The Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, declared on Tuesday that he would keep ensuring that his appointments are made based on merit rather than ethnic and religious biases.
The governor, who stated this while performing the swearing-in ceremony of the former State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Bayo Titilola-Sodo, as a Permanent Secretary, said that those seeking to always x-ray his appointments through religious and ethnic binoculars were wasting their time.
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The governor also swore in the governing councils of six state-owned tertiary institutions at the Government House on Tuesday.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor, at the two events held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, stated that merit and competence would continue to be parameters for appointments into positions.
He enjoined those working to divide the state through the manipulation of religion, to turn a new leaf, because, according to him, their efforts will always be an exercise in futility, as the people of the state will not yield to their deceit.
“To the folks that always look for loopholes; whatever we do they are quick to jump out there and carry placards, I make bold to say that they are completely useless to our people, because if they are not, they won’t just criticize us; they can bring alternatives to the table. But they cannot divide this state on religious grounds,” he said.
The governor added: “What we have done today is to demonstrate to the whole world that even if you operate on a different side of the divide, our focus is the same. When I came in as the governor of Oyo State, I called the chairman of NLC, Comrade Bayo Titilola-Sodo, and explained to him that the objective is the same.
“One may be on the side of government and the other may be on the side of labour, but the objective is to develop our state, to make life more meaningful to our people.
“We had an agreement that there will be a relationship of harmony between the Oyo State Government and labour union, that is exactly what we are witnessing now.
“So, I use this opportunity to implore people, whether you are PDP or APC, we don’t have to destroy ourselves and our state because positions and political players will come and go. Some of the players of yesterday are not here anymore, but our state remains.
“I want to commend Comrade Titilola-Sodo for managing the labour union well; we are partners in the development of our state. This was why it was not difficult for me to sign when they brought the recommendation for me to sign that you should become a permanent secretary.
“I don’t have any doubt that you have the capacity and ability to deliver. Hope you will do the job with best of your capability as it is expected.”
In another vein, the governor urged the new chairmen of governing councils of state-owned tertiary institutions to see their appointment as a call to service, adding that they should use their experiences to uplift the education system of the state.
The governor maintained that the new chairmen of the governing councils will be responsible for institutional change in their respective institutions, promising that as the state expands its economy, most of the tertiary institutions would benefit and become more stable.