Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has said that he would not be too proud to reverse himself anytime he found it necessary as according to him, only God is infallible.
Governor Makinde, who joined the congregation at the Oja’ba Central Mosque for a special prayer to commemorate his 52nd birthday, said that his government would always be open to corrections.
“We don’t know it all. If people tell us what we need to do, we will act. I am not proud to the extent that I can’t reverse myself, because I know that pride comes before a fall,” the Governor said.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the Governor thanked the faithful for joining the prayers at short notice.
“Your prayers are important to me. It doesn’t matter if we have a multitude. What we have here is quality crowd,” he said, adding that he will always love to work for the people because he is out to provide service.
The Governor also said that he would not be a party to chasing street traders off the streets without providing them with alternatives, as according to him, he once sold bread at Yemetu area of Ibadan.
He said: "Somebody said that I was quoted as saying that I would not chase away street traders without providing them with alternatives. Yes, that is true because I know the mentality of street trading. I once sold bread by the roadside in Yemetu Area.
“I said so because we cannot send them away until we provide an alternative for them. And we have started enforcing that. We did that at Ojoo where we asked people not to trade at the point where we want to situate our modern terminus.
“Recently, I went there in the midnight to make sure that where they will relocate the traders to must be a comfortable place, equipped with necessary infrastructure so that when they make their sales, they may not feel like going back to the road-side.
“I actually understand the situation, because I once sold bread in front of Adeoyo Hospital in Yemetu. And I know that the money that I used to assist my mother from bread-selling was expended on my education.
“So, I beg of you, do the right thing. We will do all that is needful to ensure the development of Oyo State. If we fail to do the right thing, don’t hesitate to tell us.”
Governor Makinde, who stated that his government would be fair and just to all religious organizations in the State, maintained that the prayers of Muslim clerics contributed immensely to his victory at the polls.
"I assured the people of the State that I will serve them with the fear of God. I have made a promise to serve the good people of Oyo State with the fear of God and not to favour of any religious organisation above the other,” he said.
He stated that all the religions will be treated equally, as according to him, homes in the State have members spread across the religions.
“In my administration, whatever is due to Muslims, Christians and traditional worshipers will be given to them equally without any bias or favour,” the Governor said.
Governor Makinde also took time to x-ray the key achievements of his administration in the first six months, adding which he said include regular payment of the workers on 25th of every month; provision of security vehicles for the Security Agencies in the state; free education from primary level to secondary level; light-up of Ibadan and cities among many others.
He added: "Also, there is an improvement in our health care system. When we came in, they were saying members of the NURTW were causing trouble. But now, this has stopped. I can assure you that where we have noticed some pockets of challenges will be addressed.
"We have also started the lighting up places in Ibadan so that you can be all safe to go to wherever you want to go. And this is the first phase; we will light up all our major cities.
“With this, the criminal elements to know they cannot perform any evil act successfully. So, I have come to serve the people and I believe that if we can all work together, what is not enough for us today will be abundant tomorrow."
The Governor, therefore, appealed to religious leaders in the State to continue to pray for the success of the present administration and not to allow the religious fanatics to cause crisis among the religious organizations in the State.
According to him, “concerning what Imam said about Alfa Oloore, there is no rancour between us. Sincerely, with what I saw at the mosque that first day, I would have ordered that it be demolished with immediate effect and the surrounding houses. But three days after, people told me that it was not only Oloore mosque we have such facilities and that some parents do take their children there. I interviewed some parents at Sanyo Area, where we took them and they said they actually took their children there. I have to listen to what people were saying.
"So, when they talked to me, I asked them not to demolish the mosque again and informed the Police to leave Alfa alone. I also told social workers to go and inspect it because we need to modernise anything we do. The way they do things yesterday is not the way we will do them today. We need to see how we can modernise the way we discipline and train troublesome children in such a way that when they grow up, they won’t be a burden to anyone or for the country.
"Since that is the situation we have found ourselves, there should be regulations for those who have these kinds of facilities. Also, social workers need to always assign some people to take charge of activities there. That is the way it should be done.”
The Governor, therefore, called on all the religious leaders to always advise him as he is ready to welcome corrections when necessary.
According to him, nobody is above mistakes, only God cannot make mistakes.
"What we are facing now is how we can make life comfortable for everyone and to develop Oyo State. We cannot do it alone. As residents and citizens of Oyo State, you cannot also do it alone. We have to come together, put hands on deck to achieve this.
"They will twist many things but I am here today to tell you that I will be truthful to you, no matter the situation. Because I am not also above mistake, I need to make the engagements to continue. As a human being, I can make mistakes but it is only God who cannot. But we can correct ourselves if we get response on what is going on in the street.
Speaking earlier, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Alhaji Abubakr Agbootomokekere, showered encomiums on Governor Makinde for his enormous achievements within 200 days in office.
He urged the Governor to continue with his good policies for the overall development of Oyo State.
He, therefore, prayed for the success of the Makinde-led administration in the State and promised that the League of Imams would continue to support the Government.
The visit had in attendance Chief of Staff, Chief Lukman Ilaka, Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Agboola, Commissioner for Information, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun and other members of the State Executive Council.