My dear Good People of the State of Osun,
Yesterday evening, political thugs and hoodlums made failed attempts on my life and those of my aides while identifying with our beloved youths who were engaging in legitimate protest against the alleged brutality of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
My entourage and I joined protesters from Alekuwodo area to Olaiya Junction chanting solidarity songs with them and encouraging them along the way. During the course of my address to the protesters to reiterate our cooperation and support, political thugs hijacked the exercise and hurled stones and dangerous weapons at us and vandalised several cars in my convoy.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the commando style with which the assailants carried out their attack was deliberate and pre-planned. It was also evident that it was not the genuine protesters that carried out the violence.
Preliminary investigation further revealed that no live bullet or cannister of teargas was fired at the rampaging political thugs. Therefore, no life was lost at the scene of the incident. I was properly evacuated to safety.
Regrettably, two lives were reportedly lost yesterday. But none occurred during the attack on me. One of the said deaths which was caused by a lone motorcycle accident occurred around 12noon, long before I got to the protest ground.
The second death was said to have occurred around Ayepe, about 5 kilometers away from Olaiya where we held the protest.
We sympathise with the families of the diseased and pray to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the great losses.
I have directed that the incidents be properly investigated with a view to ascertaining the causes of the deaths.
By this week, we shall be setting up a Judicial Panel of Enquiry in line with the directive of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate all related cases of abuse and brutality by the disbanded SARS. This panel will also investigate yesterday’s attack.
What happened on Saturday is objectionable, unacceptable and a blight to the Omoluabi ethos that the State of Osun stands for.
Attempt on the life of the governor cannot be planned by the youths who constituted over 60 per cent of the voters that elected us into office and had embarked on successful and peaceful road walks with us several times in the past.
Osun youths who are the original #EndSARS protesters have travelled the long road of building a better Osun with us and we have been on the lane of delivering a better and prosperous Osun together. This assassination attempt could not have come from them.
Our Administration had identified with the youths from Day One of the protest in the belief that protest is a legitimate right of the citizenry and a core component of democracy. On the day one of the protest, Senior Government Officials were at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park to identify with and address the protesters.
These Senior Officers of the Government also addressed them at the Gate of the State Secretariat, Abere, on the fourth day to identify with the protesters, pledge our solidarity to their cause and promise to deliver their demands to the President. Those demands have since been met by Mr. President.
The protesters had engaged in peaceful demonstration for the first two days before it was later hijacked in the last five days. In fact, we had cause to raise the alarm last Wednesday to the effect that the protest had been hijacked.
Again, earlier yesterday, our party, the All Progressives Congress, did raise another alarm that identified political thugs were seen brandishing dangerous weapons while following the protesters.
It is unfortunate that yesterday’s protest which started peacefully was allowed to degenerate into a violent exercise and a huge danger to the lives and property of the people that we are called out to protect. This is unacceptable.
As a responsible and responsive government, we will do everything within the ambit of the law to protect the lives and property of our people. All our citizens and residents are enjoined to be law abiding as any person found contravening the law shall be made to face the wrath of the law.
We commit to the cause of our youths and the #EndSARS protesters and shall do everything to ensure that their demands are met.
I enjoin all our citizens to be peaceful and to be law abiding as all efforts shall be made to protect them and their property.
Rest assured that we are on top of the situation. We shall fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act and bring them to justice. We shall not condone any act that will compromise the lives of our people and the hard-won ranking of our State as the most peaceful state in Nigeria.
As a responsible government, we will do everything in our powers to protect the lives and property of our people.
May God continue to bless and keep the State of Osun.
Thank you and God bless.
US Exchange Alumni Association Empowers Osun Women, Gives Cash Grant
The United States Government Exchange Alumni Association has presented fifty thousand naira grant to twenty selected indigent women in Osun State to support their nano businesses.
The presentation, tagged ‘Business capital Support’, was done on Friday by the State Deputy Governor, Kola Adewusi at the US Corridor within the Osun State University Teaching Hospital in Osogbo.
A 2-day entrepreneurship training was earlier this week, organized for the 20 selected indigent women by the US Government Alumni Association in Osogbo with the support of SMEDAN.
At the presentation of the cash grant to the women, the State coordinator of US Government Alumni Association, Dr. Femi Adefila said, the programme was concieved empower women in nano business, to promote and support their businesses and build a viable economy at the grassroots.
He noted that the beneficiaries were selected on merit, adding that they were selected through a phone in interview with Rave FM, where they indicated the type business they were into and the kind of support they need to boast their business.
Adefila said “On Rave Fm, there’s a programme called “karakata”, it was from this programme, that the women called in and asked questions about their businesses and the struggles they are going through.
”So after much survey and findings, we were able to select 20 women out of 100, and we decided to empower them through the US Government Exchange Alumni Association“
Addressing the beneficiaries, the State Deputy Governor tasked them to manage the grant judiciously
Adewusi lauded the Association for organizing the empowerment and training programmes for the women.
He expressed conviction that more people would be lifted out of poverty with the initiative.
Adewusi said, “First and foremost, I’d like to commend the conveners for supporting these women in the State, empowering these women is this trying times, it’s a commendable effort.
” I also want to congratulate the women for being part of this, I implore you to make judicious use of these money given to you, support your business and not give away these funds. When you invest in your business, it grows and you can use it to support your family”, he stated.
Reviving Nigeria’s Economy: Ooni Advocates Use Of Local Products, Urges Leaders To Show Example
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has resonated the need for leaders across board to embrace the use of local products.
He said the sure way to grow the nation’s economy is for all to cultivate habit of using more of local contents, urging leaders at various levels to show example.
Ooni Ogunwusi stated these on Thursday in his palace in Ile-Ife where he received two vehicles and three motorbikes from one of the indigenous vehicle manufacturing companies in Nigeria on commemoration of his 8th years on the throne.
Oba Ogunwusi called on political leaders to desist from promoting foreign commodities, adding that Nigerian lawmakers should make it mandatory for anyone having any business with the parliament to wear and make use of indigenous products.
The monarch charged President Bola Tinubu, governors and federal lawmakers to include locally made and assembled vehicles in their fleet.
He said, “The earlier we know we cannot continue to kill our own, the better for us in this country. I took it upon myself to support and rally support for Innoson Motors and other local products because this is part of ways to boost our economy. Now that we have a company that produces vehicles, our governors should ensure establishment of companies that deal with manufacturing of components of vehicles such as car keys, windscreen, mirror among others.
“Why are we always benchmarking our economy on dollar? I want to appeal to our leaders that enough of promoting foreign commodities. Enough of benchmarking everything with dollar. Let us encourage local production and products. How many of what they (leaders) eat and wear are manufactured in Nigeria? Indigenous products from human, materials and human capital development should be prioritised.
“I will include Innoson vehicles in my own fleet and let our leaders support so that we can address youth unemployment. Our leaders should not sign any contract if they don’t have local touch.
“National Assembly should promulgate a law that everybody coming to NASS should have indigenous production. Start grading yourself. If you are wearing ten things, seven must be made in Nigeria. Let it be our policy. If we do that everything will be better. Let our leaders stop deceiving us in this country. National Assembly should start making laws that are impactful. We pray we don’t have a backlash of frustrated youths in this country.”
Weeks After Peace Resolution: Ifon/Ilobu Crisis Brewing Again
…as Ilobu farmers face alleged attacks, alert government to nip situation in the bud
Barely eight weeks after a peace resolution was signed between the two warring communities and curfew lifted on the areas, the Ifon/Ilobu crisis seemed to be brewing again.
Some farmers of Ilobu extraction on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest in the town against what they described as incessant attacks on them on their farms by some members of Ifon community.
The protest, they said, was staged to register and to condemn incessant attack and harassment by their aggressors on their farmland located in Oyo State.
The protesters called on the state government to make concrete effort to ensure permanent solution to the crisis between the two communities, adding that they had been left with their fate after the signing of peace in October 6th, this year.
The protesting famers have their farmlands where they alleged to have been threatened in villages including; Aba Agana Amoo, Abebi, Ologele, Olosho, Ojeyemi, Idiroko, Bara, Ojeyemi, Toolu, Wale, Ikimo, all within Oyo State.
They carried placards with various inscriptions such as; We call for justice, Arrest Eesa and Jide Akinyooye, We farm on oyo land not Ifon Osun among others, chanting songs to demonstrated their grievances.
Some of the famers, Bashiru Adegbenro, Wakili Olawoyin and Jimoh Adeyinka, said the perpetrators they came to attack them on the 4th of October on their farmland in Oyo state.
They said their farms, houses were burnt and destroyed in some instances, while some farm produces were being carted away by their aggresors.
Earlier on Wednesday, at a press conference, the PRO, Ilobu Asake Development Union, ODU, Tairu Babatunde had on behalf of the Union reiterated the town’s commitment to peaceful coexistence with all its neighbours.
Babatunde decried any sinister moves in disrespect of the peace deal between the two communities by any elements.
He said “It is, however, disheartening and shocking that despite this olive branch extended by the people of Ilobu to our neighbors, most particularly, the people of Ifon-Osun, what we receive is more attacks, dehumanization, destruction of properties and harassment of our people. This is very sad and it’s the only reason we have invited you here today. The world must know. Ilobu-Asake Development Union is an umbrella body for all sons and daughters of Ilobu and we owe it a duty to protect their interest.
“I want to tell you that since the ceasefire was declared, our people who are plying their trades in villages such as Oloso, Idi-Iriko, Owode and several other villages in Oyo State have not been allowed to witness peace. It has been attacks over attacks.
“Harassment and torture. We believe this must stop. Several farmlands invaded by people of Ifon-Osun whose name will be mentioned by victims that are here today. We have also submitted petition to relevant agencies and the government.
The PRO called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the attacks on Ilobu farmers.
He said “We want to advise the State government that peace building is a process and not an action, we want them to continue engagement as no engagement has been held since October 6th when the peace deal was signed.
“We also want the agents of the government, particularly, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Adekunle Omoyele to stop acting like an agent of Ifon people. The recent arrest of tipper drivers in Ilobu which was coordinated by him without recourse to Ilobu Divisional Police who have been at the center of managing this crisis, necessitated this call.”
Recall that, few months ago when lives and property were lost during the crisis between the two communities, the State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke imposed dusk to dawn curfew on both Irepodun and Orolu local government areas to ensure that the crisis did not degenerate.
The Governor, on the 6th of October facilitated the signing of peace accord between the communities and alap lifted the curfew on the two local government areas.
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