reports, the irate mob swung into action when the yet to be identified driver hit the boy named Azeez Samad as a result of a break failure which sent the young boy to his untimely grave.

The incident that occurred in front of Ayegbaju International Market situated along the Old Governors office in the metropolis attracted the presence of members of the public who rushed to the scene.

The driver of the vehicle burnt to ashes and his wife alongside his child were said to have been taken to an undisclosed hospital.

They were rescued before the infuriated members of the public and angry passers by took law in their hands.

The Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, Mrs. Folasade Odoro has since  confirmed the incident.

Odoro said a team of police men had been swiftly dispatched to restore sanity to the area.

 

Delegates’ List Manipulation Stalls Osun PDP Congress

  • Sharafa Ishola Connection Meets Brickwall

By Kehinde Ayantunji

The crisis rocking Osun chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new dimension, as the party could not proceed with the local government and state congresses in the state to elect the new executives due to the allegations of delegates, list manipulation, OSUN DEFENDER authoritatively gathered. 

PDP echelons in Senator Iyiola Omisore and Hon. Soji Adagunodo camps have shifted the battle to the national Secretariat of the party in the struggle for the leadership of the party ahead of the September Gubernatorial election in the state.

OSUN DEFENDER during the week learnt that the Adagunodo-led faction rejected the list from the national secretariat over alleged manipulation of delegates’ list that emerged from the last inconclusive ward congress of the party in the state.

The faction alleged the former Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Sharafadeen Ishola, a former Minister for Mines and Steel, who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, of manipulating the list in favour of Dr Bayo Faforijin faction, where Omisore belongs.

A source from the national secretariat of the party told our correspondent that the status of the delegates’ list has stalled further action on the congress and make the reconcilliation efforts to be a deadlock.

The source who pleaded anonymity said, “I can confirm that the national Party Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus met with the leadership of the two factions last week, but there are three main contending issues, first was the withdrawal of the court case instituted by Adagunodo-led faction to validate their leadership which has been done with a demand that the authentic delegates’ list produced through the last congress must be accepted for the local government and state congresses.

“This demand was accepted by the party leadership, but it was discovered later that the list has been doctored by Sharafa Ishola caretaker committee in favour of Senator Omisore/ Faforijin camp and this has in turn triggered another crisis.

“Another contending issue is the conduct of ward congress in the remaining 98 wards that were disrupted during the last ward congress. Adagunodo faction is insisting that the congress must be concluded but Omisore /Faforijin faction is insisting that the list submitted by Sharafa Ishola, the ex-caretaker committee head should be adopted.”

Meanwhile, a party leader from the state who was also part of the meeting confirmed to OSUN DEFENDER that the party national leadership has written the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce the Certify True Copy (CTC) of the delegates’ list obtained during the last congress as a neutral agency.

However, it is not certain whether Omisore camp will accept the list from INEC or not, as they are still insisting that the list submitted to the party by the former caretaker chairman should be adopted for the congresses.

As at the time of filing this report, it could not be confirmed if the INEC headquarters has released the list to the party.

It would be recalled that following the reconcilliatory moves made by the national leadership of the party, led by Secondus, the Adagunodo faction last Wednesday withdrew a suit seeking enforcement of judgement against the party.

The litigation before the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo was instituted against the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee last year with intent to validate the congress of the elected executives of the party under Hon. Adagunodo.

Holding brief for the plaintiffs, Chief Nathaniel Oke (SAN), who confirmed the withdrawal of the case while addressing the court said, “the case was filed during the tenure of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee with intent to validate the congress of the elected executives of the party under Adagunodo.

Pastor Allegedly Rapes Church Member’s Daughter In Ile Ife

By Sodiq Lawal

A Nigerian pastor has landed in serious trouble after he was dragged to court for allegedly having carnal knowledge of a 16-year-old girl.

The Pastor at Chosen Family Ministry, Fayegbami,  Ile-ife,  Mr Tosin Odeyemi was allegedly assaulted the little girl, Jolayemi Babalola,  by inserting his fingers in her private part severally around March 2017, and went further to forcefully have sex with her.

The pastor was said to have warned  the lad not to  reveal what transpired between them to anyone,  threatening that she would die if she does.

According to the mother of the victim, Mrs Elizabeth Babalola, who until late last year was a worker in the church, the alleged rape  experience made the young girl to severely suffer psychological trauma, as she became moody and ostracised.

“The pastor did what he did to my daughter knowing fully well that I don’t have anybody,  he believed he could oppress me with impunity.

“I did not discover the heinous act on time despite her sudden change in behaviour immediately the incident happened,  she became moody and started acting very strange.

“I thought  she will change when she got admission,  but that  did not happen until I was called that she slumped and passed out on campus one fateful day.

“It was when she was revived that she opened up that the pastor sexually abused her and threatened that she would die if anybody hears about it.

“This is indeed strange and unbecoming of a man who claimed to be a servant of God, I believe my daughter will get justice “, she said.

It was gathered that the case was brought to Magistrates’ court at Ile-ife on Wednesday, February 28,2018 for mention.

The State Counsel,  Mr Muyiwa Ogunleye said the accused was standing trial for a one-count charge of sexual assault, as the accused pleaded not guilty.

The defense counsel however reminded the court of a bail earlier granted the accused on the sum of N200,000 and a surety.

The Magistrate, Mrs Adejumoke Adeyinka-Olowolagba thereafter adjoined the case till March 28,2018 for hearing.