Connect with us

National Issues

Aregbesola: A Quintessential Education Revolutionist.

Published

on

WHEN Engineer Abdul Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola stormed Osun State to contest for the most exalted political position at the state level- governorship- most skeptics saw him as a jester.

But within a short period of time, the Ibadan Polytechnic-trained Engineer through his political group- “Oranmiyan”- unleashed on the state the greatest political machinery which held the PDP controlled government by the jugular until it wrestled power from it.

During his vociferous electioneering campaign, the Oranmiyan himself did not mince words on his desire to rescue the hapless citizens of Osun state from the firm grip of the then PDP led government’s misrule.

The election which was keenly contested was not without malpractices orchestrated by the incumbent government but Aregbesola being a firm believer in the rule of law and the supremacy of the judiciary to be fair and just headed to the court with a view to getting his mandate.

After several months of legal fireworks, the Court of Appeal, finally declared Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the duly elected Governor having scored the highest number of lawful votes in the election.

Moments after his historic swearing in ceremony, the Governor soon settled down to a rigorous work and like a man with the Midas touch, all the hitherto moribund sectors in the State started experiencing positive turnarounds.

It would be placed on record that for the first time in the history of educational development in Nigeria, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola started the distribution of school uniforms and sandals to students.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola amidst pupils during the distribution of school uniforms and sandals.

As if this is not enough, he also commenced the ‘O’ meal’ scheme in which free nutritional food were distributed to the pupils and students across the length and breadth of the state. And having seen the resultant effect of this laudable programme on the education development in Osun state, the federal government of Nigeria has now embraced and adopted it and it was dubbed the “Homegrown School Feeding” programme.

‘O’ meal’ scheme

With this giant stride achievement, people were of the view that Ogbeni Aregbesola has reached his zenith but to Ijesa born governor, the only reward for success is continuous hard work.
It is against this background that the Osun State government under Ogbeni leadership came out with another master stroke and consequently launched the “Opon Imo” educational scheme where in the students were provided with computer tablet with all subjects there in.

“Opon Imo” educational scheme.

Thus, the traditional scenes in which the students move about with lorry loads of text books has become a thing of the past and the wear and tear resultant effect associated with such practices have been completely eliminated.

ALSO READ  School feeding programme: Pupils’ enrolment hits over 200,000 in Oyo

With ‘Opon imo’ at the students’ possession, all what the students need to do is to click on any subjects he or she desires to read, and pronto, they are there in front of him.

As a good manager of resources who is in tune with the challenges associated with the use of electronic gadget in a country that is bedeviled with epileptic power supply like Nigeria, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola ensured that the revolutionary ‘Opon Imo’ tablet is solar powered with a view to ensuring that the students in the state make use of it optimally.

Thus when the initiative was finally launched in Iloko-Ijesha, it wasn’t without the usual pomp and pageantry which made eminent Nigerians from all walks of life and prominent political functionaries including the then Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, now Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, APC leader, Chief Bisi Akande, APC National Leader, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja who was represented by Chief Segun Oyewole among other dignitaries to identify with such a groundbreaking achievement.

The neglect which the public education experienced under the previous governments in the state which has culminated into the dilapidated structures unfit for animals not to talk of humans and couple with the non-incentives for the teachers resulting into low productive output has led to a drastic reduction of pupil’s enrollment into the state’s public schools.

ALSO READ  Nigeria introduces Meningitis A Conjugate Vaccine into Routine Expanded Programme on Immunization Schedule

But in spite of the poor finances currently facing all tiers of governments in Nigeria, Ogbeni Aregbesola, the people’s man refused to be undaunted, instead, he resulted into self sacrifice cutting off the usual office paraphernalia just to ensure that dividends of democracy are delivered to his people.

This executive paraphernalia denial by Ogbeni as his fondly called by his teeming supporters was stemmed from his belief that “education is the best legacy, it kills the blight of illiteracy and ignorant”.

Contrary to the sordid and sorry state of education which Aregbesola met when he was sworn in as the state governor, he has, however, turned the ‘hands of clock around’ by providing a conducive learning environment for pupils in the state of Osun through the erection of ultramodern structures stuffed with up-to-date instructional materials likened to the ones used in the advance countries of the world.

