Aregbesola Debunks Claims Of Payment Of Fees In Public Schools

Governor Aregbesola, payment of fees, Public schoolsOsun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has described as mere rumours, the claims that the state has ordered payment of fees in public schools across the state.

Hosting the newly elected executives of the National Association of Osun State Students (NAOSS) who were on a familiarization visit to Osogbo, the state capital, Governor Aregbesola said education in the state still remains free despite the excruciating economic condition facing the state and the country.

Aregbesola stated that qualitative and functional education, particularly at the lower level, is very important and must not be neglected and abandoned by any responsible government, which according to him is why he has continued all education policies in the state regardless of the shortfall in allocation and the economic meltdown.

Also the Deputy Governor, Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori told the students that on no account has the administration ordered the parents to pay any alleged fee.

She explained that the state in agreement with parents and guardians, only introduced school infrastructural maintenance levies, which according to her, are to ensure proper maintenance of all the newly built schools in the state.

“Let me make it clear to the residents of this state that our government did not introduce payment of school fees in any of our schools across the state.

“We did not also ask any of our pupils or students to pay tuition fees as being speculated around the state.

“We have only directed all the pupils in Elementary Schools to pay 2,000 Naira in three tranches per annum.

“The pupils in this category will pay 1000 Naira first term, and 500 Naira each for second and third terms.

“For Middle School, they are to pay 3000 Naira in three tranches per annum.

“The students in this category will pay 1000 Naira in each of the three terms while High School students are to pay N6000 per annum at N2000 per term.

“This is not school fee but rather maintenance levy because it is only introduced to pupils and students of our new schools not those in the old schools,” she stressed.Governor Aregbesola, payment of fees, Public schools

Furthermore, she explained that the state with the stakeholders arrived at the decision having widely consulted the parents, guardians, teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector on the need to sustain the tempo of proper maintenance of the modern school buildings across the state.

“It was on this note that we collectively agreed on the certain amount to be paid in order to keep the facilities procured in each of these schools in good condition for the present and future use of our children.

“So, this money is not meant for government but rather to maintain, sustain and protect the huge investment made in these schools,” she stated.

The Governor also told the student union leaders that the efforts to provide very conducive learning environment must not be allowed to go in ruins.

“As we all know that this administration has prioritized education with huge investments, we must equally do everything possible to ensure the sustainability of our efforts at ensuring that the edifices we built across the state are properly and consciously maintained.

“There are many universities in Nigeria that are incomparable with our high schools in terms of infrastructures. That is why we want these facilities to be properly handled and taken care of.”

He therefore opined that “If government should leave the students to use these facilities as they want, they will surely bastardize them in no distant time.

“Despite the fact that we introduced Community Based Monitoring Team in all the communities where we have these new schools, all we experience is damage and destruction of the facilities.

He explained the government arrived at the decision in order to halt the rapid dilapidation of the school facilities.

The Governor who also lamented over the poor appearances of some pupils in some of the public schools however, charged the parents to be more dedicated and committed to the welfare of their children by ensuring that their wards are well equipped, dressed and kitted for schools.

“It is an aberration for parents to be well dressed only for their school children to be in rags,” he said.

Seeking collaboration from the leadership of NAOSS, Mr Aregbesola said it is imperative for the students’ movement and the state, to further cement relationships at enhancing quality education.

Osun University Gets New Vice Chancellor As Applicant Alleges Conspiracy

labode-popoola
Professor Labo Popoola

Professor Labode Popoola has been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, but an applicant for the position claims he was intentionally sidelined. 

Professor Popoola was appointed the Vice Chancellor by the state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.

A statement by the spokesman for the Governor, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, says the appointment takes effect immediately.

Mr Okanlawon said Governor Aregbesola approved the appoint following the recommendations of the council of the institution.

Born on September 28, 1960, Professor Popoola hails from Inis In Osun State and worked at the Department Of forest Resources Management, University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

The new VC would take over from Professor Jellies Oguntola Alamu who has been at the helm of affairs as acting ‎VC since last year.

Meanwhile, reactions have begun to trail the appointment of the new VC.

One of the applicants for the vacant post of Vice Chancellor of Osun State University, Professor Andrew Akinmoladun, has petitioned Governor Aregbesola, alleging that there was a plot to skew the selection process of the new VC for the institution to favour a particular candidate.

Professor Akinmoladun, a founding academic staff of the University, who left the institution in 2012 for Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, United States of America, in a letter addressed to Governor Aregbesola, said he applied for the job, when it was advertised last year August.

Professor Akinmoladun said he decided to apply for the post because he met all the requirements.

According to him, he had travelled down to Nigeria from his base in the U.S. purposely to attend interview for the post of Vice Chancellor.

He, however, alleged that some elements within the university conspired and ensured he did not get shortlisted despite possessing all the requirements stated in the advert.

