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Zulum, Makinde restate faith in one indivisible Nigeria

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
11 April 2021   |   4:27 am
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his Borno State counterpart, Governor Babangana Zulum, yesterday, called on leaders across political divides to shun sentiments, and synergise...

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (right) presenting a gift to his Borno State counterpart, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, during the latter’s courtesy visit to Government House, Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: Oyo State Govt

• Borno Gov A Man Of Strong Character, Conviction – Oyetola 
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his Borno State counterpart, Governor Babangana Zulum, yesterday, called on leaders across political divides to shun sentiments, and synergise to proffer lasting solutions to security challenges bedeviling the country.

They also called on Nigerians across the country to, in their conducts, actions and inaction, exercise restraints in fueling crisis and insecurity, stressing that the country will continue to be one united entity in spite of these daunting challenges.

Zulum, who spoke in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday, when he received an award of honour conferred on him by the Alumni Association of the University of Ibadan, during a courtesy visit to Makinde, appealed to those fomenting trouble to desist forthwith and give peace a chance.

While fielding questions from journalists, Zulum noted that the nexus between peace, security and development cannot be over-emphasised.

“The nexus between peace, security and development needs not be overemphasised. You have seen and heard what has been happening in the far North East.

“It is because of lack of peace and therefore, I am calling on all those that are residing in these tension-soaked towns, and in the North West generally to be careful, and not fuel crisis because nobody knows what will happen at the end of the crisis,” he said, adding that “state and non-state actors should also be very careful because when the chips are down, the masses will suffer. This is something very important. Their father and grandfathers will suffer. The rich men will pack their property and go.”

The Borno State governor also called on the residents and people of Ibadan not to break the age-long tradition of peace and hospitality that the city and state are known for, saying: “Ibadan was a very peaceful city; many of us studied here in the University of Ibadan; we lived together happily, and I think this has to continue.

“So, we must preserve this land; protect the environment of this place, and ensure the stability of this very important town for the benefit of humanity. The government has to be careful also in handling of issues. We politicians, especially have to be careful. Looking forward to a more prosperous Oyo State,” Zulum added

Speaking earlier on his mission to the state, Zulum said, “This morning, we are here in Ibadan to receive an award that will be conferred on me by the Alumni Association of University of Ibadan, but we felt it will be necessary to pay a courtesy visit to the governor of Oyo State, and particularly to commiserate with him on the unfortunate event that had happened in the state. The most recent one is the fire inferno at the spare parts market in Ibadan. We continue to pray that such incident will never happen again.

“Your Excellency, Oyo was a very peaceful state. My predecessor is also an Alumnus of UI. Many of us from the North, especially those of us in the academic environment did our postgraduate studies at the University of Ibadan.

“This is not a coincidence, but because of the peace that we had in Ibadan before. We walked across the length and breadth of this ancient city from Oyo to Saki, Shasha, Ojoo, Mokola, Sango, Dugbe, Gate, Bodija; we went across everywhere to look for our delicious meals, including amala, ewedu, fufu and so on, and it was indeed a very nice stay for all of us.  It has been a peaceful city.”

Governor Makinde in his remarks said that country would surmount its challenges if politicians, irrespective of party differences and ideology forged a common front, noting that other countries had passed through similar challenges and came out stronger.

He praised Zulum for holding Borno together in spite of the numerous challenges it has passed through. He said: “We want to encourage you and to let you know that we are praying for you. By God’s grace, you will succeed. As leaders, we only need to pull together to defeat the problems in the country. We also want to acknowledge the work that you are doing in your state, especially fighting insecurity.

“This courtesy visit is timely and demonstrates to the whole world that we are all together in the task of nation building,’’ Makinde said.

MEANWHILE, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun has described Zulum, as a man of strong character and conviction who is determined to carry on despite the daunting security challenges in his area.

Oyetola said but for his strong character and conviction, the enormous security challenges in the state were enough for anyone to run away.

Oyetola, who spoke in Ibadan at the 2021 Luncheon and Awards ceremony of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, said: “From the documentary we just watched, I can see that the governor in less than two years has done tremendously well. And like we all know, the reward for hard work is more work. I believe this award will spur him to do more great things for the people of Borno. I congratulate you for these honours. You truly deserve them,” Oyetola said.

On his part, the Chairman of the occasion and former Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole, commended Zulum for carrying on from where his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima, left off.

He commended Shettima for discovering Zulum, just as he described Oyetola as a magician, saying most times he wonders how the governor manages to pay salaries and still carry on with infrastructure development across all sectors of the economy in the state.