Osun: Oyetola, Aregbesola’s aides at war over school uniform policy


The former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs under the immediate past governor Rauf Aregbesola in Osun state, Kolapo Alimi, and the present Chief Press Secretary to governor Gboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, Tuesday exchanged hot words over the state of education in the state. 

The duo of the aides spoke on a radio programme, “Frank Talk’ in Osogbo, Osun state. 

While Alimi said that the policy of Aregbesola on education does not in any way dictate the poor performance of APC in the last election, Omipidan maintained that the refusal to listen to the people and insistence on same uniform affected the party in the election. 

According to Alimi, “In 2018, APC won 17 local governments, Peoples Democratic Party won in 10, ADP in 1 and Socialist Democratic Party won 2. The margin of 353 after the first ballot was because of the movement of zoning to West which favored PDP candidate, not as a result of policy sumersault. 

He said, “We are not saying the policy shouldn’t be reviewed but in reviewing the policy, you have to take into consideration the reason for the introduction of the policy. 

“Policies of the  government are meant to achieve certain things at least the welfare of the people. Even while Aregbesola was there, we review the policy on uniform. Initially, we introduced the use of Adire as the collar for the children at the elementary schools but after three years we discover that it was fading out, during the last Excos meeting we had in the first tenure, we changed it to Khaki. 

“Before you take action on it, you have to look at the reason for introducing the policy. The main reason for the single uniform policy during our tenure is that the majority of our students are wearing tattered uniform and we corrected that by the introduction of a single uniform which is cheap and can be easily provided freely by the government. 

“We introduced those uniforms in 2012 and had an election in 2014, the parent of the poor students were the one who voted for Aregbesola and we led by over hundred thousand votes. But most of the people castigating this single uniform policy are the ones that will not send their children to those schools.”

The committee set up by Oyetola has recommended reversal of same school uniform for the Governor. 

The CPS to Oyetola said the recommendation for the reversal of same school uniform has not been approved but the governor will not shy away from taking any decision that will help the future of the children and the unborn in the state. 

Omipidan said, “In any policy, there is what we call unintended consequences. As at the time when those decisions were taken, probably the state doesn’t take to cognizance the issue we now face in schools on security and indiscipline by the reason of the single uniform policy. Even with the single uniform, are pupils not still putting on tattered uniforms? 

He said one of the demand of people during the thank you visit embarked by Oyetola was the need to reverse the same school uniform. 

“One of what was stated was the issue of a single uniform policy. So we arrive where we are today based on the demand of the people and every responsible government must ensure that its programs and policies answer to the demands of its people. We receive security reports on daily bases on problems that a single uniform is causing.

“The issues of zoning may be a factor during 2018 election but the issue of policy summersault especially on education was also a major consideration. The vote gathered by the candidate of PDP was not gathered base on love but a protest vote against policies of government and as a leader at every point in time you must be able to realign when mistakes are been made.” 

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