Osun 2024 budget: Your partnership with this administration is key-Osun commissioner tells JDPMC

Osun 2024 budget: your partnership with this administration is key-Osun commissioner tells JDPMC

Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Prof Moruf Ademola Adeleke under the present Administration of the Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator. Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke has emphasized the importance of collaboration between Civil Society Organizations and the Government.

Prof. Moruf stated this during an Advocacy Visit to his Office by a prominent Non-Governmental Organization in the state known as the Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre (JDPMC), Osogbo.

According to the Honourable Commissioner “Your profile both within and outside the State speaks volumes that you have weight, I must let you know that we both carry this same mandate of Peace, Justice and human capital development agenda, this administration needs you so that we can together take this state to the enviable height as envisioned by the founding fathers. We are open to partnership and always feel free to come to us for any clarifications on the budgetary provisions of the state”, he said.

Speaking earlier, the team lead, Mr Festus Ojewumi who spoke on behalf of the General Coordinator of JDPMC, Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi appreciated the commissioner and his team for granting the advocacy visit. He said the visit aims to discuss various issues around the 2024 budget and also seek further collaborations on how both institutions can work together for the good of the State in the area of Osun 2024 budget implementation.  

He therefore assured the support of the JDPMC, Osogbo to the Ministry “We can assure you that today’s interface will not end here, whenever we have any question or concern we will reach out to you”, he concluded.

Economic Austerity: Bishops tap the conscience of Osun State Govt, demand pain relief interventions for the poor

As part of the effort to identify and solidarize with the people of Osun, especially the downtrodden masses in this ongoing economic hardship, the Leaders of the five mainline churches have charged the Osun State Government to find quick pain relief interventions for the people of Osun. Below is the excerpt from the press conference statement jointly signed.

Be Attentive to the Sufferings of the Poor

We call on the government not to wait for aggression from the people before empathy would move them to do whatever is necessary to alleviate the difficulty citizens go through to survive. The growing validation of financial crimes especially internet fraud is not disconnected from the economic woes that have besieged many families. Many small businesses especially vendors of food items and other household utilities are folding up because many households are unable to pay debts the owe such businesses. The standard of life of our citizens has dropped abruptly by over 50% in the last one year because of the surge in inflation. For the majority who live in multidimensional poverty, it means not being able to afford up two decent meals in a day. Many children now skip school for lack of transportation fees or the inability of parents to provide fees. Numerous families hardly go for weekly religious exercises because of the inability to afford transportation. It is not strange any longer to see how many houses are left in darkness at night even when there is power supply. The reason is simple, many are no longer able to pay their bill for light not to talk of powering generators. The unaffordability of clean cooking fuel is driving many of our people to the crude means of cooking energy such as excessive use of charcoal and firewood which continue to encourage deforestation and desertification. The government must let the masses know that they are both aware and are disturbed by their situation and are as well working hard and honestly to relieve the pains and misery.

We hereby appreciate the commitment of Governor Ademola Adeleke to the palliative arrangement of the federal government for the relief of civil servants. Even though the federal government that made the arrangement of an additional thirty-five-thousand-naira to monthly wages of civil servants as palliative has only paid it once, the state government of Osun State has paid up to January. We also applaud the state government’s inclusion of retirees in this palliative arrangement, including the continuous repayment of the arrears of half salary owed to workers by the previous administrations. Government must however bear in mind that civil servants make up only 1% of the population of the state while their dependents are 2%. Catering fairly for 3% of the population of over 4 million is far below average performance. The remaining 97% of the population of the state must as well be met with effective relief support programme in order to preserve the dignity and welfare of all in the face of the present misery. Government must among other things work hard to reduce the cost of living by providing palliatives on domestic energy and transportation in Osun State. Subsidizing critical food items is more beneficial to all than sharing some indecent quantities of grains to unknown faces as relief.

We are aware that the Osun State 2024 Appropriation law tagged “Budget of Reconstruction and Recovery, 2024” signed into law by the governor on the 29th of December 2023 witnessed 98% increment when compared to 2023 budget. This might be taken as confirmation by the government implicitly that there is an increment in the revenue of the state from the monthly FAAC and that the same has been factored into 2024 budget of the state. We implore our governor to implement the planned budget primarily for the betterment of the citizenry. Osun citizens are watching with eagle’s vigilance.