One of the High schools built by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor, State of Osun.

The new school which is three-in-one is comprised of;

1. The Elementary schools: It ccommodating Primary 1-4 pupils with a student population of 900.

2. The Middle Schools: It houses Primary 5, 6-Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1-3 pupils with 1,500 students capacity.

ALSO READ  Oyetola Vs Adeleke: PDP reacts, says 'supreme court will do justice'

Elementary school.

3. The High School: It is meant for Senior Secondary School (SSS) 1-3 with students population of 3,000. The High Schools, sharing a modern hall of 1,000 sitting capacity for examinations, and other purposes, as well as sports facilities and well equipped  laboratories.

Mega Icon Magazine further checks revealed that Governor Aregbesola has built over sixty (60) new schools and renovated forty (40) which are spread and visible across the state.

Middle school.

At this juncture, it is obvious that the Aregbesola led-administration has fulfilled its promise made when its convened an education summit for the state chaired by an icon of literature knowledge in Africa, Professor Wole Soyinka who incidentally is the first black Africa’s first Literature Nobel Laureate.

The summit had four elements for the transformation of the state’s public schools, they include: feeding and health programme, reclassification of the schools into elementary, middle and high schools, infrastructural development, the provision of digital technology to drive education which the state dubbed “Opon-Imo”, which literarily means ‘the tablet of knowledge’ for all students.

State of Osun is now a tourist centre that has continued to attract tourists and “doubting Thomas” due to the world class school facilities provided by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

Presently, his administration has intensified efforts towards increasing capacity building through training and retraining of teachers and exposure to digital teaching techniques.

 

By Idowu Ayodele. 

Continue Reading
Comments

National Issues

London varsity bans beef to curb climate change

Published

on

Goldsmiths University, London, has banned all beef products from its campus “to help fight climate change”.

CNN is reporting that the university also announced an additional levy of 12 cents on bottled water and single-use plastics.

Frances Corner, the university’s warden, was quoted as saying the measures is part of steps introduced to help the fight against climate crisis.

Beef is said to be responsible for 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions, and livestock accounts for 14.5% of total global emissions in the world.

But the university — which seeks to become carbon neutral by 2025 — said the product will be scrapped from its campus menu when the new academic year begins.

“The changes come as part of a major drive to cut carbon use across Goldsmiths as the College joins other universities and institutions in declaring a climate emergency and announcing a determined aim to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2025,” Corner said.

“I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organizations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use.

“The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.

ALSO READ  Dangote signs $450million jumbo sugar MoU with Niger State

“Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible.”

 

Interview with Africa’s richest woman, Isabel dos Santos of Angola

Continue Reading

National Issues

No secret graveyards in the Northeast theatre, Army reacts to WSJ publication

Published

on

By

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has condemned in totality a publication by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which alleged that the army has been burying scores of soldiers in secret unmarked graves, in a bid to cover up the casualty figures in the ongoing war against insurgency within the North East. 

The Defence Headquarters ( DHQ), while reacting to the WSJ publication, debunked the reports stating that there are no secret graveyards in the North East Theatre.

Contained, in a communique by the Director Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, the military states that “this insinuation can only emanate from an uninformed position of the author of the said publication.”

The communique informed that “the Armed Forces of Nigeria has a rich and solemn tradition for the internment” of its fallen heroes.

Its further reads, “It must be unambiguously clarified that the Armed Forces of Nigeria does not indulge in secret burials, as it is sacrilegious and a profanity to extant ethos and traditions of the Nigerian military.”

Colonel Nwachukwu, also explained that in tandem with the traditions of the Armed Forces, fallen heroes are duly honoured and paid the last respect in befitting military funeral of international standard, featuring funeral parade, gravesite oration, solemn prayers for the repose of departed souls by Islamic and Christian clerics, as well as gun salutes, aside other military funeral rites.

ALSO READ  Buhari reacts to Kaduna, Rivers states killings

According to the DHQ spokesman, “The cemetery described in the publication, which is situated in Maimalari military cantonment is an officially designated military cemetery for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the North East theatre, with a cenotaph erected in honour of our fallen heroes.

