6th September, 2011
Worried by the crime rate in Ogun State, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has ordered all citizens with arms to surrender them for re-certification, warning that those who failed to do so at a stipulated time would have themselves to blame.
The governor gave this directive at an interactive session with stakeholders as part of activities to mark the first 100 days of his administration in office.
Amosun who was responding to questions on the state of security declared that his administration could no longer tolerate the use of arms by unauthorised groups or individuals, stressing that there was need to have re-certification of all existing arms in the possession of the public to reduce crime rate in the state.
â€œI will want people to cooperate with us in the area of security. The report at my disposal is that many people are in possession of guns and they will be claiming to have licensesâ€™ for them. We want them to submit the guns and reconfirm legality of that license else we will swoop on them as we do not want to turn our state into the haven of criminals. Enough is enough,â€ Amosun declared.
He disclosed that the Federal Government has formally granted the request to have a joint patrol in the state, urging residents to be calm as there was no cause for alarm.
He added that the joint patrol team would be code named, â€œOperation MESSA.â€
As part of his administrationâ€™s achievement in the last 100 days, Amosun disclosed that some money was paid to West African Examinations Council (WAEC), â€œto enable students in our schools sit for the last May/June school certificate examinations without any problems.â€
He added further that, â€œin order for us to be methodical in the implementation of our affordable qualitative education programme, we have paid N10 million to enable us benefit from the UNICEF sponsored project on the development of the stateâ€™s strategic plan for the education sector.
He said government has also released grants to seven Technical schools and are in the process of re-equipping the schools to enable them be in a position to provide the much needed corps of artisans for industrialisation.
The state government also paid the fees for the final year students of the Government Technical Schools sitting for the National Technical Certificate/National Business Certificate Examination.
In the area of tertiary education, the governor said that the era of no subvention was gone, a development which according to him, â€œhas plagued them for the past eight years in some cases.â€
He said about about N1 billion was paid between May and August this year to the state tertiary institutions.
Also, â€œour government has removed the 50 per cent increment in tuition fees earlier announced by the last administration and we further reduced the tuition fees by an additional 10 per cent.â€
The governor explained that there is need for some radical overhauling of the system so that government investments will be meaningful, adding â€œthe state government will set up visitation/ fact finding panels for our higher institutions. The panel members will help to ascertain the true situation of things and make appropriate recommendations on the way forward.
Amosun said: â€œThere is a peculiar situation in the state-owned tertiary institutions as the various unions which had their voice muffled in the past are now using the freedom in the present dispensation to agitate for payment of arrears of subvention owed them before our administration assumed office.
â€œWe have promised them that when the financial situation of the state improves, we will consider their requests. Right now, we can only promise that we will pay their subvention as at when due if they justify the use for which it is being put.â€
â€”Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta