The Director-General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Okauru, has advised the would-be successor of the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to sustain what he called the momentum of rapid development of the state.
The DG, who gave the advice during a visit courtesy to the governor, on Sunday, said that he was impressed by the beautiful scenery and comely appearance of Ibadan while on his way to the Government House.
Okauru graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1998 and was conferred with an award of merit by the institution’s Alumni Association on Saturday for what the organizers called his outstanding contribution to the growth of the association and the country’s polity.
He said, “Ibadan has changed from what it used to be. It is now clean. There is massive development with a thriving economy and I think this government has done so well. I think we have got a solid foundation, created in the last eight years of Governor Ajimobi’s administration.
“This is not the same Ibadan that I left as a fresh graduate 20 years ago. I have visited a number of other cities in the country and I think a lot has happened here within this period if I have to compare; wonderful road networks, despite the economic downturn in the country.
“As citizens, I think we should appreciate the current government for its efforts even in the face of funding challenges and capacity issues. It is worthy of note that the Governor Ajimobi’s administration has managed all these things well and has provided an enviable governance.
“Without doubts, he has raised the bar of governance in Oyo State when you consider the rapid infrastructural growth the state has witnessed, which has enhanced its economy. My advice to his would-be successor is for him to sustain this momentum.”
Okauru appealed to the people of the state to scrutinize the pedigree and antecedents of those angling to take over the baton from Ajimobi in May, next year, and ensure that they elected a candidate that would build on the solid foundation Ajimobi had laid in the last seven and a half years.
Responding, the governor thanked his visitor for the commendation, but added that the overwhelming support of the good people of the state, as well as those of institutions had made it possible.
Without a doubt, the governor said he knew he had a huge task on his hands when he mounted the saddle in 2011, which he said informed his decision to espouse a tripod policy agenda of restoration, transformation and repositioning of the state.
Ajimobi said, “Having succeeded in restoring peace and security to the land, which I call the German floor of our development agenda, I was confident that the transformation and repositioning of the state would not be difficult.
“In 2011 when we came, we met a state where brigandage and thuggery was the order of the day. With the cooperation and full support of our security agencies we established a joint security outfit, which we codenamed ‘Operation Burst’ with six zonal commands. Next we embarked on construction of roads.
“We also decided to clean up the state, because Ibadan used to be derided as the dirtiest state capital in the country. We are happy that our efforts are paying off when you consider the unprecedented number of new industries and multinationals that we were able to attract to Ibadan so far.”