Our Rapport With Government Is Smooth – Osun Baptist Conference

Our Rapport With Government Is Smooth – Osun Baptist Conference
  • PublishedNovember 28, 2017

It has been seven years since the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola came into office on the 27th of November, 2010. In these years, many waters have passed through the bridge and some have been sweet, some bitter and some sour.

In this interview with Pastor Paul Kolawole, President Osun Baptist Conference, FRANCIS EZEDIUNO sought to get the views of citizens from the Christian perspective on how it has been in these seven years.

OSDF: From 2010 till now in your perspective, what to you are the good, the bad and the ugly side of this administration so far?

Kolawole: Thank God, government comes and goes. I could see that from the present administration, the things that are good are numerous. The efficient system of road network and efforts of the government to ensure upliftment in the educational sector in terms of physical structures is a major achievement for the administration.

Government efforts to secure employment opportunities for the youths, is also quite commendable.

In terms of stability and peaceful co-existence, as well as enjoyment of relative peace in the state, we rarely had communal crises. All of these are some of the good sides of this government that I can point to.

On the other side, I can say there are some things the government had done which did not go down well with the citizenry, for example, the welfare of the civil servants.  Even though, the government made us understand that they have made an agreement with the civil servants which resulted to the issue of modulated salary payment but we know that it has not gone down well with the people particularly workers.

The truth is that the issue of civil servants welfare is having a ripple effect on other segments of the society.

OSDF: What aspect would you have wished that this administration concentrate on to better the lots of its citizens?

Kolawole: Let me commend the government on its efforts to satisfy the citizens in terms of youth employment, in terms of making life conducive for both rural and urban dwellers. But personally, I will prefer the government to concentrate more on finding ways to boost our local economy. In Osun, we are not economically buoyant. Most people in the state are civil servants and that is not helping the economy of the state.

I expect a situation where agro-allied industries are in abundance. There are a lot of things we can do if we want to concentrate on agro based industries and food processing industries.

I believe if the government can delve into this, it will help our economy and create more employment opportunities for the youths. It will also enable government to satisfy the yearnings of the civil service.

Closely related to that is the aspect of empowerment. I expect the government to seek different avenues to empower our youths for better service.  We started with OYES but by now, I expected the government to have advanced more than that level so that it will not be permanent type of empowerment.

OSDF: How will you rate the relationship between the administration and the Christian community in this state?

Kolawole: Let me say as a body, the government is doing its best to satisfy the needs of the Christian community. I may not be able to say to what extent but what I know is that government did not close the gate to the body. Anytime we want to make requests from the government, the door is always open.

Sometimes, there may be request which the government may not be able to accept and address. For example, we clamoured for the return of mission schools, which it could not address because of its policy, government declined that request.

Generally speaking, the door is always open. We have some fora where we meet with the government and give our own inputs and ideas and they listen except for some other critical areas where government make us understand that this is how they want it and they cannot accept what we brought.

OSDF: There has not been mass retrenchment of civil servants in the past 7 years is this a thumbs-up for this administration?

Kolawole: I want to commend the government for stabilising the work force in the state. We know what is happening in neighbouring states. We are aware of the hardships they pass through. I will say ours is better than many other states and I want to commend the government for that.

On the overall, I think the government is trying to stabilise the workforce to reach a kind of equilibrium based on what is coming in and what it can expend in order to use the remaining part of the money for other capital projects.

OSDF: What areas would you advice any incoming government to make amends?

Kolawole: One is the aspect of trying to make governance meaningful. The dividends of democracy should reach the grassroot level. People should be able to enjoy it.

There is an expression I heard where a renowned Professor expounded that governance should be 10% politics and 90% economics. In Nigeria, in most cases it is vice-versa where we have a lot of concentration on politics and that is affecting the economy.

I will expect our governor to look into the possibility of making a paradigm shift where economic progression would form the major basis of governance.

The other issue is on education. There is no other way to better education than to make consultations with those who understand the rudiments of education.

This is to avoid putting the cart before the horse. If we want to lay a very firm foundation educationally, we should prioritise, so as to avoid implementing what ought to be a last option as a major priority to the detriment of others.

We should set our priorities right when it comes to educational policies in our state and country.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *