The serial edition progresses as NIYI OLASINDE bares the ongoing Urban Renewal drive of the incumbent administration as a child of necessity. He takes this episode to explore the numerous benefits of the scheme, on the basis of which he opines that no material sacrifice would be outrageous to make by the citizenry.
Continued from last week.
IT was showcased in the latter part of the last edition the astonishing giant strides of the incumbent administration in all spheres of life in the State of Osun. It was revealed that in Osogbo, the capital of the State of Osun, work is earnestly on in the area of Urban Renewal; and that that fact does not preclude the fact that work in other areas of programme of the administration has been halted. In all other parts of the state too, work is going on undisturbed, as the administration brings out new projects, schemes and programmes with each passing day. In the list of “O” programmes and projects alone, the list is becoming endless continually. We have the Osun Youth Empowerment Programme (OYES), O’Clean, O’Clean Plus, O’Meal O’REAP and O’Cab. In the education sector alone, we have O’SCHOOLS, O’Uniform, O’Meal, O’Calisthenics, O’Children (Oodua World Children’s Day Programme) and most recently O’Tree (Tree of Life – Igi Iye) and O’Song. All these are in addition to the entire Free, Qualitative and Functional Education package of the administration. In the agricultural sub-sector, apart from the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Project (O’REAP project) and the broad-based and long-standing OSADEP, Fadama and others, there are other specific prolific and viable programmes and projects which are a brainchild of the incumbent administration. Some of these are the O’Beef, O’Fish and O’Honey programmes.
In the Health Sub-sector, apart from the hospitals upgrade, refurbishing and restructure programme which could best be tagged O’Hospitals, we still have specific ones like the free drugs and consumables (O’Drugs) and the O’Ambulance scheme. Further still in this sub-sector, we have several series of free eye examination and treatment and other free examination and surgery treatments, either by the State Government itself or the Oranmiyan Worldwide and/or other private Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are positively disposed to the populist, good gestures of the incumbent administration which are based at home or abroad.For economy of time and space, other “O” programmes and projects of this administration that easily come to mind include O’TOURS, Osun Walk To Live Programme, Osun Sanitation and Osun Waste Disposal Programme. Others are the Osun Roads Maintenance, Osun Elders Care (O’Elders) programmes and the ongoing rehabilitation programme for special needs people, beggars, destitute and street vagabonds in the state. This list does not contain the whole package; it only bares the ones that most easily come to mind.
We need to pause a little here to draw attention to these programmes listed above and others well conceptualized and executed by the incumbent administration; not only in terms of their multiple nature, but for their overall benefits to the entire people of the state. It is not questionable; neither is it contestable therefore that an administration which dispenses dividends of democracy of these multifarious sorts to its people means well for their welfare, good life, improvement, prosperity and overall well-being.
We have, time and time again, and most recently, in our last edition, emphasized the activities of the incumbent administration in massive road construction throughout the length and breadth of the state. In our most recent editions, we brought it to the fore that all over the nooks and crannies of the State of Osun, roads of various grades, shades, shapes, calibres and degrees of usefulness have, and still continue to spring up under the massive road reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of the Government Unusual of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. These roads, formerly sponsored and financed through the broad road project of the Government of the State on the one hand; and the World Bank/Federal Government-assisted Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) have gone so far that most of them are already being put to use, while those that are still under construction are now nearing completion stage; ready for official commissioning.
The recent trend today is that the Government Unusual of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has introduced the innovative intervention effort called the State of Osun Urban Renewal Programme. The programme has as its purview of activities the beautification, development and reconstruction of city centres of nine major towns in the state, selected on the basis of their centrality to and being the headquarters of the nine federal constituencies in the state.
The major towns so affected are Osogbo, the state capital, Ikirun and Ila Orangun in the Osun Central Senatorial District; Ile Ife and Ilesa in the Osun West (Ife/Ijesa) Senatorial District; and Iwo, Ede, Ejigbo and Ikire in the Osun West Senatorial District. For Osogbo, being the state capital, however, the intervention is going to be based on two city centres. The efforts made so far shall soon be the focus of our searchlights.
