Why is the APC in Osun calling for a three-day fast and prayer?

The All Progressives Congress party (APC) in Osun state has urged citizens of its state to observe a three-day fasting and prayer period from tomorrow 6th January to 8th January, 2016.

The fasting and prayer was scheduled in order to plead for God’s favour in the New Year and reverse unpleasant fortunes of last year, ushering in prosperity and blessings, said the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the party in the state, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, under the directive of the state’s party chairman, Gboyega Famodun.

APC’s call for three-day fasting and prayers might sound strange to some Nigerians but it is not the first time political parties have resorted to God for help and enjoined citizens to fast and pray. In October last year, President Edgar Lungu of Zambia called for a national day of prayer to prevent further damage to the country’s economy.

However, the call for prayers and fasting seems particularly misguided considering Governor Aregbesola’s track record. The governor, who failed to pay salaries of workers in his state, has constantly approved funds during festive seasons, since 2010 when his administration was inaugurated, for the decoration of major places in the state. Recently, the governor came under criticism for approving N50 million for last year’s Christmas decoration when workers in the state were being paid half of their monthly remuneration with five months completely unpaid.

Governor Aregbesola’s miscalculated political expenditures include the purchase of a multi-million naira helicopter; millions spent in planting of flowers on the highway from the boundary of Oyo state to the boundary of Ondo state, allegedly withholding October and November salaries of doctors, among others have come under serious scrutiny.

Surprisingly, the governor, in his broadcast to usher in the New Year, claimed to have fulfilled his obligation to his people by providing security, healthcare, education and an enhanced environment for economic activities. What has happened to his second term campaign six-point agenda hinged on, promoting functional education, restore healthy living, enhancing communal peace and progress, banishing hunger, poverty and unemployment?

Using the federal allocation, Governor Aregbesola should attempt to invest more in agriculture and tourism which are strategic sectors that can aid in the development of the state. Osun state, like many, has failed to harness her natural resources especially the large deposits of gold in various communities of Atakumosa West and East council areas.

The Osun state government should take advantage of the new effluent treatment plant and expansion project of the International Breweries PLC in Ilesa by ensuring the company pays taxes in order to boost the states drive for internally generated revenue.  The state should also focus on agriculture, solid mineral development and industrialisation to ameliorate financial difficulty posed by the falling revenue from the Federation account.

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