Oyebanji preaches love, unity and patience at State thanksgiving service
… as Ekiti cabinet members, workers, traditional rulers, call on God on first working day
By Samuel Ogunsona
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji has urged Ekiti people and Nigerians in general to embrace peace, unity and love for one another this year, stressing that development thrives better in a peaceful atmosphere.
The Governor stated this on Tuesday during the 2023 inter-religious thanksgiving service held at the Obafemi Awolowo Civic and Convention Centre, Ado Ekiti marking the first working day of the year. Citing the harmony displayed by the Christian and Muslim choristers as well as clerics at the service, Governor Oyebanji said it was obvious the state and country can achieve much more through unity and love.
“I don’t know if anybody noticed the fact that when the Muslim choir was ministering in songs, it was the Christian instrumentalists that bet the drums. And when the Muslim choristers was about mounting the stage, they were also dancing to the Christian music. This shows that if we love one another and are united in our purpose, our state and indeed our country can achieve a lot.”, the Governor said.
Speaking further, Oyebanji said with less than 100 days in office, he had been able to demonstrate the needed capacity to confirm that he would deliver on the six pillars of his development agenda.
He also thanked labour unions in the state for showing maturity and understanding with government, saying he is irrevocably committed to resolving all issues relating to labour in the State.
The Governor called on staff of the State owned University and the Teaching Hospital not to regard industrial action as a veritable tool for settling labour matters, stressing that strikes or resorting to blackmail would not resolve any matter but would only aggravate them.
While noting that 2023 is a defining year for the country with the presidential election slated for February, Oyebanji urged all Ekiti residents to vote massively for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC Flagbearer to enable him record resounding victory, stressing that the former Lagos State Governor is the one ordained by God to lead the country.
“I believe strongly that as a people, if we are united, if we love one another and if we are patient with each other, things will be well. And I have strong believe in God that 2023 will be a year of abundant blessing for Ekiti, as a people and as a state. We are irrevocably committed to our promises to the people but I must appeal to the people for patience, we are not up to 100 days in office and people want all the problems to have been solved. One thing we have been able to do is to show you capacity that we are here to serve you.
“I am extremely grateful for your maturity, the NLC, JNC, TUC, NULGE, NUT, all the workers in Ekiti state, I am extremely grateful. And I plead with the unions in EKSU and ESUTH to emulate this. Its not that they don’t have issues, they have issues too but they understand where we are and they know that we are committed and that government needs time to resolve the issues.
“Threats of strikes will not solve any problem . But we recognize the fact that there are issues, we promised that we are going to deal with these issues. You have to demonstrate love for Ekiti people because we have to satisfy government workers and those who are not. Government must take care of everyone. We are going to be open to you, we have made commitment that we are going to look at the issues, but if they down tools and go on strike, its not going to resolve the problem. I believe we can resolve some of the issues and reach some compromise through constructive engagement.
“ I’m confident in God that the prayers of our spiritual leaders, and with God all will be well with the state. I have no doubt in the ability of the God we are serving to reverse our situation, I know God will pass through Ekiti.
The event was also attended by the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, Wife of Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba, former Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro, Head of Service, Barr. Bamidele Agbede, members of the State Executive Council and House of Assembly, traditional rulers and religious leaders.
Speaking in their separate sermons at the service, Bishop of Ekiti Anglican Diocese, Rt. Rev’d Olusola Ajayi and the ADS Missioner of Ekiti State, Alhaji Abdulsalam Babatunde called on the people of the state to embrace peace and show understanding with the Governor on the task of governing the state.
Bishop Ajayi, who urged residents to cooperate with the Governor to enable him achieve the desired progress, peace and economic viability, stressed that we must not allow politics and religion must not separate us from achieving greatness as a state.
Also, in his sermon, Alhaji Babatunde enjoined people in position of authority to reflect on the past year by making sure that this year, they use their positions to impact lives saying when we serve humanity and make people happy, that is when we can say we are truly serving God.
Also, in their separate prayer session, President General, League of Imans and Alfas in South West, Edo and Delta states, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere and the Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Clement Abifade prayed for the Governor and the state.