The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi the III, gave the commendation while receiving the special delegation from the French Embassy led by the Ambassador of France to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Pasquier Jerome in his palace on Tuesday.
The French Ambassador and his team which include the Consul-General, Embassy of France, Mrs Monmayrant Lawrence and the Head of Cooperation and Culture, Mr Rafael Pont and others were at the ancient palace in Oyo town as part of their two days visit to Oyo State.
The first class monarch who described Engr Seyi Makinde as a very dynamic and practical young man, stressed that the Governor has been doing everything within his power to make sure that Oyo State continues to set the pace for development according to its pace setting status among the comity of States in Nigeria.
According to Oba Adeyemi, “Oyo State is setting the pace for development in all area of human development and that is the motor of the State: Oyo – the pace setter! We are boasting of many firsts in Nigeria including the first University in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan where your Excellency visited today which was established in 1948. We are boasting of the first television station in Africa, the first sky scrapper – Cocoa House and others.”
We are advanced educationally, economically, very articulate and very seasoned people who are well educated.”
While speaking on the roles of traditional rulers in Nigeria, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi pointed out that the kings are complimenting the efforts of the government in the area of conflict resolutions and reconcile those who involved in dispute for the society to be together instead of going to court for settlement.
He added that the Yorubas are secular in nature and are gender based conscious, stressing that the Yorubas give prominent roles to women folks to play not only in tradition but also in various government activities and programmes to ensure their liberation.
Oba Adeyemi who appreciated the France government through the delegation for the laboratory and other equipment donated to the University of Ibadan, stressing that the gesture would go a long way in stabilizing the relationship between France and Nigeria in one part and Oyo State on the other.
Earlier in his remark, the Ambassador of France to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Pasquier Jerome explained that the team decided to visit the monarch to pay him respect as part of their two day official visits to Oyo State to meet with the Oyo State Governor and to commission a new laboratory which was donated by French authority to University of Ibadan with other equipment.
According to him, “your majesty, I am very happy to see you today. We have met with the Oyo State Governor but I think that our visit would be incomplete without coming to pay you a respect. Nigeria really needs somebody like you with your wiseness, wisdom and experience and I will like to use this opportunity to congratulate you on your 82nd birthday coming in two days time.”
“In France, we are very willing to cooperate with Oyo State with special recognition to cultural tradition because we know the role of traditional institutions is very important in Nigeria economy. Mr Pasquier retorted.
The delegation was accompanied on the visit to the Alaafin palace by top government officials led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Hon. Ademola Akeem Ige and some directors and deputy directors in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.