Offa Robbery: Aregbesola Calls For Manhunt Of Perpetrators

By Ismaeel Uthman

Following the armed robbery attack that claimed many lives in Offa, Kwara State, the Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the incident as the worst in the history of the ancient town.

Aregbesola called on security agencies at various levels to beam their searchlights into the incident and launch thorough investigation to unravel the perpetrators.

He made the call at the weekend during a condolence visit to the Oloffa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Oloyede, at his palace, in Offa.

The governor described the attack as barbaric in the modern society, saying no effort must be spared to unravel the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

”According to him, what happened last week was very unfortunate, barbaric, saddening and uncalled for,  it was like what happened about 132 years ago in this town.

“I deemed it fit to be here in my capacity not only as a Governor but as a brother, friend and in-law to the people of Offa and Kwara State in general.

“It is on record that our people in Osun have had robust relationship and affection with the people of Offa, prompting us to be here in large number.

“I came here with members of my cabinet to sympathise with the good people of Offa and Kwara State, particularly the family of those that lost their lives to the unfortunate incident.

“The incident has once again challenged us on the need to tighten internal security and I am very sure that the perpetrators would not go unpunished.

“As Muslims, we believe that the incident was a God’s will and those that lost their lives have been destined to experience such as we pray God to grant the souls of the departed the best place in paradise and give their family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”, Aregbesola added.

The Governor who had earlier observed Jumat Service with Oba Muftau Gbadamosi at Offa Central Mosque, called on the people of the town to remain calm and go on their normal businesses as efforts are in top gear to forestall similar future occurrences.

He said the matter has been taken up by the appropriate security agencies, affirming that the perpetrators will soon be exposed and brought to justice in due course.

Aregbesola visited the attacked Police Divisional Headquarters, where he consoled the officers and men of Nigeria Police Force on the duty on the loss of their colleagues to the incident.

In his remarks, the Olofa of Offa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi attributed the incident to God’s will.

Olofa noted that the family of the victims and the entire people of the town have taken consolation in God, noting that the ancient town is vastly religious.

The traditional ruler said: “What happened to us last week is considered as God’s will, that is why my subjects have been going on with their normal businesses.

“We are consoled by the fact that this incident will mark the beginning of success and blessing to us as we have been hearing good news from government at various levels to support the town in strengthening the security.

“Investigation is ongoing and we are rest assured that the bandits will be brought to justice in no distance time.”

 

Aregbesola Charges NUJ On Quackery

By Shina Abubabakar

Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has admonished the leadership of media to evolve measures and means of quality control and cultivate the habit of weeding out unprofessionals and unprofessional conduct from the media profession.

He said it was the appropriate time for the leadership of the media profession to do what is needful for growth and development of democracy.

The governor made the remarks while declaring open the ‘2018 Press Week’ of the Osun Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Osogbo.

Aregbesola who was represented by Mr. Yomi Obaditan, his Senior Special Adviser (SSA) on Media, said there had been many unsavoury developments in the media sector.

He said extortion, blackmail, rumour mongering and falsehood promotion by unprofessional and rogue who present themselves as journalists were taking prominence in the media profession.

He said the practice of hearsay, innuendoes, insinuations and un-investigated claims being published and reported under the guise of ‘allegedly’ is unprofessional and has brought more harm to reputations, the professionalism and integrity of media organisations and journalists.

He said journalists and media practitioners round the globe are vibrant opinion-molders and change-agents, who raise the consciousness of the people to issues of their welfare, development and security.

He said if the society would survive and overcome its challenges, the media must play a leading role and therefore every media claim or report must be thoroughly investigated and only the truth should always be published.

Lekan Alabi, Chairman of the occasion and Cultural Ambassador of the National Museum, Ile-Ife, said that media practitioners deserve to be part of budget planning and not implementation alone.

Alabi, who is also the Agba Akin Olubadan of Ibadan land said that the roles of the media should not be on budget implementation but must also be involved implanting of the financial estimates.

Alabi said several opportunities are open to journalists and that they ought to make inputs into budget planning at the local, state and federal levels.

He said media practitioners must however learn the rudiments of accounting and auditing.

He said the essential tools for journalists to make good impact or contributions to national development are to be qualified, creative and stable men and women behind pens, computers, microphones and the cameras.

Mr Biodun Olalere, the state Chairman of NUJ in his own remarks welcomed the guests to the programme, and stated the importance of journalists’ involvement in budget implementation.