On another pedestal, there are other road projects subsisting in the state today that are sponsored through the auspices of the local government administration. In the State of Osun of today, there are thirty (30) such substantive local governments; with one more additional Ife East Local Area Office, with headquarters at Modakeke. The implication of this is that if there is yearly construction of 10-kilometre road per council per year in the state, the state must yearly have a total of three-hundred and ten (310) kilometres of rural roads fully constructed. In three years, come February 2014, these rural roads must have multiplied to at least nine-hundred and thirty (930) kilometres! This indeed is a great revolution, compared to the helpless situation of standstill and stagnated growth and development met on ground by the incumbent administration upon its assumption of office in late 2010.
We have already drawn reference to it the first part of this series of editions that too many roads were in a state of disrepair in the State of Osun as at the time of assumption of office of the incumbent administration. If we attempt at this stage tot out these roads and state their current statuses; we would not be undertaking this in effort to exaggerate the marvelous doings of the Government Unusual. Evidences abound everywhere in the state to justify the laudable achievements of the administration especially, in the area of road construction, road reconstruction and road rehabilitation.
In this edition of OSUN DEFENDER Magazine, we shall endeavour to take a trip into the exploration of the recent specific road infrastructure projects undertaken under the auspices of the State Government’s Urban Renewal Project and the many benefits accruable from such projects. We shall also consider the many positive sides of the ongoing or hitherto-carried-out demolition or separation activities on illegal structures by the Government of the state.
THE very first step taken by the administration following the survey of the affected areas and city centres is the involvement of members of various communities and stakeholders in deciding the features and new statuses of their communities. This stakeholders’ forum has much intrinsic value. First in this regard is the sense of involvement it inspires in the indigenes and residents of various communities. Secondly, it portrays the degree and extent of recognition which the administration of the day wields for the people. We also see in the forums (fora) held the democratization of government’s provision for the people through copious and consummate appreciation and recognition of their genuine needs, values and desires. Since the respective communities belong to the people, their involvement in the physical outlook and facelift intended for such communities would have far-reaching effects on how well the changes effected are maintained and managed.
The natives of all communities had been in the most, the residents of those communities since time immemorial. Without apportioning blames on them for the denigrating status of these communities, Government of the State is taking up the responsibility for the renewal of the communities. One important step taken in the direction of sensitizing the members of various communities and awakening the consciousness of residents to their auspicious role of beautifying and renewing their environment was the series of fora held in the various affected areas.
The forums/fora, held sometime between the months of May/June year 2013 were put together by the State of Osun Ministry of Lands, Housing and Regional Planning, under the political leadership of Architect Olumuyiwa Ige. The series of fora, while it lasted, took place from Monday to Thursday every week; and was held at city centres of the various towns and cities earmarked for the beautification cum renewal effort of the administration, which covered the headquarters of the nine federal constituencies of the state. These include Osogbo, the state capital; Ikirun and Ila Orangun. Others are Iwo, Ede and Ejigbo. We also have Ile Ife, Ilesa and Ikire.
As earlier emphasized, the thrust of the ongoing beautification and renewal efforts is to make these cities and towns more befitting, habitable and bring them up to the standards of modern cities, especially their counterparts across the contemporary world. It has been observed that most of our towns had deteriorated over the years due to sheer carelessness, neglect and abandonment by leaders and lack of maintenance culture by followers. The situation had been most unfortunate due to the fact that the traditional caring disposition nurtured and observed by our forebears had got gradually eroded; such that nobody seemed to show concern any longer over the good looks and well-being of our physical environment.
There is this well thought-out illustration that if it were possible for a man that had been dead for some past decades; or even for a complete century to be brought back to life, the resurrected man would find no difficulty at all in going about his normal businesses since the environment he left for so long a time has recorded no appreciable difference, in terms of growth, development and progress. Our city/town centres in particular have down the ages remained the replica of their old selves. The only impressionable difference with most of our town centres had been the disappearance of the long-known palace outer yards at the entrance of the palaces, called aganju; and their replacement with fences and motorable passageways. One most probably constant feature of our city centres in this part of the country and continent is the presence of markets which are often named after the monarch of towns where they are located.
