Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has argued that the prefix “Your Excellency” attached to the names of state governors in Nigeria is illegal.
He gave three reasons at the ongoing Guild of Editors Conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
First, he argued that it is only God who should receive the tag, “excellency”.
Second, he said that there is nowhere it is written in the Nigerian Constitution that a governor should be called his excellency.
Third, Aregbesola argued that a student cannot be scored excellent before but after an examination. That is why after an examination, “you are rated excellent, very good, good, fair, pass, fail”.
“Every governor is writing an examination and until he finishes, he cannot be rated.”
He asked rhetorically: “Is it not enough to be called a governor with power of life and death? What do you want to make of a governor by calling him excellency? God? Or do you want to make the governor mad? Call me just Ogbeni (simple Mr)”.
The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday ordered the authorities of the state College of Education, Ilesa to henceforth put a stop to organising combined graduation ceremonies in the school.
Aregbesola ordered that all outstanding graduation programmes of the institution must be done before the end of 2017.
He said the remaining programmes must be concluded in two batches before December 2017.
The governor gave the charge while speaking at the combined 24th graduation ceremony of four sets of 6,600 graduating students at the auditorium of the College in Ilesa.
He appealed to the students of the college not to disrupt the academic programmes of the institution so as to meet up with the set target.
He said: “Combined graduation ceremony must not happen in this school again.
“This graduation ceremony I believe is for the sets of 2007 to 2011.
“It is too much and not good enough.
“The graduation ceremonies of the set of graduands between 2012 to 2016, which will be the 25th graduation ceremony must be done in two batches before December 2017.
“I implore the students of this great institution not to disrupt the academic programmes of this school so as to meet up with the set target.”
Speaking on the various interventions of government in the education sector, Aregbesola said it was occasioned by the education summit chaired by Prof. Wole Soyinka, which gave some recommendations that government is implementing to improve academic performance in the state.
He said the summit also brought about the O-MEALS programme, which has been a huge success, hence making the Federal Government to adopt the programme.
He explained that the O-MEALS programme has created employment opportunities for different individuals in the state as well as boosting Agricultural sector in the state.
The Governor also used the occasion to shed light on the restructuring of the state’s tertiary institutions.
Aregbesola said it is not meant to scrap any school or retrench workers but to make the schools more relevant through the offering of vocational trainings and provision of remedial courses for young school leavers.
While congratulating the new graduates, the Governor said graduating from an institution is an accomplishment which prepares them for later life accomplishments.
He urged those who will be going directly into teaching to see it as an opportunity to give back to the society through teaching morals as well as trying to improve the academic qualities of the younger generation.
He said: “We are determined to improve the standard of education in our state.
“That is why we are spending so much in building state-of-the-art education facilities across the state.
“That is why we are spending so much feeding our pupils in elementary schools through the O-MEALS programme, which has attracted interests from all over the world to the extent that the Federal Government has adopted it.
“Our vision to restructure our state institutions is not to scrap any school or retrench workers, but we want to make the schools more attractive to the world.
“We want them to be able to offer remedial courses to young school leavers and provide vocational training to people in the society.”
In his graduation address, the Provost of the institution, Dr. Kadri Adegoke, explained that the ceremony is being used to reward excellence and hard work through the award of prizes to graduating students who have performed outstandingly well.
Adegoke said the programme is also used to honour two eminent Nigerians because it is believed that it will help in stimulating the spirit and culture of hard work, enterprise and excellence in the graduating students.
The provost used the occasion to express gratitude to the administration of Aregbesola for assisting the institution in giving capacity development to its staff, saying the college has never had it so good.
According to the provost: “This graduation ceremony is a combination of four sets of between 2007 to 2011, making a total of 6,600 graduands.
“We are using this ceremony to award excellence and hard work by awarding prizes to graduands who have performed outstandingly well.
“This occasion is also being used to honour eminent Nigerians in the presence of the graduands because we want it to serve as stimulant to the students and make them to be hardworking and become great enterpreneurs in future.
