The Osun State Government, lawmakers and former political office holders in the state converged at a conference in Osogbo, on Monday in a bid to find solutions to the financial crisis ailing the state.
Although the Peoples Democratic Party in the state had earlier called for this kind of meeting, it expressed reservations on Sunday at the intent of the state government in convening the meeting.
“This is not the kind of stakeholders meeting we asked him to call, hiding behind federal and state legislatures to convene the stakeholders meeting is deceitful and evidence of lack of seriousness by Ogbeni Aregbesola,” the PDP spokesperson, Diran Odeyemi, said.
“Though it is evident to all that APC has failed in Osun but because we have no other state to run to, we are ready to be part of the solutions but the governor must show sincerity while we must see evidence that our collective advise will guide the governor in his future policies.”
Speaking at the forum, former Governor of Osun, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the conference had to be held in view of the current financial crisis bedevilling the country and Osun State in particular.
“Osun as a state has a perpetual life. It is a constitutional brand that will outlive any government in power,” he said. “It behoves on all of us as indigenes to rally round the state in its present financial crisis. We must not allow the state to die; we must leave a positive legacy for our future generations.”
Mr. Oyinlola said citizens of the state must come together to find solutions to the problems, because when the present government leaves office, the citizens would still have to grapple with the problems if they are not tackled.
“Government comes, government goes but state will remain. So, our gathering today is to fashion a way forward that will be acceptable to all and sundry. For us, it is our conviction that Osun must continue to exist.”
Governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, in his remarks, attributed the financial crises across the states of the federation to the bad leadership of the immediate past government.
Mr. Aregbesola stressed that the conference, the brainchild of the Osun federal legislature, demonstrats the serious concerns of the lawmakers towards issues affecting the state.
“How we got to this financial crisis is unknown to a lot of people, it is only the wise who may have a flash of understanding of what actually went wrong,” he said.
“This forum gives us opportunity to study in-depth how this situation came about and for us to find a lasting solution to the crisis so that our state will move forward.”
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Osun, Jacob Adekomi, in his speech at the event, advised the Government to verify the N3.6 billion monthly wage bill of the state properly asserting that government is likely to discover the real wage bill is not up to that.
The NLC chairman said he was confident the government would find out the difference between the monthly wage bill and what the actual wage bill should be.
The Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial district, Sola Adeyeye, said the forum was necessary in view of the delicate political atmosphere hanging over the country.
Mr. Adeyeye said it was apparent that the country was adrift but for the change at the federal level.
“We are representatives of our state at the federal level.
“We cannot sit back when the state as well as the nation faces difficulty,” he said.
“It does not matter again to dwell more on who the architect of our current crisis is. We feel strongly that our people from all walks of life must come together to jointly discuss the way forward.”
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