The Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Saturday, described a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as a blessing to Yorubaland and a rare gift to Nigeria.
The governor lauded Oyinlola as a versatile administrator, a peace builder, who believes in and delivered good governance.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Oyo the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted him as saying these while speaking at the Oba Moses Oyinlola Memorial Anglican Church, Okuku, Osun State, during the thanksgiving ceremony in commemoration of Prince Oyinlola’s 70th birthday.
While speaking, Governor Makinde maintained that the percentage of politicians who rule with the fear of God is quite low in the country, calling on clerics and, indeed, all Nigerians to continue to pray for Nigerian politicians so that they can deliver good governance to the people.
He, however, appealed that the prayers for good governance should not only be directed at political office holders but also at civil servants, as, according to him, one cannot achieve anything without the other.
He said: “I am very happy to be here today to be a part of this celebration. When I got in here, I observed the Bishop was rounding off the sermon session. But I was still able to pick something from what he said.
“He requested that everyone should pray for politicians not minding the political parties they belong to, so that they will rule with the fear of God.
“I am sorry to say this, the percentage of politicians among us who rule with the fear of God is low. I dont think it is up to five per cent by my rating. I recognise the fact that once you attain power, you exert interest on the society or environment.
“But we ‘the politicians’ did not come from the Republic of Benin. We are from this environment and whether we like it or not, politicians are a reflection of our society, because we also came out of the same environment.
“The prayer we need to say is that, as human beings, God should touch the hearts of all of us so that we can do the right things for the people all the time.
“There is no governor or any political office holder that can do anything without involving civil servants. So, as you pray for political leaders, pray for civil servants too.”
Makinde, who congratulated Oyinlola on his platinum birthday anniversary, wished the former governor many more years in the service to humanity and Nigeria as a whole.
He said: “When I was writing my tribute for him, I wrote something I would like to repeat today. In what I wrote, I called him ‘His Excellency Emeritus.’
“I thank God for the gift of your personality to Yorubaland and to our country, Nigeria.
“So, on behalf of the government and the good people of Oyo State, I want to wish you a happy birthday and many happy returns in good health and happiness. I also wish you many more years in the service of our fatherland.”
The event had in attendance the governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Deputy Governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Alabi, wife of the governor of Osun State, Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola, Secretary to the Osun State Government, Mr. Wole Oyebanji.
Others were former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yusuf, and the senator representing Osun East, Francis Fadahunsi and royal fathers, among other dignitaries.