By Adeola Badru
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday declared that as Nigeria celebrated her 62nd independence anniversary, it was sad that the country could not confidently say that it has moulded a nation that is set to fulfil its potential.
The governor made the remark in his independence anniversary speech at Adamasingba Stadium, Ibadan, the venue of the event.
Represented by his deputy, Adebayo Lawal at the event, the governor avered that despite the aura that usually pervades anniversaries such as this, the real truth of the situation indicated that it may not be the time to roll out the drums yet, adding that as the popular saying went does: “Several glasses of water have passed under the bridge.”
He said that at 62 years of nationhood, the country has had a lot of a chequered history that showcases it as a country bedevilled by perpetual travails, saying that a divided house with a cacophony of tongues, and an assemblage that keeps grappling with stunted growth.
Makinde stated: “I am truly delighted to be in your midst today as we all gathered here to celebrate yet another birthday of our beloved nation, Nigeria.”
“I am happy to see young and old, pupils, students, and the working class match past in colourful attires paying obeisance to the national flag, the symbol of our nationhood.”
“It reminds me of many years back, when as school children, we gleefully and enthusiastically rushed to the stadium on days like this to participate in the joy of Independence anniversary.”
“At 62, we should be rolling out the drums in the celebration that our country has come of age. Yes, we have come of age in terms of numbers, but sadly we cannot confidently say that we have moulded a nation that is set to fulfil its potential.”
“Despite the aura that usually pervades anniversaries such as this; the real truth of our situation indicates that it may not be the time to roll out the drums yet. This is because as the saying goes, several glasses of water have passed under the bridge.”
“In 62 years of nationhood, we have had the lot of a chequered history that showcases us as a country bedevilled by perpetual travails, a divided house with a cacophony of tongues, and an assemblage that keeps grappling with stunted growth.”
“Observers out there have said that we are a nation blessed by God with all the resources needed to excel. While many have situated our predicaments on the failure of leadership, some others have said that we have bad followers.”
“However, beyond the endless search for culprits for the myriads of problems we are grappling with as a nation should be the need to rise above the tides of discord, degradation, decline, and underdevelopment, which would see us blossom into that country that can truly be called giant of Africa. We must collectively raise the bar of development in every area of our lives.”
“It is our firm belief in Oyo State that for sleeping giant Nigeria, to rise to its potential, citizens and leaders must play their part positively as true stakeholders, without which the tales of woes would only continue to get elongated.”
“Here in Oyo State, as a government in charge of one of the key federating units of the country, we have never shied away from taking bold steps with the singularity of mindset and determination to make a difference.”
“Our Poverty to Prosperity mantra, an offshoot of the four key pillars of this administration, which includes security, health, education, and expanded economy through the agribusiness value chain, which was distilled from the Roadmap for Accelerated Development of Oyo State, 2019 to 2023, is working wonders in the different aspects of life including human capital development; enhancing the ease of doing business through positive economic indices; quality infrastructure; empowerment of residents and indigenes with good economic fortunes; welfare policies for workers, indigenes, and residents; as well as the assurance of a hopeful and good life through sound health policies and free and qualitative education.”
“As we all can see, the government in Oyo State is playing its part by taking steps to ensure that our people live a meaningful life. The free and qualitative education has already ensured that more than 40,000 out-of-school children have returned to school, while parents who were forced to move their wards to private schools due to the deplorable standards of education in the public schools are rushing to return their wards to our revitalised schools.”
“Apart from the provision of furniture and books to students, this government has built over 600 schools with 60 model schools also constructed.”
“We are remodelling 351 primary healthcare centres at one per electoral Ward, while our Light-Up Oyo Project has covered over 200 kilometres of road across the seven zones of the state. This administration is building over 500 kilometres of roads, linking up the zones of the state and our neighbouring Ogun and Osun States.”
“In the area of security, I make bold to tell you that no fewer than six states of the country have visited Oyo State to understudy the unique security architecture of the state.”
“I am confidently reporting to you all that our administration has raised the bar of development in every aspect of human endeavour.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that the monumental development we have pioneered here in Oyo State is capable of lifting Nigeria to greatness if adopted on a national scale. Notwithstanding all of that, we are not tired of doing more,” the governor said.