The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Monday said his administration has fulfilled many of the promises made to the people of the state while seeking election.
He asserted that his government has exhibited a genuine, sincere and exemplary leadership in all spheres of life as being manifested in the tremendous achievements recorded in the last seven years of his administration.
Governor Aregbesola made the statement while featuring on a live television programme tagged “Good Morning Nigeria” broadcast on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on its network.
Aregbesola said his administration got to power at a time life was hard for the people of the state, thus compelling the need to develop strategies to cushion the situation and set the state on the path of economic sustainability and prosperity.
He said his government has brought to the doorstep of every household the dividends of democracy.
According to him, “regardless of what anybody might have read about us, we got to power at a time when life was absolutely hard for the people. We knew it was so, therefore we set a standard to developing strategies capable of enabling and enriching lives of our people.
“We first of all started to provide succour to huge number of youths that hitherto had no hope. We set up Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and under the scheme, we brought in volunteers to help their communities in social works such as clearing the drainages, removing refuse, feeding the pupils and directing traffic where such was necessary, among others.
“And we engaged through this scheme 40,000 youths and from that, we were able to remove extreme poverty in Osun. It is through this that many programmes such as Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme emerged.
“Thousands of pupils are fed on every school day while the state recruited thousands of young women as food vendors discharging the responsibility of cooking and serving the pupils in all the government elementary schools delicious and salubrious meals.
“We also invested hugely on school infrastructure as this initiative brings about the successes with which we have recorded on our massive school infrastructure development.
“Osun, with the exception of Lagos, remains the state that has concentrated the largest chunks of her resource to bring a meaningful development to education.
“We didn’t stop at that; we provided necessary infrastructure to aid quality and functional education which we called infrastructure of the mind, regardless of what you read in the papers.
“I don’t think there is any state in Nigeria today that could rival us in the provision of massive quality infrastructural facilities as we put down at both elementary and secondary education in Osun.
“If one is current of the reports from the National Bureau of Statistics, one will find a reasonable high level of human development index that Osun is being positioned in toady.
“Our programmes like Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (O’REAP), Osun School Infrastructure Development Programme among others are basically designed to take our people out of extreme poverty and make life more abundant and worthy of living for all.
“So, as a genuine government, we believed strongly that good leadership must be exhibited at all levels in the society because without leadership, we can’t build a functional, meaningful, civilized and humane society”, Aregbesola added.
Lamenting on the state of the nation’s economy, Aregbesola said “it is unfortunate that Nigeria’s economy is built on a very weak production arrangement”.
He advocated productivity among Nigerians, noting that a nation like Nigeria must focus her education of the young ones on critical thinking, problem solving and character building.
”Our nation today is built on a very weak production arrangement. We all live on rent from oil, especially post independence Nigeria that is run on commission from oil whereas our nation from the colonial period before the military interregnum was run on the productivity of our people.
“Until we are back to production and productivity, we will just be emotional, sentimental and rhetorical in our analysis on how to escape the worrisome situation we are in now.
“Though oil revenue will help to jump-start the process, but it can’t be the financial basis for our economic development.
“A nation that cannot produce what it consumes is doomed. Therefore, we must see productivity as panacea to our socioeconomic challenges.
Exploitation defines our economic relationship in Nigeria. For instance, the Boko Haram phenomenon. Boko Haram insurgency is absolutely economic. It is inherited by a section of our people who are in the most vibrant stage of their lives and are resisting and rebelling against an economic situation that has put them in a miserable state that they don’t even know how to escape.
“We are in an exploitative society that celebrates exploitation. We are religious but not spiritual. It takes spiritualism for one to know that life itself is only meaningful when we live a collaborative and cooperative life.
“It is only humans that insist on exploiting others, all other creations, in harmony with nature to support nature, enhance nature and give themselves. But quite unfortunate, it is only human beings that believed that it is only when they cheat others, exploit others that they can be better, that is the real cause of the crisis we face not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world”, he stressed.
On the call for justice in the national daily life, Aregbesola advocated fairness, equity, evenness and justice in governance, saying unless leadership is built on justice; the society will remain in shambles.
“I agree that there is need for us to be just and fair to ourselves, because in all creation, the only long spiritual edifice in creation is the human. The trees give and take. The animals give and take even the inanimate objects like rocks do the same as well as other creatures.
“I support the clamour for justice in all ramifications; there should be justice in all our relationship with one another – justice in relationship to ourselves, justice in our religious life, justice in our economy and justice in all we do – as this will help to build a new society that will be friendly to all.
“For this reason, we must build a collaborative and cooperative society. We must build the culture of collaboration, cooperation and the culture of believing that it can’t be you alone, but to serve and get your own. Until this is done, we will be chasing shadow”, Aregbesola stressed.