These market places are in most cases unplanned, unstructured and ill-situated. There is indiscriminate erection of stands, stalls, kiosks and shops at locations not approved for buying and selling to take place. These activities cause congestion in places and they militate against decency, modernity and smooth growth of our communities. Also, they prevent the growth and transformation of our environment in line with the requirements of development in the contemporary sense. In our cities and town centres, environmental degradation glares us rudely in the eye; indiscriminate refuse disposal, careless defecation, blockage of erosion paths, water channels and canals, pollution of the environment and water sources and other vices stare us rudely in the face. In several editions of OSUN DEFENDER Magazine, we have dealt extensively with these vices and how they have contributed to hack our rate and pace of progress. Gladly, the Government Unusual of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has come on board to salvage the situation and bring about the desired, long-overdue turn-around to the state and its people. The multiple advantages of these giant strides to the state and its residents shall soon attract our attention.
With the series of stakeholders’ forums held at the various locations earmarked for the urban renewal project, the ball has been set rolling for a new phase of growth and development for the State of Osun and its residents. In the past, the people had been groaning helplessly under the yokes of various indices of underdevelopment, poverty, sloth and penury. Apart from environmental degradation and pollution attendant to careless attitude to sanitation and maintenance matters, other problems which militate against our environment and its people included over-congestion, overcrowded living conditions, unnecessary traffic hold-ups, preventable road carnages and all the likes.
The administration of the day had taken the first step first, by first taking the bull by its horns to tackle the problem of poor road transportation in the state head-on. This it has done most successfully, not only in the metropolis of Osogbo, the state capital but throughout the entire length and breadth of the state. Today in Osogbo, the capital of the State of Osun, almost all the intra-city roads have been fixed. Not only that, all the inter-city/ inter-town roads criss-crossing the state are either in final stages of completion or at various stages nearing completion. Even the numerous inter-state roads that cut across the state, which, as we all know are federal roads are not left out of the reconstructive agenda of the Government of the State. As at the year 2011, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) placed it on record that the State of Osun is one state with one of the longest and most expansive stretch of Federal roads in the country.
This last fact could probably be one of the greatest propelling forces behind the attitude of the Government Unusual of the State to fix all the federal roads in its vicinity. After all, the roads are put to use by the people; not by any other functionary of the Central Government who has no affinity with the state whatsoever. Today, most of the federal roads in the state’s vicinity which we recollect to be in bad shape upon assumption of office of the administration in 2010 are under construction. Work on them has reached various stages of completion; while the few ones on which work has not commenced are billed for construction under the second phase of the massive road reconstruction of the Government of the State.
Some of these road projects include the Gbongan roundabout axis of the Ibadan – Ile Ife Highway, the Gbongan – Akoda stretch of the Gbongan – Akoda – Osogbo road and the Gbongan – Orile Owu –Odeyinka – Ijebu Igbo/Ogun State Boundary road. Others are the haphazardly-constructed Akoda – Old Garage road, which was supposed to be the first phase of the Osogbo – Kwara State Boundary road, the Osogbo -Ikirun – Ila Odo – Erin Ile/Kwara State Boundary road, the Ikirun – Ila Orangun/Kwara State Boundary road and the Igbajo – Imesi Ile/Ondo State Boundary road. This is not to mention the Osogbo – Iwo end of the Osogbo – Iwo – Ibadan express road, the Ilesa – Osogbo road and numerous others.
Within the Osogbo Metropolis, we have a handful other projects which we shall later place on record in later parts of this serial edition. In passing, these Osogbo metropolitan roads include such ones as the famous Oke Fia – Alekuwodo – Orita Ola Iya Linkage Highway, the famous West Bypass Road (a.k.a. Ring Road) broadening and beautification project, the Ola Iya – Abere (New Government Secretariat) Road Project (also broadening and beautification) and the ongoing state-of-the-art multiple-lane Oba Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi Way, which is the East Bypass, linking from somewhere along Ido Osun axis to Ikirun road.
