Leaders and stakeholders of Oke-Ogun axis of Oyo State declared at the weekend that they remain solidly behind Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
The leaders, including stakeholders and elders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oke Ogun Zone of the state, commended the governor for undertaking several development projects and initiatives aimed at opening up the area to the rest of the state and country.
Governor Makinde was equally commended for introducing policies and programmes that have changed the standard of education for good in the state, including the free qualitative education programme and the reduction of out-of-school children, among others.
Speaking to newsmen at Otu at the end of a meeting of Oke-Ogun PDP leaders and political appointees, the trio of Chief Jacob Adetoro; Oyo North PDP Senatorial Chairman, Alhaji Waheed Oluwakemi; and a leader of the party from Kajola Local Government, Alhaji Ajadi Waheed, made the declaration, insisting that Makinde has written his name in gold within a short time.
According to Adetoro, notable PDP leaders in Oke Ogun, party structures across the 10 local governments, appointees of Governor Makinde and local government caretaker chairmen had converged on Otu to celebrate the New Year with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Town Planner Ademola Ajibola.
He maintained that they held a meeting comprising representatives from each local government on the sidelines of the celebrations, resolving, among other things, to continue to support the Makinde government to achieve further progress and to restart regular PDP meetings across the zone with adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
He said: “”We are here for the celebration of the New Year, but as people that belong to the same political group, we felt we should have some discussions among ourselves, which we feel will improve the relationship between the party and will assist the present administration in achieving its goals.
“The major issue we discussed was that we have not been holding regular meetings and as a political party, we need that very much.
“So, our agreement is that from this month, we will start our meetings at the ward level, local government and senatorial level before going to the state.
“The meetings will be held in compliance to COVID-19 protocols.
“It is not new to us.
“We are observing it every time and whenever we want to hold meetings, we will always observe it.
“We also resolved at the meeting to appreciate Governor Seyi Makinde for what his government has been doing in Oke Ogun area in terms of developmental projects.
“The major thing that has been causing setbacks for Oke Ogun is that it is not open to other parts of the state, but the governor is making efforts now to make the zone open to other zones and the rest of the country.
“Look at the road from Ibadan to Iseyin, Saki and Igboho, all these areas have been opened up for development.
“So, investors will appreciate coming to these areas to establish their factories and some other factories that can promote the development of the zone.
“We equally want to say that members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Oke Ogun are loyal to Governor Makinde.
“The meeting had in attendance nearly all political appointees of the governor from Oke Ogun, local government caretaker chairmen and party leadership across all the 10 local governments.
“Our discussion, indeed, focused on how we will assist the governor to enhance further progress.
“We are not against the governor.
“He is doing his best.
“He is developing our zone.
“So why are we going to work against him?
“We are with him every time.”
Similarly, Oluwakemi stated that what Makinde has done in Oke Ogun is remarkable, adding that the meeting centred on how PDP stakeholders in the area could support the governor to achieve more successes.
Oluwakemi said: “What the governor has done so far for Oke Ogun zone is remarkable.
“Since 1999 till date, no governor has ever left Ibadan for up to four days to stay in our zone.
“After his electoral victory, he sent his team to each local government in the zone to interact with us on what we needed.
“As I am speaking with you today, out of 10 things that the zone requested for, the governor has fulfilled eight.
“As a matter of fact, the remaining two are under process.
“The Moniya-Iseyin Road is close to being completed; the Saki Township road, which was abandoned by the past administration, is progressing at a great pace; the rehabilitation of the Saki-Ogboro-Igboho Road will soon begin, while the construction of a mini stadium in Saki and Iseyin are ongoing.
“Today, we have the Specialist Hospital, Saki; we have the MOPOL Base, Ago-Are; and the ongoing Oyo State Agribusiness Development headquarters in Saki.
“In terms of policies, the out of school children in the zone have been reduced to the barest minimum.
“He has upgraded our health centre to a specialist hospital in Saki.
“We are grateful to the governor and our meeting today centred on how we can continue to support him to achieve more successes.”
Notable PDP leaders from the area who attended the meeting included Oyo North PDP Senatorial Chairman, Chief Sunday Alabi; Chief Jacob Adetoro; Pa Elisha Olanrewaju; former Minority Leader of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Rafiu Adekunle; Alhaji Rabi Igbayilola (Itesiwaju); Alhaji Bashiru Aranse (Itesiwaju); and Alhaji O. Omofoye.
The meeting also had in attendance LG/LCDA caretaker chairmen from Oke Ogun, PDP local government party chairmen, including Alhaji Saminu Oladele (Olorunsogo); Alhaji Musa Salawu (Iwajowa); Alhaji Ismail Odedele (Irepo); Titilope Alabi (Saki West); Femi Omotosho (Iseyin); and J. Ayodabo (Kajola).
Appointees of Governor Makinde, who attended the meeting, included Commissioners for Budget and Planning, Agriculture and Trade and Commerce, Hon. Adeniyi Farinto, Hon. Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle and Hon. Niyi Adebisi; Special Adviser to the Governor on Legislative Matters, Hon. Samuel Adejumobi; Chairman of the Oyo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Alhaji Najeem Omirinde; and Chairman of the Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim Wing), Prof. Sayed Malik.