Sunday 17 March 2024

Osun School Feeding Programme: How Governor Adeleke's govt stopped free meals in public schools... ..30 days after, vendors, pupils await govt's next move* ....By Waheed Adekunle

Saying nothing is working in Osun State since the inception of Governor Ademola Adeleke's government is to say the obvious, judging from the palpable woes and decadence that is enveloping every stratum of the economy in the state, in the last fifteen months.

There is a philosophical cliche that says, "a house built with saliva will definitely collapse by the dews" - this is a typical aphorism to illustrate the feeble, discrepant and deceptive leadership under the present administration led by Governor Ademola Adeleke in Osun State.

It is now over a month that the newly-recruited Osun food vendors had vacated their places of primary assignment and stopped providing meals to the pupils in all the public schools across the state as government kept mute and turned deaf ears to the hues and cries of the vendors and pupils.

While it is not surprising that the state government has been failing in its statutory obligations to the good people of Osun, it is essential to further clear the air that none of the electoral promises made by Governor Adeleke's government has been successfully fulfilled, especially from the available statistics. It is pathetic that a set of individuals that manipulated public psyches into government had found it prettily difficult to champion their basic infrastructural needs let alone contributing to the growth and development of the state. 

The current happenings in the state had indeed laid a credence to the assertions made by the main opposition party - the All Progressives Congress (APC), claiming that the affairs of Osun has been consciously and unconsciously entrusted into the custody of a mediocre.

Recall that Governor Adeleke, through his obnoxious Executive Order, sacked over 2,000 food vendors inherited from his immediate predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola, just to quench his vendetta mission and score cheap political points.

Complementing this, the governor, few weeks later, ordered for the recruitment of a new set of people as food vendors, a failing mission that is yet to be taken to fruition judging from the current situation.

Precisely, on November 15th, 2023, Governor Adeleke inaugurated his newly-recruited food vendors, pledging to redefine the initiative, such that it would be more beneficial and rewarding. But  unfortunately, the whole pledge had turned to be a ruse. 

Alas! it is surprising and ridiculous to know that barely two months after the food vendors were inaugurated, the aggregators had stopped supplying  consignments to vendors for them to prepare the meals for the pupils. 

Confirming the development, some of the affected vendors who couldn't hide their displeasure over the incidence, narrated their ordeals and shared their grievances with the publisher of one of the frontline online publications in the state.

According to The Blaze Newz,  O'MEAL food vendors had, prior to the last 'mid-term break', stopped providing their service to pupils in all the public schools across the state. According to the report, the aggrieved vendors who expressed fear of being laid off alleged that the government officials had become incommunicado since they stopped feeding the pupils.

Confiding in the Blaze Newz, one of the food vendors who simply identified herself as Mummy Janet confirmed that it was more than two weeks that she prepared meal for the pupils in her primary place of assignment. The mother of three wondered why the state government kept mute over the matter, a motive calculated to have been suggesting the surreptitious decision to lay them off.

It is quite unfortunate that the present administration has practically crippled every sector particularly education, as manifested in the palpable decadence in the education system in the state.

It is also worrisome that a government that claimed to be education-friendly and masses -oriented has kept mute in the last 30 days that the food vendors had vacated their respective schools where they were serving the pupils meals in every school day.

The concern of the majority of the populace is that inspite of the humongous monies coming into Osun every month since the incumbent governor took over the mantle of leadership of the state, nothing tangible has been done that can  justify same. The raging questions agitating the minds of the discerning members of the society are that when will Osun get it right under the current government and what has the state government been using the crazy statutory allocations in almost two years of being at the helms of affairs for? What has the government been using billions of naira that go into several social intervention programmes that it had stylishly scrapped or suspended such as OYES; OMEAL; Osun Food Support Scheme; Monthly Stipends being given to the vulnerable citizens, the downtrodden and the poor of the poorest among others, for ?

The public attention has been drawn to the protracted delay in the recruitment of the new set of teachers and health workers  promised to be employed by the governor to replace those that were unjustly, maliciously and callously sacked for political reasons.

To be candid, it is time for discerning citizens to rise up to the occasion to hold the current government accountable for its actions and inactions as it has become very obvious that the Osun excruciating educational system needs a total overhaul, hence, the need for the quick intervention of all and sundry most significantly, the stakeholders across the socio-economic and political strata to rescue the state from the drift of total collapse. 

May God heal our land and save our state from discrepant leadership!

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