The letter, copies of which were obtained by reporters in Osogbo read: “I received a response to my application from the institution through the registrar, intimating me of scheduled dates of Wednesday, 2nd and Thursday, 3rd November, 2016 respectively for the interview of candidates.

“I immediately boarded the plane from New York to Nigeria to make myself available for the next procedure. On my arrival, I heard that a professor from within the university has been adopted as government candidate and that he held a meeting with the UNIOSUN internal member and persuaded them to make sure I was not shortlisted because of my ICT and international exposure.

“The said professor was also reported to have said that when professor Okesina was to be picked as vice chancellor, it was an Ijesa man that came first and he was passed over to favour the man that eventually got the job and expressed fear that it would be difficult to persuade the governor to do the same this time around, if I should be interviewed and I passed.

“He feared that the consultant and external council member would score me high and if the internal members scored me very low their scores would be questioned.

“I confronted one of those named to be part of the meeting and he did not deny, but asked me who revealed it to me. I made my concern known to hon. Wale Afolabi the former Anthony General of state of Osun who happened to be a friend. I also discussed this matter with notable friends within academic and the government circle, who can corroborate all these claims.

“It suffice to state that some candidates for the position were contacted and interviewed on Wednesday, 2nd November, 2016 and other candidates were also contacted to appear for interview on Thursday, 3rd November, 2016.

“Surprisingly I was never contacted for the two scheduled dates. I want to strongly state that the conduct and selection process so far is embellished with irregularities and discrepancies.

“Due process and transparency was never followed in the conduct and selection process but that everything was selfishly and hurriedly done just to pick and announce as already pencilled down candidate”.

Fayose Visits Aregbesola, Vows Never To Leave PDP

fayoseGovernor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State says the strength of any true democracy lies in the existence of a viable opposition.

He has therefore vowed that he would not defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unless the party ceases to exist.

Governor Fayose made the remarks when he visited his Osun State counterpart, Governor Rauf Aregbesola at the government house in Osogbo, the state capital.

It was the first time the Ekiti State Governor would pay a visit to his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola.

Being his first official visit to an APC governor, Governor Fayose arrived with an impressive entourage as he exchanged pleasantries with all.

While reiterating his resolve to remain in the PDP, the Governor said, “I remain in PDP to play the opposition role.

“In all of this, there must be fairness. There must be equity and the rule of law must be followed. We should remember that power as it was transient for the PDP, it can also be transient for the party in power now.

“For me, I don’t want to contest which party is dead now or which one is alive. Whether or not PDP is dead, time will tell.

“Opposition is the major ingredient of democracy and without opposition in a democracy, there will be dictatorship. Those promoting dictatorship in a democracy will end up in the stomach of the dictator.”

Although Aregbesola shared the views expressed by the Ekiti Governor, he expressed his desire to see him purse his political ideology in a progressive party instead of the PDP.

Fayose maintained that he was on the visit particularly because of his concern for the unity of the Yoruba race, an issue Governor Aregbesola agreed needed attention.

“I was moved by the historic visit of the Ooni of Ife to the Alaafin of Oyo and I am of the opinion that the Yoruba leaders must unite.

“The Yoruba nation must not be rubbished. Our leaders must not be rubbished irrespective of the political they belong to.

“I believe in the Yoruba race, the race comes first before the office of the governor. The race is eternal while that of governor is momentary. We must watch today to be guided by tomorrow. I am here for the unity of Yoruba as it affects the Oodua, the progenitor,” Fayose emphasised.

Demonstration of Maturity

In his response, Governor Aregbesola described the visit of Governor Fayose to Osun as demonstration of maturity.

He said, “Osoko has said that he is not going to leave his party, but I want my good friend and brother to know that PDP has exhausted its stay in Nigeria, it can no longer be revived, let us look at a political party that will give hope to our people.

“Opposition must be for a purpose, I stand by you on the unity of Yoruba land.”

He assured Fayose that he would stand by him in his effort to galvanise the people of the South-West for accelerated development.

As Governor Fayose prepared to leave, he told journalists that the story of his son’s arrest in Dubai was untrue.

Osun Pensioners Protest Seven Months Unpaid Arrears ‎

pensionersThe State of protest is on the rise as protesters in Osun State have called on the government to pay their Seven months pension.

The pensioners stormed the state’s House of Assembly ‎in their numbers, carrying several placards with different inscriptions reading, “Pensioners are suffering, pay our pensions”,adding that life is not easy for them.

The tension became very high when a man spotted within the Assembly Complex, clothed in an attire with Governor Aregbesola’s picture, was almost mobbed by the Pensioners, but for the quick intervention of security operatives on ground who led him out of the complex.

The Pensioners said their mission to the House is to make their requests known to the Legislative Arm of Government and pray for the state.

