IBADAN – Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state on Sunday, advised those seeking to divide the people of Oyo State through religion to find other jobs to do, saying the people of Oyo state cannot be divided along religious lines.
Governor Makinde, who stated this while addressing the congregation at the St Paul Anglican Church, Yemetu, Ibadan, during the 80th thanksgiving service for his mother, Mrs. Abigael Omojolagbe Makinde, stated that the state is too interconnected to be divided along religious lines.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that some religious activists who are seeking to divide Oyo people along religious lines would not succeed because, every home in the state has a full complement of both religions.
According to the Governor, the nature of families in Oyo 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.
The Governor added that though it had become clear that some people “do not want the 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.
The Governor said: “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 and proper. There is not one family in this state that there is no Muslims or Christians, so, issues of religion cannot divide us in Oyo state.”
The Governor 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.
He said: “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 pass through that road today. They performed the evil act because they knew I was going to pass through the road to this place today, but we thank God for his usual support. We will continue to serve the people of the Oyo State.”
He also declared that his government has declared free and qualitative education, which he said has come to stay in the state. He stated: “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 here, I and my brother Muyiwa also used to help her sell bread by the gate of Adeoyo State 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 Oyo state.”
He charged parents and guardians to educate their wards, as according to him, education was what can make a difference in the life of a human being.
“On behalf of the entire Makinde family, I say thank you to all for the honour done to my mother,” he said.
Earlier in his sermon titled “Occupy till I come,” the Venerable 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 the respective positions occupied by public officers are like talents given to them by God.
Osungbeju stated that though the actions and policies of the government of Engineer Makinde were being well received by the people, the Governor should not relent in doing good.