Olalere said it is important for journalists to hold the government accountable for budgets presented and their implementations as well as also investigating how such budgets are expended.

 

Osun Govt Releases Another N1.8bn Bond For Pensioners On CPS

By Ismaeel Uthman

The state Government of Osun has released a sum of N1.8bn bond to retired workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state.

No fewer than 210 civil servants received their bond certificates on Tuesday at the state Secretariat, Abere.

A press release from the Office of the Head of Service, Dr Olowogboyega Oyebade, explained that 171 retired officers and 39 retired workers from the local government would received their bond certificates totaling N1.6bn and N200m respectively.

According to the release, the money has already been deposited with the Central Bank and the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) for immediate payment.

Similarly, the government has also released part payment of gratuities to 720 retired public servants under the old scheme.

It would be recalled that the state government had few weeks ago released a sum of N40 million for fresh set of 400 pensioners in the state.

The sum was meant for the payment of pension of 148 retired secondary school teachers, 250 retired civil servants and 2 retired parastatals workers.

Out of the money, a sum of N25m, N14.8m and N200, 000 were to be paid to the retired civil servants, teachers and parastatals workers respectively.

The beneficiaries of the money are the 3rd batch pensioners.

We Borrowed To Tackle Infrastructure Deficit, Poverty – Aregbesola

The Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday said that he resorted to borrowing for developmental projects due to the terrible infrastructure deficit and level of poverty he met when he assumed office in 2010.

According to him, borrowing to finance projects in the state was a child of necessity for the development of the state, recalling that there was huge dearth of infrastructure in the state before his emergence as the governor.

Aregbesola stated this in his address during the commissioning of Primary Healthcare Centre executed through the Sustainable Development Goals in Ijebu-Ijesa, Oriade Local Government Area of the state.

The governor noted that his government would not have borrowed, had the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which ruled the state for seven and half years, done the needful by providing required infrastructure development which his government later championed.

He lamented what he described as poor management of the state’s resources by the then wasteful PDP-led government, stating that the state would not have become noticeable among its peers had his administration failed to do the needful to stimulate her economy.

Aregbesola maintained that his administration has been very prudent in the management of the state resources, adding that his financial prudence assisted him to successfully scale through the toughest economic period that tormented the whole nation.

The governor said: “Our administration did not go for borrowing for any other thing than to rescue the state and her people from poverty they were plunged to when we assumed office.

“On assumption of office in 2010, coupled with the status of the state’s treasury, propelled us to go for borrowing to bring to our people the required infrastructural facilities which they had suffered from in the previous administration.

“Today, Osun would not have become a cynosure of all eyes as it is, if we did not take the bold steps we took to stimulate her economy through financial re-engineering.

“Our state can boast of so many developmental projects across sectors which were not in place prior to our emergence.”

Speaking on the successes his administration has recorded through the partnership with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Aregbesola said the scheme had helped to complement the good governance which his administration has exhibited in the state.

Aregbesola said his administration has never failed in contributing its counterpart fund of 50% in each of the projects executed through the partnership.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu stated that the commissioning was part of government efforts at achieving essentially the 3rd goal of sustainable development which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.

Isamotu stressed that most other goals of the Sustainable Development have their relationship with health directly or indirectly.

In his address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr Folawiyo Olajoku, said the agency has discharged its responsibilities to the fullest in all aspects of the economy particularly on education and the health sectors.

Olajoku disclosed that the state SDGs has procured and distributed freely over N3million worth of drugs to the people of the state, saying, “We have recruited over 400 healthcare officers, procured 50 ambulances and as well constructed and renovated over 47 classrooms across elementary and middle schools in the state”.

Truth Of The Matter with AYEKOOTO: A Unique Monument In Appreciation

Perhaps, never in the history of this country has any government ever thought of recognising the essence of workers to the extent of naming a monument to honour them.

This is exactly what happened in the first week of March, 2018, in Osogbo, capital city of Osun, when one of the major roads in the state, newly reconstructed to modern taste, was commissioned and christened Workers’ Drive.

The dual-carriage way, a 2.80km stretch, Olaiya to Itaolokan, constructed by the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is a masterpiece by all standards in aesthetics, quality and durability. It is estimated by experts to have a lifespan of fifty years at the minimum.

Why a Workers Drive? The relationship between Osun governments and its workers has a chequered history behind it. And one may not be wrong to suggest that it was anything but cordial, at least in this forth republic. But all these have, thankfully, been consigned to the dustbin of history because of the atmosphere of understanding that now exists in the relationship.

