Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has declared that Nigeria will get to its desired destination of growth and development through sustained adherence to democratic tenets.
The governor, who stated this on Sunday during a special thanksgiving service to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary, held at the Cathedral of St Peter, Aremo, Ibadan, added that despite the myriad of challenges facing the country, all hope is not lost for Nigeria.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Makinde was represented at the service by the Secretary to the State Government, Olubamiwo Adeosun, who was accompanied by a number of government officials.
While speaking, the governor urged all residents of Oyo State to continue to support and pray for his government to succeed in its avowed determination to uplift the state and take its people from poverty to prosperity.
He said: “I will request of you all, as we mark the nation’s 60th independence anniversary, to continue to support the incumbent administration in our state so that together, we can take the state to the desired developmental heights.”
According to Makinde, the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th anniversary called for thanksgiving, noting that Nigerians have reasons to give thanks to God despite the myriad of challenges, especially the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to him, has humbled even the best of the health systems around the world.
He said: “We have every reason to give thanks to the Lord, who has not only kept us together as a united nation, but has equally given us hope for the rebirth of our nation and our state.
“In Oyo State, also known as the Pacesetter State, we have every cause to give thanks that the Almighty has imbued us with wisdom with which we have continued to lead our state from Poverty to Prosperity (P2P) through landmark achievements that we are all proud of.
“Yes, there are challenges at the national level. The country is not yet out of the effects of the COVOD-19 pandemic, which seized our attention in this clime since mid-March 2020.
“There are challenges with security and the economy. Governments at all levels have had to make do with meagre earnings, even in the face of the rising needs and obligations.
“With the dwindling fortunes of our country’s major foreign exchange earner, crude oil in the international market, the nation’s economy faces real threats. And with the unrelenting challenge of insurgency in the North-Eastern flank of the country helping to spread other forms of insecurity including banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and farmer/herders’ brouhaha, our cup as a nation appears to be filled with present danger.
“But that is not to say that all hopes are lost. Our founding fathers handed us a robust country with the capacity to pull itself from the brink. From the democratic era of the First Republic; through the civil war of 1967-1970 and the intervening military incursions; to the short-lived Second Republic; the waves of military rule diced with diarchy and the stillbirth Third Republic, to the eventual return of civil rule and the Fourth Republic in 1999, this nation has seen a plethora of ups and downs.
“It has seen democracy; it has seen autocracy. It has equally seen benevolent autocrats and directionless democrats. One good decision we have, however, taken since 1999, is to stick to democratic rule, which affords the people the opportunity to renew the mandates of their leaders and straighten the leadership recruitment process at regular intervals.
“It is certain that with sustained adherence to democratic tenets, which ensure that power resides with the people and that they can exercise their right to hire and fire at every turn, the nation will get to its desired destination of growth and development.”
Governor Makinde maintained that the allowance that democracy gives to the people to change their leaders every four years birthed his administration, which has been delivering benefits of good governance in abundance since its inauguration on May 29, 2020.
He said: “The Poverty to Prosperity (P2P) drive of this administration has seen it record great landmarks in the area of Health, Education, Security and expanded Economy through the agriculture value chain.
“To the credit of this administration, the state has successfully launched the free and qualitative education policy and the deliberate revitalisation of moribund companies is ongoing and it is sure to get our youths back to work, stabilise the economy and improve living standards of our people.
“This administration has ensured that with prompt and regular payment of salaries, pension and gratuities, the people’s purchasing power is being standardised and that with the ongoing revitalization of the health sector, which is bringing on board operational secondary health centres, which will equally ensure the remodeling of 351 Grade III Primary Health Care Centres – one each for the 351 electoral wards in the state; the ongoing construction of infrastructure targeted at the heart of the state’s economy; construction of farm estates, flood control and urban renewal projects, Oyo State is already witnessing unprecedented development.”
Earlier in his sermon, with the title: “Let there be justice in Nigeria,” the Provost of the Cathedral, Rev. Adewale Adebiyi, said no country can develop without justice.
Adebiyi said: “We don’t understand the concept of justice and that is why we don’t practice justice.
“How many killers have been brought to book or jailed?”
He urged the Oyo State Government to let there be justice always in the state, saying: “So, I want to beseech you that as you have come for this celebration, let there be justice in Oyo State.
“Let us be fair to all concerned.”
Rev. Adebiyi also used the occasion to applaud the governor for his unprecedented achievements within one year and a few months in office.
He said: “We thank God for this state and the present government and the numerous achievements, which we can see.
“And we pray that the Lord Almighty shall continue to uphold Governor Makinde and nothing will abort all the good things he has in his agenda for the state.
“One of the encouraging achievements you have made is the concession of Agbowo Shopping Complex, which has become moribund for over eight years and you are trying to turn it around.
“I read in the social media that Oyo State is broke and that is why they cannot rehabilitate the Complex and needed someone to take it.
“Those of us who know the complex and how it has been for the past eight years thank God for what it will soon become.
“The area will become beautiful and bring money into the coffers of the state.”