Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has declared that his administration was set to turn the five local governments in Ogbomoso zone into Agro-Industrial Processing Zones.
The governor, who made the promise during separate meetings with the leadedship of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Muslim clerics in Ikoyi-Ile, Oriire Local Government Area of the state, said that his administration will explore the potentials of each of the local governments.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa quoted Makinde as saying that his administration was determined to industrialise the state so as to provide employment opportunities for the youths.
While addressing CAN leaders at the First Baptist Church, Ikoyi-Ile, as part of his campaign tour of Oriire Local Government on Tuesday, Makinde maintained that the state is progressing in terms of economic emancipation.
He added that the present administration has laid the necessary foundation for economic prosperity of the state by connecting all the zones in the state.
The governor expressed confidence that infrastructure projects done by his government will stand the test of time because of the quality of work, while pledging that residents of the state would get more if he is re-elected as governor.
He said: “When the zonal chairman was speaking, he said they will rejoice with us on March 11th, but I want to say that you all would rejoice with us first on February 25th. We will rejoice with Wolekanle, Onireti and other candidates of our party on that day.
“I have noted a few of the things you said, especially the issue of grading of rural roads.
“We have put something in place to help us in fixing the rural roads. But what it means is that the effort is not enough and we have to put in more. So, I promise you that we will do the needful soon.
“For most of the things we are doing, we are laying foundation gradually, and one of the major foundations is to connect our zones together. If our people can farm, operate in a safe and secure environment, access infrastructure to transport their produce, it means we are getting somewhere in terms of economic emancipation. So, we will continue to push the frontier, and under Omituntun 2.0, we will do better.
“If you examine all the infrastructure projects that this administration has done, you will realise they are still strong and can last for the next 20 years. So, we don’t need to spend on the projects we have completed in the past, and we only have new projects to do in the new dispensation.
“I equally noted what you said about those disturbing our farmers from going to their farms. It is actually a concern to me also. I signed into law the anti-open grazing law because we saw the need to sanitise that area. But we appreciate the Amotekun operatives for what they are doing because I receive weekly report from them.
“They intervened in most places, on the issue of farmers/herders clashes.
“The only thing I can tell you at this point is to listen to your leadership.
“A decision is about to be taken in the next couple of weeks and I can tell you that the decision will be major for Nigeria. So, pray fervently. The best thing I can do is what I am doing right now; to convince people to vote for my re-election.”
The governor urged the people to vote for PDP candidates on February 25, adding that the candidates vying for Senate and Reps seats are also his candidates.
“If you vote for Wolekanle and Onireti, who are the candidates of our party for the National Assembly, as well as my deputy and I, we will work together and Oyo State will be better for it,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the General Secretary CAN, Ogbomoso zone, Rev. Sunday Olojede, commended Governor Makinde on various laudable projects his administration has embarked upon in the zones.
Similarly, Governor Makinde also met with the leadership of Ikoyi-Ile Muslim Community at the Ikoyi-Ile Central Mosque, where he charged the Muslim Ummah to work hand in hand and cooperate with his government and to also re-elect him so that he can continue to move the state from poverty to prosperity.
While thanking them for their prayers, Governor Makinde noted that their demands will be addressed in due course.
He said: “In 2019, I lost Oriire LG but I won’t count that. I will continue to do the needful for this local government. So, I want to beg of you this time around and want to use this LG as a good example, going forward. “I expect 90 per cent of your votes for the PDP in the coming election.
“The Chief Imam said that there is always a rapid development around where there is higher institution but I will say that more developments get to an industrialised location. “Yes, you have an expansive land in Oriire LG and it is a candidate for a major processing industry. And under Omituntun 2.0, I am promising you that a processing industry is coming to this local government.
“If there is a space for higher institution, we will establish one here, but I will not promise what we cannot deliver. The number one priority for us as a government is security, which we know will enable our farmers to go to their farms unhindered. We are also prioritising infrastructure because before I got here, while passing through Olokoto, Tewure and the rest, I saw bags of yam flour almost in front of every household. Even this morning, I stopped at a point where I plucked cashew and ate.
“Why can’t cashew processing firm be here? What about our children who are yet to be employed? Industrialisation will provide jobs for our people.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank you for your support and prayers. But I still want to appeal to you to vote for our party’s candidates on February 25th and for me on March 11th.
“Before I got here, they already told me you want an upgrade to Omituntun 2.0. Majority of our out-of-school-children are back in schools now because they no longer pay the N3,000 levy.
“Amotekun, which is our creation, was not there before 2019. We are also working on the interconnectivity of our zones.
“Our workers get paid on the 25th of every month. So, I have come to you today, again, because of all the things we have done, and not to have a repeat of what happened in 2019. This time around, let’s work together to win this LG.
“We are constructing a road from Ogbomoso to Iseyin. We have done that of Iseyin to Ibadan with a dry port. This means we can now export things to other countries from here. That is Omituntun 2.0.”
The two meetings featured special prayers for the governor and the state at large.