The Onpetu of Ijeru in Ogbomosoland, Oyo State, Oba Sunday Oyediran, alongside Ibadan family heads, popularly known as Mogajis and part II chiefs in Ibadanland, have thrown their weight behind the re-election bid of the state Governor, Seyi Makinde.
Others, who also pledged their votes for Makinde ahead of the Saturday, March 18 governorship election, were the market men and women association in the state, traders and artisans, the Nigerian Union of Teachers and youth groups.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, on Sunday, said the groups made their decision known, on Saturday at the Ilaji Hotels and Resort, Akanran, Ibadan, when the governor paid a visit to the chairman of the hotel who is also Otun Apesinola of Ibadanland, Dotun Sanusi.
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Sanusi, who gave a short address to welcome the visitors, said that he was supporting Makinde’s re-election after the governor had mobilised support for the election of Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu in penultimate Saturday’s presidential election.
Responding, the governor appreciated Sanusi, whom he described as his friend and colleague from the oil and gas industry, stating that he has learnt many lessons with regards to stakeholders’ engagement and that things would be better off when he is re-elected.
Makinde while addressing the Mogajis and Baales reiterated that his administration would not approve any reform to the Ibadan chieftaincy system without due diligence, noting that his position remains that whatever review will be done to the system must come from within the system.
He said his proudest moment in office was when he saved the Olubadan Chieftaincy System from crisis, adding that, “If the crisis rocking the Olubadan-in-Council was not managed and resolved, Ibadanland, for many years would not have any king on the throne, which would have made our traditional institution to be in shambles.
“I took a bold decision to save that institution, and it is one of the proudest moments for me as a governor.” He stressed.
Makinde appreciated the traditional heads, market and artisanal groups for their support, saying he has committed his re-election into the hands of God and that he is assured that the Peoples Democratic Party would record a landslide victory in Saturday’s polls.
Earlier, the Onpetu, Oba Oyediran, had called on Mogajis, Baales, and market and artisanal groups at the meeting to look at the governor’s achievements in the last three years and seven months, stating that Makinde had been exceptional and thus deserved to be re-elected for another term.
“I have not been on the throne for too long; but in my 24 years on the throne, I have seen many governors in this state, and I can tell you that Makinde is the best we have had so far. We should allow him to spend his full term of eight years.
“If you say Obas are campaigning; yes, we are. This is our own governor. If he had been governor of this state before now when there were abundant resources, the people of the state would have seen a huge difference. But now, despite the paucity of funds, we can all see the wonders he is doing,” he stated.
Similarly, the President of Association of Mogajis in Ibadanland, Asimiyu Ariori, hailed Sanusi for the role he played in ending the street wars in Ibadan, while also commending the governor for the great part his administration played in bringing stability to the city through the setting up of committees to address gang wars and land-grabbing.