THE many advantages of the ongoing Urban Renewal Project of the Rauf Aregbesola administration in the
State of Osun shall earnestly seize our attention. The talk is currently in vogue in the state that the numerous demolition cum separation exercises across the state is destructive. Better put, some people in known parlances argue that the destruction inflicted on the people and their property via the demolition/separation exercises outstrips the attendant benefits. Many more rounds of rumours, unfounded claims and baseless allegations are milled round town in today’s State of Osun. It is considered a duty that must be done by OSUN DEFENDER Magazine to clear the dust on these rounds of propaganda. To this task we shall now turn our attention.
To set the records straight, there is no place in this part of the globe where transition of a town or settlement from a mere divisional head to a state capital is ever an easy walk. Wherever the people are so resistant, apprehensive or repugnant to changes brought about by urbanization as to intend to subvert such changes through all known means and measures; then such people or communities would have at their best resisted ever playing host to a state capital. We have instances to back these claims. Ibadan, Ilorin, Abeokuta and Akure have at different stages in history had their own portions of this phase of development often considered as destructive. Today, these places are better for it. Ibadan and Ilorin, which are today highly urbanized, are still undergoing various stages of development, showing that all cities are still growing as a matter of continuity. Today also, Abeokuta, Akure and even the cosmopolitan Lagos are not left out of the trend of growth and development.
To a cross section of enlightened minds, the trend of growth and development which Osogbo, the state capital is currently undergoing is long-overdue. The fact that the phases of development being currently witnessed had been stalled till now, almost twenty-two years into the creation of the state, implies that the state had been plagued incessantly with a line-up of regimes, tenures and administration (military and democratic alike) which lacked vision, purpose, discretion and political will-power. The only two earlier administrations which meant well for the state and its people in this regard are the first civilian administration in the state, under the leadership of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), and governorship of Otunba Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke; and a later one under the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), headed by Chief Adebisi Akande. For the former, it was a combination of exuberance of office, attempt at achieving cheap popularity, lack of good counsel and lack of focus that crippled any meaningful attempt at urban renewal befitting for an up-starting state capital. For the purposeful administration of Chief Adebisi Akande, its only besetting in accomplishing its full list of lofty agenda for the state was the abrupt ending it witnessed from the hands of the people’s overlords who advocated their selfish devilish agenda of mainstream politics.
It is gladdening today that it is the arrowhead of the same camp of progressives which Chief Bisi Akande represented as governor of the state that is implementing the long-expected lofty projects; no only in the area of urban renewal, but also in virtually all other areas of development. The long period of time, spanning seven and a half years, during which the apostles of mainstream politics perpetuated themselves in office through the antics of “do or die”, was characterized by stalled growth and virtual lack of progress. Oyinlola did not in any way show concern for how the state, or its capital for instance would transform into a near-mega city, in order to make it compete favourably with other cities of its calibre in Nigeria and yonder; and thereby making it more attractive to investors and industrialists who could turn its fortunes around by the volumes of their investment into the economy of the state.
It is in the line of series of demolition/separation exercises carried out by the incumbent administration of Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola in the course the implementation of his expansionist cum renewal policies that detractors hinged their criticisms. Many of the detractors, who are mostly members and sympathizers of the ousted party and leading opposition in the state, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are grieved, not for the genuine love for the society and its people, but because the administration is achieving manifold success where their own government had failed woefully. To them, the fortunes of the state that are being expended on massive road projects and other schemes that could better the lots of the generality of the masses could have bettered the lots of few as was the case during their time in office if they were used to line up the pockets of the privileged few. Often and often, we hear them lament their woes over lack of easy cash for squandering. They are also fond of counting their losses by saying that the incumbent administration is set to decimate the people on the platter of its massive road construction. They are heard as contending that roads are constructed only for the living; and that without sharing the booty, as the business usually is, in the fold of the hole-infested umbrella party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the scene is set for starving a majority of the people of the state to death!
