Ogun @ 44: Gov. Abiodun hails sacrifices of founding fathers

Femi Adeleke
As Ogun State marks its 44 years of creation, Governor Dapo Abiodun on Monday attributed the success story of the State to the untiring efforts of its founding fathers who according to him laid the solid foundation for the development of the State.
Abiodun said the State, over the years, had recorded landmark achievements in the areas of infrastructure, education, health and human capital developments among others, adding that the State remains first among equals in the comity of States in the country.
The Governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kunle Somorin, felicitated with the people of the State and urged them to be more committed to the development of the State, stressing that more work still needed to be done to make it greater.
He said, “I want to congratulate the good people on the occasion marking the creation of this great and beautiful State, called the Gateway State. There is no doubt that as a state, we have made tremendous progress in all aspects of development.
“The solid foundation bequeathed on us by our founding fathers has made this possible and we are proud of our heritage”.
“This day, 44 years ago, our uniqueness was given an expression when our State was carved out of the Old Western State. We have been governed by people with vision and we are differently wired to be called the Gateway State because we lead and other follow behind.
“We are looked up to as the Gateway State to the prosperity and future of Nigeria, and perhaps, the Black race. We are the sole route from Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria to the hinterlands of the Blacks largest country, and the country’s major border to the rest of the West Africa sub-region.
“Ogun State is the industrial nerve center of the country and one of the fastest growing economies. With a focused and qualitative Government in place, Ogun seems poised to justify its epaulettes as the Nation’s Number One Investment destination.
While commending the efforts of the founding fathers of the State, Abiodun said, “We are no doubt, great inheritors of the legacies of the late sage and one of Nigeria’s founding fathers, Chief Obafemi Awolowo – whose government introduced free education and initiated many pioneer development projects into the country as Premier of Western Region and leader of opposition in the First Republic”.
“Ogun State is also the home State to other iconic figures like Chief MKO Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential elections and martyr of democracy in Nigeria; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s two-term President and former Head of a Military Government that voluntarily handed over power to civilians in 1976 and one leader that has served the longest.”
“Others are Prof. Wole Soyinka, the only Nigerian Nobel laureate till date; Chief Ernest Shonekan, who is the only non-elected civilian head of the Nigerian government; Justice Adetokunbo Ademola, first Chief Justice of Nigeria; Chief Simeon Adebo, Nigeria’s first Head of the Civil Service; Sir Akintola Williams, first Nigerian Chartered Accountant; Chief Segun Olusola, the first African Television Producer; Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, first woman to drive a car in Nigeria; and her three distinguished children, Olikoye, Fela and Beko; Prof. Adeoye Lambo, African specialist in Psychiatric medicine, who later became Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO); Mrs. Toyin Olakunrin, the first woman Chartered Accountant in Nigeria; Chief (Mrs) Ayoka Kuforiji-Olubi; first woman to head a bank in Nigeria; Chief M. A. Okupe, who started the Agbonmagbe Bank, the first Nigerian to own a bank; Otunba Subomi Balogun; the first Nigerian to own a merchant bank; Otunba Mike Adenuga, billionaire owner of Globacom, and the list is endless.
The Governor noted that “this generation owes the future ones a duty to continue to light the ways for other States to follow”.
He added that “We are prepared to give that focused leadership that would create the enabling environment for a public private sector partnership, which we consider fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun State” and called on other stakeholders to join hands with his administration “us as we march into the future together.”
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