President Goodluck Jonathan recently visited prominent traditional rulers in Osun State as part of his moves to win the South-west in the March 28, 2015 election. Among other things, he met the Obas at the palaces of two foremost traditional rulers in the state: that of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who is the President of Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers, where many monarchs converged to pray and endorse Jonathan for second term, and the palace of Owa of Ijesaland, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, where a sizeable number of rulers also gathered to receive the president, reports TUNDE OYEKOLA
The traditional rulers in the state spoke in unison to make some requests from President Goodluck Jonathan if he is elected by Nigerians to rule them for a second term in office.
Four traditional rulers including the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; Oluresi of Iresi, Oba Sikiru Adeseun; Olufi of Gbongan, Oba Adetoyese Oyeniyi, and Owamiran of Esa-Oke, Oba Adeyemi Adeniran, spoke on behalf of traditional rulers at the Palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijiwade while Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran expressed the feelings of the people in Ijesaland.
Oba Sijuwade along with about hundred monarchs in Osun State endorsed President Jonathan. They offered prayers for his victory, praying that the president should not fail in his bid for a second term.
He directed the monarchs to stay round the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s presidential candidate and pray for him.
Orangun of Oke-Ila: South-west needs to be well represented in government
Welcoming the president on behalf of the monarchs, the Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Abolarin, urged Jonathan to ensure adequate representation of the people of South-west in his administration during the second tenure. He expressed the dissatisfaction of the people of Osun over the dilapidated condition of roads in the state, appealing to the president to the roads in his second term.
He said: “We understand the paucity of funds the nation is experiencing, but please help us finish all the abandoned and uncompleted roads in Osun state.
”You did your mandatory NYSC in Iresi in Osun State, please, don’t forget us.”
In his Speech, the Oluresi, Oba Adeseun said the Obas wanted total transformation in Nigeria in the second term of President Jonathan and full implementation of the report of the recently-concluded National Conference in Abuja. Oba Adeseun also requested for the creation of Oduduwa State from the present Osun State with its headquarters in Ile-Ife. He said: “the people will appreciate a declaration of Oduduwa State with the headquarters in Ile-Ife, which is the cradle of the Yoruba race”.
The Olufi of Gbongan, Oba Oyeniyi, expressed displeasure on the lies being told by public servants over the completion of government projects citing a publication in a national daily (name withheld) published in December,2014 to the effect that a federal road, Gbongan/Iwo/Oyo/Iseyin road had
been completed. “I want to say that that road has not been completed. The president can send people to go and inspect it. I’m a traditional ruler of Gbongan, the road is in my jurisdiction; it is still there and not completed. So, we are appealing to the president to help us complete the road”.
Oba Adeniran, the Owamiran, said the Obas and the people of Osun were solidly behind President Jonathan.
Oba Aromolaran in his address requested the President to ensure the completion of all the projects in his domain and ensure that political appointment is evenly spread.
We have touched almost all sectors of the economy, says Jonathan
In his response, President Jonathan noted that his administration had touched almost all the sectors of the economy, promising to redouble his effort if re-elected. He said his administration has made about 25,000 kilometres of roads in Nigeria motorable and assured the traditional rulers that another 10,000 kilometres would be completed in his second term.
President Jonathan specifically pledged that his administration would implement the report of the confab. According to him, “only the PDP can implement the report of the confab. Contrary to the opposition’s belief, I did not influence the committee on confab and we have decided to implement 100 per cent of the report.”
He also disclosed that previously over N3.3 trillion was being spent to import foodstuffs in the country, adding that it has now been reduced to over N600 billion.
On the marginalisation of South-west in the present administration, President Jonathan said, “I promised that in the next dispensation, the South-west would not be short changed in any way.”