Subsidy: Money of the Poor and Vulnerable

There has been since June 2023 a massive increment in the monthly Federal Allocation to all states. We must, however, not fail to note that this increment is not the result of any improvement or boom in the economy. It is majorly the money of subsidy which in previous funding arrangements the federal government directly availed the people to relief the cost of transportation, goods, and services. The subsidy on fuel constituted the major direct benefit that the common man especially the extremely poor get directly as relief from the common treasury. It is understandable that to protect this share of the poor from continually being preyed upon by marauding beasts among us, it has been reallocated to states to enable them to design other means by which such relief would reach the citizens of their various states either in service delivery, critical infrastructural developments or programmes that would bring the most needed relief to the people in a sustainable manner. As God’s messengers, we wish to tap the conscience of our political leaders by reminding them and all their collaborators that the transformation of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (commonly called petrol) and on diesel into Federal Allocation to State and Local Governments simply implies entrusting of the property of the vulnerable and the poor to powerful trustees who are deemed to be more accessible to the poor. State government should keep in mind the strong spiritual implication of this trusteeship.

The government in many states of the federation have been reluctant to disclose the new federal Allocations as well as other relief packages deployed to the state to relieve the masses of the ongoing economic woes. It is shameful to note that even material reliefs earmarked by the federal government for the poor are dissolving into thin air or are being rebranded with no credible information on their whereabouts and the intent for such in many states of the federation. It is totally inappropriate for the government to fail to disclose to the public about such allocation and the mode by which it shall reach the people. This tragic mystery which has shrouded the deployment of the reallocated subsidy and relief packages to various states in the country raises doubt as to whether the government is intent on acting with clear conscience before God in handling of the belongings of the poor in their custody. We therefore remind the leaders and all stakeholders that it is a grave offense before God Almighty to ever deploy such funds for any other purpose than the good of the masses. Diversion of such funds is tantamount to stealing from the poor and it is repulsive to God.

Click below for the details of the press conference statement.

Peacebuilding: Let Love Rule more in 2024- JDPMC urges Osun farmers & pastoralists

In a proactive initiative to tackle the persistent crisis among farmers and herders due to farm damages caused by cows, especially at the peak of the dry season, the Rural Development Programme (RUDEP) of the Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre (JDPMC) of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, has advised farmers and herders to embrace peaceful coexistence in the interest of the overall community peace and development.

Speaking on the theme of the radio Programme “Peaceful co-existence between Farmers and Herders; a Panacea for Community and Agricultural Development” Morenike, the Head of Programme for ‘RUDEP’ in her wealth of experience, advocated for open dialogue and mutual understanding between Farmers and Herders to promote harmony within the agricultural community by proactively tackling potential causes of conflict and the subjects (Farmers and Herders), particularly, during the dry season.

Onaolapo gave the advice while participating on a weekly radio programme tagged ‘Idagbasoke’ sponsored by the Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo on OSBC Radio 104.5FM

She sheds light on causes of conflicts among farmers and herders with active participation of the general public through live phone in session. Some of the suggested causes participatorily shared were night grazing, repeated/deliberate farm invasion by pastoralists, use of young/underage shepherds, wrong accusation of innocent pastoralists due to non-identification of farm invasion perpetrators by farmers, retaliation/revenge, impatient of victims and use of foul words.  

She, therefore, emphasized the imperative of holding regular meetings between the Herders’ Leaders and host community Leaders with the collaboration of other stakeholders to prevent and manage conflicts efficiently. For timely issue reporting, three phone lines were presented to the general public, including

the Chairman of sheriki Fulani in Osun State.

To report any related case of farm invasion, call JDPMC’s Office or NSCDC, Osun Command on this toll-free line: 080-000-121212.

