Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has declared that his administration will continue to do everything needed to foster harmony among the various religions in the state, noting that the religious tolerance and peace being witnessed in the state will continue in his second term.
The governor said this on Thursday, during the 9th Omituntun Annual Ramadan Lecture, held at the Government House Arcade, Agodi, Ibadan.
He used the occasion to appreciate the various religious faiths and organisations in the state for maintaining harmony despite the relentless efforts of religious extremists to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in state.
The governor, at the 9th edition of the Omituntun Ramadan Lecture, which he organises yearly ever before becoming governor of the state, equally hailed all religious leaders in the state for their support towards his re-election on March 18, 2023.
At the Lecture, which brought together the Muslim Ummah, Islamic Leaders and Clerics, Traditional Rulers, government functionaries and politicians, Governor Makinde said that the road to his administration’s success was rough, but that he remained grateful to God for being able to surmount the challenges.
He equally reiterated that he would, during his second tenure, increase efforts towards taking the state to greater heights.
He said: “I want to thank those who have fed us with words of wisdom and direction from Allah, because the essence of this lecture is to let us reflect on the reason for this Ramadan period.
“Of course, we did not just get to this point. If you recall, this time last year, there was friction in government between the then Deputy Governor and I. Also, we were anxious about our re-election and even as we progressed, the PDP crisis came up, and we had the G-5 group. But in all, we thank God because we were able to surmount all the challenges that we were faced with, including that of the re-election.
“Someone said we should thank all the Muslim faithful who supported me to achieve re-election. Yes, I want to thank you not only for the re-election but also for the support you have given me in the last four years.
“Since we came into government and up till today, there was no record of any religious crisis in Oyo State.
“But at a point, a lot of groups came up and started ganging up against me, saying I am not a Muslim, therefore, I should not be supported for second term. But if we look at the result of the election, it was very evident that you did not listen to them.
“What I can say today is that we will double our efforts to achieve more things for our people. “Some said governors relax during second terms but I want to assure you that such will not happen here. It is not as if we want to start thinking about what we will do. No, we already know what to do and will be implementing them one after the other.
“Concerning this lecture, wherever we need to call guest lecturers from Oyo State, we will be sensitive to it. So, I pray that this year’s Ramadan will not be the last for all of us and God will grant all our prayer requests.”
In their various sermons, Sheik Daud Yusuf Alawiye and Sheik Hashim Atere, who mentioned various qualities a believer should possess to be successful in life, described Governor Makinde as a trustworthy and pious leader, whom they said has the love of his people at heart.
While appreciating the governor’s efforts on Islamic propagation, the duo charged the people of the state to continue their support for his administration so that it will more successes under Omitutun 2.0.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of the state, Barr. Abdulroheem Bayo Lawal, on behalf of the state governor, thanked the Muslim Ummah for standing by the administration despite all odds, especially prior to the election.
Also, in their separate goodwill messages, the chairman on the occasion and Seriki Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo; the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Dawud Makanjuola; wife of the former governor of the state, Alhaja Mutiat Ladoja and a former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, all harped on the need for love and unity of purpose to advance Oyo State.
Governor Mankinde also announced the donation of brand new Toyota Cars to the two lecturers, Sheik Alawiye and Sheik Atere, saying the vehicles will ease their movement for the propagation of Islamic Dawa.
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