BY Olùkóni Charles Adeyemi
Osun State anniversary is sacrosanct for several reasons and looking at how far we have come, we can’t but give thanks to God. The good God, as part of his creation plan has nature in mind. Genesis 1, has said that;
KJV:And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
KJV:And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
KJV:And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
KJV:And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Looking at the ageless scripture, one thing that caught a sane mind is the organisation and prowess of the supreme being. Understanding that all these creations served one purpose. Much of these creations can today be found in Osun State which has become a destination of choice for tourists who flock in from virtually all part of the world to see the wondrous works of our creator.
Wherever you are coming from or into Osun, you are sure to be greeted by the reminiscence of chapter 11 of Genesis 1 ” Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so”. The discovery of nature’s ability to heal was found in Osun, little wonder that before the advent of colonisation and further imperialism, herbs was in active use for all kinds of ailments and these are in abundance even in Osun of today.
The popular song “herbs drink was osun goddess plug for treating her children” reasonates in the now billion naira herbs industry in osun. The hills, the forests, farm settlements, tourists sites and those not discovered yet are joy givers and places to engage the God given nature.
Osun people are probably the most sophisticated around, informed and always ready to engage in any good and virtuous endeavors. The common history of Osun even before its creation in 1991 captured hardwork, piety, respect, humility and reverence to God. Osun men are bold and daring even in strange land; they have achieved excellence in many fields of human endeavours in science to technology, political governance even in religious leadership of the entire most populous black country in the world.
You only need to take a look at the old Oyo State leadership before the creation of Osun by General Ibrahim Babangida. At a point in time, Governor of old Oyo was late Chief Bola Ige from Esaoke town (now in osun), his deputy was Chief S.M Afolabi from Iree (now in osun) and the secretary to the government was Chief Bisi Akande from Ila Orangun (now osun). The exploits continue till date.
The history of Christian revival and penticostalism in Africa would have a vaccum without including the giant strides of Osun born Apostle Ayodele babalola of CAC fame. Today the entire world is witnessing the miraculous handwork of Osun born Pastor E.A Adeboye, apart from leadership transformation of his denomination, the resultant effect in economic, education and development of human capital across over two hundred (200) countries of the world. Same goes for Pastor kumuyi, an ijesha born penticostal holiness preacher with great influence and affluence on the continent of Africa and beyond.
Nigerian labour constituency will forever be grateful to the Baba Adinni of Islam in the country, Chief Tunde Badmus the Asiwaju (leader) of Osogbo with countless titles used to be an associates of late chief MKO Abiola, who was once the richest man in Africa. With thousands of workers and by extension thousands of families taking their daily feeds from this Osogbo born leader, we in Osun can’t be more fortunate and we pray that God increase chief and others doing so in this regards.
The Nigerian labour history would not also be complete without the giant strides of the living legend of the struggle for a just Nigeria, Baba Comrade Hassan Summonu was just thirty seven years when he led the biggest labour movement in the world! According to The Nations Newspaper “37-year-old Sunmonu was the choice of workers to lead the unified labour centre in 1978. The NLC was the product of struggle after the Obasanjo regime proscribed the existing four labour centres. The choice of a leader at a time ideological consideration was of prime concern was by no means easy, especially when titans like Comrades Imoudu and Wahab Goodluck were still around.” This legend has defined for us all, the essence of leadership; he’s still alive, still around for several interventions that could guarantee life more abundant for Nigerians.
Nigeria politics of course has a substantial contributions from various Osun indigenes representing various constituencies in the state. A one time Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian House Of Representative, Rtn Hon Lasun Yusuf is was one of them many osun citizens have excelled in politics at different level.
Nigerian private sector has also witness a lot of contributions from osun citizens, in oil and gas, in agricultural, in education, service delivery, and purchasing and supplies. We remain one of the major contributors to the nation food basket.
Osun today remains the hub of civil Society organisations. Vibrant activism and labour unionism are thriving. The popular sorosoke slogan is traceable to the route that leads to kwara State and our adminstration of Justice is simply the best with the Constitution of judicial panel of enquiry into matters of police brutality and human right violations.
