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Osun River goddess worshipers and their African hair styles at the just concluded Osun Osogbo festival.

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sallahLeaders in the nation have been called upon to always fulfil their electoral promises when voted in power.
This was the kernel of the sermon of the Chief Imam of Osogbo Sheikh Mustapha Ajisafe at a special Juma’at prayer marking 22 years of the creation of the State of Osun.
Sheikh Ajisafe said the period of time a leader spends in office is immaterial rather what is relevant are his achievements in such office.
The cleric,who is also the President of the League of Imams and Alfas in South-West, Edo and Delta States, averred that Aregbesola stands out among leaders, who promise and their promises will come to pass.
He said Aregbesola had promised during his election campaign that he would turn around the fortune of the state and develop ti like never before.
This promise, Ajisafe said, is gradually coming to pass with the developmental achievement of Aregbesola’s administration.
“The cause of some of the nation’s problems is lack of trus in the leaders by their people.
“Our leaders, when they seek office, would make promises upon promises. But when they get to office they won’t fulfil the promises.
“In the case of Aregbesola, however, he is a man of his words. He promised that if elected, he would develop the state and it around for the better.
“Today, he his fulfilling the promises. People of this state can testify to the developmental programmes, policies and physical development going on across the state.
“The amount of time a leader spends in office is irrelevant. What is important is his achievement while in office and how he uses his office to affect the lives of the people positively,” Ajisafe said.
In his response, the Governor of the state, Rauf Aregbesola, commended the people of the state for their unflinching support of his administration.
He tasked them to be law abiding, peace-loving and to continue to support government for the success of its people-oriented policies and programmes.
Meanwhile, traditional rulers of the Ijesha South Traditional Council also commended the Governor for what they called the sterling performance.

At a solidarity visit on the governor on Friday the monarchs said they are marvelled by the various development projects in education roads health agriculture tourism security and others.
The monarchs led by the Awara of Iwara Oba Adewale Kazeem said Aregbesola’s performance has become his campaign tool saying the good works speak for themselves
“We have come to show you our appreciation for the massive development s going on throughout this state. Even the blind can see the many works of this administration.  We have seen many governments in the past but what we are seeing now  make us proud that we have a governor who knows what development is all about.” The monarch stated.
Aregbesola in his response to the monarchs said the solidarity visit was another call to better performance.
The governor said his administration would have done more but for the limited resources available to it.
He assured them that despite the paucity of funds his government would not relent in ensuring develoment for the entire state.

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Address Delivered By The Governor Of The State Of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, At The Inauguration Of The State’s Market Women Board, Held At Bola Ige House Car Park, Abere, On Monday August 26, 2013.
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I am happy to gather with you today for the inauguration of the State of Osun Market Women Board. Today’s event is necessary for the purpose of organisation for which we do not yet have an alternative. No human society can function without organisation, not to mention a government that sees to the wellbeing of society. Consequently, governing boards are part of the machinery of government. It is against this background that we are this day inaugurating the Market Women Board in the State of Osun.
This Board is an important one because it deals with a crucial part of our system –the market and its critical human upholder, the women. Markets are an important component of trade and commerce, and so are market women. It would be difficult to imagine the idea and functioning of the market without considering the women, especially in our part of the world. The womenfolk are vital sustainers of the market here; any long-term inhabitant of the State of Osun can easily notice this fact. In the history of Yoruba land, women have long been associated with market and marketing activities. Indeed, trading and marketing activities have been a key factor in the phenomenon of urbanisation for which Yoruba people have been noted from ancient times; but we must always remember that our women have been, and still are, a significant –if not the most significant – part of these activities.
However, the importance of market is not restricted to the people of old. Trade and commerce, as a matter of fact, has in modern times acquired far greater significance than ancient people could ever have contemplated. Trade and commerce are now a vital part of the economy of any country. And there can be no economic growth and material prosperity without the market. To be sure, the whole concept of industrial capitalism is centred on the idea of the market. Hence, in today’s world market is of the essence! The notion of economic growth, development and material prosperity is predicated on the fact that the goods that are produced must be sold, for which market is a requirement.
This is no less true with regard to our own situation. Trade and commerce are also central to our development drive in the State of Osun. All our policies and programmes are connected in one way or another with market and marketing activities. A good instance is our Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (O’REAP), which right from its conception, to planning and execution is linked to the lucrative daily food market in Lagos. It is indeed for this purpose that the ultra-modern regional market at Dagbolu is being constructed. It is also the major reason behind our partnership with the Nigeria Railway Corporation to revitalise the railway transport from Osogbo to Lagos, which has since been in full operation. Our ultimate aim, as I have said elsewhere, is to ‘create a produce and commodity market for goods produced, both locally and imported, in Osun where people would buy at the price they buy in Lagos which in our belief would promote commercial activities and peoples’ income within the shortest time.
This further explains why trade and commerce are also a core component of our Six-Point Integral Action Plan. This is because we are fully aware that trade and commerce are an important way of economically empowering our people, as reflected in the emphasis we place on entrepreneurial training for women and youths. It is also the reason behind our effort at reorganising our marketing activities in the state by building befitting modern markets across our towns and cities. We want to ensure that these important commercial activities are properly structured, taken off the streets, and conducted in appropriate locations that are specially built for them.
For our effort to succeed, it is necessary to get our women involved and carry them along. The establishment and inauguration of a Market Women Board is a statement of the importance we place on our market women in the state. It is our belief that through the Board, the required smooth working relation and liaison would be facilitated between policy makers, the implementers and the beneficiaries, as well as other stakeholders. This will help maximise the benefits that the State of Osun and its good people can derive from their market and marketing activities.
I will also admonish our market leaders to take cognizance of development in the concept of ‘market’. The old definition of market as a geographical location for buying and selling has become antiquated. New thinking now suggests that a market needs not be confined to a geographical location. In an ever shrinking global village, exchange of goods and services is done continents apart with the laptops and mobile phones. People now buy goods (pay for and receive them) without leaving the comfort of their bedroom. This is an unstoppable wave that is rolling on the world for which our country and state cannot avoid. We need to get fully into it before it takes our market out of our hand.
I thank you all for encouraging presence.
Osun a dara!

