Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Monday, bid the state workforce an emotional farewell, saying whatever has a beginning must have an end, as his two uninterrupted eight-year tenures end on May 28.
This is just as he said that his administration which has 135 days and 10 hours left had successfully delivered on the benefits of democracy in the state.
Reflecting on his administration’s performances in the last seven and a half years, the governor said it had delivered on its electioneering promises and raised the bar of governance in the state.
The governor, who was very lively as he threw banters with workers, spoke at the 2019 interfaith service held at the Governor’s Office Car Park, Secretariat, Ibadan.
Ajimobi said, “The journey which is gradually coming to an end in the middle of this year started with a bold step on May 29, 2011. We came with a determination to challenge the status quo of mediocrity in governance, insecurity and dirty environment, among others. We were resolute in cleaning the Augean stable.
“In the face of many challenges, especially the difficulties we faced at the tail end of our first term in office, we were still able to sail through, courtesy of the wisdom of God and the perseverance and endurance of the good people of Oyo State.
“I did not do it all alone. I must thank my wife for standing by me in this journey. I thank the state executive members and other appointees for their dedication. This is the last interfaith service I will address as governor. Anything that has a beginning must have an end.”
The governor said there was the need for him to always appreciate God for His guidance and benevolence towards him in spite of his weaknesses and shortcomings as a human being.
He challenged civil servants in the state to put in more efforts in the discharge of their duties in order to promote the development of the state beyond the current level.
Ajimobi, however, commended what he called the obvious change in the attitude of workers to work and their improved dress sense, charging them to consistently strive towards making standard and efficiency their watchword.
The governor used the occasion to assure local government workers and those in the state-owned tertiary institutions that all outstanding salaries would be cleared in due course.
The occasion also witnessed the presentation of special awards to 46 ‘Most Efficient Civil Servants and Public Servants,’ drawn from different ministries, departments and agencies.
The governor said that the main purpose of government was to ensure safety, peace and security of lives and property, which, he said, his administration had achieved and sustained since he came on board.
He attributed the feat to a combination of understanding, collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders, including citizens of the state.
He said that the state security outfit, “Operation Burst”, the State Security Trust Fund and other initiatives under the Global Safe City Initiatives had significantly contributed to the success of his administration’s restoration agenda.
The governor eulogized what he called his administration’s giant strides in the revamping of agriculture, industrialization and other programmes aimed at improving the standard of living of the people.
Ajimobi also added that his government had enhanced the welfare of the workforce through the introduction of free transportation to and from office, increase in car and housing loans as well as the recruitment of more workers.
He said: “We have increased car loan from N200,000 to N500,000; with over 8,000 beneficiaries. Housing loan has been increased from N1 million to N2 million Naira; with over 850 beneficiaries, having disbursed over half a billion naira.
“Since 2011, we have recruited over 2,000 junior and senior staff into permanent establishments in various cadres, including medical, paramedical, clerical, education and administration.
“In the same vein, over 7,000 secondary school teachers were employed. This and other efforts of the government have helped in reducing the rate of unemployment in the state.
“With these modest achievements, among others, we have contributed our quota to the development of our state in the last seven and a half years.”
The state’s Head of Service, Mrs Hannah Ogunesan, commended the Ajimobi administration for keeping faith with workers, even in the face of dwindling resources at a point in the history of the nation.
He also praised the workforce for collaborating with the government in raising productivity and professionalism in the state.
Ogunesan, however, challenged the workers to rededicate their services to self-development and enhanced productivity in the state public service.
The HOS acknowledged that the government had continued to dedicate the entire monthly federal allocation to the payment of workers’ salaries while noting that the free bus facility introduced under the outgoing administration for workers was still in operation.
In their respective sermons at the event, Muslim and Christian clerics urged the people to always reflect the image of God in whatever they do, as the opportunity given every individual to head an office or lead a group of people must be used to better the lot of the people.
The state government had organized the service to usher in the New Year with thanksgiving and prayers.
It was attended by the Wife of the governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi; Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olagunju Ojo; the representative of the Chief Judge, Justice Aderonke Aderemi; State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Akin Oke, among others.
Also at the service were Senator Olabiyi Durojaye; a chieftain of the APC in Lagos State, Chief Tajudeen Olusi and a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Chief Adeleke Adewoyin, who were on a visit to the state.
Others included members of the state executive council, members of the House of Assembly, local government chairmen, religious leaders, party stalwarts, top government officials and civil servants.