The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Thursday commissioned the 5.5 kilometers reconstructed and rehabilitated Mobil-Oluyole-Wema Bank, Apata Road with Associated Bridge Works in Ibadan.
The 21 newly crowned Obas in the city joined the governor in the ceremony.
Governor Ajimobi said that the project was embarked upon to ease the traffic burden experienced by the people of the area, thanking God that he saw the completion of another project in the State.
According to him, “We are not just building roads, we are building multiple road network systems which are important for the enhancement of the socio-economic development of the state. We do not just dream, we ensure the actualization of the dream. We do not just plan but we execute our plan. What we are witnessing here today is the result of a careful plan which was executed in the course of our modernizing Oyo State..
“We thank God for seeing the completion of another dream come true and this is to alleviate the traumatic experiences of commuters and residents of this area. We saw the need to construct major and entry roads within Ibadan and across the state such as Saki, Iseyin, Ogbomoso and Oyo as well as Ibarapa axis and we have done this.
“As a result of our serene environment and developmental projects, foreign investors have started massive investments in Oyo State which is not only one of the five most investment friendly states but one of the only five to attract investments this year in Nigeria. We appreciate the people of the state for their patience and endurance whenever there are ongoing projects. We also commend the management and staff of the Ministry of Works and Transport as well as the contractor of this project for delivering the project within the scheduled period,” the governor added.
The monarchs who joined Ajimobi in the colourful event included Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan; Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, the Balogun of Ibadanland; Oba Tajudeen Ajibola, the Osi Balogun; Oba Eddy Oyewole, Asipa Olubadan; Oba Latifu Gbadamosi Adebimpe, Ashipa Balogun; Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi, Ekerin Olubadan; Oba Amidu Ajibade, the Ekarun Olubadan; and Oba Kolawole Adegbola, Ekarun Balogun.
Ajimobi appealed to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, not to allow himself to be swayed by politicians especially in his opposition to the recent review and reform of the Olubadan chieftaincy system.
He said “I want to appeal to my father, Our Imperial Majesty, Oba Adetunji not to allow some disgruntled elements further pollute his mind and set him against the government. I hold the Olubadan in high esteem, I respect him, value him and have the necessary regard for the throne. But Olubadan should resist mingling with politicians who want to bring disrepute to the throne.
“We are not bothered by the pockets of resistance to the new change, rather, we are glad that we implemented the content of the White Paper to better the lots of Ibadan and Oyo State in general. I am not interested in whether an individual moves in traditional line or not. I am interested in the development of Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole”
He also said that “those who abuse us for crowning Obas now will praise us in future. Some have politicized the matter”.
He added: “Chief Obafemi Awolowo was then abused for introducing free education but he was praised afterwards. I did not do the crowning of Obas for myself.
“Why do I want to hinder others from becoming what they want to be? Whoever God has destined will become whatever he or she wants to be. Moreover, I am not in the race to become an Oba.
“Many administrations since Governor McGregor have attempted changes to the Olubadan chieftaincy. It was known as Baale in the 1930s before it was known as Olubadan. I am not into any battle with Olubadan but he should dissociate himself from those with political interests.
Oba Lekan Balogun, the Otun-Olubadan of Ibadanland on behalf of the traditional rulers at the event said he was happy for Ibadan indigenes for having such an ingenious governor at a crucial time when States across the federation were in competition for development.