By Adeola Badru
The Igbo community in Oyo State has thrown its full weight behind the second term bid of the incumbent Governor Seyi Makinde ahead of the 2023 general elections, describing the governor’s all-inclusive approach to governance as unprecedented.
This was disclosed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) Mr. Tallest Innocent, while speaking with newsmen during a stakeholders meeting, held yesterday, at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan.
Tallest said: “To be sincere, I have gone round, and all the stakeholders in Oyo State have their support for Engr. Seyi Makinde. He has been doing wonderfully well in his approach to governance, by placing merit over mediocrity in his scale of affairs. I can assure you that come 2023, he does not have any problem with Ndi-Igbo in Oyo State.”
“From the attendance, you can see that all the Igbos are unflinchingly behind the Governor despite perceived differences within their ranks, this shows that His Excellency’s style of leadership is welcomed by the non-indigenous people that are resident in the Pacesetter state.”
“You can see that the representative of every Igbo man, ranging from Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, state associations, market associations, town union meetings, women associations as well as the Youths. The Governor has displayed capacity and our loyalty is with him.”
Reacting to the purported division among Ndi Igbo in Oyo State, the governor’s aide, played down any form of discord within the Igbo community in the state, describing it as a family affair that will not affect the common resolve of the generality of Igbos in Oyo state.
“There is no division among Igbos in Oyo State we are one. In a family, there may be differences but that does not affect the common goal of the family. As you have just witnessed, the Igbo people are United in their support for this administration even beyond 2023”
“You may talk of division but I can assure you that the vast majority of Igbos in Oyo state are enjoying the benefits of the friendly business environment that his Excellency has entrenched in the state. Gone are the days when our people are intimidated in their business places for various reasons.
“The governor has assured all and sundry that all law-abiding citizens will be given equal opportunities to contribute to the economic development of the state and our people are a major beneficiary of this gesture. For this, we will even support him for the presidency beyond his tenure as Governor of Oyo State.”
Tallest further hailed the state helmsman’s decision to appoint two persons of Igbo extraction into his cabinet as a clear demonstration of an all-inclusive governance approach and placing efficient service delivery over political and ethnic divides.
He further assured that as part of the decisions reached by the stakeholders, Ndi-Igbo will continue to rally round Governor Makinde’s administration, offering the needed support for maximum success.
“The Governor has displayed astute leadership in the appointment of two Igbos as his aides, myself and Barr. Kingley Ike, the SA on Igbo Affairs. The appointment has given Ndi-Igbo a sense of belonging, to which they have agreed to reciprocate the gesture by supporting the administration to succeed in delivering dividends of democracy to all residents”
“As you know, Ndi-Igbo are the largest non-indigent population resident in Oyo State. Wherever you go, you will see an Igbo man doing his business and making a decent living. The governor has created the enabling environment for our businesses to thrive and we will offer our support to his future political ambitions,” he noted.