The state Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Elder Gabriel Adesoji, who spoke to newsmen, said the protest became necessary to agitate their ‎pensions which he said is their only source of income after retirement.

It is also reported that many of them have died due to the non-payment of their gratuity and pensions in the last eight months.

Addressing the protesters at the state House of Assembly, the Deputy Chip Whip of the House, Hon Adeyemi Taiwo, pleaded with the protesters to exercise patience, with a promise to take their message to the state governor.

He further assured that the state government will soon find a solution to the issue of unpaid salary and pension in the state.

Osun Election: Lawyer Says Security Ensured A Free And Fair Election

OdidikaA lawyer, Mr Kenneth Odidika, has praised the Federal Government of Nigeria for putting in place security that went a long way in ensuring the success of the election in Osun state.

Mr Odidika, who was on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, on Monday, was full of praise for President Goodluck Jonathan for putting in place a system of security which ensured that people felt free to cast their votes without any fear of been molested.

He emphasised the need for security in an electoral process and wondered why people do not appreciate the presence of military personnel during election.

”It is quite unfortunate that people don’t seem to appreciate the fact that without security we can never have the free and fair election we are talking about,” he said, apparently referring to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He insisted that APC members that always complained about ‘over -militarisation’ in elections were usually the beneficiaries of the process and dismissed their complaints as sheer propaganda.

”In the Nigerian context, there is no such thing as over-militarisation as long as the process is peaceful wherein people feel free to vote without fear of molestation and APC is enjoying it.”

While supporting the use of a large contingent of military personnel in the 2015 general election amidst fears that there are probably not enough security forces to deploy for the election across board, Mr Odidika stressed that if Nigerians were peaceful in every election and do not cause chaos, there might not be need for a large deployment of military and police in 2015 election.

”We know there is no way we can have a large personnel of security forces to be deployed across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory for the 2015 general elections. So I advise Nigerians to be peaceful in their conduct and if we do, then we don not need soldiers to help us conduct a free and fair election,” he said.

On the reported arrest of some APC chieftains in Osun by the military personnel, Mr Odinaka said there was probably something that was done by the chieftains, but said that “if they feel undone, then they should seek redress in the court”.

He was of the view that the Independent National Electoral Commission had improved on previous election with the conduct of the electoral process in Osun and was optimistic that they would improve more in the 2015 general elections.

Mr Odidika, while accepting the fact that the opposition parties had a right to complain if they feel that an electoral process was being manipulated and if they feel that their vote could be subverted, said their complaints shouldn’t incite their supporters into violent acts.

”Of course they will complain and shout if they feel their votes are been subverted but their shout shouldn’t be such that can cause violence and endangering people’s lives”.

He advised politicians to do an issue based campaign prior to an election instead of the act of name calling that is usual with campaigns in Nigeria

Mr Odidika commended President Jonathan for swiftly congratulating Governor Aregbesola for winning the election in Osun State.

 

Osun Election: Voting Ends As Ballot Counting Begins

Voters get accredited before voting
Some ad-hoc officials of the electoral body accrediting voters for the election

Voting in the Osun governorship election in Nigeria’s south-west region has ended, while sorting and counting are on-going.

The exercise began with accreditation as early as 8:00am on Saturday and ended at 12:00 noon.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, reports that the turn out of voters was on the high side in most parts monitored and that the situation has been largely calm, as residents went about the process without any rancour.

Twenty candidates, representing 20 political parties are vying for the ticket to the Osun government house. One of the candidates is the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress.

A total of 1,407,222 registered voters spread across three senatorial districts, are expected to exercise their franchise.

Osogbo, the state capital, has the highest number of registered voters with 110,670, followed closely by Ife Central with a voting population of 95,471.

Nineteen domestic and 10 foreign observers were accredited by the electoral commission to monitor the election.

The commission has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that the election result reflects the will of the people. It had requested for the deployment of a large number of security personnel in the state for the election to ensure that the process was peaceful.

Click here to view more pictures from the election that observers have described as peaceful.

CPC Endorses Aregbesola For Re-election In 2014

One of the opposition Parties in Osun state, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has endorsed the incumbent Governor, Rauf Aregbesola for a re-run in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

Speaking at the Osun CPC awareness Programme organised by the state chapter of the party in collaboration with De Raufs, a volunteer Group in Osogbo, the state capital, all the speakers agreed that the empowerment programmes of Governor Aregbesola has earned him the people’s mandate.

Moving the motion for the adoption of Governor Rauf Aregbesola for a second term in Office, Barrister Segun Olawale and other speakers maintained that the administration’s commitment to creating a conducive environment aimed at making the state an investment destination, the poverty alleviation measures, good road network, social security and the total turnaround of the state is an indication that he can still do better when re-elected for a second term.