“I thank the Ogbeni Aregbesola administration for assisting the school in capacity building of the members of staff of this school, our college have never had it so good under any administration in this state.
“Almost all our academic staff members and some non-teaching staff members were sponsored on international conferences in the U.S. and the U.K in the last four years.
Delivering an acceptance speech on behalf of himself and a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Bola Babalakin, a legal luminary, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, who was presented honourary awards alongside Babalakin, stated that education is one of the cardinal objectives of the All Progressives Congress government.
Awomolo described Aregbesola as a visionary governor who is pursuing his objective of taking Osun State to a great height in terms of academic performance, noting that education as a sector should not be handled with kids glove by any government.
The State Programme Officer of Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O’MEAL), Mrs Olubunmi Ayoola has warned bakers, baking bread for pupils in Public Elementary Primary Schools in the state of Osun to be up and doing and by baking to specifications.
Mrs Ayoola dropped this hint when she met with Executive Members of Master Bakers in her office.
She said that, bread must be baked according to government specification and delivered on time to avoid disappointment to schools.
She explained that, the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has taken Elementary School Feeding to a level that is internationally accepted and that all efforts should be made to sustain the programme.
Earlier, the Secretary, Master Bakers, State of Osun, Mr. Muritala Adeeyo had commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola for including them in the success of O’MEAL which has made the state of Osun a reference point to all states. He therefore promised that, his members will adjust to government specification by delivering promptly.
Present at the meeting were Zonal Education Planning Officers.
As part of efforts to boost the internally generated revenue in Osun, the state government and the Cattle Butchers Association in the state have both agreed on seven hundred naira as the new levy to be paid on each cattle slaughtered in the state.
This was the outcome of a meeting between the butchers and representatives of the state government held at the government secretariat in Abere.
It was also agreed at the meeting that henceforth, the establishment of a new slaughter slab will attract the payment of 50,000 Naira while the registration of each member of the butchers association will attract the sum of 2,500naira and subsequent payment for renewal will attract 1,000 Naira annually.
Speaking during the meeting, former Commissioner for Agric and Food Security in the state, Mr Wale Adedoyin stated that the levies became necessary in a bid to boost the IGR of the state and at the same time provide the necessary facilities at the slaughter slabs across the state.
The consultant to the governor on agric and food security stressed that the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola does not intend to cause hardship or pains to the butchers through the introduction of the new levies, but to make life better for all and sundry in the state even in the face of the current economic challenges facing the country.
In their separate remarks, the Patron of the state butchers association ,Alhaji Tiamiyu Alamu as well the chairman, Alhaji Sulaiman Adebimpe thanked the government of the state for always carrying them along in decisions that affect the association, saying that members of his association will strive to comply with the new laid down rules.
In his remark, the Coodinating Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Youth Engagement, Dr Bukola Aluko assured the butchers that government will continue to provide facilities and support that will make their job easier.
Hon Toogun made this remark while on sensitisation and inspection tour to Okuku Campus of Osun State University, Osun State Polytechnic, Iree and Igbajo Polytechnic, Igbajo.
He urged the managements of the institutions to embark on regular training and retraining of their staff and students by partnering with Osun State Fire Service.
He further explained that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is passionate in protecting lives and property of the citizenry in the state.
In their separate remarks, Provost, Okuku Campus of Osun State University, Professor Idowu Akintayo, Rector, Osun State Polytechnic,Dr Jacob Agboola and Director ,Academic Affairs, Igbajo Polytechnic, Mr Isaac Fagbohungbe, thanked Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his proactiveness and commitment towards the development of the state despite the paucity of fund.
They therefore promised to comply fully with the fire safety regulations as it is intheir best interest.
Present were Secretary to the committee, Mr Toba Aluko and men of the Fire Service led by the Deputy Director, Mrs Moni Lawal.
AS part of efforts to respond to mounting unemployment and inability of job seekers to get job offers in the labour market, the Osun State government is set to open a job centre to address some of the challenges.