For all we know as progress-loving progressives, the demolition, separation or expansion scheme of the incumbent administration in the State of Osun; called by whatever name, has all good agenda to pursue other than any destructive motive. This glaring fact is well known to the well-informed class of people, even within the fold of the opposition. Even to the less well-informed class of people within that conservative fold, the inly blind inclusive, the development projects embarked upon by the Aregbesola administration in the state could not have aroused any emotions short of envy, chagrin, fear and insecurity; since the Government Unusual is viewed as one that has appeared from the horizons to challenge their grip on power and provide the people with the kind of leadership which they had ever sought but which had been elusive. This last development of providing a positive alternative in governance came as a soothing relief to the good majority of the people who are known to have been engendered from the loins of progressive forebears. The spate of self-seeking politics which took incursion and ate deep into our political fabrics through the activities and adventures of the conservatives in governance came as a sad deviation from known standards.
IT has been put on note in earlier parts of this edition that the efforts for the sanitization, beautification and renewal of our environment and cities could have come to life earlier than the life of the incumbent administration. As a matter of fact, most of the structures affected by the present demolition/separation exercise had long been marked barely since the state came into existence in 1991. According to one boutique store merchant, Mr. Sunday Jonathan, a resident of Osogbo, the state capital, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER Magazine on the issue, the present architecture of the state; and that of Osogbo city in particular being currently prosecuted by the Aregbesola administration had long been mapped out since the creation of the state in 1991 and thereabouts. An indigene of Ayetoro Gbede in Kogi State, Jonathan, a man in his mid-forties attested to have been resident in Osogbo since the age of two. According to him, such roads as the famous Station Road and the MDS were surveyed and marked in his presence. It therefore gave him great surprise how people started heaping the bulk of the blames for the demolition/separation exercise on the Aregbesola administration alone.
A victim of the demolition/separation exercise at Ayetoro Area of Osogbo, the state capital, Jonathan confessed in a heart-to-heart talk with our crew that upon the separation of his property at Ayetoro Junction, he was perplexed, downcast and distraught; thinking that all was lost. But he resolved to stitch the patches together when he made the frantic move to hire a shop at the New Orisunmbare Market, put in place since the early 2000s. According to him, his relocation to the new market was trailed with mixed feelings and apprehension as he was of the opinion that there was no other location in Osogbo that could offer a fast-selling aura as the Ayetoro Junction.
To his surprise however, the New Orisunmbare Market proved to be more than could be imagined, as he started disposing his wares faster than ever since his relocation. This was so much so, hat he no longer had to sell his wares on credit, as his stock could no longer accommodate existing cash transactions. Asked on his next lines of action, Jonathan confided in our crew that he had already booked stalls in two international markets under construction in Osogbo, so as to broaden the scope of his business in line with the emerging business philosophy in Osogbo and the entire State of Osun. He went further to advise his colleagues, especially those in his shoes, similarly affected by the expansion/relocation to brace up to the challenges by looking inward to what they can do for themselves to mitigate the effects of the inevitable changes. According to him, the expansionist scheme of the Aregbesola administration is a welcome development, which should come with the emergence of a truly urbanized state capital. This fact implies that twenty-two years after its creation, the State of Osun has just begun to answer in real perspective to the status of a state. Osogbo in particular is fast-becoming a full-fledged state capital.
Another respondent who preferred to speak with OSUN DEFENDER Magazine on conditions of anonymity is an artisan – a carpenter to be specific. Mr. Razaq Komolafe (not real names) confessed to be making brisk business from the demolition/separation exercise. According to him, the exercise had offered him and others in similar trade good deal of engagements with which they make cool income for the upkeep and care of their families and meeting up with other responsibilities. According to the ancient maxim, “if wishes were horses; beggars would ride”; Razaq expressed his wish that the exercise should continue! The stark reality is that the exercise could not be carried beyond reasonable, essential and required limits.
