Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, has declared that he is convinced that the good people of Ogbomoso Zone, comprising Ogbomoso North, Ogbomoso South, Oriire, Ogooluwa and Surulere local governments, are solidly behind his re-election bid.
Governor Makinde, who expressed the confidence after he held consultative and Town Hall meetings with the stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogbomoso Zone, said that the feedbacks at the meetings held at the Lagbami Osekun Hall, Ogbomoso South Local Government Headquarters, Arowomole and the Soun Ogunlola Hall, Ogbomoso, on Wednesday and Thursday were encouraging.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that Ogbomoso Zone has benefited from many developmental projects and programmes of the administration under Omituntun 1.0, which is about accelerated development, urging the Ogbomoso electorate to re-elect him in order to enjoy sustainable development, which is the mantra of Omituntun 2.0.
The governor equally promised to keep working on the developmental demands of every zone of the state based on the resources at its disposal, saying that he feels comfortable working with people from every zone of the state.
Governor Makinde, while speaking at the stakeholders meeting held at the Lagbami Osekun Hall, Ogbomoso, on Wednesday, said that the essence of the meeting was to resolve the internal crises within the party in the zone so that the PDP House would be in order before the general elections.
He said: “I want to assure all of us here today that we are one and together. All of us you see in front of you here are contesting for one position or the other, and I want you to write it down today; we will be victorious.
“But anywhere we are experiencing challenges, we will resolve it. There is a reason we have to come together to hold stakeholders’ meeting before we go out for the main campaign. I am drinking from the well of the PDP as a party because you voted for me to become the governor and I will be elected again for a second term. But that well must not be polluted. After those of us drinking from the well today leave, those coming behind us will still need to drink from the same well. So, I want to beg you to settle all differences.”
Also speaking at the Ogunlola Hall venue of the Town Hall meeting on Thursday, the governor maintained that all demands made by the people, including the appointment of a new Soun of Ogbomoso, would be addressed.
He, however, noted that he would only insist that due process must be followed in the appointment of the next Soun, stating that once due process is followed in the selection of the Soun, his government will give its support.
The governor had also used the occasion of the meeting to refund the nomination fees of all aspirants who lost out in the 2023 National and State Assembly elections as he did in Oyo Zone, while he also announced the immediate approval of furniture allowance to local government officials in the state, including council chairmen, secretaries, supervisory councillors and special assistants.
According to the governor, 50 percent of the money will be paid immediately while the balance will be paid in January.
He said: “I am happy to have been in Ogbomoso since yesterday (Wednesday) to see you, my people and I have been enjoying the good breeze of the historic city.
“We held a stakeholders meeting yesterday and I have noticed some of the things you discussed with me. I understand the state of the party and how it looks like before and I am beginning to see the fruits of reconciliation.
“All of the issues you have raised on the physically challenged schools, the Juice Factory in Oko and the extension of Light-up Oyo Project beyond where it is now and all that will be considered and looked into.
“Let me also tell you that I am coming back here. You know we have not started the major campaign. So, we are coming back for the local government campaign. But as I was coming into this premises I saw some people holding placards, demanding for the appointment of a new Soun of Ogbomosoland. Let me tell everyone that my interest in the appointment of the new Soun is that due process must be followed.
“The file is already on my table but some people have already gone to court because they claimed they were excluded in the race. But I said the matter should be settled internally by incorporating their names in the list of aspirants as well. And I can assure that as soon as they are done with their arrangement and bring their resolution to my table, I will endorse it immediately. Whoever is appointed by the people is who I will recognise and endorse as well.”
The governor equally charged the Ogbomoso electorate not to be swayed by individuals trying to sell other political parties to them, saying: “This is not my first time campaigning in Ogbomoso. When I was in SDP, I came to Ogbomoso to campaign. The particular horse we rode on during the exercise even suffered injury on its legs and no surgery can fix the broken legs. So, if some people try as much as possible to ride on it, they won’t move anywhere, they will remain on the same spot.
“So, with what I have seen today, I have the conviction that the people of Ogbomoso are solidly behind us. We can only keep being thankful to God.”
Speaking earlier, the Oyo State PDP chairman, Mr. Dayo Ogungbenro, described Governor Makinde as a promise-keeper, noting that he has done well for Ogbomoso zone despite losing the 2019 election in a majority of the five local councils in the zone.
He maintained that the meetings were scheduled so that the governor could make a fresh agreement with the people of Ogbomoso, urging them to re-elect Governor Makinde and to vote for all candidates of the PDP in the 2023 general elections and that when he is re-elected, he would not let down the people of Ogbomoso.
In their various messages, the Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oyediran, elder statesman and member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Saka Balogun, leaders of market men and women and artisan groups, representatives of the physically challenged people, among others, lauded the Governor for fulfilling his campaign promises to Ogbomoso.
The Onpetu commended Makinde for doing so much for Ogbomosoland in the areas of education, security and healthcare delivery and infrastructure, stating that he was happy that his search for a good governor has ended with Governor Makinde.
The royal father stated how Makinde has transformed Ogbomoso with several road and healthcare projects as well as the security sector through the introduction of the Amotekun Corps.
Similarly, Dr. Saka Balogun pointed out that Governor Makinde achieved something that brought eternal joy to Ogbomoso when he secured the sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, adding that the prompt payment of salaries and pensions are other areas where the governor has brought joy to people.
He charged the Ogbomoso voters to re-elect the governor in 2023, promising that he would be the intermediary between the zone and the governor and would make sure that the governor gives whatever is due to Ogbomosoland.
Prior to the beginning of the town hall meeting, the governor had led members of the PDP on a house-to-house campaign in Ogbomoso, touching areas such as Sabo, Starlight, Takie and Rander, where he personally distributed campaign leaflets to the people of the areas.
The governor also embarked on an inspection tour of the 76.67km Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin road which was recently flagged off by his administration, while he also opened the campaign office of the Oyo North Senatorial Candidate of the PDP, Mr. Akinwale Solomon Akinwale, popularly known as Wolekanle.
Those in attendance at the meetings include the Oyo State Deputy Governor, Barr. Bayo Lawal; PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Amb. Taofeek Arapaja; PDP Deputy National Secretary, Dr. Setonji Koshoedo; former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu; Senators Gbenga Babalola and Kamorudeen Adedibu.