Osun Job Centre, a free employment support services programme that will be inaugurated soon, is expected to also to address lack of employability skills among job seekers, who are indigenes of the state.
Speaking at a news conference in Lagos, the Lead Consultant of Osun Job Centre and former Commissioner for Human Resources and Capacity-building, Ms Mobolaji Akande, said the creation of the centre was born out of the need to change the perception of job seekers that there were no jobs in the country.
The Chairman, Osun State Task Force on Mining and Forestry, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi, has disclosed that the state has been losing millions of naira to illegal mining and exploration.
Elder Adebiyi who described Osun as a state being blessed with God-given natural resources and other rich solid mineral deposits, also said the state had recorded several incidents of unauthorized mining, exploration and deforestation.
The Chairman of the State Task Force on Mining and Forestry made the disclosure while touring journalists round the site where illegal mining and exploration were allegedly committed at Olode Falola village in Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area of the state.
Narating the incidence, Elder Adebiyi said, the suspects were arrested and handed over to the police following the Task Force visit to the site where the illegal mining and exploration is being perpetrated.
According to him, “We were here at Olode Falola village in Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area of the state sequel to a tip we received that some illegal miners have been exploring our solid mineral resources without exploring and mining licenses
“Fortunately for us, our task force team in company of security operatives met the perpetrators on the spot working with different exploratory apparatus like tractors, driller, generator, elevator among others to defraud the state of her resources illegally.
“We got them arrested and we handed them over to the police for further investigation.
Speaking on the procedural steps for mining and exploration, Elder Adebiyi said for anyone to be allowed to either explore or extract the resources such explorer or miner must have fulfilled all the constitutional requirements by obtaining the mining license from the federal government as well as operational permit from the state.
He confirmed that the interrogation with the suspects depicted that they were neither licensed nor authorized to explore the state mineral resources.
Elder Adebiyi who frowned at the occurrence which he described as high class illegal mining, however said the deploration of heavy machines to the site by the suspects unconstitutionally showed the level of losses being experienced by the state to illegal mining.
He expressed satisfaction towards the apprehension of the suspects, saying the state had over the years recorded similar cases.
Elder Adebiyi also said the suspects since being apprehended were unable to justify why they were exploring the resources of the sate.
He said “since the arrest, the suspects had not been able to justify the purpose of their coming to the state to explore.
“Information at our disposal revealed that these people have breached the constitutional provisions for mining and exploration because they failed to present to us any legal document to facilitate the purpose to which they came for.
“Till this present moment these people according to the police investigation were unable to authenticate what they came here to do.
“Though they claimed that they are processing their license but as a matter of fact they are not because no miner is allowed to explore without concrete evidence and permit to do so and these suspects couldn’t present any evidence to that effect.
He said the suspects were caught exploring the lime stones and feldspar which according him are main deposits in the axis.
When asked on the efforts of the state towards the protection of her resources, Elder Adebiyi said the inauguration of the Task Force on mining and forestry was part of the effort to ensure that people comply and adhere strictly to the rules and regulations necessitate mining and exploration of mineral resources.
He expressed displeasure over the way and manner at which people engaging in illegality, saying legal procedures are already in place for the people who are into mining and exploration.
The Task Force Chairman who attributed mining to an intensive business however elucidated that state was not in any way interested to disturb any person’s business but to enforce the laid down laws by ensuring that miners follow the due process.
He warned people against illegality, saying the state would not for whatever reason tolerate any act of indiscipline and unlawful mining.
Adebiyi assured those who are interested in mining the required cooperation, saying efforts are in top gear to develop the non-oil sectors of the state.
Elder Adebiyi therefore charged men of Nigeria Police Force to display utmost loyalty and competence in the course of their investigation, assuring the state of adequate security of lives and properties.
Meanwhile, efforts to speak to the state Police Public Relations Officer on the development were unsuccessful, as various calls and text messages sent across his phone were either switched off or not responding.