Osun PWDs Bill: “Your contributions are golden”- Osun lawmaker hails JDPMC

A member representing Obokun Constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Adewumi Adeyemi has commended a prominent, faith-based and Non-governmental Organization in the State also known as Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre (JDPMC), Osogbo for its enriched contributions towards the Osun State Disability Protection Bill, 2023.

Honourable Adewumi gave the commendation on the floor of the House during the Public Hearing on the Osun State Disability Protection bill, 2023 sponsored by the Lawmaker.

The Lawmaker described JDPMC Osogbo as a game changer in the drive for human capital development and added that its zeal and passion for promoting inclusivity irrespective of gender, colour, race and religion could not matched in the State.

Speaking further, the lawmaker said that the contributions of the Organization had immensely enriched the Bill and made it worthwhile, he therefore assured the Organization and the General Public that every contribution made would be considered during the next committee hearing on the bill.

“I am not surprised at the contributions made by the JDPMC on the floor of the House today, your zeal and passion for the less privileged particularly your drive for human capital development initiative has always been second to none. You have enriched this Bill and your contributions are golden, I equally assure the people of Osun that every contribution to this Bill will be considered accordingly.” He said.

Earlier in his recommendations on behalf of the Organization, the General Coordinator of the Justice, Development and Peace Makers, Centre, Osogbo, Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi said that the Bill was not far from the heartbeat and yearnings of the Persons With Disabilities and lauded the thoughtfulness of the lawmaker as well as the entire 8th Osun Assembly under the Leadership of Honourable Speaker, Adewale Egbedun.

Fr. Akinkunmi however pointed out the need for creating sections that would promote Persons With Disabilities’ participation in Politics and Governance as well as the establishment of an Agency that would expressly be in charge of the Bill for proper implementation.

He therefore noted that the Organization was more than willing to partner with Corporate Bodies or Individuals of shared visions in bringing change to the State and Country at large.

The highlight of the RECOMMENDATIONS of the JDPMC:

1. PWDs PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE.

There is a need to include a section that will promote Persons With Disabilities’ (PWDs) participation in Politics and Governance with the specific provision from the Political party to give a certain percentage to PWDs to contest for different elective positions at all levels of government in the state. Also in terms of appointment, a minimum of 5% must be earmarked for all appointments in the state at all levels of government.

2. THE NEED FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF GOVERNMENT AGENCY FOR PWDs

There should also be an agency of Government which may be under the Ministry of Sports and Special Needs that will be in charge of the implementation of this bill as many other necessary provisions needed by PWDs, by implication, this will enable the Government to have the support of foreign donors or Philanthropists who could help in some areas of the needs of PWDs in the state.  

Peacekeeping: JDPMC presents a toll-free telephone line to Osun NSCDC to sustain peace

As part of the laudable initiative to strengthen the security grid and sustain existing peaceful co-existence in Osun State, especially putting her on the security-crisis-free roadmap in Nigeria and the world, the Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre (JDPMC), Osogbo has presented a toll-free telephone line to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Osun State Command.

The prominent and faith-based Organization presented the Device at the Biannual Stakeholders’ Dialogue Meeting on Peaceful Co-existence between Farmers and Herders in Osun State.

According to the General Coordinator of the JDPMC Osogbo, Rev.Fr.Peter Akinkunmi, the gesture was aimed to stimulate rapid response actions in the Command and enhance their security efforts so as to head off any civil unrest that might arise, particularly between Osun Farmers and Herders in the State.

Speaking further during the handing over of the Device, Rev.Fr.Peter Akinkunmi said that the partnership consideration of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command was borne out of the need assessment of capacity strengthening of the command and the fulfilment of the JDPMC’s vision-mission statement which aims at pragmatic action for Justice and Peace in every community more importantly to foster inter-ethnic tolerance and relations.

He, therefore, urged the command led by Commandant Sunday Agboola to justify the decision by being more proactive in the communal-clash mediation and intervention while appreciating them for their sacrificial efforts in the past in ensuring that Peaceful co-existence in Osun is sustained.

