Monthly Stipend for the Elderly



The government of Osun state has implemented its decision to pay N10, 000 allowance to the elderly under its social security scheme, tagged AGBA OSUN. The Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Special Needs, Mr. Biyi Odunlade told reporters in Oshogbo that 1,342 of the 1,602 beneficiaries have received their first two allowances. He also revealed that 259 others are yet to report for the payment.

A survey carried out by the state government showed that 14,814 elderly persons were identified in the 30 local government areas of the state, Mr. Odunlade further disclosed the setting up of rehabilitation and transit camps for the destitute and the mentally sick. It has also appointed six physically challenged persons into political positions and provided jobs for another six in the state civil service.

Osun state government ought to be commended for its broad-based policy on the elderly men and women unlike what obtains elsewhere where such policies are gender bias.

In fact, too much sentiments and care are being lavished on widows whereas some of them played despicable roles in the death of their husbands.

The motive being to enable them live independently without any marital inhibitions. Yet they are being pampered not only by governments but the private sector besides the money spinning potentialities of what remains of their womanhood.

Ironically, elderly men are always left to fend for themselves even when pushed to the wall by circumstances.

Elderly women are not so incapacitated by vicissitudes of life. Their desirability never fades nor deserts them which is why there are more widows than widowers in any community.

The plight of elderly men in the society worsened within the last six decades. With the demise of the extended family system engineered by urbanization and its pattern of socialization, the elderly with no dependable source of income die as paupers after battling other deprivations.

Even in dishing out relief materials, the widows are targeted on issues like the provision of accommodation for indigent ones in the society. No one remembers the widowers who are supposedly above the uncertainties of life.

It is for this reason that the pace setting record of Osun state in providing succor to the elderly ought to be adopted and implemented by other state governments. There are more indigent men and women who pass as beggars and destitute on the streets. The policy advocated will certainly reduce the number of this street population. State governments should review their social and welfare schemes in such a way that they will not be gender bias.







Traffic jam in Owerri


For sometimes now, traffic jam has become a permanent feature in parts of Owerri metropolis. Many had thought that the construction of access roads in many areas of the state capital would ease traffic flow. But this isyet to happen meaning that the solution is still out of reach.

The situation is deteriorating inspite of the numerous traffic lights installed at strategic positions by the immediate past administration. Is this not an abuse of local ingenuity or technology? Right from inception, the traffic lights were not well synchronized for a free flow of traffic along the busy roads.

Rather, they were causing unnecessary obstruction along the roads.

In a well synchronized traffic light the one at Ama JK Douglas / Bank Roads and Douglas Road/ Orlu Road will work in harmony passing traffic simultaneously not creating bottlenecks in between as was the case in the past.

Less than eighteen months, the traffic lights were installed the facility has become mere decorations at consuming electricity when they are worthless.

I think the access roads could not decongest the main highways because they begin or terminate either at Douglas Road or outside it.

I strongly believe that the problem of traffic congestion will be over once we embrace the fly over culture.

Douglas/Orlu Road junction, Control Post, Wetheral/Fire Service junction.

Wetheral Road / Cherubim and Seraphim Junction and IMSU Okigwe Road junction, Okigwe Road/Wetheral Road junction among others are in desperate need of flyovers.


Ben Aga