Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has declared that religion, ethnicity, and other differences should never be allowed to divide residents of the state.
The governor stated this at the Sasa Market, where he commissioned an ultramodern facility with 200 lock-up shops, 84 units of open shops, 8 units of toilets for men and women, office unit, trailer, and car parks.
He charged the market men and women who will occupy the new facility, to dwell in peace, saying: “I want to admonish you to continue to work together. When the crisis started, the Hausa people were with the Seriki while the Yoruba people were with the Baale. But today, I want everyone to see this development as a symbol to unite everyone.”
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the ultramodern Sasa Market was built following two separate incidents at the old market, quoting the governor as saying that the incidents must never be allowed to recur.
He said: “Let me start by welcoming everyone to this ultramodern Sasa market. This commissioning we are experiencing here today is a moment of rejoicing but I don’t want us to forget how we got to this point. Whoever forgets the mistakes of yesterday will repeat but I pray that we won’t repeat the mistake that brought us to this point.
“The separate incidents that occurred in November 2020 and February 2021 remain a footnote in history that should not repeat itself. We must not allow things like ethnicity, language, religion or any such matters to divide us.
“When the last incident happened, few of my colleagues came because people were concerned throughout Nigeria and you know that if the incident was not well-managed then, it would have spread throughout the whole of the country but we thank God for the management.
“So, I want to appeal to us that this new structure become a symbol of unity and oneness. Each time we come to the market to buy or sell something, let it be a reminder that we are one.
“You see, hunger does not know religion. During the crisis then, the needless losses cut across everybody. So, I want to believe we will never repeat the unfortunate history.
“In this facility, there are 200 lock-up shops, 84 units of open shops, 8 units of toilets for men and women, office units, trailer and car parks. I want to encourage the market users to continue to dwell in peace. The commercial activities, which take place here, and in other parts of our state, are vital to the growth of our economy.”
Governor Makinde, who used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of his administration to building infrastructure that targets the economy of the state, urged residents of the state to be watchful in the coming elections and to ensure that they reject politicians who lack simple knowledge of the state’s situation.
“Yes, I do say that our infrastructure will target our economy. This is one example.
“Recently, a critic, who was part of the past administration said the Moniya-Iseyin road is narrow despite the fact that the same government awarded the contract. Anyway, we collected N1 billion from them when we came in. Please always enlighten them, because they lack that simple knowledge and, on the election day, ensure you drag their faces in the mud.
“When they [APC] were running their government, instead of allowing the people to spread out so much so that those living at Iseyin could be working in Secretariat, Ibadan, they failed to do that.
“But when we came in, we made the movement easy for our people and now, you can spend 45 minutes from Moniya to Iseyin instead of the 3hrs it used to be. That is the correction we made, which is expanding our state economy.
“They also said we are only constructing roads, which according to them, do not have any impact on the lives of our residents. But I can tell you that on the 25th day of every month, the money Oyo State economy gulps is about N14b Naira.
Earlier, the chairman of Akinyele Local Government, Mr. Taoheed Adedigba, lauded Governor Makinde for his excellent achievements in the local government, saying: “Your Excellency, permit me to mention few of your excellent performance in Akinyele Local Government that are already transforming the local government into ultra-modern city that can be compared with Dubai in United Arab Emirates.
“Some of the numerous developmental projects in our dear local government include Ojoo Bus Terminal, tarring of Moniya/Iseyin road, location of Amotekun Headquarters, provision of modern and sophisticated health equipment, resuscitation of the Pacesetter Quarry, lighting up of the local government community and ongoing second phase of Akinyele Farmers’ Market along Akinyele/Oyo road.”
He said his administration at the local government will continue to complement the efforts of the state government and to key into the governor’s vision of restoring the glory of Oyo State.