The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji has said that the ‘unprecedented’ achievements of the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, qualify him for another term in office were it not for constitutional impediment that restricts governors to two terms in office.
Similarly, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has expressed ‘surprise’ at the pace of road constructions and other ongoing projects across the state, notwithstanding the pervading economic downturn in the country.
The first class monarchs extolled the governor for what they called his outstanding performances dotting all the five zones of the state since his assumption of office about seven years ago.
They bared their minds at a meeting the governor held with traditional rulers in the state at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Ibadan, on Thursday.
The Governor had invited the monarchs to keep them abreast of his scorecard, developments across the state and his future plans to sustain his administration’s transformation agenda.
The Olubadan said that he decided to openly appreciate the governor for what he called his unrelenting efforts to bring development to all the nooks and crannies of the state.
He said: “Yoruba don’t appreciate themselves except to abuse and criticize but when someone has done well, we must say it. I am talking about what I have seen so far. In view of this, I would have loved him to go for another term if not that the constitution does not allow it.
“The Governor has performed very well. He has recorded unprecedented achievements worthy of commendation. This is the only way to spur him into greater performance for the benefit of the whole state.”
Also, the Alaafin said that the governor should be commended for all he had achieved since the beginning of his administration in spite of the dwindling allocations from the Federation Account and paltry internally-generated revenue.
He said: “We can only commend you for all you have been able to achieve in the last seven years. We are very impressed with your performance. At the appropriate time, we will comprehensively, sufficiently and adequately respond to your address.
“The only thing you are not telling us is where you have been getting the money to do all the projects. I have had to engage you in a private discussion on this recently to ask how you source the money you have been using to execute the projects since you are not printing money.
“But, the governor has allayed my fears. He explained to me that most of the projects were contractor-financed and that the money would be paid back under very convenient terms. He has assured me that he would not plunge the state into huge debts.’’
Other traditional rulers who also spoke at the occasion included the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Rafiu Adekunle; Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Popoola and the representative of Soun of Ogbomoso, the Aare Ago of Ogbomosoland, Chief Sobalaje Otolorin.
They all expressed appreciation to the governor for the initiative which they described as an eye opener on the achievements so far recorded by the Ajimobi-led administration as well as his future plans for the state.
Speaking earlier, Ajimobi said that the meeting was borne out of the need for him to carry the royal fathers along about the programmes and policies of his administration, giving their position as the custodian of culture and tradition and the closest to the people.
The Governor said his administration had succeeded in restoring peace and security which had eluded the state prior to his administration through the establishment of a joint security outfit, codenamed ‘’Operation Burst.’’
In a similar vein, he said that the administration also established a Security Trust Fund through which necessary equipment were regularly procured for the security outfits.
He said: “I have called this meeting to ensure that there is constant dialogue with you, our royal fathers and to intimate you with our developmental plans and goals. It is also to discuss our efforts so far at repositioning the state and to see what our state will be like in the next 25 years.
“I am happy to announce to you that Oyo State has been described as one of the safest states in Nigeria. We will therefore not want anything that will disrupt the pervading peace which we have been enjoying all these years.
“This is why I am appealing to our royal fathers to help us talk to your subjects on the need to maintain peace, especially as elections into our local governments approach. We should realize that it is only in the atmosphere of peace that there can be development.’’
He also reeled out his administration’s achievements in the areas of road construction, the establishment of a technical university which he described as the first of its kind in Nigeria, infrastructure, education, health and agriculture.
Ajimobi also said part of his reasons for the meeting was to appeal to the royal fathers to enlighten their subjects on the need to eschew thuggery, brigandage and violence before, during and after the local government scheduled for May 12.