Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde has declared that he would not mind breaking some toes if it would aid his determination to serve the ordinary people of Oyo State.
Governor Makinde, who made the declaration while speaking at the thanksgiving service to mark his 52nd birthday said that he would continue to fight on the side of the ordinary people.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor, who clocked 52 on Christmas Day, made the declaration during his Birthday Thanksgiving Service held at the St Peter’s Cathedral, Aremo, Ibadan.
According to Governor Makinde, his determination to render service to the ordinary people informed his decision to declare free and qualitative education in the state adding that education remains the surest way to lift people out of poverty.
The Governor said: “If I can be who I am today, then no child should be left behind in Oyo State. And that explains my passion for education. Once we give education to our children, the sky is their starting point.”
He stated that he never thought he would live up to 30 and that he has remained grateful to God every year he has lived beyond 30.
“I thought I would join the Army, fight for my country and possibly get killed and that may be the end of the story. So for me, every year I have lived above 30 years is like a bonus,” he said.
The Governor maintained that he was getting more mature at 52 appreciated everyone who has made an impact on his life, even as he expressed appreciation to the people of Oyo State, without whom he said he would not have been able to achieve anything in last six months of his tenure as Governor.
He said: “There is nothing really much to say; today is my birthday and I am getting mature. Quite frankly, I never thought I would live up to 30. I have a friend here and every time we were talking, we always thought that we would go into the Army, fight, get killed and that would be the end of our story.
“We actually went for recruitment into the Army but were rejected. But today, we are seeing Seyi Makinde at 52 and all I can do is to give thanks to God.
“When we were going through the electioneering period, people said the political terrain here is rough, and I could get killed. So, I looked at myself and said that I could take the risk since I am more than 30 because I had always believed that anything I have after 30 would be like a bonus to me.
“That is why without looking back, I will continue to serve the people of Oyo State, without minding whose toe I will step on. Truth is, I will break some toes if I really have to and will continue to fight for the ordinary people of this state.”
He added: “My story won’t be complete without all of you and I thank you all. Today is the first time I am celebrating my birthday like this. In the area I grew up, the first time they would bring a cake for somebody’s birthday was when the last child of my family, Iyabo, celebrated her birthday. My parents kept delivering male children until they got to the 5th one.
“I remember after the delivery of the fifth child, who happened to be a female, my mother, in the labour room, was shouting for everyone to hear that she had a female child. For her, it was special treatment.
“Some of us who stayed in the area where I grew up, we used to eat in a communal setting. So, when they brought the cake for her birthday, it was strange to us and we suddenly rushed it. My mum cried that day. That was the kind of environment where I grew up.
“So, if I can be who I am today, then no child should be left behind in Oyo State. And that explains my passion for education. Once we give education to our children, the sky is their starting point.”
The Governor, who singled out the people of the State for appreciation for the support they have continued to offer to his Government, further said: “For the people of Oyo State, I want to thank you because we would not have achieved anything without you. People have been commending us that there have been changes within six months we came into government.
“I want the people to know that it is not only Seyi Makinde that is doing these but all of us. And you know that decisions are always taken by consensus. We discuss, thrash out issues and superior arguments always win. So, in 2020, I look forward to a more robust argument, discussions, and alignments.
“This time last year, I didn’t know I will become the Governor of Oyo State but I prayed to God during my birthday and the last cross over night that if my wish to serve the people of Oyo State would be to their benefit, let it be so and God answered that prayer. So, I want to pray today again that all our wishes, in the coming year 2020, God will make them manifest.”
In his sermon, the Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Most Revd Segun Okubadejo, who spoke on the topic, “a gift for Christmas,” encouraged Christians to gift Christ the best of their thoughts, actions, and deeds.
He said: “The gift Christ is asking of us today are the gifts he has given through finished work of redemption and the gifts are not for Christ’s benefits, they are for our benefits.
“Today, I am telling you children of God here celebrating Christ’s birth, the first gift Christ wants from us is love. He has deposited that love in us and he is asking for the same love. Love to God and to our neighbours.
‘We all know what lack of love causes in the home, the society. Lack of love is disturbing us. In the political circle, lack of love continues to cause crisis. So, today, Christ is asking for the gift of love.
“The second gift he is asking is that of humility in place of pride. Pride has turned the society and a lot of people into something else.
“Today, Christ is asking for the gift of doing good deeds,” Okubadejo stated.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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