AN OPEN LETTER TO OGBENI RAUF AREGBESOLA: HIS EXCELLENCY SIR; TIME TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I hope this letter meets you in high spirit; I use this medium to commiserate with you over the death of our mother Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola.
I write to you as a concerned Osun son to express the deep rooted concerns of many Osun sons and daughters. I write to you not as a party man but as a young man which you can call your son. You are a personal friend of my family your relationship with my family dates back to your secondary school days with my father, at Victory College Ikare. I don’t think I can sit idle and watch the psychopaths around you destroy the good fortunes and solid name you have built for yourself over the years.
May I remind you that according to political demography and Zoning after your tenure it might take another thirty-two years before the Ijesha nation can lay claim to the governorship of Osun. The question for determination is what have you brought home for your people? I was shocked and embarrassed when the performance of students in the just released West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination was rated according to the performance of states. Osun state maintained the same 29th position it held last year.
Osun and Oyo states are the only states in southern Nigeria that appeared in last seventeen. I am certain that our father Chief Obafemi Awolowo who laid a solid foundation for the students of your generation will be weeping deeply in his grave.
As a concerned Awoist, I believe this abysmal failure will certainly give Pa Awo sleepless nights in the land of our ancestors. I went on a fact finding mission to my native Ijebu-jesa town to find out why and how the glory was departed from the Osun state. His Excellency, the reports I got are very disturbing and embarrassing. I will limit the scope of this discussion to Ijebu-jesa Grammar School.
Over the years this school has produced great men that have done this nation proud. It might interest you to know that the current Head of National Office of WAEC Mr Isaac Adenipekun is an alumnus of this great institution, that is now a relic of its glorious past. It is very sad that my people in Ijebu-jesa hung this failure squarely on the neck of the government of the day. I was told that before this government started Ijebu-jesa Grammar School had over forty-five teachers which my people felt was grossly insufficient for a school that once had over eighty teachers.
I want to believe that you are not aware that the people in Ijebu-jesa claim that Ijebu-jesa Grammar School has just nine teachers of which only five are the paid by the government. The other four are paid by a church in the community, PTA and the good people of the town. I was made to believe that your government sent just five teachers who are not properly motivated to teach sixteen classes over sixteen different subjects. I urge you to investigate this claim. Posterity will not forgive anybody who suggests that all is well in the education sector in Osun state.
Working and walking through Osun I saw lots of beautiful structures your government have erected in school compounds. May I hurriedly remind you, Sir, that schools are schooled by people and not structures? What are beautiful structures without teachers? What are schools with unhappy students? Some things must first be taken care off before we consider structures.
It is only properly motivated teachers that can teach and give us the desired results. It is only properly motivated students that can do us proud in any examination. Your policy of feeding students is a laudable one by every definition of the term laudable, but my people on the streets of Ijebu-jesa think it is putting the horse before the cart. An average Ijesha man like yourself is a firm believer in hard work and has a lot of pride in his ability to take care of his family both immediate and extended. There is cash strap in the state because the government refused to pay full salaries to deserving civil servants.
This has caused pain and anguish for many parents which in turn has affected the morale of many students. Our dear state is a complete civil servant state, the pay of the civil servants controls what happens to the finances of the market women, artisans and even religious organisations. My people believe that the billions used to feed our children can be used to pay better salaries and the responsibility of feeding the children be done by their parents.
It is praiseworthy that your government considered a uniform, school uniform for students in the state of Osun. This idea seriously hit the cross bar because this had breed more criminal tendencies amongst our students, they now commit atrocities with reckless abandon knowing it will be difficult for their schools to be traced let alone the individual student.
Ogbeni must also be mindful of the fact that he has created mortal enemies in the tailors/fashion designers in the state. This class of people and many others in their school of thought believe that the policy of the government to design and tailor school uniforms for students denied tailors the access to a large chunk of wages. Again they believe that the money for this school uniforms could be used to pay the parents of these children their salaries for the economy of the state to flow faster and better. It is with very deep sorrow in my heart that I inform you that the Government Technical Secondary School between Ijebu-jesa and its sister town Ijeda has since become moribund and infrastructures worth billions of naira are wasting. Something must be done urgently to revive that school.
Sir, I believe that the voice of reason within you will encourage you to look deeply into some of the concerns of the good people of Osun as regards education. I prefer to believe that His Excellency is not aware that General Hospital in Ijebu-jesa is no longer in use. That hospital is abandoned due to lack of proper care and maintenance.
This really got me emotional because my people will have to travel to Ilesha to get treated for minor sicknesses. In the name of all our ancestors, I beg the governor for forgiveness on behalf of the good people of Oriade LGA in general and Ijebu-jesa in particular. I refuse to understand why the capital of one the largest and most populated LGA’s in your state will not have any functional government hospital.
His Excellency should remember that governors will come and go but traditional institutions led by our Obas will remain. If nobody had told you that our traditional institutions are on life support, I volunteer myself to tell you this gospel truth.
Our Obas are not happy with the current administration. It is rumoured that the monthly stipends of the Obas are not paid as and when due, as core a believer in the sanctity of our traditional institutions I refuse to believe this rumour. Again, it is rumoured that since you came to office our Obas have not received any car gift from the government this has made many Obas to be without cars that befit their personality. I believe Sir, that our Obas will be happy if cars loans can be arranged for them.
His Excellency Sir, you are a politician and politics should mean a lot to you. The absence of Ijebu-jesa from the state executive council is one error too many. My people are mortally bitter about this act of omission; I believe that you will do everything in your power to correct this fatal political error. I also use this opportunity to make a case against the marginalization of the Ijebu-jesa people in the politics of Osun state. My people suspect that there is an unwritten code to annihilate us politically.
His Excellency Sir, this letter is born out of my love and compassion for the good people of my primary constituency which is Ijebu-jesa, Oriade LGA and Osun state and my larger constituency which is the human race. If nothing is urgently done to address the issues raised in this letter I can guarantee that your party the APC would lose all the election that would hold in Osun both pre and post-2019. The time is ticking and it is ticking faster than you thought.
We must do the needful immediately.