The Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde’, on Saturday disclosed that Nigeria at 62, should be rolling out the drums in celebration that the country has come of age in terms of numbers, but sadly it cannot confidently say that it has molded a nation that is set to fulfill its potential.
At the Adamansigba stadium in Ibadan to commemorate the 62nd Independent Day celebration, Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Barrister Adebayo Abdul-Raheem Lawal, stressed that despite the aura that usually pervades anniversaries such as this; the real truth of our situation indicates that it may not be the time to roll out the drums yet. This is because as the saying goes, several waters have passed under the bridge.
In 62 years of nationhood, Lawal stated that we have had the misfortune of a chequered past that portrays us as a nation plagued by ongoing struggles, a split home with a cacophony of tongues, and an assembly that continues to struggle with stunted progress.
In order for Nigeria to evolve into a nation that can really be referred to as a giant of Africa, he asked Nigerians to collectively lift the standard of development in every aspect of our life.
The statement read in part: “Observers out there have said that we are a nation blessed by God with all the resources needed to excel. While many have situated our predicaments on the failure of leadership, some others have said that we have bad followers.”
“However, beyond the endless search for culprits for the myriads of problems we are grappling with as a nation should be the need to rise above the tides of discord, degradation, decline, and underdevelopment, which would see us blossom into that country that can truly be called giant of Africa. We must collectively raise the bar of development in every area of our lives.”
“It is our firm belief in Oyo State that for the sleeping giant Nigeria, to rise to its potential, citizens and leaders must play their part positively as true stakeholders, without which the tales of woes would only continue to get elongated.”
“Here in Oyo State, as a government in charge of one of the key federating units of the country, we have never shied away from taking bold steps with singularity of mindset and determination to make a difference.”
Our Poverty to Prosperity mantra, an offshoot of the four key pillars of this administration, which includes Security, Health, Education, and Expanded Economy through the agribusiness value chain, which were distilled from the Roadmap for Accelerated Development of Oyo State, 2019 to 2023, is working wonders in the different aspects of life including Human Capital Development; enhancing the ease of doing business through positive economic indices; quality infrastructure; empowerment of residents and indigenes with good economic fortunes; welfare policies for workers, indigenes, and residents; as well as the assurance of a hopeful and good life through sound health policies and free and qualitative education.”
“As we all can see, the government in Oyo State is playing its part by taking steps to ensure that our people live a meaningful life. The free and qualitative education has already ensured that more than 40,000 out-of-school children have returned to school, while parents who were forced to move their wards to private schools due to the deplorable standards of education in the public schools are rushing to return their wards to our revitalized schools. Apart from the provision of furniture and books to students, this government has built over 600 schools with 60 model schools also constructed.”
“We are remodeling 351 primary healthcare centres at one per electoral Ward, while our Light-Up Oyo Project has covered over 200 kilometres of road across the seven zones of the state. This administration is building over 500 kilometres of roads, linking up the zones of the state and our neighbouring Ogun and Osun States.”
“In the area of security, I make bold to tell you that no fewer than six states of the country have visited Oyo State to understudy the unique security architecture of the state. I am confidently reporting to you all that our administration has raised the bar of development in every aspect of human endeavour.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that the monumental development we have pioneered here in Oyo State is capable of lifting Nigeria to greatness if adopted on a national scale. Notwithstanding all of that, we are not tired of doing more.”
“Once again, I wish you all a happy Independence anniversary. I thank you all.”
Those present at the event include wife of Oyo State Deputy Governor, Chief Ajibola Lawal; Oyo Speaker, Debo Ogundoyin; Senator Gbenga Babalola; SSG Ogunbanwo Adeosun; Head of Service, Alhaja Agboola; Royal Fathers, among others.