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Remarks By The Governor Of The State Of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, At The Formal Commissioning Of Omoluabi Garment Factory, Held At The Factory Premises Along Gbongan-Ibadan Road, Abere, On Monday August 26, 2013

From left, State of Osun Deputy Governor, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governor State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Chairman, Omoluabi Garment Factory-Sam and Sara, Hon. Adeniyi Oyemade and the Timi of Ede, Oba Muniru Lawal, during the Commissioning of the Garment Factory at Abere, Osogbo, State of Osun on Monday 26-08-2013

I want to begin by thanking the Almighty God for His mercy and blessing on our state, and for giving us the capability to think, plan, act and to accomplish much for our people within a short time.The purpose of our gathering here today marks another great step forward for us as a people in the State of Osun. It is another landmark event in our long record of achievements in the short period that we have been in office. We are here gathered to formally commission the Omoluabi Garment Factory situated close to us at the seat of government.
The establishment of this factory became necessary as part of our overall effort to transform our state. Before we came into government, we had conceived of an overall blueprint for the transformation of the state. This development plan was designed to touch the most critical areas of our economy and society. As encapsulated in the Six-Point Integral Action Plan, one of the central foci of our transformation programme is to promote functional education in the state.
Consequently, on assumption of office we immediately organised an education summit that came up with a master plan for the overhauling of our public school system in Osun.
The education transformation plan has different components which include, among others, O’Schools, O’MEALS, O’Uniform, O’Calisthenics and the E-learning project. As part of the reorganisation of the education system, it was decided that all the pupils in the public school system should have the same school uniform. This decision was made with the aim of giving them a common identity and purpose, as well as a sense of unity and pride, which had been lost in the decay that set in public schools in Osun before our coming.
Because all the different programmes in our development plan are integrated with one another, we designed the school uniform with the full participation of all the key stakeholders in education so that it would be consistent with our policy of promoting religious and communal harmony in the state. Likewise the O’Uniform was also conceived to dovetail into other development goals of our administration, such as banishing poverty, hunger and unemployment.
Thus, the uniform was designed by our people, with a choice of batik that is produced in the state. We have since supplied 750,000 of this uniform to all our public school pupils free-of-charge. Through this alone, we have provided job opportunities for our market women who supplied the materials for the uniform and about 3,000 tailors who sewed them. But that is not the end of the story.
With the knowledge that the school uniforms will only last for a while and, hence, will require continuous replacement, we have decided to maximise the economic opportunities that this would offer for the benefit of our people. This Omoluabi Garment Factory that we are commissioning today is a product of the policy to reap the economic benefits of the production of the school uniform. This factory will henceforth produce the school uniform here; it will employ our people here; it will buy its inputs from here, and the batik it will produce will be sewn by our tailors here. All of these, among other gains, will have numerous spin-offs that will redound to the advantage of the people of the State of Osun. The uniform material will be sold and sewn at control prices so as to make it affordable for our people. You are not only assured of quality, you will get it at god prices.
And as you all know, this is just one of the factories that have been brought into existence through our education revitalisation project. Another factory will, in a short time, in Ilesa, begin the production of the e-learning tablet, Opon-Imo, and other electronic gadgets.
This garment factory is one testimony of our investment drive and our commitment to attracting investors to our state. We have the market and the human and material resources. As a government, we are most willing to provide the enabling environment in infrastructure and security needed for thriving economic activities.
I want to charge the managers of this factory to be innovative and be uncompromisingly committed to quality. This might appear to be a small beginning, but what I am seeing is the onset of a giant clothing industry that will take the nation and West Africa by storm in the foreseeable future.
We will remain resolutely focused on the implementation of our policies, with the assurance that our people will be the better for it.
I thank you all for granting me audience.
Osun a dara!

