Posted by News Express | 16 March 2016 | 2,016 times
The Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS) has appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria, banks, local and international financial institutions to stop giving loans to Osun State Government under the watch of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, because “all the loan facilities obtained in the last three to four years were mismanaged and misappropriated by the governor, leading to the current untold hardship on the people of the state.”
The coalition noted that since inception of his administration in November 2010, the governor had embarked on somersaulting policies and programmes, which had no bearing on the lives of the people, adding: “The Aregbesola-led administration has mortgaged the future of the state, including generations yet unborn, with the series of loans being obtained on behalf of the state with nothing to show for it.”
Addressing pressmen in Osogbo, the state capital during the Second Emancipation Rally organised by the CSCEOS in support of striking medical doctors, retirees and entire Osun workforce, the leader of the group, Comrade Alimi Sulaiman Adeniyi, berated Aregbesola over the medical doctors’ plight, which he said has turned the health sector of the state into a shambles, adding: “The governor should go and bring back all the allocations of the state from the Federation Account, which were siphoned into private accounts as well as loans collected on behalf of the state, that has put the flourishing state into perpetual debt slavery.”
The CSCEOS equally condemned the governor over the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by medical doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) and Osun State Association of Medical and Dental Officers (OSAMDO) with their mother body, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), for over six months. This, according to the coalition, has put the health sector in jeopardy while the state government had not shown any concern to the ugly development, rather it engages in “incessant mouth-mass-sack of the affected medical doctors, which is not acceptable to the people.”
Earlier on March 2, 2016, the group submitted a protest letter to the House of Assembly, on the unpleasant state of affairs in Osun under Governor Aregbesola’s watch. The letter berated members of the assembly for their “less-concerned attitude towards the plight and welfare of the people they were supposed to be representing in the lawmaking arm of the state government.”
The letter reads in part: “Sir, it is no news that doctors in the service of Osun State has been on strike since September 2015, which makes it seven months now, due to the inability of government to fulfill its obligations towards them. The implication of this situation is better imagined. And we believe your office should not find it difficult confronting this issue headlong, so as to bring a great relief to the helpless, suffering and already impoverished people of the state. We have severally refrained ourselves from concluding that the house is in connivance with the executive arm of government to maintain a criminal silence on this issue. But when we consider the buoyancy of an average Nigerian politician, which makes it possible for him to access healthcare anywhere in the world at whatever cost, we might insinuate that you have kept quiet on this serious matter because you might not be directly affected.
“Furthermore the attempt of the government to raise the internally generated revenue (IGR), which has brought about a regime of unrealistic tax impositions on the citizenry, is sending many people away from the state while others are developing serious health problems arising from fear. Unfortunately, with no access to healthcare due to doctors’ strike.”
The rights activists implored Aregbesola to respond to the requests of the striking doctors without further delay, so as to return the health sector back to normalcy in the interest of the masses of Osun State. The coalition’s chair noted that the agenda of the Aregbesola-led government to replace medical doctors with herbalists and witch doctors was unacceptable and totally rejected by the good people of the state.
The protesters - which comprised human rights activists, workers, retirees, artisans, market men/women and students, among others – passed through major areas of Osogbo, the state capital such as Oja-Oba, Station Road, Idi-Seke, Orita-Gbaemu, Fagbewesa and Ola-Iya junction with solidarity songs.
Some of the placards had inscriptions such as: “Stop Threatening Osun Doctors with incessant purported mouth-sack”; “Aregbesola has destroyed health sector of Osun State beyond
redemption”; “President Muhammadu Buhari: Come and save Osun people from the hands of Rauf Aregbesola and his cohorts”; “CSCEOS backs Osun striking doctors”; “Aregbesola: Pay Osun State doctors their entitlements”; “Aregbesola: Osun people reject commercialisation of
education”; “Aregbesola: Osun workers reject half salaries,” among others.
In his address, Comrade Adeniyi had called on the governor to stop anti-workers agenda
such as payment of half salaries, retrenchment of workers, request for Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and statements of account, etc, urging him to commence full payment of workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions/gratuities from 2010 till date.
He flayed the planned commercialisation of education by the administration as totally unacceptable, as the people perceives it to be anti-masses, undemocratic, ungodly, evil and uncalled for.
He also advised veteran Labour leader and Chairman, Osun State Committee of Government and Labour on Allocations Accrued to the State from Federation Account and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, to resign from the committee in order to save his hard-earned reputation from being tarnished by Aregbesola’s government, alleging that the committee was where the future of Osun people, including workers and retirees, were being mortgaged.
He therefore called on the anti-graft bodies – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) – to commence immediate prosecution of Governor Aregbesola over alleged mismanagement of the state’s resources.
•Photo shows Governor Aregbesola.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.