By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has called for the cooperation of traditional rulers in curbing the spread of the coronavirus and flatten the curve in the state.
The governor made the call on Tuesday, while declaring open the Statutory Meeting of Ogun State Council of Obas, held at the Obas’ Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
He explained that, the monarchs as the closest to people have strong roles to play in ensuring their respective domains are protected from the pandemic.
Abiodun, who lauded the traditional rulers in supporting the state government in combating the virus during the first wave, urged them to continue to be more accessible, receptive and responsive to their people and the government as occasions demand.
He reiterated his administration’s strong belief in an all-inclusive government, saying it would continue to make it a point of duty to consult the monarchs for advice and guidance.
Abiodun added that his government would continue to ensure that efforts of the traditional rulers in the development and progress of the state are duly rewarded by adequately seeing to their welfare, declaring “we will continue to address the yearnings of this Council, and indeed strive to meet the aspirations of our people as we all join hands to bring more development to our state”.
“I wish to encourage our revered Monarchs, as the custodian of our culture and tradition, to be more accessible, receptive and responsive to the people and government as occasion demands.
“More than ever before, the traditional institutions should continue to intensify efforts on activities that can further the course of peaceful co-existence within and around the state while also cooperating with the State government and its designated agencies to ensure that the dividend of democracy is enjoyed by all and sundry.
“I am most certain that our dear state will continue to benefit from the collective wisdom, knowledge and proficiency of all Obas that are in abundance across the Traditional Councils of the state”, the governor said.
While expressing his appreciation to the Council under the leadership of the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, His Royal Majesty Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, for the unrelenting support and counsels to government, Abiodun charged the royal fathers to contribute effectively to debates and resolutions that will, in turn, promote the socio-cultural, economic and well-being of the entire people of Ogun state.
The governor, however, disclosed that official vehicles would have been procured by the state government to ease mobility of the monarchs, but for the attendant unplanned cost of combating COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the national minimum wage that came at a very high financial outlay, submitting “nonetheless we are committed to fulfilling our promise in this respect. In due course, we shall make our dear royal fathers smile”.