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OPINION : When Abiodun Leads Ogun Indigenes To Celebrate Edun, Tijani, Salako

By: Elijah Udofia
It was an American Author and Television Producer, Oprah Winfrey, who said, “Be thankful for what you have: if you end up having more ….”
For Governor Dapo Abiodun, the man who has been steering the ship of Ogun State in the last four years, the appointment of three sons of the State as ministers by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was worth celebrating.
And so, the state government rolled out the drums to celebrate her own in grand style.
The event, which took place in Abuja, was the gathering of the best in the state, including traditional rulers from across the three senatorial zones.
Since the creation of the State 47 years ago, it indigenes have played critical roles in the economy, political and social life of Nigeria.
The dynamic and goal getting nature of the sons and daughters of the Gateway State has seen them recording firsts in all human endeavours.
The State is blessed with eminent personalities like the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo; foremost educationalist and social critic; Pa Tai Solarin; erudite Administrator, Chief Simeon Adebo; music legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and his mother, the firebrand Mrs. Ransome Kuti and not forgetting sport heroes like late Muda Lawal, Segun Odegbami and of course the new kid on the block, Tobi Amusan, the former  world 100 metres women hurdles champion.
Full of smart and well endowed people who have made and are still making waves in their chosen endeavours, the pedigree of the indigenes is something no right thinking leader will overlook. It is therefore not surprising when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the course of choosing his ministers to form his cabinet, picked not one, but three from the Gateway State.
The President must have, from his interactions with and having worked with many of them during his tenure as the governor of the Lagos State, be well aware of the stuff the indigenes of the State are made of.
No one knows more than Mr. President, the expertise and dexterity of Mr. Wale Edun in finance and economic management. Edun was his Commissioner of Finance for eight years.
The President must have also been following the exploit of Dr. Bosun Tijani, the young Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy and his contribution to the digital and technologically dominated world.
The Minister of State for the Environment, Dr. Kunle Salako, is a proud son of Yewaland. He was a commissioner in the Gateway State and the President must have heard his exploit during that duty tour, when he turned around the health sector in the state.
At a reception, a visibly elated Abiodun was full of joy and emphatic when he said: “Hon Ministers we are here to celebrate you today on behalf of all the people and govt of your home state I join others to congratulate you.”
He told them to key into the vision of the president which is to tackle the various challenges confronting the nation just a he admonished them to be good representatives of their people and give useful advice that would help his government to implement it’s ‘Building Our Future Together Agenda’.
He reminded the ministers of the exploits their forebears have made in the course of nation building hence the need for them to buckle up and make the State proud in their respective assignments.
He said: “We are the gateway to Nigeria’s prosperity, the nation’s educational capital, the industrial capital, number one in cassava, poultry, eggs, religious capital, emerging breadbasket of the nation and fast becoming the economic heartbeat of Nigeria. These appointments by Mr. President are a further testament to our first position and the abundant capacity we are known for and possess.”
The occasion provided Governor Abiodun the opportunity to reel out the achievements of his administration in his first term. These include the rehabilitation of over 400 km of roads, construction of about 2,000 affordable homes, and rehabilitation of over 100 Primary Health Centres while over 1000 schools were given significant facelift.
Abiodun, playing the role of chief advertiser of the State to both visitors and indigenes in diaspora, did not failed to point out to the new ministers the world-class airport, regarded as the fastest constructed airport anywhere in the world, built in less than two years.
He highlighted the state’s leadership in transitioning to clean energy through initiatives like the conversion of state-owned buses to Compressed Natural Gas and also revealed plans for an E-mobility program, reflecting the state’s progressive stance on sustainable transportation.
To demonstrate his unwavering commitment and support for the ministers, Governor Abiodun expressed the determination of his administration to maintain a closer relationship with them through regular meetings aimed at fostering a bond that would enable a seamless collaboration towards shared goals. He exuded confidence in their abilities, calling on them to make the State proud by making the best of the opportunities entrusted to them.
The state’s Deputy Governor, Engr. (Mrs.) Noimot Salako-Oyedele, while sharing her thought, said the appointments were an opportunity for the trio to serve God and humanity, emphasizing that with their wealth of experience, coupled with their outstanding qualifications, she is confidence that they would perform creditably well.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, who also graced the event, said the appointment of three ministers was the best thing that has happened to the state since the return to democracy in 1999. He expressed optimism that they would perform creditably well.
The gathering was a mixed bag of who is who in the State. Traditional rulers like the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo described the new ministers as people of high integrity and impeccable character, who he is sure, are ready to serve their fatherland, while the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, opined that the appointment was historic in the anal of the state.
The Asiwaju of Remoland, Chief Solomon Onafowokan who stood in for the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, said the ministers are trustworthy and dedicated sons of the State who are well equipped to handle any responsibilities entrusted on them while the Olota of Ota, Oba Abdulkabir Obalanlege, noted that the State is blessed with natural leaders who can excel wherever they find themselves, appreciating the President for finding them worthy to serve in his cabinet.
Senator Shuaib Afolabi Salis, representing Ogun Central Senatorial District at the upper chambers of the National Assembly, said the appointment of three ministers from the State revilidate the view that Ogun is a repository of knowledge. He is of the view that having been in the positions of authority before now, they know what is required of them.
Listening with rap attention to the speeches made by eminent personalities from the State, the ministers who were visibly moved by the words of encouragement and the collective support of the people, conveyed their dedication to Nigeria’s and Ogun State’s progress.
Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Tijani appreciated Governor Abiodun for his visionary leadership and his role in harnessing technology for economic growth. The ministers vowed to contribute effectively to the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President and work assiduously towards the betterment of the Gateway State.
He stated further: “Ogun is rich in culture, talents, opportunities and resources. We are great people in Ogun State. I want to assure you that we will work for the good of Ogun State and Nigeria. We will play our parts in line with the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda.”
The event provided an opportunity to celebrate Ogun State indigenes at the national level as well as a call to action, unity, and serve as an embodiment of collective aspirations. Under Abiodun’s leadership, Ogun State has continued to move toward a brighter future, with ministers who stand as living testaments to the state’s potential and promise.
Important dignitaries, including the governors of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, and his Imo State counterpart, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, serving and past members of the National Assembly, APC stalwarts in the State, government officials, captains of industry, friends, and well-wishers of the ministers were present.
Mr. Udofia is Press Officer, Office of the governor, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

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