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Aregbesola Reiterates Commitment to Developing Osun

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has reiterated the commitment of his administration to develop he state.
Speaking at the Trade, Investment and Culture Conference held in Osogbo, Aregbesola said his administration’s desire for development would be backed with action.
He explained that the administration had committed huge human and material resources to providing the enabling environment for business in last two and half years,
He pointed out that it was his visit to the United States in March this year that brought partners, who have come from the African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) of Philadelphia, the Christian Evangelical Economic Development, Inc. (CEED) of Pittsburgh, and the WURA Arts Services & Productions, LLC (WURA) of New York City.
The governor noted, “In our development drive, we have focused mainly on four key areas. These are culture and tourism, agriculture, information technology, and solid minerals.
“The State of Osun is indisputably a custodian of the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people, who are mainly domiciled in and originated from South-West Nigeria. Ile-Ife, which is here in the state and just about 30 minute drive from this podium, is the cradle of Yoruba culture and civilisation,” the governor told investors and others at the gathering.
He also added that Osun occupies a central place in Nigeria’s cultural tourism map, stressing that besides Ife, there are numerous other centres of cultural and tourism significance across the state.
The governor also stressed that there are more than 60 tourism sites in the state and that the Osun Grove is already globally renowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aregbesola on agriculture said, “Our goal, therefore, is to provide food for the South West and especially capture a sizable chunk of the N3 billion daily food market in Lagos. By a stroke of fortune, our natural endowment also includes solid minerals, especially gold.
“We have gold deposits in commercial quantity in many parts of the state that are waiting to be fully exploited. It is our goal to develop this in partnership with willing and capable partners.” the governor stated.

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A socio-cultural organisation, the Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), yesterday in Ikenne-Remo, the country home of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, passed a vote of confidence on the entire South-West governors for their effort at maintaining peace and security in the region.
The meeting, which was chaired by the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) Awolowo, also noted that the region has been spared the spate of crisis and kidnappings that have become the lot of other regions of the country.
In a communiqué at the end of the meeting, read by YUF National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Kunle Olajide, the forum observed that the region has witnessed “peace and stability” in the last two years and that the governors manning the states should be applauded for it.
In her goodwill message, HID charged politicians of Yoruba race not to allow personal interest override the collective progress and unity of Yorubaland while pursuing their legitimate ambitions.

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REALISING that Osun State is the centre port of  cultural–tourism vibes  in Nigeria , the government of  Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has, since assumption of power, been steadfastly pursuing policies geared at tapping the potentialities of this natural blessing. This is not for dancing, merry making and festivities alone, but for socio-economic emancipation, wealth mobilisation, empowerment, revenue  and employment generation. Governor Aregbesola must have, in his own’ weird’ way, embarked on series of researches on the peculiarity of the socio- cultural aspects of tourism in the state and arrived at the best ways of tapping into the tangible and intangible cultural tourism assets of the state for the benefit of his people and Nigeria at large.
He must have realised through the study, his interaction with the people, the numerous tourism sites in the state and his international exposure that Osun and its people had not been  having a fair share of the goodies of tourism due to the complacency and lackadaisical posture of the previous administrations in the state which thought that Osun Osogbo celebration was the only  cultural and tourism asset which needed to be spotlighted and hyped; the failure to enhance and network other tourism sites which abound in the state with Osun Grove; the inability to galvanise the core  cultural tourism stakeholders in the state; the traditional religion worshippers, cultural artisans, artists, hospitality and transport operators,  into  potent  economic change agents and the marked absence of  deliberate well planned and honed sensitisation and awareness creation activities  for the stakeholders to see their importance in the scheme things.
Governor Aregbesola must have also realised the uniqueness of Osun socio- cultural tourism setting, knowing that, for the state to reap bountifully from the cultural blessings, the third leg of the religious tripod, the African Traditional Religion, must not just be reinforced but be accorded its proper recognition, respect, reference and  its practitioners enlightened to bring out the best in them.
And Governor Aregbesola has  never allowed the criticism being churned out to distract his attention in tapping the traditional religion for the overall benefit of the state and the nation.
It is in furtherance of this vision and with the belief that cultural– tourism promotion should be taken beyond mere jamboree, razzmatazz, festivities, dancing to empowerment and sustainable economic of the state that Governor  Aregbesola conceived the idea of a trade, investment and culture conference where stakeholders, investors, experts in  global commerce and intercontinental cultural exchange will meet minds for greater partnership which will enrich the lives of the people.