Going down memory lane, the government of Chief Bisi Akande, had its nose bloodied as a result of its flexing of muscles with workers, due to widespread downsizing, an option which the then opposition feasted upon to ride to power, costing the man his second shot into the government house.  It was a battle-royale for the Progressives, represented by the Ogbeni, to return to power in 2010. All things looked so good from 2010 between workers and government until the unfortunate financial conundrum began to rear its head sometimes in 2013, which also threatened the 2014 reelection bid of Ogbeni with the conspicuous connivance of the powers in Abuja, logistically and monetarily. 2015 was a defining moment as government didn’t have the ability to pay even a dime to the workers. Organised labour in Osun was adamant in demanding for workers’ right to be paid their wages. It was indeed a very trying period for the governor.

The opposition, known for waiting to latch on to such opportunity, quickly pitched its tent on the side of the workers, even without caring to appreciate the cause of such unfortunate financial situation. Expectedly, issue of salary payment became a political tool in the hands of opposition. But a section of workers and pensioners as well as the grassroots citizenry, women leaders, students and trade unions showed understanding and did everything in their capacity to campaign for and return the government back to power in 2014. The dire financial situation continued into 2015 but thanks to the financial ingenuity of the governor and his team as well as the active support of organised labour led by Comrade Jacob Adekomi and his team as well as veteran labour leader Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, (who agreed, despite all odds, to chair a committee on monthly revenue allocation). This committee acts the go-between the workers and government during the long trying time, and even till present moment. The impeccable integrity of Comrade Sunmonu played and is playing no small role in reducing the tension.

In all, this special kudos is reserved for the workers in their entirety and their leaders, led by Comrade Adekomi, who found themselves in dilemma of identifying with the workers whom they represent and protect as well as sympathy for a government which they know is truly handicapped. Distant observers will think Comrade Adekomi is antagonistic to government cause, but this was denied by him. He exuded happiness with this unique gesture of government such that he even rode in same vehicle to and from the venue with Ogbeni.

In a chat, Comrade Adekomi reiterated workers’ support for the government because, according to him, “no governor has named any monument in the name of workers; and despite all the challenges, the governor has not retrenched any worker. The governor will be remembered as he who came at the period of serious challenges and was able to face it and surmount it.”

This Workers Drive naming is very symbolic. It is a symbol of appreciation for the teeming workers who have endured despite overpowering challenges over-hyped by the Osun opposition. So, it is an epoch making bid to show appreciation for workers’ understanding, support and sacrifice during the yet-to-be-over financial crisis orchestrated by the general national economic woes.

 

 

Aregbesola Tasks Council Officials On Grassroots Development

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged the newly elected councillors across the state to make the development of their constituents the watchword during their tenure of office.

Delivering an address titled: “A New Dawn In Democratic Representation, the Governor said his administration only acceded to the demand of Osun people through the memoranda of 2012, noting that there can not be an issue as to the acceptability of the parliamentary system of government at the local level by the people of the state.

He explained that the parliamentary system of government is far better than the executive because the latter has absolute powers vested in the hands of one individual which could make the leader in such circumstance to be an authoritarian leader.

Ogbeni Aregbesola who expressed delight at seeing a democratically elected government return to the local areas stated that the system of government by democratically elected people is well-established in the constitution of the country, leaving no room for ambiguity.

He said, “I don’t know why some people are malicious about what we have done because I know it is unfounded, the system of local government administration by democratically elected people is well-established in the constitution of Nigeria and so it is not ambiguous at all.

“And let me tell you that nowhere in the constitution of the country was it stated that we should use the executive or parliamentary system of government at the local level, our constitution remains neutral concerning it. The most important thing is that it must be democratic.

“We should all be happy about the parliamentary system of government because it is the best form of democratic government, it avoids a situation where an individual sees himself as the most powerful person.

“The parliamentary system does not allow for being an authoritarian leader because the executives are formed by the entire parliament, thereby making members of the parliament to be members of the executive.

“In the parliamentary system, visions are seen and arrived at together while the actions are also jointly taken, it is also more stable and less prone to corruption because everybody wants the progress of democracy in the system”, he said.

Ogbeni Aregbesola also used the occasion to admonish the elected parliamentarians to be steadfast, honest and have the love of the people who elected them into office at heart, saying, the beauty of democracy is to deliver its dividends to the electorates.