CONSOLIDATING THE TREND
I’m happy that we are celebrating this year Osun’s anniversary with plenty joys and happiness. If you think this is a lie, then you need to ask government workers who just got promotion after ten years. I mean the last time they heard of promotion or conversion or regularisation of their qualifications into existing systems was ten years ago. The implications of this is thousands of them have been collecting same salaries for ten years. How can one be on the same spot for ten years of their destiny. In a country where average life expectancy is forty nine (49) for men and fifty (50) for women and in that ten years, major employment wasn’t done, even number of C of O that was signed was nothing to write home about. The same state was blessed with an over bloated civil service with a stiff beauricratic bottle necks that sees businesses confine to the dustbin of history and potential employees remains on the street in anticipation of jobs that are not coming.
The change Oyetola promised is now happening in our lifetime. We can’t but continue to emphasize the payment of salaries as at when due; we can’t stop talking about renovation of schools and procurement of study facilities. Why should we stop talking about teachers’ motivation with promotions, full payment of salary as and when due, seizures in deduction of their pension contributions and government refusal to touch their cooperative money as against the tradition before the advent of Oyetola?
Health workers like never before are happy not only to resume duty but happy to give their best to serve the people alongside Gov Oyetola. I learnt by what I saw that there’s nothing like workers motivation. A nurse of the University of Osun Teaching Hospital whose husband also work in the same hospital told me that for ten years, herself and her husband were earning far less that thirty (30,000) thousand monthly but now with conversion and promotion done by the Governor, they both earn over hundred thousand (100,000) each full and as and when due. This is the new song on the lips of an average workers in the state of Osun whose salary in a way contribute substantially to the fiscal economy of the state.
The anniversary of this year is also for state higher institution lecturers and workers, students and non academic staffs who have not seen any reason to embark on strike because their right to their wages as opined by the holy Scripture has never been violated.
The establishment of Osun health insurance scheme is another feather added to the state’s cap. If there’s anything you can’t and shouldn’t attend to yourself, it is your health. Subsidizing health care for people is a big deal in this era, where an average person is daily exposed to the risk of infections and this has really slow down the death rate of the state before the Advent of Corona virus. Osun was adjudged to be one of the best in managing and curbing the spread of the killer virus, all thanks to God and Gov Oyetola’s dynamic leadership and of course the ever active people of Osun. The OHIS has given jobs to numerous citizens who render several services in and for the scheme.
Security of Osun at this time is equally commendable. Much has been decipated in ensuring protection of lives and properties of the people. Gov Oyetola encourage and support existence of several security outfits under the leadership and administration of Joint security task force. Hunters, vigilante groups are now better organised into group with the popular Amotekun corps and of course with the collaborative armforces of the Federal republic of Nigeria. Nigeria is no doubt passing through a severe security challenge but we can say of Osun that calmness is assured. Communal crisis are being attended to with the support of community leaders and people. Continuous engagement and communications has made Osun a peaceful place for numerous tourists.
Osun of today has seen government giving loans facility to youths and women without connection and influence from who they know. Many has come to express their surprise and publicly thank the Governor for this gesture. To this end some party members believe they should be settled first but the people matter, everybody is important. From five hundred thousand (500,000) to over two Million naira (2,000,000) each have been disbursed to thousands of bussiness people in osun in less than two years. Several entrepreneurs and bussiness people have testified to this.
What can we say of road constructions and infrastructural development, without seeking local or foreign loan, numerous roads are been constructed, bridge is been built, corners of the state are receiving attentions. Some roads have become epic with their abandonment. The Alekuwodo to Waec in Osogbo was last touched in 1992; Ada -Igbajo road was last touch in1978, commuters of those roads to Abuja has since abandoned the road to fate before the advent of Gov Oyetola. When the righteous are in power, truly the people rejoice.
Our natural habitat remain calm and serene. The Osun Osogbo is a pride of UNESCO, with hundreds of people flocking there in a week. Ayinkunugba is coming up, Owalla Osun, the upcoming replica of Lagos barbeach is to be activated soon even though youths are already flocking there for several fun engagement. Opa oranyan and other places are forever opened for tourists to engage their time. “Kárelé Odùa” is a program intended to connect black people of the world with their ancestral home, especially those from Nigeria.
In the final analysis, Osun State anniversary of this year should also be dedicated to reasoning beyond the moment and what future should hold for it, but then it’s in our hands. The performing Governor should be allowed to continue to perform. The trend of progressives governance in Osun has brought happiness to the people. As a people, we shall continue to move forward by God’s grace under the banner of strategic leadership of Gov Adegboyega Oyetola.
Olùkóni Charles Adeyemi writes from Osogbo, Osun State.
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