Former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, on Monday, 10th August, 2015, disclosed that the state is a brand that will outlast any government whether its performance is good or bad.
Oyinlola stated this at a forum, Osun Stakeholders’ Conference organised by the Osun Legislators’ Forum, an umbrella body of House of Representatives and members of Senate representing the state in the National Assembly.
Oyinlola said the stakeholders’ conference became necessary in view of the current financial crisis bedeviling the whole of the federation which Osun is part of.
According to him, Osun as a state has a perpetual succession irrespective of the performance of any government in power either before or now.
He stated that the summit is right on target with a view to forging a survival strategies within the context of national economic crisis.
The former governor therefore described the stakeholders’ forum which was the gathering of all indigenes home and abroad, as avenue to fashion ways out of the financial crisis facing some of the states in Nigeria.
He said, “Osun as a state has a perpetual life. It is a constitutional brand that will outlive any government in power.
“It behooves on all of us as indigenes to rally round the state in its present financial crisis. We must not allow the state to die; we must leave a positive legacy for our future generations.
“This is what this stakeholders’ conference is all about, it is a gathering of indigenes and lovers of the state to put heads together and provide a solution to the present impasse.
“Government comes, government goes but state will remain. So, our gathering today is to fashion a way forward that will be acceptable to all and sundry. For us, it is our conviction that Osun must continue to exist”.
Speaking earlier, the Governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said that how the nation got into this financial crisis could not be fathomed.
According to him, the nation was already heading to the precipice but for the change of government that brought the All Progressives Congress to the centre.
He attributed the financial crises across the states of the federation to the bad leadership of the immediate past government.
Aregbesola stressed that the stakeholders’ conference which is the brainchild of the Osun federal legislature demonstrated how serious our representatives take the issue of this state.
In his words, “How we got to this financial crisis is unknown to a lot of people, it is only the wise who may have a flash of understanding of what actually went wrong.
“It is this similar crisis that we are also battling with in this state as other states are also experiencing.
“This forum gives us opportunity to study indepth how this situation came about and for us to find a lasting solution to the crisis so that our state will move forward.
“By organising this conference, our honourable members in the federal House of Representatives and members of the Senate have shown that they are seriously concerned about the destiny of the state and ready to do anything possible to redeem it from crisis that may afflict it”
The Governor also urged the participants who were all drawn from the civil servants, formal and informal sector including artisans, businessmen, socio-cultural groups and others to use the occasion to open up on either their grievances, misconceptions and other opinions about his government.
Aregbesola said the forum was an open one which would allow all stakeholders to freely criticise his government policies, make fresh especially in view of the current national economic challenges facing Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Osun, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, in his speech at the event, advised the Government to verify the N3.6 billion monthly wage bill of the state properly asserting that government is likely to discover the real wage bill is not up to that.
With a proper screning, the NLC chairman said he was confident the government would find out the difference between what it pays as wage bill monthly and what the actual wage bill should be.
Earlier in his welcome remark, Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Prof Sola Adeyeye, said the forum became necessary in view of the delicate political atmosphere hanging over the country.
Senator Adeyeye said that it was apparent that the country was adrift but for the change at the federal level.
He stated that he and his colleagues organised the forum to call on all lovers of the state to put heads together to proffer solutions to the challenges facing the state as occassioned by the national economic crisis.
“We are representatives of our state at the federal level. We cannot sit back when the state as well as the nation faces difficulty.
“It does not matter again to dwell more on who the architect of our current crisis is. We feel strongly that our people from all walks of life must come together to jointly discuss the way forward,” Senator Adeyeye said.
Among the dignitaries present at the conference were: the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Najeem Salam; eminent businessmen: Chief Tunde Ponnle, Chairman MicCom Cables; Chief Tunde Badmus, Chairman, TUNS Farms; Prof. Ademola Odejide, formerly of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan; Senator Sunday Fajinmi, governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy in the August 9 2014 election and a former senator representing Osun West Senatorial District; and former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Moses Aboaba.
Others were: Sen. Jide Omoworare, Prof. Mojeed Alabi, Hon. Ayo Omidiran, Hon. Ajibola Famurewa; Hon Ghafar Amere among others.
The event was also witnessed by many traditional rulers in the state.