He urged them to see themselves as change agents while putting loyalty to their party and the interest of the people on the front burner. He also charged them to join the drive of the state government in sustainable revenue generation for the local government and state governments.

On environmental sanitation, the governor urged the councillors to see themselves as the chief sanitation officers of their various local government, stressing that they should work closely with waste management agencies to clean up the environment.

“I urge you to see yourselves as change agents in your local governments, you must listen to the people who elected you. Your first task is to ensure that the environment is clean throughout your local government, I give you three weeks to clean the waste in your area.

Addressing the gathering, the state APC Chairman, Prince Adegboyega Famodun also noted that the parliamentary system of government will bring government closer to the people and urged the parliamentarians to obey their party at all times.

He said they should always have it at the back of their mind that it is the party that drives the system, noting that the party is now in a crucial time as elections is around the corner.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the APC elders’ council in the state, Engr. Sola Akinwunmi commended the selfless manner Ogbeni Aregbesola has been running the affairs of the state in the past seven years.

He explained that he is particularly thrilled about the parliamentary system of government at the local level because it will create a lot of discipline among politicians and the electorates.

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.

Aregbesola Warns Nigerians Against War

The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has charged Nigerian leaders to promote peace and rise to the challenges in leading the African continent to achieve its manifest destiny.

He said Nigeria should be strong and provide leadership alongside South Africa and other leaders of the region to be able to develop the continent’s God-given riches for the development of the people therein and for Africa to be able to take her rightful top seat in the world.

Governor Aregbesola gave the charge while addressing the people shortly after he laid the wreath to commemorate 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day held at the entrance of the State House of Assembly.

The governor who titled his speech, “The Imperative of Peace for Productivity and Prosperity”, described war as deadly, destructive and bad business, noting that no effort must be spared by the African leaders to avoid war.

According to him, “ the long and short of all these is that war is a very bad business. It is costly, deadly and ruinous, even for a supposedly winner.

“It is worse for the loser. Indeed, all are loser in a war. The resources, human and material, used to prosecute wars could have been used for the development of the people. The lesson of history is that nations and people emerged from wars weakened, devastated, poor and vulnerable.

“The worst part is that though nations may decide to go to war or not easily, before the outbreak of hostilities, but it is more difficult and sometimes impossible to decide to stop, thus; we have prolonged and sometimes indeterminate war. This is the hard part.

“We see the devastations of war in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon Sudan, Myanmar (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 as the Pearl of the Middle East status to United Arab Emirates. The mutual antagonism and distrust that the Nigerian Civil War bred are still with us”, he added.

Aregbesola said it has become imperative for Nigerians to work assiduously for the peace of the nation by avoiding anything that could lead to war.

“We were fortunate the first time; we may not be that lucky again, if war should break out in Nigeria this time.

“Through carelessness, thoughtlessness, selfishness, wickedness and hate-mongering, we may unwittingly be pushing our nation towards another war.

“In the interest of the black race, Nigeria must not just exist, but it must be strong to be able to lead the continent to achieve its manifest destiny.

“The greatest riches of the continent are domiciled in the Great Lakes Region comprising of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of  Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

“Nigeria should be strong and provide leadership with South Africa and leaders of the region to be able to develop these riches for the development of the people of the continent and for Africa to be able to take her place in the world.

“Essential to achieving this is peace. If there is no peace, we cannot make any progress. If we should slide into war, we can only regress while the rest of the world will not only leave us behind, the gap between us will become widened and unbridgeable.

“We should therefore use the opportunity of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day to call for peace and avoidance of any act or utterance that might create tension and thus, lead to conflict. The best way to honour the memory of the dead is to prevent wars, so that their sacrifice will not be in vain”.

He described peace as foundation for productivity, hence the need for able body persons in the country to mobilise for work and as well discourage idleness and the quest for free money, which is no longer available.

“Each person must generate surplus value from work over his or her own needs, in order for our nation to be prosperous. Peace should therefore lead to productivity which should give us prosperity”, Aregbesola advocated.

Osun To Pay NYSC Members Allowance Arrears

The State Government of Osun has directed all relevant agencies in the state to begin ‎necessary processes and modalities for offsetting the arrears of the monthly stipend owe past and present members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who served (and are still serving) in Osun.

The government also directed tax collecting agencies in the state to use all means necessary to obtain cooperation of professional groups in paying their taxes and enforce all relevant laws on taxation.

The directive was contained in a statement issued and made available to journalists in Osogbo, by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure, after the end of the weekly ‎State Executive Council meeting, held at Executive Council Chamber, Governors Office, Osogbo.

