Ajimobi keeps tradition of incumbent governor’s absence at inauguration in Oyo State
…. Meets Buhari, says I wish Oyo people were more patient
The outgoing Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has continued to keep to the tradition of outgoing governors not personally attending the handing over of power ceremony to an opposition successor.
Ajimobi, who spoke with State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, after a thank you visit to President Buhari said his inability was as a result of his planned trip for the lesser hajj, which coincides with the handing over date.
It is on record that since the return of democracy in 1999, no incumbent governor of the state has had that luxury of attending the inauguration of a new government of an opposition.
In 2003, Late Governor Lam Adesina did not attend the inauguration of Governor Rasheed Ladoja in 2003. Senator Ladoja did not handover personally to Governor Alao Akala in 2007.
In the same vein, Governor Akala refused to attend the inauguration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi in 2011. Ajimobi is the only incumbent governor in the history of the state to have succeeded himself in office, hence he handed over to himself.
With the completion of his tenure, Ajimobi has joined the long list of predecessors who refused to attend the inauguration of their successors.
Ajimobi said that he has left a good legacy in Oyo state as he believes that he has been able to bring to it peace, tranquillity and development.
Asked if he had any regrets, he said: “I think I regret the fact that I have not been able to do everything I wanted to do. I wish our people could be more understanding, could be more patient but they feel that any time you try to make a change, people resist change even if it’s good for them. I wish I had been in politics 20 years ago.”
He said he was at the presidential villa to thank the president for all he did for states at a time they were having difficulty paying salaries.
He stated: “I want to thank President Buhari for the support he has given all the states particularly during the period of scarcity of funds to execute our projects, to pay salaries, to meet the socioeconomic development demands.
“He was on hand to help all of us. He supported us by releasing funds to all of us and as at today that I am talking, most of the states including Oyo state are not owing salaries.
“He also assisted us with social infrastructure that is extending the welfare nets to the states, that is why I am here to thank Mr President because in another two days I am going for Umrah and by the time I come back, I won’t be in office as Governor. I am going to Umrah to thank God.
“When I came in, I pleaded with God to give me the opportunity to serve peacefully and that He did.
“I also want to thank the people of Oyo State for allowing me to be the first governor to do two terms of eight years. It has never happened in Oyo State.
“I am leaving a legacy of peace and security in Oyo. At a time Oyo State was seen as what you call a garrison state. Today, Oyo state is one of the peaceful states in Nigeria. If our government has not done anything at all, we have brought peace and tranquillity and development to Oyo state. It’s been a worthwhile venture.
“Many of us could sit back and say I retired as an MD of a multinational but if we sit back and play the ostrich, we will see that evil will always triumph when men of good will fail to act.
“I want to say that Ajumobi came, brought peace to Oyo state and added value to the social economic development of the State and to Nigeria in general.”