by Abiola Ajimobi
My good people of Oyo State,
Let me extend my heartfelt felicitations to you on this occasion of the new year celebrations. My sincere prayer for you is that this brand new year will herald peace and tranquility to you and your families. I also pray that all your heart desires and aspirations in the New Year will be met with resounding fulfillment.
Permit me to use this occasion to appreciate you most sincerely for your support for our government in the last three and a half years or so. 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 recorded by our administration, particularly in the areas of social and physical infrastructural development of oyo state.
You will bear us witness that 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, we have given a human face to governance. This is unprecedented in the history of governance in Oyo state.
All these, coupled with employment of thousands of youths, teachers and other categories of workers, including training and retraining of civil and public servants mark us out as a government that truly understands the sustainable welfare of its people. Similarly, the economy of our state continues to grow in leaps and bounds.
My dear people of Oyo state, the year 2015, according to prophets, diviners and bookmakers, will be a year of bloodshed, sorrow, tears and pain for our country, 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.
Statistics provided by the Nigeria police authorities show that, compared to the number of murder, arson, kidnaps, sectarian violence and assassinations of the previous 11 years, Oyo state has been remarkably peaceful since the inception of our administration. This has led to an influx of investors and thriving businesses. Indeed, the federal bureau of statistics has attested that capital inflow into the economy of the state in 2014 increased by 697 percent.
Our people can testify that we have succeeded in bringing peace to this land, a commitment that we will continue to uphold, God-willing and with your support.
My dear people of Oyo state, we can indeed sustain the existing peace of the past few three and a half years. This we can do simply by not easily forgetting the past few years before our 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.
Let me appeal to all candidates aspiring to lead our people to engage in issue-based political campaigns. We should eschew character assasination, violence, brigandage and thuggery. A good leader protects and promotes the welfare of his people and not destroy or kill them.
As a responsive and responsible government, we believe in the safety of lives of our people. This we have demonstrated creditably. 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.
Once again, I felicitate with the great people of oyo state for witnessing this brand new year. I pray that the Almighty God will give us peace and we will never backslide into an Oyo State of chaos, thuggery and violence. Amen.
God bless Nigeria, God bless Oyo State, God bless Our People.
– Abiola Ajimobi is the governor of Oyo state