Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has said that the choice before the people of the state on the forthcoming elections was between the peace epitomized by his administration and the violence represented by his opponents.
The governor stated this during his New Year state-wide broadcast to the people of the state.
Ajimobi acknowledged his government’s efforts at instilling peace in the state in the last three and a half years and sustaining it, urging the people of the state not to forget the past few years before his administration came on board.
“We know what the order of the day was in our state between 2003 and 2011. The choice before us today, my dear people of Oyo State, is between peace and violence. We hold the key to determine where our immediate future goes and we must use it wisely,’’ he said.
As a government, the governor said he believed in the safety of lives of our people and that this had been demonstrated vividly.
“We believe that you can only improve the lives of the people that are alive. It will be unforgivable for anyone to claim to love the people and still shed their blood with impunity,’’ he said.
He said that year 2015, according to prophets, diviners and bookmakers, would be a year of bloodshed, sorrow, tears and pain for Nigeria.
“In Oyo State, we do not need anyone to tell us that the prophecies of bloodshed and sorrow are not just metaphysics. They have in them ingredients of truth and reality. In the last three and a half years or so of our government, we have successfully tamed the Devils on assignment of bloodshed. We have demonstrated that a good government must not allow violence, thuggery and the killings of its people,’’ he said.
The Governor appealed to all candidates aspiring to lead the people of the state to engage in issue-based political campaigns, adding “we should eschew violence, brigandage and thuggery. A good leader protects and promotes the welfare of his people and not destroys or kills them,’’ he said.
While felicitating with the people of the state for witnessing the New Year, he expressed the confidence that the state would never backslide into “an Oyo State of chaos, thuggery and violence’’.
He expressed appreciation to the people for their support for his government in the last three and a half years, saying “you have been a great pillar in our quest to change the face and colour of our state, in tune with the demands of a modern society.
“I must acknowledge that the journey thus far has been everything but smooth. Collectively and individually, we have sacrificed for the development of our state and the pleasant tomorrow of our children.
“In the past three and half years, peace, security and safety of our people have been the driving force of our policies and programmes. These feats have given birth to the monumental achievements so far recorded by our administration, particularly in the areas of social and physical development of Oyo State,’’ he said.
The governor also said that his administration had given human face to governance through a deliberate policy of instituting welfare packages for traders, artisans and market women, especially in the construction of markets and provision of interest-free loans running into almost a billion naira.
According to him, all these, coupled with mass employment of teachers and other categories of workers, as well as training and retraining of civil and public servants, had marked his administration out as one that had superintended over a modern Oyo State.
This, he said, was attested to by the Federal Bureau of Statistics which, in a recent report, said that capital inflow into the economy of the state in 2014 increased by 697 per cent.