July 15, 2024

Governor Ademola Adeleke has shed more  light on his management of state resources including palliative measures initiated by his administration and those supported by the Federal Government.

Responding to reports and questions raised by some groups in recent days, the State Governor through his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed urged commentators to always avail themselves of publicly available facts about government programmes so as not to be perceived as serving opposition interest.

This administration has deliberately filled the public space with its  plans and intentions across the sectors. The Governor has embraced openness and transparency. Our commentators should avail themselves of critical facts and figures instead of twisting and falsifying publicly verifiable details about state governance.

On palliative distribution in Osun State, we urge the civil society to always engage in thorough field review before taking positions especially as most of the questions raised could have been answered either through desk research or direct freedom of Information request to the relevant government agencies.

Rice distribution was handled by a non-governmental committee chaired by Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria and populated by representatives of various non-governmental groups. The inauguration of the committee and their activities were widely covered by the media.

As for the N2 Billion palliative expenditure, we urge the group to officially contact the government if it has legal fulfillment to do so within the framework of the Freedom of Information Act especially as the group has shown mischief and refusal to accept details severally released by the government on the administration of palliative measures in the state.

Ongoing in Osun are multiple government programmes which have at its core palliative interventions such as the wage awards for pensioners and workers that is going to run for six months, sustenance of payment of half salary and pension debt inherited from previous government, the three billion naira plus cooperative loans for artisans and small businesses, the soft medical programmes like the free medical surgeries for pensioners, expansion of free grants to the poor of the poor in Osun state and expected delivery of new buses to widen transport access and affordability.

In the interest of educated discourse, It may interest the group to note that Osun is spending far above the said two billion naira which is a loan to states and which the Federal Government has even asked the state governments to start refunding.

It was also false to assert that the Governor has added the N2 billion to the N100 billion infrastructure fund as the state has spent far above the N2 billion in service of the needs and aspirations of her people in this hard time.

As a responsible government, the state project account has not in any way stopped the state government from implementing many laudable palliative programmes listed above.

As to what Osun is doing with allocations to the state, we hasten to remind the group that there is an elected government in place with a mandate to govern and deliver on good governance within statutory structures and platforms and with appropriation laws to which all are bound.

How government funds are being disposed of and expended are governed by laws and the group can reach the public account committee of the House of Assembly for the annual public account report or take hold of the 2024 budgetary act to read how state funds are allocated across sectors and projects.

Without ascribing bias, we further educate the group to at least read of the state Governor’s plan on food security which he has presented at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and for which he has empanelled a committee chaired by the Commissioner for Agriculture.

To whoever may be ignorant of publicly available reports on state plans on food security, the agenda covers farm security, strategies for expansion of food production, unclogging farm transportation logistics , easing food access  at affordable prices and hosting a back to farm event with government incentives.

On the issue of court closure, the facts are out as the implementation of the tripartite agreement for the resolution of the dispute depends on the Chief  Judge calling a meeting of the State Judicial Service Commission especially as the Governor has ordered the implementation of areas that affected the executive arm in the agreement.

Why the group is blaming the Governor for failure to summon a meeting of the Judicial Service Commission beats all imagination and confirms again the known reality that the said group is a unknowingly serving opposition interest.

Or is the group asking the Governor to intervene in a judicial matter that is clearly within the purview of the state Chief Judge?

Or why is the group so protective of the Chief Judge to the extent of lacking the courage to ask the head of the state court to call a meeting of the judicial.service commission? 

Or is the group calling for the jetissioning of the agreement to which even the national body of JUSUN was a signatory?

On the Osun mining space, we equally remind the public that the government inherited a messed up sector with a deep level of corruption and lack of accountability.

A reform was launched by the new mining office which is addressing issues of environmental protection,respect for community development, securing of the state mining license and fruitful negotiation to validate Osun shareholding in major mining firms.

Again, the group failed to acknowledge the ongoing reforms which op3nly covered environmental protection and which is gradually changing the face of Osun mining sector for the better.

To learn more about great happenings within the Osun mining sector, we will invite the group to a forthcoming stakeholders’ forum on Osun mining reform.

Mallam Olawale Rasheed,
Spokesperson to the State Governor

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