Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has declared that the prayers of the Muslim clerics will continue to make Oyo State peaceful and safe, urging them to continue to pray for the government.
The governor stated this on Wednesday while speaking at the 7th Omi Tuntun Ramadan Public Lecture held at the Government House Arcade, Agodi, Ibadan, noting that his being the governor of the state today is by the grace of God and the efforts of all religions in the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that his administration will continue to do what is right and needful for the people of the state.
He said: “I want to urge you to continue to pray for this government. In this month of Ramadan, let us be merciful and continue to reach out to those around us.
“This Ramadan lecture should have been the 8th one but because of the pandemic outbreak last year, it happens to be the 7th one. In the first six editions, our father, Engineer Lere Adigun was the Permanent Chairman before he joined his ancestors.
“I also want to point out that the chairman of today’s occasion, my father, the Osi Olubadan, is ready and willing to continually chair this annual occasion of Omi Tuntun Ramadan Lecture.
“Where I was seated there, I was listening to the guest lecturer while delivering his sermon. I heard all Professor Oladosu said and I want to promise that I will have an audience with him and address those issues.
“I would like to point out two major things today. The first thing is, only God gives power and there is no one that can clinch power by himself or by herself. Being the governor of Oyo State today is by the grace of God and the efforts of the Christians and Muslims in the state. I do say it that I come from a Muslim family.”
He maintained that his administration will continue to do what is right, stating that the government will complete some of the projects abandoned by the previous administration.
“So, I have always known that I need to do what is right and needful, irrespective of religious or political leanings. That is why the topic of this lecture is ‘unity and diversity’. And how do we achieve unity in our state and country, though we have different leanings or inclinations through religion or politics.
“I don’t even want anyone to give me accolade that my administration has been able to achieve so, so and so, because it is not my money that is being spent on these projects but that of the people of Oyo State.
“Recently, I went with Baba Ladoja to inspect the Asphalt plant project at Ijaye, which he started when he was the governor, but the government that came on board after him abandoned it. Baba also used the money of the state to commence the project then. So, my point is, if we already spent the money of the state, we must try to get value for the people of the state and that is exactly how we will continue to run this government,” the governor added.
Speaking on governance in the state, the governor said: “Some people came to meet me and said some certain persons are toying with the government and that we are supposed to deal with them. But my final word is that tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness.
“Another person even came to tell me that the people of Oyo State deserve to be treated with iron hands. But I am very sorry to say, I am not wicked because I believe that if we approach the challenges, which we met on the ground tactically and calmly, it will be a manifestation of strength and resolution for us. That is the only way that every one of us can get what belongs to us.
“Of course, our country is faced with all kinds of challenges, particularly the issue of insecurity and ethno-religious crisis. Farmers/herdsmen crisis also spring up almost on a daily basis but I thank you for not allowing all the challenges to affect our attitude to those living together with us. And I believe this is part of why this state is still peaceful.”
Governor Makinde, who charged the people of the state to continue to pray and seek God’s guidance on whatever they do, said it is the will of God that he wants to prevail in the state, saying: “For those talking about second term, I want to say that it is only God that has the knowledge of the number of years everyone will spend on earth let alone in power.
“So, let us continue to pray to seek God’s guidance on whatever we do. It is the will of God that we want to prevail.
He maintained that Ramadan Lecture was organised to avail people the opportunity of teaching and the spirit of the sacred month, stating that subsequent editions will dwell more on spiritual teachings.
Earlier, the guest lecturer, Prof. Hafiz Oladosu, in the lecture titled “Unity in Diversity: an Islamic perspective,” called on those in positions of authority to rule with the fear of God by doing things accordingly.
He said that several challenges facing this country were as a result of the failure of both the rulers and the ruled, who are not alive to their responsibilities.
He commended the governor for the laudable achievements made within two years in office, urging him to continue the good work, while also calling on residents of the state to support the state government’s efforts to make the state clean and habitable.
The event had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; former Governor of Oyo State and chairman on the occasion, Senator Rashidi Ladoja; wife of the Deputy Governor, Prof. Hamdalat Olaniyan; Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta states, Alhaji Daud Makanjuola Akinola; Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheik Abdul Ganiy Agbotomokekere; South-West PDP Woman Leader, Alhaja Modinat Adedibu; Dr. Saka Balogun; Oyo State PDP chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha and a host of others.