On top of all these, OSUN DEFENDER Magazine joins the Government of the State of Osun and the league of other progress-loving citizens to appeal to all property owners affected by the separation/demolition exercise to consider it their bits of sacrifice and contribution and sacrifice to the development of the state at this crucial stage of its existence. We all owe it a duty to give one thing or the other into the bargain for securing the successful prosecution of the Project Osun. In the prosecution of the Project Osun, nothing would be too big to sacrifice. We shall not, in the course of it, be required to sacrifice our lives. If the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola could not wield his influence to hold back the separation of the fencing around the Oranmiyan Campaign Building (the white house accommodating his political campaign secretariat) along the Osogbo – Gbongan Road; then nothing could be too big to give into the development of the state. If the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) now defunct could not throw its influence in politics and government behind averting the separation of part of its premises along the same road in the state capital; then the administration is laying solid practical example in responsible and exemplary governance, unequalled in the annals of the state.
In the past, such demonstration of governance by example had been a matter of extreme rarity. Past military administrators, who of course were non-indigenes of the state; considered it a project not worth the while to sacrifice their time, efforts and (probably) good name for the project. That was why they dodged the implementation all along. In the end, only a few of them who left one or two remarkable achievements in the sands of time could retain their good names. The three past heads of civilian administrations in the state also have score sheets on ground with which they could be assessed. The lethargy, sloth and lack of discretion demonstrated by the immediate-past administration are close to none in history. This also remains eternally on record. It behooves us all to rally support for this purposeful administration; so as to enable it carry all its programmes to a logical conclusion.
AT this juncture, OSUN DEFENDER Magazine deems it of paramount priority to capture the many benefits of the ongoing urban renewal cum expansionist scheme being executed by the Rauf Aregbesola administration. These multifarious benefits shall now be brought to fore with a view to enlightening, educating, guiding and providing erudition for the populace. The urban renewal programme of the incumbent administration has more good than evil to offer to the State of Osun and its people.
It is often argued in some quarters that the urban renewal effort is focused toward mere beautification of our cities, towns and surroundings. If this were so, then we should understand that beautification efforts anywhere transcend the ordinary. The aesthetics of our environment should be of topmost priority to us. The advanced societies of today got to the top and remained there partly because they hold in high esteem matters pertaining to aesthetics. Some advanced and highly urbanized cities and countries of the world today are crowd-pullers simply because they are beautiful to behold and safe to inhabit. The Psalmist, while portraying Mount Zion, the high place of the Most High God, described it as “beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth”. Thereupon, it earned its status as the Holy Mountain of God basically on the premise that it is neat, clean, decent and beautiful. Another portion of the scriptures, still among the works of the Psalmist says “O worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness…” Most pilgrimage sites today became convergence points for mammoths crowds of adherents the world over because they are first and foremost beautiful to behold; and safe to inhabit. No sane person would prefer to live around filthy environment.
It is therefore an enterprise that is worth the while for an administration to strive to transform our cities and towns. One sad development that had been mind-bugging all the while is the condescending nature of our physical environment and landscape. One of the sterling qualities of our forebears is the extreme extra-vigilant care of the environment. This value had got almost completely eroded through years of ruthless, rudderless leadership and inadvertent followership. It is often argued, and reasonably too, that the people get the kind of leadership they deserve. It had been a gradual process of carelessness on the part of leaders and the led that contributed to the rot and decay witnessed in the past. Now that an administration has come aboard to proffer lasting solutions to the seemingly ever-lingering problems and challenges plaguing our environment and its people; we all owe it a duty to throw all of our support behind the administration.
But the good gestures of the Aregbesola administration in the State of Osun transcend beautification alone. Apart from beautifying our physical and social environment, the administration is determined to get our environment renewed in all ramifications. Like Jesus the Prophet said during his time of three-year ministration on the planet-earth, He had come not to destroy the laws and the prophets; but He came to get them fulfilled. Likewise, Aregbesola is a gift to the present-day State of Osun, the upcoming and future generations especially in the realization of the dreams, yearnings and aspiration of our founding fathers.
