Little does the general citizenry of Oyo state and by extension, Nigeria, realise the fact that Gov. Abiola Ajimobi harbours no religious malice against anybody. As a moderate and an open-hearted administrator, he appreciates all the functional religions in the state. To wit, he accords all the leaders and adherents of all the religions in the state the desired respect. To a reasonable extent,he appreciates dignity of labour and merit in man,irrespective of religion, tribal or ethnic background.
He is a true harbinger of management by objectivity (MBO). He treats all the citizens of various religious backgrounds on equal basis and without any discrimination. He radiates fear of God to an extreme limit. No wonder, Oyo state stands out as a divine example among the states that are devoid of any sectarian crisis,if not the most outstanding.
Not minding his Islamic background, he hosts the christians in the state to special commemorative celebrations during the Easter and Christmas seasons on annual basis. These festivals are always celebrated with pomp and pageantry since the inception of this glorious administration in Oyo state right inside the premises of the government house. Also, he sponsors scores of christians on holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem on annual basis. He replicates same feat for the benefits of the muslim faithfuls in the state as well during their festivals,viz; Maloud Nabiyi,Eld-Kabir, Hijirah and Eld-Fitri celebrations respectively. Of significance, he provides succour to the adherents of the traditional religions as the occasion demands.
Attaining such a balance with unequaled records of success in a complex society like Oyo state is not a mean achievement.Such feat can only be accomplished by an able and competent administrator who is imbued with the cest and ethos of better administrative skills in all fronts. Managing issues on religion, no doubt, requires divine wisdom,patience and efficiency. It is gladdening to observe that Gov.Abiola Ajimobi is endowed with all these sterling qualities.Thus, it is easier for him to manage issues on religion in Oyo state better than his predecessors in office.
His display of right virtues on managing religious issues in the state with serial successes has earned him a special award and honour,which was recently bestowed on him by “THE MUSLIM UMAH OF OYO STATE” ably led by Alh. Ishaq Kunle Sanni. Quoting Alhaji Kunle Sanni on that auspicious and colourful occasion,”we thought that he would turn down our request on our proposal to the effect that the female students in the public schools in Oyo state should be allowed to put on hijabs or capes while in schools”, but, we were wrong, because he approved of it expeditiously. And, we observed that he is obliging the requests from our christian counterparts in the same manner. Asides, he has done several things for the benefits of the Muslims and Christians alike in this state, which are too numerous to mention here, not losing the sight to maintain equity in the exercise, Alhaji Sanni enthused. Thus, he continued, “we deem it imperative to confer on him the honour and award”, “the most equitable Governor in the history of Oyo state thus far”. Alhaji Kunle Sanni made references to how the Oyo state Muslim Umah had approached two former Muslim governors in the state, one still living while the other one is dead, on the issues of hijab and others, but, to no avail. Other eminent personalities at the occasion, Profs. Kamil Oloso, Noibi, Chief Imams of Ibadan and other neighbouring states corroborated Alhaji Kunle Sanni’s narrations and paid glowing tributes to the efforts of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi for maintaining balance in the management of religious issues in the state.
In his response, the sole awardee, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi appreciates the kind gesture of the Muslim community in Oyo state for considering him worthy to be so honoured. He pledged to redouble his efforts at maintaining a genuine balance in the management of religious affairs in the state. He reasoned that it is only in this manner that sustenance of religious peace and harmony in the state can be enhanced. At this juncture, it is worth asserting that various religions should be seen as veritable social institutions which the government can use to correct the social ills in the society. In this regard, one can only admonish Gov. Abiola Ajimobi to continue toeing this line of action with an intent to obtain optimal yield. For instance, holding regular meetings with the representatives of various religions by the Oyo state government shall undoubtedly promote better understanding among the adherents of all the religions, leading to securing more peace and harmony among them. It has the twin advantage of enhancing the proper understanding of government policies and allied objectives.