The Council frowned at the way and manner at which some professional groups in the state have not been cooperating with the state’s tax administrators, saying no effort would be spared in ensuring that taxable organisations and individuals are made to meet their civic responsibilities.

The Council called on the organisations and individuals doing business in Osun to begin to realise that taxation is the basis of government sustenance and that the State Government was fully determined to collect its revenue to the last kobo and bring the full weight of the law to bear on any defaulter.

According to the statement, “Council examined the report on outstanding allowance of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, past and present, posted to Osun, and directed that the processes and modalities for offsetting the arrears be started immediately.

“Council also received report that some professional groups in the state have not been co-operating with the state’s tax administrators. It condemned the act of non-payment of tax and urged the groups to cooperate with the tax agencies and obey the state’s tax laws forthwith.

“Council urged all organisations and individuals doing business in Osun to realise that taxation is the basis of government sustenance and the State Government of Osun is fully determined to collect its revenue to the last kobo and bring the full weight of the law to bear on any defaulter.

‎‎The state condemned in its entirety the un-hygienic culture among some residents in the state, saddened over the reports that some residents have been adamant and have continued to dump refuse on road medians in major cities in the state, in spite of government’s efforts at clearing them regularly.

Council held that if dumping of refuse at the median is not stopped, it is capable of reversing the gains made by government in ridding the state of filth.

‎According to the statement, “Council consequently directed law enforcement agencies, particularly the Civil Defence Corps, sanitary inspectors and members of community development associations in the state to apprehend these saboteurs and make them to face the full wrath of the law.

“The governor was commended by Council on his presentation of the 2018 budget to the State House of Assembly – for the people friendliness of the budget in conception and his detailed explanation of all the issues and ideas behind the facts and figures.

“The governor was also commended by council on how he handled the industrial action embarked upon by labour unions in the state, particularly for granting their demands satisfactorily and limiting work boycott by workers to four days”.

 

Osun Workers Declares Support For Aregbesola

Workers in the state of Osun have declared their supports for the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, commending him for his commitment to the welfare of the civil servants.

The workers who spoke through the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), among others lauded the governor for acceding to the demands of the workers without stress.

Led by Chairman of the JNC, Comrade Bayo Adejumo and TUC Chairman, Comrade Adebowale Adekola, the workers said they understood and felt the pains of the governor on his inability to pay full salary owing to the financial predicament of the state.

The labour leaders spoke at the Interdenominational Prayer organized by the state government for year 2018.

According to the workers, the recent industrial dispute in the state was not as a result of opposition to the Aregbesola’s administration but to ensure that the workers’ interest was protected and secured before and after the governor’s tenure.

The workers stated that Aregbesola has demonstrated good gesture as a workers friendly governor with some of his welfare packages for the workers, recalling that he was the first governor to pay 13th month salary to the workers in the state.

The labour leaders said: “We want to commend Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the harmonious relationship between the labour and the state government.

“Aregbesola is the first governor in the history of the state to pay 13th month salary to workers when the state was financially okay. He increased the workers car loan, without demand, from N250, 000 to about N1million. There are many good packages the governor provided for the workers without asking.

“Before the state ran into financial problem, he paid salary on or before 24th of every month. We understood the governor’s predicament, and we are in support of his government. The last labour dispute was not because we want to fight the governor but just to secure the interest of the workers.

“The industrial dispute is because of what happened in Ondo State where Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said he did not owe the workers who were owed several months salary by previous administration. We don’t want our case to be like that in Osun; that is why put up our demands.

“We commend the governor for granting the request of the workers in the shortest time, despite the financial quagmire of the state.”

Responding, Aregbesola commended the workers for their supports, sacrifice and understanding, saying that he was unhappy not being able to pay salary regularly.

Aregbesola urged the workers not to abuse the right to protest by forcing other workers who are not being owed and those that are not supposed to go on strike out of their offices.

He maintained that the financial crisis was responsible for the inability of the government to buy official vehicles for the Commissioners, Special Advisers and members of the House of Assembly.

The governor said there was end in sight for the paucity of fund in the state, describing 2018 as a year of breakthrough.

 

Aregbesola Says He Is On Home Run, Pledges To Worthy Successor

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, aggregated his two-term administration in the past seven years as a reign of unbroken people-centred government in the history of the state.

Aregbesola gave this verdict in his last New Year address to the people of the state early on Monday, marking the beginning of a New Year.

