Urban Media Organises Conference To X-Ray South-West Gain Under Buhari’s Administration

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A media outfit under the aegis of Urban Media Resource Limited at the weekend organised a conference where informed personalities in the South-West converged to evaluate the gains of the region in the current government at the centre led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Top scholars including Professor Mobolaji Aluko, Dr. Charles Diji Akinola and Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi were among the guest speakers while the governor of Osun State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola also spoke extensively on true federalism during the one-day conference held in Osogbo, capital of Osun State.

The Project Consultant of the Urban Media outfit, Mr Olakunle Abimbola said the conference was organised to x-ray how the South-West had fared under Buhari’s regime and to deepen democracy in Nigeria, especially in the area of restructuring political parties along federal lines.

Speaking on the main theme of the conference, “South-West to Abuja: A Mid-Term Appraisal”, Professor Aluko noted that the political alliance that brought the current government at the centre into power has achieved mixed results and urged the South-West leaders to act purposively with consistency and practise get close to the grassroots by using bottom up approach to enhance the delivery of good governance.

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Delivering a paper on the sub-theme “From Osun to Abuja: investing in Social Infrastructure in a recession, Dr Akinola enumerated the successes of the current administration in Osun State particularly in the areas capital projects and social protection programmes in Osun.

He enumerated some of the achievements of the administration of Governor Aregbesola on social welfare including Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O-MEALS), Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Programmes for Women, Programmes for the Elderly (Agba Osun) among others.

Akinola said “Though Governor Rauf Aregbesola is an engineer, he has been engaged in social engineering, providing physical infrastructure and also protecting the socially vulnerable through the social welfare and protection programmes. The journey from Abuja began from Osun, but the state, no doubt, has been a positive influence on the APC government led by President Buhari.”

Senator Adetunmbi in his own presentation at the conference spoke on the sub-theme “Party System: Federalizing Political Parties to conform to local needs…APC as a case point.”

Adetunmbi said states must drive growth, create jobs and improve the livelihood of the people since it is the aggregate of the performances of the state in the social and economic sectors that would add up to form national performance.

According to him, “To achieve this, we need to “federalize” census, surveys, GDP, education, agriculture, power generation and many of the responsibilities that are solely apportioned to the Federal Government now. We need to allow the states to have a wider field of play and therefore localize citizen engagement and leadership accountability.”

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Aregbesola insisted that the call for local government autonomy was unnecessary, saying that local government cannot operate separate from the state if development would be achieved.

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