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The governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the decision to send stranded medical students of Osun State University, UNIOSUN, to a foreign university to complete their medical studies was borne out of the conviction of his administration that no sacrifice would be too much to secure better future for the students.
The governor stated this while receiving the report of the Committee on Transfer of UNIOSUN medical students to Ukraine.
Last year, Aregbesola’s government sponsored 87 medical students of UNIOSUN to V.N Karazin Kharkvin National University in Ukraine, to complete their medical programme.
The students’ programme was  stalled due to non-availability of a Teaching Hospital for the state university.
Aregbesola said his government facilitated the transfer of the students because it believed that a responsible government must fulfill its part of a pact entered into with the people irrespective of which person or party in power signed the agreement, since governance is a continuum.
He said: “I feel fulfilled that the students, who would have had their dreams aborted, will now realise their ambition of becoming  full-fledged medical doctors.
“We have kept faith with these students, their parents and guardians towards realising their life time ambition.”

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Governor Rauf Aregbesola

Governor Rauf Aregbesola

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has inaugurated  a garment factory which will produce uniforms of school pupils in the state.
According to a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo, the state capital, on Thursday, the governor while speaking at the inauguration of the Omoluabi Garment Factory said the factory would employ 3000 tailors at full capacity and about 50,000 uniforms would be produced daily.
He said the uniform materials would be sold and sewn at control prices in order to make it affordable for the people, even as he  assured that the factory would produce quality materials.
The governor said the Omoluabi Garment Factory was one of the factories that had been brought into existence through revitalization of education in the state.
He said, “The decision to give the students common uniform was made with the aim of giving them a common identity and purpose, as well as a sense of unity and pride, which had been lost in the decay that set in public schools in Osun before this administration.
“Through this alone, we have provided job opportunities for our market women who supplied the materials for the uniforms and about 3,000 tailors, who sewed them.
“This Omoluabi Garment Factory that we are commissioning today is a product of the policy to reap the economic benefits of the production of the school uniforms.”

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Alaafin of Oyo, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III has
commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his selfless efforts and
determinations in propagating and showcasing Yoruba cultural values to
the world.
Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, gave the commendation in his palace at the
recently concluded year 2013 World Sango Festival.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented at the occasion by the
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture, Hon. Sikiru
Ayedun, emphasized the commitment of his administration to facilitate
unity among the Yoruba states with a view to propagating
socio-cultural values of Yorubas.
Ogbeni Aregbesola stated that the recently concluded World Children
Day and a meeting of over five hundred obas at Osogbo, the well
attended Osun Osogbo Festival, Isese Day and development of tourist
sites in the state among others are part of his achievements in
developing cultural identities of Yorubas.
He said his administration has made tremendous efforts in reaching
out to Yorubas in the diaspora, especially North America, Cuba,
Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Republic of Benin among others, with a
view to romancing them to freely visit their root which is the Yoruba
He therefore called Yoruba at home to always feel proud of their
culture and promote it through the way they dress, talk, and exhibit
moral standards for which Yorubas are known.
The cultural performance, by the State of Osun performing troupe
added colour to the festival during Osun Day segment of the programme
which Hon. Ayedun and the representative of Trinidad and Tobago
ambassador could not resist as they danced to the tunes of historical
and cultural music.
The height of the performance was the Sango Dance performed by
Lukuman Ayodeji, the acclaimed Sango of Africa to the admiration of
all guests, especially the Yorubas in the diaspora.
Dr. Paula Gomes a cultural ambassador thus adjudged the performance
as the best ever since the beginning of the 10-day Sango Festival.

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