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

By Shina Abubakar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On LCDA Creation And Changing Of The Name Of Our Schools – Some Salient Points To Note – By Sunday Akere

I deliberately decided to sit back and enjoy the discussion on the two issues to see whether there will be some things to learn afresh since they became news some 48-hours ago. Firstly, I noticed that some of us probably because of our political inclination or thinking will never want to see anything good in seeing a Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola getting on well with Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Maybe we feel if there is a friction between them, it will hasten Omooba’s return to the sleeping “so called biggest party in Africa ” or at best help in reawakening the sleeping giant? As for me, one thing I have learnt now is “a ki gbe koto oselu jin”. If there are people to thank God for witnessing the tough days of 2003 – 2010 and being alive to be a part of today’s unfolding scenario, I feel I should thank God the more.

As to the two issues: LCDA creation and changing of the name of our five institutions, the Governor has the right to do that and he has done it. Local governments are meant to bring governance closer to the people and we all know that here in Nigeria and all over the world, whoever created one will never be forgotten by the lucky beneficiary. If 71 requests were received and the Governor and State Assembly sees justification in approving 31 out of this, I think we have not gone too far or are we saying we should deny the agitators the right to have closer affiliation to grassroot governance.

The creation of these new LCDAs does not elicit staff increase or ward expansion for now. Kano state of old did not have as much LG than Lagos state before but today in between Kano and Jigawa, they now have close to 100 LGs. Yes, there is not much fund now, but we will share whatever come to the old 30LG and Area Office to the now 61.

I am not yet a certified Lawyer, but over the world wherever true federalism is practiced, it is only the federal and State governments that are recognised. Local authorities are a subset of the state and it is the state that determine how they are managed. What we are introducing at the LG level here will definitely reduce cost of governance and make the councils more productive.

And what is in a name? In Osun we have only one university that is now called Bola Ige University. Whoever passes out from any of the campuses will get a certificate bearing BOLA IGE UNIVERSITY, renaming the campuses only accord recognitions to our past leaders/heroes that have contributed one thing or the other to the development of our state in the years past. If Chief S M Afolabi was accused of corruption before he died, there was never a conviction against him till his death and we must remember he died a PDP person. Why then must Aregbesola be crucified for honouring a noble Osun leader of PDP descent? I know if Omisore or Olu Alabi’s names are included we won’t cry this much on the name change? After all, we were all here when University of Ife became Obafemi Awolowo University and heaven did not fall?.

As to the argument that Mr Governor ought to have made the decision to change the names of the schools public before the announcement, government policies are not run that way. The beauty of what we call government policy is surprise. That is why when government policies are announced you see “Breaking News” everywhere. If it was made public ahead of announcement, it will either not make meaningful impact or will be thwarted. Also the decision to change the names of the schools has the understanding of the state assembly and this the Governor confirmed in the presence of the Honourable Speaker and members at the convocation of Bola Ige University yesterday.

I know some points have been made and we will continue to learn in this process. The government and its leadership meant well for the people and if our expectation are not totally achieved now, what is expected of all and sundry is prayer, support and understanding that what seems not forthcoming today will be better in no distant future. Definitely there is a ray of light at the end of our tunnel. Osun will move forward and we will all be partakers of the goodness of the land
Osun a dara.