“You have been one of our highly valued partners in the State, especially in the area of Peace sustainability between Farmers and Pastoralists which had in no small measure been helpful to our vision as an Organization, if anyone asks why the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State Command, this is simply the reason,

Our ultimate goal is to strengthen and sustain peaceful co-existence among members of the communities irrespective of tribe, colour, age or gender, not only this but also to entrench sustainable agriculture through human capital development. It is our sincere hope that you will justify the confidence reposed in you by being more proactive in this peace business”. He concluded

Responding to the kind gesture, Commandant Sunday Agboola ably represented by the Head of Peace and Conflict Management Department, Mr.Paul Akinwolere commended and gave kudos to Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre, Osogbo for the laudable initiative he therefore reaffirmed the commitment and maximum cooperation of the Command to the JDPMC and good people of the State at large.

Also speaking on the development, the Chairman of Seriki-Fulani in Osun State, Alhaji Ibrahim Babatunde and the President of Sustainable Farmers Association (SUFA), Elder Adewumi Adelowotan expressed their optimism on the outcome the initiative would bring about, equally promised to collaborate more with one another to achieve sustainable peace in the State.

Osun Nomination: JDPMC expresses concern over poor observation of 35% affirmative action by Gov Adeleke

The concern of JDPMC on the Growing Marginalization of Women and Degeneration of Participatory Democracy in the Governance of Osun State.

The Justice, Development and Peace Makers Centre has been actively engaging state and non-state actors as well as the citizens of Osun state on the way out of degenerative acts of marginalization and exclusion of women in governance and participatory democracy in Osun state. We hereby express our deeper concern about the new development today, which rather indicates a worsening situation in spite of the multi-stakeholders’ efforts to chart a way forward for the state. The concern is as a result of the recent list of Commissioners and Special Advisers’ nominees released by the State government and announced through the Speaker of the House.

In collaboration with local and international partners, JDPMC along with other Civil Society Organizations, the media and numerous groups and concerned citizens have actively and tirelessly engaged the political leadership in the state to map out strategies towards a political reengineering of participatory democracy that reflects a steady increase in the inclusion of women in governance in Osun State with a vision beyond the 35% Affirmative Action. Sadly, as the team of JDPMC analyzed the lists submitted to the State House of Assembly, it is discovered that women make up only 8% (2 women out of 25). This is not only unreasonably below the 35% Affirmative Actions for women inclusion governance, but it also clearly indicates a sharp drop in the percentage of women inclusion in the history of Osun State within the last 8 years.

It should be recalled that at least, Osun State was close to halfway to achieving the 35% affirmative action for women. Between 2014 and 2018, the state government led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had 38 executive members comprising 22 commissioners and 16 special assistants, 6 out of these 38 were women making up 15% of his cabinet. During the immediate past administration led by Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, 5 out of the 35 commissioners and Special Advisers, were women making 14% of the women in his cabinet reflecting a 1% drop.  In the immediate past 7th Assembly of the State legislature, 2 out of 26 members were women. In the current 8th Assembly of the State, there is no woman as a member of the House out of the 26 members in the State’s legislative arm of government. This constitutes Osun State as the only State in the entire Southwest Nigeria to reflect such degenerative development in terms of women’s inclusion.

  JDPMC considers this development to stand contrary to the Osun Women Policy Agenda that was developed by Osun Women and stakeholders championed by JDPMC and which was signed by His Excellency, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke on the 2nd of July, 2022 at his country home, Ede ahead of the July 16, 2022 governorship. He strengthened the pact with words of promise to personally champion the implementation of the 35% affirmative action in the appointive positions in Osun State. This pact which was widely circulated and reflected in several political conversations ahead of the election is significant to the massive support of women that Senator Ademola Adeleke enjoyed during the election.

We, therefore, urge the government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Jackson Adeleke urgently re-address the situation in keeping with his promise and as well as ensuring that his government’s decision reflects the evolutional progress of inclusive participatory democracy in Osun State.

JDPMC retains its sole vision of working neutrally with all people of goodwill for the emergence of a developed, just, peaceful and stable society that creates the right atmosphere for all peoples to actualize their potential, in the promotion of shared common humanity

Long live Osun State.

signed

Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi

General Coordinator

Justice, Development and Peace Makers’ Centre, Osogbo.