Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said that only God and the people of the state will determine the person that will succeed him among the 34 aspirants currently jostling to occupy the coveted office in 2019.
The Governor spoke during the Democracy Day 2017 media interactive session organized by the Ibadan Zonal Station of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, at its zonal headquarters, Dugbe, Ibadan, on Wednesday.
The forum provided the governor with a platform to shed light on his achievements in education, environment, health, housing, road construction and other sectors since coming on board in 2011.
Having laboured to raise the standards of governance in the state, the governor said his wish was to be succeeded by someone who would build on his unprecedented achievements by taking the state to an enviable height.
The governor’s clarification was in reference to media reports quoting him to have said that he would name his successor by May, next year.
Ajimobi said, “Only God ordains or dethrones kings. Only God and the good people of Oyo State will determine my successor. But I am sure that our people will not allow the state to fall into the hands of charlatans or professional politicians that will retard our progress.
“With the level we have reached now, we want a competent, highly cerebral person with track record of achievements to be the next governor. We want somebody who will not only envision and visualize, but who will have the courage to do what is right.
“Our state doesn’t deserve people whose sole purpose is to come and line their pockets. We want influential people that will earnestly serve our people and continue from where we would stop.
“A leader takes people where they want to go. But we want a great leader who will be prepared to take our people to where they don’t necessary want to go, but ought to be. A leader that will not be intimidated by some private interest groups from doing what is right.”
Shedding more light on the Olubadan chieftaincy law review saga, the governor disclosed that the review was at the prompting of concerned citizens and elders of the city.
He said that the proposed review would not diminish the status of the current Olubadan or those that would come after him, noting that having more kings in Ibadanland can only enhance the prestige of the revered monarch.
The governor said that none of his predecessor had elevated the Olubadan monarchy as he did, a feat, he said, informed the decision of the reigning Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, to confer on him the redoubtable traditional title of Are (the generalissimo) of Ibadanland.
The governor said, “We are not changing the protocol of the emergence of Olubadan. The beauty of the succession plan is that we know who the next 40 Olubadans will be. But we want to review the law to accommodate more beaded kings, who will be responsible to the Olubadan as the prime monarch.
“For those who may not know, the league of Mogajis, Ibadan elders and majority of the members of Olubadan-in-council (high chiefs and potential Olubadans), prompted me to carry out this review. They held a meeting with me recently to express their solidarity with what we are doing.
“They only told me that they would want the inclusion of more indigenes of Ibadan as members of the judicial commission of inquiry and I don’t have any qualms with that. We will not be deterred in seeing the review through. Nobody can intimidate us, because we are on the right track.
“No governor has elevated the Olubadan monarchy more than me. I contributed signifiantly for the new palace project. During the installation of the new Olubadan I invited first class monarchs from across the country. None of my predecessors ever did these. The reigning Olubadan is my father.
“The immediate past Olubadan made me Are Atunluse because of our impressive urban renewal programme. What we are saying is that communities with less population have more than one king. Why should Ibadan that has 11 Local Governments and 14 Local Council Development Areas have only one.”