By Akeem Abas
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has advised the Ogun governor-elect, Mr Dapo Abiodun, to prioritise the welfare of the people of his state as compensation for their overwhelming support.
A statement by Ajimobi’s spokesman, Bolaji Tunji, said the governor gave the advice when Abiodun visited the Oyo State governor in Ibadan on Sunday.
Ajimobi thanked the people of Ogun for electing Abiodun, urging the governor-elect to see his election as a rare opportunity to serve his people and better their lots.
The governor, who congratulated Abiodun, described him as gentle, kind-hearted and an epitome of humility.
“When my brother, Dapo Abiodun, intimated me of his intention to contest for the Ogun governorship election, I told him that he should go ahead and that he will be victorious by the grace of God.
“I therefore thank God that today he has become the governor-elect of Ogun. I have every cause to glorify God on his behalf.
“In the affairs of men, God has always been present. It is this divine presence that has brought him this victory.
“Dapo is gentle, kind-hearted and an epitome of humility. All these he has demonstrated here today through this visit.
“While I’m congratulating you on this victory, let me state that an opportunity to serve is an opportunity to be Godly.
“You must do everything humanly possible to prioritise the welfare of your people as a compensation for the overwhelming support they gave you to emerge governor-elect,” he said.
Ajimobi urged Abiodun to be ready and prepared to step on toes towards recording meaningful achievements as well as making the desired change during his tenure.
“If you want to be a good leader and make a change, you must be ready and prepared to step on toes. When you step on toes, the toes will kick you back. Just forge ahead.
“If you really want to make a change, study your environment; have courage, not only to envision but also to make a difference.
“Put Godliness above all things and ensure that whatever you do is in the best interest of the people.
“While I will tell you that you should not under-estimate your enemies, let me, however, say that you should not be deterred by their antics. You can lose a battle but you must win the war.
“You will have sycophants along the way but you must remain focussed. I have no doubt that with the level of your intellectual disposition, you will succeed,” he said.
The governor said notwithstanding his defeat at the Oyo South senatorial district election, he had not lost anything other than the opportunity to serve his people.
According to him,”when I look at my life, I can say without any equivocation that God has been so kind to me.
“He gave me the opportunity to serve as a senator and as governor of Oyo State for two consecutive terms.
“For me, that I did not win does not mean that I have lost everything. In fact, I must say that I have not lost anything.
“Rather, I have only lost the opportunity to serve my people again and give them good representation at the Senate.
For us in Oyo State, it is joy.
“God has been so good to us. We have served commendably. We have succeeded in not only providing peace and security, we have also promoted the socio-economic well-being of our people,” Ajimobi added.
Earlier, Abiodun said the purpose of the visit was to thank Ajimobi for his support during the election and to seek his “wise counsel.”
Abiodun said that ‘some forces’ did everything possible to scuttle his victory, adding that God, in His infinite mercy, had given him the grace to win.
The governor-elect commended Ajimobi, whom he described as his very good brother, for staying with him since he started the journey.
Abiodun said that he was extremely pained when he heard of Ajimobi’s defeat, saying his monumental achievements as governor would remain indelible.
“Things like these happen some times which you find extremely difficult to explain. But, you are a good man. You are the father of modern Oyo state.
“You have turned the fortunes of the state around and I am sure that posterity will judge you right,” he said.
On Abiodun’s entourage were the deputy governor-elect, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Sen. Lanre Tejuoso and a former Deputy Governor of the state, Prince Segun Adesegun.
Also on the entourage were Mr Tunde Osibodu, Mr Tunde Osinowo and Mr Afolabi Salisu, among others.