Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on Monday described the governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as the best-performing governor in Nigeria with his pro-people’s policies and transparency in governance.
The commission said it expected the governor to be more proactive in alleviating poverty in the state and be more efficient in the management of public resources during his second term.
ICPC team led by the commission board South West Representative, Professor Olu Aina, said this during a courtesy visit to the governor in his office on Tuesday in Osogbo, the state capital.
Aina said: “Mr Governor, you are one of the few individuals we have voluntarily visited, not for interrogation but as the most-performing governor in Nigeria this year.
“As part of our re-organisation in ICPC, we are giving serious attention to education. After critical examination of various cases before us, we considered education and orientation as most important aspects of our war against corruption and you will recall that you were invited to the commission office before, as a result of value you place on education. We have the privilege to honour you again for your commitment to banish poverty through education.”
He also presented a letter of request from the commission to the governor for the allocation of land to build a new office to expand the operations of ICPC in Osun and congratulated the governor for his re-election.
Responding, Governor Aregbesola, who described poverty as the brain of corruption, said the most important aspect of war against corruption is education to restore human and societal values, adding that corruption has become a way of life in Nigeria.
He said: “There cannot be a fresh and stimulating opportunity than what I have today, which is the first day I resumed office after election. I commend the new philosophy of ICPC to enlighten, educate and re-orientate all of us to shun corruption. As much as I agree with punishment, education is critical to the war against corruption.”
“The first step to eliminate it, is to educate us against the danger it poses to our society. However, poverty cannot be divorced from corruption. Poverty is a condition of existence, where society does not matter to you, when you are not even conscious of your environment.
“That is why we are struggling to put in place a governing system that will guarantee for the people what Awolowo sought seriously to make a way of life. Starting from our region to the nation, we have succeed in repeating those programmes here, which is the cradle of our party; freedom for all, life more abundant. This is our party’s vision for the people to pursue their legitimate desire and vision.”
Aregbesola said the stance of his government towards the people earned him the victory in the last governorship election, despite intimidation with federal might.
“For those who monitor the just-concluded election; considering the weakness of our own structure and the strength of the major opposition, we stood no chance on our own, but for the unimaginable support of the masses, it was impossible for any harm to come to us. That was the reason we won conveniently. Therefore, we have no excuse not to stand by the people.
“The welfare of the public is their interest and in a democracy you have no choice than to tailor every aspect of government’s direction to meet the desire of the people. That is why when the security operatives, who wore masks, were shooting sporadically, the people were waving brooms that they were for us and nothing could change their mind,” Aregbesola said.
He added that his administration will continue the O’ Meal, which is providing nutrition for school children and provide jobs for the people, including OYES among others, saying his administration will stop at nothing to make life more abundant for the people.