“The official cemetery has played host to several national and international dignitaries, where wreaths were laid in honour of the fallen heroes.

“It is, therefore, a far cry from the sacrilegious impression being painted by Wall Street Journal.”

The DHQ urged members of the Armed Forces and the general public to disregard “such a misinformed publication and see it as a figment of the imagination of the writer, whose knowledge of military valued ethos and traditions is grossly misplaced”.

 

Continue Reading

National Issues

Open Letter To Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu | By Bayo Adeyinka

Published

on

By

My dear Asiwaju,

I am compelled to write this open letter to you because of the state of affairs of the Yoruba nation. Firstly, I wish to acknowledge that fate has put you in a prime position to determine to a large extent the direction that the Yoruba people will go. The indisputable truth is that one may quarrel with your politics but your sagacity is never in doubt. Even those who don’t see eye to eye with you agree that you are imbued with unusual native intelligence, uncommon people skills and unrivaled foresight. You, more than any other person, has been the game changer since the advent of democracy in 1999. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to direct this letter to you.

My singular purpose is to tug at the strings of your heart. I am not writing to appeal to partisan considerations but to see, if per chance, I can pour out my heart to you in a manner of speaking. God has blessed you even beyond your wildest imagination. You have installed Senators and Governors. You have removed Governors and even a President. You have also installed a President. There is nothing you have wished for or desired that you didn’t get. Fortune has smiled on you. Goodwill follows you everywhere you go. You have done very well- more than most men ever will. However, there is one area that is begging for your urgent attention. This area may well define you and all you have ever achieved. This matter, in my opinion, is the only difference between you and the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Let me restate for the purpose of emphasis that this is the area in which the late sage and Leader of the Yorubas stand head and shoulders above you. It is the reason his name has been a constant denominator in our regional and national politics. It is the reason politicians, friends and foes invoke his name for political advantage and personal glory. It is also the reason why we can’t stop talking about him almost thirty years after his death. What will anyone say about you thirty years after you have transited?

Asiwaju Sir, you may be wondering what I’m talking about? It is the issue of legacy. According to Peter Strople, ‘Legacy is not leaving something for people, it is leaving something in people’. Legacy is building something that outlives you. Legacy is greater than currency. In the words of Leonard Sweet, ‘ What you do is your history. What you set in motion is your legacy’. You can’t live forever, Sir. No one can. But you can create something that will. Enough of speaking in parables- I shall now speak plainly.

When destiny brought you on the scene, we were enamoured because you championed the case for true federalism. It was your belief then that the Yoruba nation will fare better under a restructured arrangement than under the type of unitary government we run while pretending by calling it a federal government. Everyone knows that there is nothing federal about our government at all. If truth must be told, the Yoruba nation has fared very badly since the advent of our new democracy. And this is not about holding power at the centre.

Let me bring this home: someone passed a comment recently that he would want Biafra to become a reality because he knows the Igbo nation will survive. That comment led me to deeper introspection as I wondered if the Yorubas can truly survive. Let me cite my first example. From Oyo to Osun, Ogun to Ondo, Ekiti to Kwara and Lagos, hardly will one see any serious industry or manufacturing concern owned by a Yoruba person. I am not talking about portfolio businesses or one-man business concerns. Most industries in Oyo State are owned by the Lebanese. The native business and industry gurus who dominated the landscape- Nathaniel Idowu, Amos Adegoke, Lekan Salami, Alao Arisekola, Adeola Odutola, Jimoh Odutola, Chief Theophilus Adediran Oni and others- are all gone with no credible replacements. I’m sure you remember the tyre factory of the Odutolas and how Jimoh Odutola was even asked by the Governments of Kenya and Ghana to set up a similar factory in their countries. Chief Theophilus Adediran Oni, popularly called T.A Oni & Sons started the first indigenous construction company in Nigeria. He willed his residence- Goodwill House, to the Oyo/Western state government, to be used as a Paediatric Hospital, which is now known as T.A Oni Memorial Children Hospital at Ring Road in Ibadan. This sprawling family Estate and residence was cited on a 15acre piece of land, 65 rooms, with modern conveniences, Olympic Swimming Pool and stable for Horses, etc.
People like Chief Bode Akindele started companies like Standard Breweries and Dr Pepper Soft drink factory at Alomaja in Ibadan. Broking House built by the late Femi Johnson, an insurance magnate, still stands glittering in the mid-day sun as an epitome to a rich history that Ibadan has. The most serious and only notable Yoruba entrepreneur we have now is Michael Adenuga. I say this quite consciously because most of the other names are oil and gas barons. Most of what stood as testaments of industry in Oyo State are gone- Exide Batteries, Leyland Autos and many others. In its place are shopping malls and road side markets but no nation develops through buying and selling alone- especially when you’re not actually producing what you’re selling. Hypermarkets and supermarkets have taken over because of the need to feed our insatiable consumer-appetite and foreign tastes. In one instance, an ancient landmark in the form of a hotel was demolished to pave way for a mall. That is how low we have sunk. If our past is better than our present- if we always look back with nostalgia frequently, then there is a problem.

ALSO READ  OLUSEGUN ADENIYI'S AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY - A CRITICAL REVIEW.

The case of other states is not different. Osun’s case is pathetic. Ditto for Ondo and Ekiti. Ogun State can boast of some factories at Sango-Otta and Agbara axis but most of them are not owned by the Yorubas. There is no significant pharmaceutical company owned by any Yoruba except for Bond Chemicals in Awe, Oyo State- and its wallet share is very insignificant. For Lagos State, more than 70% of the manufacturing concerns and major industries in the State are owned by the Igbos. If the Igbos were to stop paying tax in Lagos State, the IGR of Lagos State will reduce by over 60%. In contrast, Sir, go to the South East and look at the manufacturing concerns in Onitsha, Aba and Nnewi. Please don’t forget those were areas ravaged by civil war a mere forty something years ago. The Igbos have certainly made tremendous progress but the Yoruba nation has regressed. I wish to state that this letter is not meant to whip up primordial considerations or ethnic sentiments but just to put things in proper perspective.

Asiwaju, I will like to also talk about the state of education in the Yoruba nation. Our education has gone to the dogs. We have a bunch of mis-educated and ill-educated young men and women roaming the streets. Ibadan, for instance, had the first University in Nigeria and the first set of research centres in Nigeria ( The Forestry Research Institute, the Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN), The Nigerian Cereal Research Institute Moor Plantation (NCRI), the NIHORT (Nigerian Institute of Horticultural Research), the NISER (Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research), IAR&T (Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training), amongst several others). Ibadan was the bastion of scholarship with people like Wole Soyinka, JP Clark, D.O Fagunwa and Amos Tutuola as residents. In the May/June 2015 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, Abia came tops. Anambra came 2nd while Edo was 3rd. Lagos placed 6th while Osun and Oyo was 29th and 26th. Ekiti was 11th, Ondo State was 13th and Ogun State was 19th. In 2013 WASSCE, only Lagos and Ogun States were the Yoruba States above the national average. If we do an analysis of how Lagos placed 6th in 2015, you will discover that it was substantially because of other nationalities resident in Lagos. For proof, please look no further than the winners of the Spelling Bee competition which has produced One-Day Governors in Lagos State. Since inception in 2001, other nationalities have won the competition six times (Ebuka Anisiobi in 2001, Ovuwhore Etiti in 2002, Abundance Ikechukwu in 2006, Daniel Osunbor in 2008, Akpakpan Iniodu Jones in 2011 and Lilian Ogbuefi in 2012). Sir, there is something seriously wrong about our state of education. From the vintage times of Obafemi Awolowo who initiated ‘free education’, we have regressed into a most parlous state.

