The Bishop of the Diocese of Ibadan, Anglican Communion, Most Revd Joseph Akinfenwa, on Sunday, said that posterity would remember the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for reinventing the state during his two-term tenure of eight years.
Unlike some political leaders, he said the governor deserves commendation for not taking the state on what he called a merry-go-round of leadership cluelessness, brigandage and policy somersault, which, he said, had beset the state before he took over in 2011.
The cleric extolled Ajimobi in his homily during a special thanksgiving service for the successful completion of the governor’s two-term tenure, held at the Cathedral of St James, Oke-Bola, Ibadan, on Sunday.
Akinfenwa used the opportunity to advise the incoming administration to be focused by choosing and implementing a clear policy direction that would add value to the lives of the citizens of the state.
He said, “As a governor posterity will remember you for achieving so much in eight years. You did not leave Oyo State the way you met it and I commend you for not taking Oyo State on a merry-go-round. You have broken many records and I can boldly say that you are a statesman.
“We knew what you inherited in 2011. Today we have peace and security in Ibadan and other parts of the state. No more violence, no more leadership mediocrity and policy somersault. On assumption of office, you chose your priorities and you follow them through.
“What is left is for your successor (Mr Seyi Makinde) to continue from where you stopped. I will advise him to draw a line and begin his administration. Whatever has been done in the past should be in the past. Draw a line and begin your own legacies.
“Irrespective of party affiliations you are all indigenes of Oyo State. The citizens will be the major beneficiaries of the wellbeing of the state. I’m appealing to the governor to please work for the success of your successor. Don’t be far from him. It’s a new challenge and they need to be guided. Whether they will accept or not, please do your own. Let’s join hands to work for the success of the incoming administration.”
He advised the governor to take a break from politics and go on vacation or go to a school in company with his wife for them to enjoy the warmth, which, he said state duties must have denied them in the past eight years.
Lamenting on the insecurity in the land, he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to redouble his efforts to tame the bandits giving the country sleepless nights, adding that a government that failed in its primary duty of securing lives and property could not ask for citizens’ loyalty.
Addressing the congregation, the governor thanked religious bodies in the state for standing by his administration and for promoting inter-faith harmony throughout his eight years in office.
Ajimobi was full of praises for his wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, for being his pillar of strength and for keeping the home front united, adding that it was noteworthy that he came into government with a nuclear family of seven, which had grown to 19 extended family members by the time he was leaving.
The governor advised the wife of the incoming governor to sustain the Women Intercessory Network prayer team formed by his wife, which organised monthly prayers for the peace and prosperity of the administration and the state in general.
He commended his Deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, for being ‘the most loyal deputy’ he had ever seen anywhere in the country, while he praised members of the state executive council and other political appointees for contributing to the success story of his administration.
Ajimobi said, “I have come to thank God for his mercies. I owe all I’m and all I have been able to achieve to God. God did not mind my humble background and where I came from before making it possible for me to become governor for two historic terms.
“Another reason for my thanksgiving is for the peace reigning in Oyo state. Even if sustenance of peace and security is the only thing we have achieved, we are proud of this.
“I thank the religious bodies, both Christian and Muslims for standing by me for the eight years of my being the governor. I can confidently say that I ruled Oyo State with the fear of God. The Women Intercessory Network prayer team did very well. Your prayers assisted us to sail and land safely.
“I will advise the incoming governor to support his wife to sustain WIN. It has been helpful. We have impacted on the socioeconomic development of Oyo State, as well as peace and security. We met Oyo in bricks but we are leaving it in marble.
“I will advise the incoming governor to continue from where we are stopping. He may need to step on toes to be successful and impactful. If he treats miscreants with kid gloves they may derail his administration. “