The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun Alli Okunmade II, has advised Nigerians to lay less emphasis on religion and tribe, and rather focus on the programmes of the various political parties angling to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari which would engender unity, growth and development of the country.
The monarch made this charge at his Alarere residence during the visit of the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Prince Adewole Adebayo in the company of other top echelon of the party ahead of the commissioning of the party’s South-West Zonal Secretariat on Monday, at Eleyele in Ibadan.
Oba Balogun, who spoke through the Ekerin Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Hamidu Ajibade noted that the situation of the country presently calls for concerted efforts of all to live it out of the woods, stressing that Nigerians’ choice of leadership in the 2023 general elections would go a very long way to determine what becomes of the country in the nearest future.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan by his Personal Assistant (Media), Olubadan was quoted to have said: “Our problem today should not be where one comes from or what mode of worship one embrace, but, how the problems of insecurity, unemployment, wobbling economy, comatose education among others would be frontally tackled.
“What your party needs is prayers because, in your speech, you have touched and identified the concerns of the generality of the people and going by what you have said, it is not difficult to know that you have very good and genuine intentions for the liberation of our people. It is our prayer that the God Almighty would grant you your heart desires which we hopefully think would benefit Nigerians and replace the current forlorn hope with smiles and enthusiasm”, Olubadan added.
Earlier, Prince Adebayo had told the gathering that his party would have through the late MKO Abiola demonstrated what good governance should be, but lamented that the military aborted the good intention through the criminal annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which till date remains the freest and fairest in the electoral history of the country.
He disclosed that his coming out is to bring back the glory of the country through five areas of security, economy, employment generation, unity of the country and rekindling of people’s hope and confidence in the government through granting of people’s rights and privileges to them.
“We are yet to evolve truly as a nation, even 23 years after uninterrupted democratic process, our party is out to correct all those militating against this.
“Those who know us would appreciate that our party loves peace and not given to the do-or-die tendency of some people, which we have identified to be the function of the government of exclusiveness that the country has over the years been having, instead of government of inclusiveness which our party would promote if given the mandate to rule the country.
“When people know and feel it that a government that is in place caters for the interest of all without consideration for your tribe, language or religion, they won’t find it difficult to repose their confidence in such government and give the government its rights, because, in turn, the government would give them their rights”, Prince Adewole asserted.
In his remark, the party’s gubernatorial candidate in Oyo State, Barrister Mike Lana, who spoke on behalf of his Ogun State counterpart, Engr. Tony Ojesina and Oyo North Senatorial candidate, Hon. Mulikat Adeola Akande said what SDP would do in government if given a chance at the next general election would not only bring back the glorious days of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo but do more for the people of Nigeria.
Lana, who was a Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General in the state some years back, commended the initiative of Oba Balogun on the land dispute committee set up by him under the leadership of the President of the Mogajis in Ibadanland, Chief Asimiyu Adesola Adepoju (Mogaji Ariori) with a pledge to give the committee a legal backing if he’s elected the governor of the state.
The former commissioner said the issue of land grabbing had assumed a very alarming dimension which was why the initiative by the Olubadan must be widely acknowledged.
“If given the opportunity to govern the state, I will give legal backing to the committee towards ensuring that people’s fear on acquisition of land in Ibadanland in particular and Oyo State in general is allayed. By this, the state would become more investors’ friendly”, he assured.