Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, yesterday raised the alarm of people whom he said were seeking to divide the people of the state through religious sentiments, urging them to find other jobs to do as the people of the state cannot be divided along religious lines.
Makinde, while addressing the congregation at the St Paul Anglican Church in Yemetu, Ibadan, the state capital, during the 80th thanksgiving service for his mother, Mrs. Abigael Omojolagbe Makinde, said the state is too interconnected to be divided along religious lines.
Also, a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that some religious activists who are seeking to divide the people along religious lines would not succeed because, every home in the state has a full complement of both religions (Christianity and Islam), noting that the nature of families in the state was such that adherents of different religions, especially Islam and Christianity, co-habit in the same family.
He stated that religion cannot therefore be exploited as a weapon to divide the people and cause disaffection and disunity in the state.
Makinde added that though it had become clear that some people “do not want the state government to succeed,” he was appreciative to God and the people for their continued support, promising that his government would continue to serve the state.
According to him, “I want to greet the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States, Alhaji Dawud Akinola, because he is here with us today. What this means is that those who are seeking to use religion to divide us should look for another job.
“As a government, we will do what is right. There is no family in this state that doesn’t have a Muslim or Christian, so the issues of religion cannot divide us in Oyo State.”
Makinde also indicated that some saboteurs were striving to stall the efforts of his government to develop the state, adding, however, that his administration was determined to make the difference.
“Once again, I thank the good people of Oyo State for your unalloyed support for this administration. Some people don’t want this government to succeed. Take for example, on my way here, I realised that some people intentionally dumped their refuse on the median. I know that it is not the people of this area that generated those wastes. Some people took it as their assignment to drop those wastes there knowing that I will go through that road today to this place today, but we thank God for His usual support. We will continue to serve the people of this state,” he said.
The governor also declared that his government has declared free and qualitative education in the state, which he said has come to stay in the state, noting that “when we were praying, someone said she has seen Mama Seyi (Governor’s mother) and that she too wants to give birth to a governor.
“For the first 13 years of my life, where we lived was not more than five minutes to where we are now. My mum was a Telephone Operator in the state secretariat. At Adeoyo State Hospital, my brother, Muyiwa, and I used to help her sell bread by the gate of the hospital.
“What can propel a child who used to live some five minutes away from here (Yemetu) to become a governor of Oyo State is education, and that is why we have declared that free and qualitative education has come to stay in the state.”
He charged parents and guardians to educate their wards, as according to him, education is what can make a difference in the life of a human being.
Earlier in his sermon titled: ‘Occupy till I come’, Reverend Dr. Samuel Osungbeju urged leaders to serve well so as to receive the reward of God.
“Serve well and the Lord will bless you,” he said, adding that the respective positions occupied by public officers are like talents given to them by God.