Like we mentioned in an earlier analysis, nothing would be new to a long-dead person in our environment; should he be brought back to life after one or several decades of cessation of life! This discovery is sad indeed. As living creatures, our environment supposes to be a living one. It is out of place to find living creatures inhabiting a dead environment. Without the intention of casting aspersion on anyone; the state and status of the environment is a pointer to the calibre of people that inhabit it. In other words, dead people inhabit dead environment. That is why the graveyard is bushy except the living deems it necessary to clear the bushes. The best quality of the graveyard is its silence. Polluting as noise could be among the living, it is an essential proof that we are living.
It is therefore in line with our mandate as living creatures, created in the likeness of the Most High God, to create the environment we deserve. God is creative. He created the heavens and the earth with His creative force. We as His creative expression should therefore be creative. The renewal programme of the Aregbesola administration is doubtless in pursuance of this mandate. We strongly solicit the support of all and sundry in the full realization of this laudable mandate of this God-sent administration.
Apart from the beautifying and renewal qualities of the currently-ongoing programmes of the administration, the programmes also have the potentialities of upgrading the statuses of our communities among counterparts across lands and cultures. The State of Osun is prided as haven of culture and a rallying point in the area of tourism, hospitality and recreation. It is not befitting for a state so prided not to have decent environment and features. The efforts of the incumbent administration at bequeathing legacies of decent environment to the state and its people are directed towards the right direction. By this its drive along the line of urban renewal, the statuses of communities in the state are being rapidly upgraded, so that in no time, with subsequent phases of development in this direction, the trend of development would have spread across the entire length and breadth of the state.
Still on the improvement and upgrading of the statuses of our communities, towns, cities and settlements, the development of these places is not limited to the existence and replication of recreational cum hospitality centres. The general landscape and scenery of the environment matter a great deal in attracting people to come and stay and establish stakes in the business opportunities and prospects available in the area. With time, the remarkable improvement in the physical features and entire environment would translate into greater positive effects on entire ways of life; especially, the pattern of conducting business affairs. The transportation system, mode of handling business transactions, mode of settling transactual debts, mode of grievance resolution, security apparatus, justice system and all the rest – all would be positively impacted in a matter of few years. In a nutshell, the entire urban renewal package shall soon impact positively on all aspects of life for the people of the State of Osun; indigenes and residents alike.Another positive side of the urban renewal programme of the administration of the Rauf Aregbesola administration is the impact it is going to throw on the provision of social amenities for our communities and their people. The whole essence of urban renewal does not only consist in erection of structures; but filling the provided structures and the entire spatial range of area with conveniences of life with which residents would be offered life abundant. In the package of provisions for the urban renewal programme; the communities at the city centres would be provided with police posts, toilets/lavatory facilities, eateries, parks and gardens, libraries post offices/agencies and other similar facilities that fall the range of essential needs of the people.
As it is in our communities of today, the security system has become weakened over the years, postal services are almost non-functional, most places are unhygienic, eateries are far between; while conveniences are simply lacking, causing indiscriminate human defecation. Absence of parks causes congestion on our roads and at roundabouts of cities and towns. This situation is a major cause of hiccups to smooth human and vehicular movement; thereby hampering commercial and official activities of sorts. The absence of gardens, spaces and recreational facilities/public events centres cause blockage of roads and use of schools and other public utilities for occasion and events. The use of these utilities for purposes for which they were not initially intended culminates in misuse and abuse. Gladly, all these sad phenomena are fast-becoming things of the past; courtesy of the Aregbesola administration in the State of Osun.
We can go on and on, but limitations imposed by space and time would constrain us to suspend further discourse till the next edition. For the meantime, OSUN DEFENDER Magazine enjoins our people to keep on cooperating with the incumbent administration in all its bids to transform the state and lift it to enviable heights. We plead for the maximum cooperation of our people to enable the government carry all its laudable programmes, policies and projects to a logical conclusion. God bless the State of Osun; God bless Nigeria.
To be continued.