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Govs not doing enough to ease people’s suffering – Ex-Osun



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Yes, there is indeed calmness in the APC fold in Osun State, and this is a result of pragmatic efforts of the leadership of the party in bringing all the aggrieved members together through conflict resolution and mediation which have been yielding positive results.

In addition to that, the party, under the leadership of Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, recently embarked on a state-wide tour to review, appraise, and evaluate the strength of the party and its challenges across the local government areas in the state.

That was a follow-up to the report of the 11-man committee headed by Prof. Isaac Adewole, which aims at repositioning the party through critical analysis of areas of strength and weakness to improve and implement the recommendations of the committee for the APC to remain a formidable party in Osun State.

As mentioned earlier, the leadership of the party is preoccupied with how to strengthen, accommodate new members, and reconcile existing ones to build a stronger team that will give us victory in the next election. It is the prerogative of the political party at the national level to give a go-ahead to interested members. Meanwhile, His Excellency, Gboyega Oyetola, will have the right of first refusal to the 2026 governorship ticket of our party.

We are the progressives, and you cannot compare our style of governance, which is people-oriented and full of impactful programmes and policies with that of the conservatives, who do not have a clear sense of direction, other than merrymaking. Anyway, Osun people have seen the two sides of the coin, and come 2026, they will not miss the opportunity to vote for the progressives.

With utmost sense of humility and dignity to Nigerians who are struggling with various issues in the wake of the economic downturn that emanated from the introduction of two major reforms by this present administration; that is the removal of fuel subsidy and merger of foreign exchange rates, the intention of President Bola Tinubu is good.

The introduction of these reforms has indeed led to an increase in economic hardship, galloping inflation, and depreciation of naira, which have reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians. The President, who is quite aware of the economic hardship, has taken all responsibilities by rolling out different intervention measures through the state governors.

The question now is what are the state governors doing to alleviate the sufferings of the citizens in their various domains? It calls for concerns, that despite the massive increase in the revenue from the federal allocation available to the various levels of government after the removal of fuel subsidy, state governors appear not to be doing enough to ease the suffering of the people.

I still cannot comprehend the modalities, or the template used by the governors for the distribution of the grains. I want us to quickly take a flashback to the administration of Mr Gboyega Oyetola, a former governor of Osun State, on how he fed more than 30,000 vulnerable residents of the state every month for almost four years of his administration.

Oyetola did that through the use of the World Bank Assisted Social Register, which captured virtually all vulnerable residents across the state.

But for the governors, which template did they use in the distribution of the grains? People should ask them.

Also, many state governors are still foot-dragging on the implementation of the resolution on payment of 35,000 wages award to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy withdrawal in line with the agreement reached with the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

Also, you said with accrual to states after the subsidy on oil has been removed, State governors have been collecting good money that should have been used to make Nigerians happy. Are you not looking at inflation that is already affecting whatever they are collecting?

My position is that the governors need to support various initiatives of the president in fixing the economy by utilising their monthly allocation for poverty alleviation in their various states. That is what should be paramount now.

What the state governors are earning from the federal allocation since the removal of the fuel subsidy is enough to put smiles on the faces of the people, if judiciously used. If governors can judiciously utilise what they are currently earning, the impact of inflation will be minimally felt by the people. We have the figures and facts about what these governors are getting.

In December 2023, the Federal Government approved N5bn for each state and the Federal Capital Territory to enable them to procure food items for distribution to the poor in their respective states. The development came in the wake of the hike in the cost of food items and premium motor spirit (petrol), due to the removal of subsidy on the commodity.

Apart from the considerable windfall in revenue allocations, the governors have also enjoyed considerable support from the Tinubu administration, as they recently received N 78bn, and also N2bn each for infrastructure support and fuel subsidy palliative, respectively.

With the aforementioned, the state governors have no reason to fail the people because the revenue available to all tiers of government has increased significantly since June 2023.

State governors have no reason to do otherwise but rather, they must be ready to give dividends of democracy to their people. They should account for what they are getting. People are displeased already. Citizens are watching and waiting patiently to see what their governors will do. But if they fail to do the needful, then they should be ready to face the wrath of the people at the appropriate time.

They should do the needful and complement what the President is doing at the federal level and by doing so, everyone, irrespective of political affiliations, will feel the positive impact of the initiatives introduced by the President.

If the governors do the needful, the living standard of the people will improve and there will be less disaffection towards the government at the centre. However, we will continue to encourage them to meet their obligations to workers, pensioners, and to the people in general.

I think the Presidency has clarified that members of the National Assembly were not given cash but were given rice and other food items to be distributed as palliatives and as a sort of constituency project worth N100m per federal constituency and N200m per senatorial district.

The President through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security considered National Assembly members to be closest to ordinary Nigerians people. Still, this consideration is wrong because the impact of the food distribution was not felt by the people.

To reduce the impact of subsidy removal on vulnerable citizens, the government needs to come up with different poverty alleviation schemes such as cash transfers or subsidy to low-income households, an increase in workers’ salaries, allocation of funds to subsidise public transportation fares to make it more accessible and attractive for individuals to choose over private transportation.

The Federal Government should also speed up the purchase of the 300 CNG buses promised by the President. This will also go a long way in solving the problem of transportation for the people. Also, government should implement effective price regulation mechanisms by monitoring fuel prices and enforcing regulations, to prevent exploitative practices in the market.

The government should accelerate the increase in renewal energy which will in turn contribute to a sustainable future by creating job opportunities and stimulating economic growth which will encourage a more sustainable and economically viable future.