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​The Ojude Oba festival has metamorphosised from being an homage paying visit to the Awujale by the Ijebu Ode Muslim community led by Balogun Odueyungbo Kuku (the second Balogun of Ijebu Ode) to becoming a unifying traditional festival among the Ijebusand the entire people of Ogun State. The Ojude Oba festival has grown to become a major communal activity that brings about the general development not only to the Ijebu community, but to the entire Ogun State. As a Government, we are most delighted to be part of the 2019 Ojude Oba festival.

2.​On this note, and on behalf of the Government and the good people of Ogun State, let me congratulate our revered Kabiyesi, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR, Ogbagba II, the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, on the commemoration of the 2019 Ojude Oba festival. Kabiyesi, your fatherly role in preserving the pomp and pageantry as well as the style and substance of this great event is worthy of commendation. I commend the High Chiefs and the generality of Ijebu people, particularly the entire members of the Ojude Oba Planning Committee for hosting yet another well-planned and highly successful Ojude Oba festival.

3.​Distinguished ladies and gentleman, let me observe that the choice of the theme for this year Ojude Oba festival: “the Uniqueness of Ijebu Nation” could not have been more apt, considering the fact that Ijebuland occupies a very important place in the development agenda of Ogun State. The Ijebus are known to be successful merchants and entrepreneurs. Ijebu is home to many renowned sons and daughters of Ogun State who have made their marks in different walks of life, notably among whom are; Chief Adeola Odutola, Chief Okunowo, Chief Bayo Kuku, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Otunba Subomi Balogun, ObaOtudeko, Prof Akin Mabogunje, Chief Mike Adenuga, Baba Okuboyejo, Prof. Oyinade Olurin, Prof. Beatrice Aboyade, and many others too numerous to mention, here. In the area of culture and tourism, Ijebuland is home to very interesting artefacts and historic sites as well as unique traditions and customs of which the Ojude Oba Festival is one. In addition, Ijebu Kingdom is endowed with numerous and long-standing tourist attractions, such as the Birikisu Sugbo Shrine, Yemoji Natural Pool, Iwasi Eco-tourism Centre, Iwopin Water front, Ebute Oni Tourist Beach, the magnificent Awujale Palace and so on.

4.​Kabiyesi, eminent personalities, here gathered, it is no gainsaying that the Ojude Oba festival has grown to become one of the most popular socio-cultural event in the entire South–West region of Nigeria and indeed a global tourist attraction. It showcases the cooperation and collaborative tendencies of the rich Yoruba culture. Our Administration will continue to support this great festival as we are desirous of sustaining and promoting culture, tourism and the lessons of the positive development that would be engendered through our collective efforts.

5.​Permit me to note that the lesson of collaborative effort, which the yearly commemoration of the Ojude Oba festival promotes, is significant to the successful implementation of our Administration’s “Building our Future Together” agenda. As an Administration, we understand the fact that no meaningful development can occur without the collaborative efforts of all and sundry. We understand that, for any development to take place, the people have an important role to play by contributing meaningfully and positively. We therefore seek the support and cooperation of our people at all times in our quest to build a solid foundation for the future of our dear State.

6.​Let me use this medium to thank the good people of Ogun State for their belief and trust in our Administration, particularly, for entrusting the fate of Ogun State on us. We promise that we will not betray the mandate our people bestowed on us in the last gubernatorial election. I am assuring all the people of Ogun State, and all those who have made our dear State their home that we will not disappoint you. You will enjoy the deserved dividends of democracy. We are unreservedly committed to giving Ogun Sate a focused and qualitative governance and to create the enabling environment for a Public-Private sector Partnership, which is fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and individual prosperity of the people of Ogun State. We pledge to be participatory, transparent, accountable, inclusive, fair, just, equitable and obey the rule of law.

7.​We are not unaware of unsolicited comments from some uninformed quarters that we have only focused ourselves with setting up and inaugurating Committees. Let me state that as a responsible government, we need to know where we are coming from for us to be able to know where we are heading. So, we need to ensure that whatever we do is not just done, but done well without allowing for distractions from any quarters. Let me also state that the committees are made up of people with integrity and requisite professional backgrounds, who are ready to contribute their quotas to the successful implementation of our “Building our Future Together” agenda. 

8.​As a responsible government of Ogun State, we will continue to support all enterprises that will bring further development to Ogun State and our people, irrespective of gender or religious affiliations. Our Administration is irrevocably committed to ensure equity, fairness and justice. We will be fair and firm in the allocation of resources and provide enabling environment for our people to maximize their potentials.

9.​We understand the importance of basic infrastructure to economic development. I must say that, amongst other efforts, all hands are already on deck to ensure that many of the roads across our dear State are rehabilitated, constructed and reconstructed as the case may be. OurAdministration and Federal Government are working out agreement on the reconstruction of the three major roads crying for assistance: Ijebu Ode-Epe Road; Abeokuta-Sango-Lagos Road; and, Sagamu-Ogijo-Ikorodu Road. Indeed, we are finalising the details of the completion of the uncompleted portion of the Epe – Ijebu Ode road. Ogun State being a gateway to Nigeria, with shared borders with Benin Republic as well as some States in Nigeria, we understand the need for collaboration. As part of the collaborative effort with the others, we have reached an advanced stage with Lagos State on the establishment of Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission, which will serve as a platform for collaborative development programmes.

10.​Before I end this address, let me assure our people of a continued secured environment for individuals and businesses. The recent cases of kidnap that happened in our dear State are just a test of our resolve and strong commitment to continue to ensure the security of lives and properties of our people. With our sincere gratitude to our President, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and the security agencies and their leadership, all the victims of the incidents of 23rd and 24th July, 2019; and, 1st August, 2019, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway and Sagamu-Benin-Ore expressway, respectively, have been rescued unhurt while suspects have been arrested and are undergoing interrogation. I want to once again, use this occasion to sound a note of warning to criminals and their accomplices that no part of Ogun State will be a safe haven for them. We shall fish them out and hand them over to the swift hand of justice.

11.​Therefore, let me enjoin you all to celebrate with moderation and enjoy the euphoria of this great Ojude Oba festival. I enjoin us all tobe security conscious as security is the business of all. I, once again, congratulate our Kabiyesi, the Awujale of Ijebuland; and, other Obashere present. I also commend the organisers of this grand event for their initiative and for being instrumental to various developmentprogrammes of Ijebuland. I appreciate all those who have, in one way or another, contributed to the success of this event. May God continue to crown your efforts with success. Amen. To all those that are visiting, I wish you journey mercies back.

12.​Kabiyesi, A ku Odun, Aku Iyedun, A seyi samodun o. Amin.

Igbega ipinle Ogun, ajose gbogbo wa ni o!

13.​I thank you all for listening and God bless.

Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR

Governor of Ogun State, Nigeria. 

Tuesday, 13th August, 2019

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