ALSO READ  Dangote signs $450million jumbo sugar MoU with Niger State

Let me talk about roads, housing and infrastructure . The first dualized road in Nigeria, the Queen Elizabeth road from Mokola to Agodi in Ibadan was formally commissioned by Queen Elizabeth in 1956. The first Housing Estate in Nigeria is Bodija Housing Estate (also in Ibadan) which was built in 1958. The state of roads in the Yoruba nation has become pathetic. Our hinterland are still largely rural. Even some state capitals like Osogbo and Ado-Ekiti are big villages when you compare them to towns in the South East. How many new estates have been built over the last decade? Even Ajoda New Town lies in ruins.

We have abandoned the farm settlement strategy of the Western Region and only pay lip service to agriculture. Instead of feeding others like we once did, others now feed us. We plant no tomatoes, no pepper and the basic food that we require. The Indians have bought the large expanse of water body that we have in Onigambari village. The water body in Oke Ogun of Oyo State can provide enough fish to feed the whole of the South West. From being a major cocoa exporter many years ago, one can point to just a few vestiges of factories that still deal with Cocoa in the Yoruba nation. 80% of Cocoa processing industries in the South West have been shut down. The Chinese have taken over the cashew belt at Ogbomoso in Oyo State. They have even edged out the indigenes as brokers. They now come to the cashew belt to buy from the local farmers, sell on the spot to other Chinese exporters who now process the cashew nuts and import them back into Nigeria at a premium. Sir, there are only 7 major cashew processing plants in Nigeria and you can check out the ownership. The glory has departed from the Yoruba nation.

Apart from Asejire, Ede, Ikere Gorge and Oyan dams built ages ago, where are the new dams to cater for increased population and water capacity for the Yoruba nation? How have we improved on what our heroes past left us? Maybe apart from certain areas in Lagos State, others can’t even supply their citizens with pipe-borne water.

ALSO READ  Oyo Commissioner Charges Youths On Innovative Ideas to Foster National Development

Our youth which we used to take pride in are largely a mass of unemployed and unemployable people. Have you noticed the abundance of street urchins, area boys, touts and ‘agberos’ that we now have all across the Yoruba nation? Have you noticed the swell in the ranks of NURTW (I mean no disrespect to an otherwise noble union)? Have you noticed the increase in the number of Yoruba beggars? There was a time that it was taboo for a Yoruba man to beg- but no more. The spirit of apprenticeship is dead. There was a time that people who learn vocational skills celebrate what we referred to as ‘freedom’. While that is largely moribund now in the Yoruba nation, the Igbos still practice it with great success.

The only thing we can boldly say the Yoruba nation controls is the information machinery- the press. We own largely the newspapers- the Nation, Punch, Nigerian Tribune, TV Continental and a few others. It is because of our control of this information machinery that we have rewritten the narrative in the country with the misguided self-belief that things are normal and we are making progress. A look beyond the surface will prove that this is so untrue.

We are largely divided. For the first time in the history of the Yoruba nation, religion is about to divide us further- and it is starting from Osun State. You are married to a Christian. My own father-in-law is an Alhaji. That is how we have peacefully do-existed but the fabrics are about to be torn to shreds because of poor management of issues. Afenifere has been reduced to a shadow of itself. OPC that once defended Yoruba interests has gone into oblivion. Yoruba elders have been vilified in the name of politics and partisanship. It is no longer news to see teenagers throwing stones at their elders because of their political indoctrination. Even under the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Yorubas never belonged to just a single party- yet our unity was without blemish. Now, our values have gone down the drain.

Asiwaju, I believe I have said enough. The task is Herculean but I believe Providence has brought you here for such a time like this. It is time for the Yoruba nation to clean up its acts. What do we really want? How can we quickly right the wrongs? The Yoruba nation is in a state of arrested development. The Yoruba nation is gasping for breath and crying for help. Will you rise up to the occasion? I am aware you understand that all politics is local and charity begins at home. Our fathers gave us a proverb: ‘Bi o’ode o dun, bi igbe ni’gboro ri’. I know there are no quick fixes but I also know that if there is anyone who has the capacity to do something about our current situation, that person is you. This should be the legacy you should think of. Your legacy is our future.

 

Yours Very Sincerely,

Adebayo Adeyinka

Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria

 

Continue Reading

Tweets by ‎@megaiconmagg

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required

MegaIcon Magazine Facebook Page

MEGAICON TV

Trending