The Governor, in an address entitled: ‘Homerun with Honour and Dignity’, said his administration in the last seven years, strived to bring people-centred progressive governance to the state.

He said the evidence of this progressive trend in governance are visible in his policies and programmes such as youth empowerment,  care for vulnerable senior citizens and women empowerment, agriculture development, industrialisation, infrastructure development, education, job creation, human development, water resources development, urban renewal and so on.

According to him, these programmes have subsequently transformed Osun and projected it positively beyond what was on ground pre-Aregbesola’s regime.

He attributed the success his administration has record so far to the support his government received from all stakeholders involved in governance, saying the administration has ‘served maximally and given our best.’

He held that Osun has now become the reference point in prudent management of resources and responsible governance.

He stated that last Thursday, the budget he presented was the consolidation  of all the efforts of his government and it would represent the crowning glory of its achievements, adding that the budget would be fully implement to the last kobo.

He averred that to achieve total implementation of the budget, “There must be a clear departure from the past of dependency on allocation from the federation account. It is imperative that we generate our own revenue.

“This requires that we all work hard. The collective wealth of the state is the aggregate of what everyone contributes and we can only be economically and financially safe when everyone produces more than he or she consumes.

“All of us should pay our taxes, rates, levies, fees, fines and other financial obligations to the state. From our population, if one million of us productively engaged can contribute N250 for 20 days in a month, we will be able to raise N5 billion. This will enable us comfortably pay our workers and pensioners full salaries, run the government, provide infrastructure and carry out social protection services for all the people.

“All the things we desire like good roads, functional education, recreational facilities, security of life and property and a conducive environment for the pursuit of happiness and so on can best be provided by the government. No individual or private organisation can provide them to the satisfaction of all the people.

“This is why we all need to support the government by fulfilling our financial obligations to it in order for it to be able to carry out all its projects satisfactorily too.

“Yes, there could be irresponsible government who would rather serve themselves than serve the people but we must still support the state as the symbol of our collective aspiration. To prevent irresponsible administration, we need productivity, vigilance and patriotism.

“What we are going through now is the consequence of the bad choices we made in the past and except we change course by doing the right thing, by being productive and financially support the government and above all, vigilantly monitor its activities, there is no magic wand anywhere and the situation might get worse.

“We therefore count on you to get the maximum support from you till the very end, for us to be able to give you our maximum best.”

The Governor disclosed that his administration would bequeath a befitting successor, who is capable of continuing where his own government will end by November this year.

Aregbesola however, sounded a note of warning to the people of the state as the state entered the election year that some political desperado, who were hell bent on precipitating crisis and mayhem will want to aid some misguided individuals to cause chaos and disaffection among the people.

He continued: “We support the democratic expression of grievances through peaceful protests and other legitimate means.

“Nevertheless, all form of social agitation, be it economic, political or social, must not be done to the detriment of others. We have the mandate and strong intention to protect the right of others to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and go about their lawful duties without molestation, let or hindrance.

“This is the last New Year message our administration will pass to you as our tenure will end onNovember 26. Therefore, I will like to say from the bottom of my heart that it has been a great privilege to serve the good people of Osun. I cherish your love, fierce patriotism, courage and forthrightness. You are a great people.

“This is an election year in which our tenure will end and a successor must emerge. It is my solemn promise that we will not leave in a vacuum.

“In consultation with our leaders and the member of our great party, we will careful select and present to you a successor that belongs to our political tradition of progressive people oriented leadership, a person of integrity, who shares our aspirations and will take governance to the next level from where we stopped.

“I want you therefore to conduct yourselves with the same dignity and courage of Omoluabi – a people whose conscience and soul cannot be bought, that cannot be intimidated with guns and dogs and who stand firm behind the progressive rock of political leadership.

I must commend and thank you all most sincerely from my heart for your kind support, for the sacrifice, understanding and the willingness to do and support what is right, and not what is convenient, in the past seven years.

The governor then thanked all those who made him to succeed in administering the state in the past seven years. “I must in particular thank all the workers in the state who have laboured with us for the successful implementation of our programmes and are therefore part and parcel of our success story, especially those who have had to endure 75 per cent and 50 per cent salary regime since July 2015.

“I thank most immensely the women and their groups, market women and men, traders, artisans, workers, retirees, students, transporters, commercial motorcyclists, employers of labour, organised private sector, the business community, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, youth organisations, security agencies, the media, political parties, opposition members, traditional rulers, community leaders and religious organisations and their leaders.”