Akure, the Ondo State Capital, Friday, went agog as Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN and Hon. Ajayi Agboola were sworn-in as the sixth civilian governor and deputy governor of the State.
As early as 8.am, the Akure township stadium was already filled to capacity as well-wishers, All Progressives Congress (APC) members, associates, friends and family members thronged the stadium to witness the epoch event.
Different cultural groups, particularly Owo Cultural group, which is the hometown of the new governor were already at the venue entertaining the guests.
The arrival of the National leader of APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and the former national carekater Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande changed the atmosphere of the venue as they were celebrated by party faithful.
Akeredolu’s aged mother, Grace was among those who graced her son’s inauguration ceremony.
Others dignitaries include the national Chairman of APC, Chief John Oyegun, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yusuf, Governors, Sokoto, Aminu Tambuawal, Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, Oyo, Abiola Ajumobi, Ogu, Ibikunle Amosun, Edo, Godwin Obaseki, Kogi, Yaya Bello, Jigawa, Abubakar Badaru, Kebbi and Atiku Bagudu.
“Former governors, Bamidele Olumilua, Olusegun Osoba, Adeniyi Adebayo, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, represented former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Abubakar Baraje, senators, Gbenga Ashafa, Olusola Adeyeye, Dino Melaye, Ajayi Boroffice, Tayo Alasoadura, senator Isiaka Adeleke, Yele Omogunwa, Hon. Babatunde Kolawole, Friday Olemija, Mayowa Akinforlarin, Victor Akinjo,
“Traditional rulers, representatives of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Olowo of Owo, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor kiladejo, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan and others.
Akeredolu, who arrived the venue at 11.18 a.m, with his wife, Betty shortly after his deputy, Agboola was sworn-in by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Tayo Osoba, around 11.11 a.m greeted all the dignitaries.
He immediately went straight to where all the national leaders of his party sat, removed his cap and hugged Tinubu.
He was given a guard of honour immediately he took the oath of office at exactly 11.35 a.m by Justice Osoba.
In his first address to the people of the state, Akeredolu expressed the determination of his administration to rescue the state from the shackles of social economic doldrums.
When reading his speech titled “The Journey to Redemption” Akeredolu acknowledged Tinubu and other leaders of his party for their efforts.
The new governor said his administration would adopt a collaborative approach to get his programme done by ensuring that the government engage with other segments of the public sector, as well as the private sector in developing and implementing his ideas of transforming the economy of the state within the shortest possible time.
Akeredolu, however, noted that an adequate focus on transforming the current socio-economic status of the state will lead to substantial Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.
He said, “humbled by the uncommon kindness of the Almighty God and an unequivocal expression of preference by the good people of Ondo State, exemplified by the victory of our great party at the last gubernatorial election, I am extremely delighted to share with you all the joy of this day of glory.We are grateful to Almighty God for granting this state such a beautiful day and a beautiful moment like this.
“I thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and leader of our great party, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for his leadership and unwavering stance to support what is just and noble. Today’s celebration would, perhaps, have been impossible without his steely disposition to always stand against all acts not in consonance with decency, probity and justice.
“I thank the President of Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Yakubu Dogara. I thank all APC Governors who stood to be counted with us in our hour of need and other eminent Nigerians too numerous to mention.
“An especial reverence must be reserved for our indefatigable party chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, whose strict adherence to lofty principles and doggedness laid the foundation for our resounding victory at the polls. This exemplary leader behaved like a true elder, whose sagely presence in the village square not only professed rectitude but acted it, resolutely, affirming nobility of the human spirit. Our party benefitted, tremendously, from his vast experience in public service. We are eternally grateful. The verdict of history shall be kind to him.
“We express our profound appreciation to all the leaders of the party, at the national, state, local government, ward and unit levels, for their untiring and selfless efforts during the election.
“May I also use this opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served this state in this capacity, both living and departed, for their invaluable contributions to the development of the state. On behalf of our State, I pay tribute to Governor Olusegun Abdulrahman Mimiko for his several years of service to Ondo State. I thank all our guests and friends both far and near who have taken it upon themselves to be here or sent words. I thank all citizens of Ondo state, particularly our resilient youths and women.
“I come to you this day, with a message of hope, a clear agenda of prosperity and a vision of life abundant. I believe the greatest expression of faith in our ability is to be strong enough to look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake our society to align with our highest ideals.
“We can rise out of this dust and build a new Ondo state where honesty, prosperity and confidence can once again be our self-identity. We can pull ourselves by the bootstraps and shake off our current frustrations and disappointments. We must recognise the need for a cohesive platform, indispensable to an effective and efficient implementation of policies and programmes of both government and party, respectively.
“Divergence of opinions is integral to party politics. We are bound to disagree as politicians but we must cast aside bitter recriminations and destructive predilections. Democracy thrives on infinite multiplicity of ideas. Popular participation is one of its fundamental norms. The subordination of individual preferences for the collective will is essential if we are to avoid anarchy. Party supremacy should be respected at all times. This should not be difficult for us to accept if we are truly desirous of bringing about positive change in the lives of our people.
“We listened to the voices of our people in the course of our campaigns to all the nooks and crannies of the state. We heard them loud and clear through their votes. We witnessed, first hand, the deplorable conditions under which they exist. To those who cast their ballots in favour of our programmes, your trust is not misplaced. We are determined to make the difference with the specific mandate of redemption liberally handed over to us. Those who expressed other preferences are no less patriotic.
” Before long their anxieties will be addressed, realistically. All of us will be involved in the reconstruction project. The collective interest of the state must be our paramount focus. Consequently,we stand before you to pledge, with the guidance of God and our resolve not to renege on our promise, that your welfare shall form the basis of all our activities.
“To achieve this, the main mission of our administration is therefore to lead a patriotic, highly inspired and competent team to rescue the ship of our state. We intend to help rebuild our economy, resuscitate damaged infrastructure, restore hope and return our state to a prosperous land. We are determined as an administration to break down the barriers that have made stagnation possible. We will break down the barriers to honest leadership, to comprehensive development, to physical growth and social security.
“These we intend to do through the promotion of transparent leadership, rule of law, extensive consultation, quality and accessible public utilities and social security; all in a sustainable manner”.
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