Aregbesola decries tag of “Executive-Governor,” says …
To mark the Christmas day a panel on Nigerian Television Authority program discussed with Islamic and Christian Priests as well as the Governor of Osun State – Ogbeni Abdul Rauf Aregbesola on matters of similarities or dissimilarities between the two great religions in Nigeria, Truthfulness, Transparency, and dispensation of Justice exhibited by leadership in Nigeria. Aregbesola discussed by phone with the panel and other discussants were at stay in the studio.
Asked by the panel whether Nigerian leaders exhibit character of transparency in leadership as exhibited by Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohmmed; Ogbeni Abdul Rauf Aregbesola the Governor of Osun State of Nigeria replied that he will not judge the leaders but would speak of himself.
In response to a mention, the Governor said there is nothing like “Executive Governor,” it is a misnomer, it is unconstitutional, what we have in the constitution is “Governor of so, so and so State.” He asked that if there is “Executive Governor” do we have “Legislative Governor” and “Judicial Governor?” He said it is not only the top echelon of the society that must exhibit leadership it must be exhibited at all levels of the society. He explained that he is doing his best to be transparent and urged the need by all to emphasize the cardinal objectives of faith. Aregbesola further stated, “If we all understand that our salvation when we leave the earth is the essence of faith, then nobility of character (Omoluwabi) will matter to us.” He said he will do his best to show exemplary character and will demonstrate compassion which he considers as the actual basis of leadership.
On truthfulness, he re-counted that Jesus Christ lived a life that shows how best to relate with one another and that when his followers asked him how to relate with the State, Jesus told them to give unto Ceaser (the state) what is for Ceaser and to God what is for God. Aregbesola says that the response by Jesus summarizes it all. He urged leaders and followers to be honest with their selves. Concerning the Prophet of Islam, Aregbesola said that Prophet Mohammed radiated love not only to his followers but to all and sundry. He recalled that when the Christians of Najran visited Mohammed in his mosque, he asked the delegation of Najran Christians to pray in his mosque. Aregbesola said there is no attitude of hostility to members of other faith in the tradition of the Prophet. This was what leaders of religion did during their time. He said that it is our inability to really imbibe those traditions and live by them that is causing crisis across the land. He urged the followers of Islam and Christianity to learn to live as brothers.
On whether the leaders of this country have dispensed justice according to the provisions of their faith, Aregbesola opted to answer the way he understood the question. He explained that in the society like our own, exploitative relations especially economic relations is the basis of our interaction and that exploitation defines our political and economic relations. We tend to dramatize religion because it provides the ground to rationalize, he further said. He cited the Boko Haram phenomenon which he says appears to be religion, but which is not rather he argued that Boko Haram insurgency is absolutely economic.
He said from the lowest level of the society to the highest level there is no just relationship generally. This he explained is because as at today, the nation lives essentially on rent or commission from oil and is built on very weak production arrangement. “Whereas our nation from the colonial period to just before the military intervention in politics, was run on the productivity of our people and until we are back to production and productivity we may not escape the worrisome situation we are in now’, he reasoned. Yes, oil revenue will help to jump start the process for development it cannot be the panacea for our economic development, he said. He decried sentiment and rhetoric in analysis but urged fairness to one another. Aregbesola added that leaders cannot divorce themselves from the society.
He challenged people to visit Osun state as he explained that when they got to office, they knew what they were. He said they observed that that they needed to develop strategy that will ennoble and enrich lives. They decided to first provide succor to some good number of their youths and for this they set up youth empowerment scheme. They got some volunteer youths to do social works like cleaning the drains, removing refuse, teaching the children in schools and directing traffic where such was a problem. And from these efforts alone, they have totally removed extreme poverty from Osun State, he emphasized.
The Governor referred to the National Bureau of Statistics report where the facts will be found of the level of Osun state “regardless what one thinks (notion or bias) about it”, he said. On human development index, the Governor affirmed that Osun State is in the category of the best three and have ever remained there.
On infrastructures, Ogbeni Aregbesola declared that there is no state in Nigeria that could rival the infrastructures provided by Osun State in schools both at primary and secondary schools levels. He lamented that people don’t see the challenge at meeting workers’ salaries in a State where the workforce of 0.5% of the state population consume close to 90% of the revenue resources of the state.
Finally, the Governor advised that Nigeria must focus the education of the young ones in critical thinking, problem solving and character building. In addition, we must emphasize production as the way out of the challenge we are facing because a nation that does not produce is doomed to fail, he concluded.