By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
Osun state governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday announced the upgrade of the state College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-fledged university.
He said the decision was arrived on after painstakingly and carefully examining the request made by prominent sons and daughters of Ijesaland to that effect.
“Let me say that, having looked into and examined carefully the request made by prominent sons and daughters of Ijesa Land, and the Owa, our highly-revered Royal Father, His Imperial Majesty, Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr.) Gabriel Aromolaran, Government has decided to upgrade the Osun College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-fledged University,” he said.
“We have also engaged one of the nation’s best corporate Consultants, KPMG, to work out the sustainability plan of the upgrade”, he said.
This is even as the Governor inaugurated the Ijesa community funded Geriatric Centre.
The newly-inaugurated Geriatric Centre was funded and built by prominent Ijasa sons and daughters.
Inaugurating the Centre, which is a product of the magnanimity of the Ijesa people through the Ijesa Health is Wealth Project, Governor Oyetola noted that the initiative was another testament to the generosity and abiding passion of the great Ijesa people to add value to the lives of the people.
He said the gesture would go a long way to complement his administration’s sustained investment in the health sector as government has devoted unprecedented attention to revitalizing the health sector in the last three years.
According to him, the concerted development has given birth to the revitalisation of 332 primary health centres across all the wards in the state, improved welfare of medical workers, construction of a 120-bed ward, construction of 30 units of doctors’ quarters at the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo, among others.
Oyetola, who noted that his Administration has successfully put Osun on the world map of quality healthcare provision, said, “This is an intervention that other well-meaning indigenous groups should emulate and be counted to become frontline contributors to the development of our State”
Governor Oyetola expressed gratitude to the sons and daughters of Ijesaland for their unflinching support in general and for contributing significantly to the development of the State.
He said the newly- inaugurated health facility would further help to bring quality healthcare service delivery to the people.
“Considering our nation’s growing aged population and the absence of the requisite medical care for our senior citizens, this project is certainly excellently well-thought-out and has definitely come to fill a much-needed void.
“In other words, the Ijesa Geriatric Centre is a welcome development as it brings closer to our people a specialised geriatric care. This is against the background of the truism that being old is not a disease and that senior citizens have a right to medical care as indeed the younger population.
“Realising their invaluable role in the development of the society, our senior citizens should deservedly be treated with warmth, utmost respect and be provided a truly-enabling environment where they can interact with healthcare professionals with dignity.
“Doing so is instructive, as it shows that our senior citizens are valued for their contributions to the development of our society. This is the need that this Geriatric Center has come to fill, and we cannot thank you enough for making it possible, only ten months after its construction was commenced.
“Worth a billion Naira, this Centre is an expansive facility that comprises the general outpatient building, administrative building, ophthalmology and dental building, physiotherapy, theatre complex, inward among other essential facilities that will provide the best of medical care for our senior citizens.
“I consider this project absolutely complementary to our administration’s sustained investment in the health sector. You will recall that in the last three years plus of our administration, we have devoted unprecedented attention to revitalizing our health sector”, he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, thanked all illustrious and eminent Ijesa people both home and in the diaspora for the initiative, support, commitment and the degree of responsiveness to the developmental agenda of Ijesaland.
According to the reverred monarch, the project has once again attested to the commitment of Ijesa people to igniting the contagious relentless efforts towards breaking the paradigm for community development.
Oba Aromolaran, who commended Governor Oyetola for his tremendous achievements in the various sectors of the economy, said it was a thing of joy that the new health facility was constructed to complement his monumental strides in the health sector.
“It is noteworthy to openly declare that the primary concern of the entire Ijesa people through the Ijesa Community Development Assembly is the smooth, efficient, effective and prudent management of the Ijesaland Geriatric Centre and where necessary the people of Ijesa would always provide complementary support for the sustainability of effective service delivery to the elderly people”, the monarch added.
Also speaking, the Asiwaju of Ijesaland, Olayinka Fasuyi, expressed gratitude to the the sons and daughters of Ijesaland for the successful actualisation of the project.
He attributed the success of the project to the timely support and donations from the people of Ijesaland saying, “the meeting we held yielded bountiful results as we were able to put in a number of strategies to finally arrive at a total cost of the project.
“Strategizing and Mobilising funds for the project implementation have been the most harrowing challenge imaginable. Indeed, it is better imagined than experienced.
“It is important to salute the unparalleled commitment and dexterity of the Ijesa to their community development as generously demonstrated in these last two projects black-to-back.
“Today, Ijesaland has successfully built and delivered the second geriatric centre in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We appreciate you for heeding our age-old prayers of upgrading the 44-year-old College of Education, Ilesa, to a full fledged University.
“Mr. Governor, You have honoured us, God will continue to honour you. You have listened to our requests and our overdue agitations. God will not forsake you. You have rekindled our hope as Ijesa people and you have made us proud with this declaration. You shall continue to be celebrated. I want to assure you that Ijesaland shall vote massively beyond your imagination in return of your kind gesture to us. It is only God in His infinity that will compensate you, “ he noted.